Are you too old to eat sausages?

Decade by decade, how to eat the right food for the changing needs of your body

Be age-appropriate: Eat cheese in your twenties and avoid sausages if you are over 60

Be age-appropriate: Eat cheese in your twenties and avoid sausages if you are over 60


You are at the peak of physical health, but may be taking your body for granted — drinking too much, skipping meals, losing sleep from partying and grabbing convenience foods.


The intensive bone growth that happens in your teens continues into your 20s, making this your final opportunity to lay down new bone before the inevitable thinning process starts in your 30s.

So aim to get 700mg of bone-building calcium a day — equivalent to a pint of milk or 100g of Cheddar cheese, says nutritionist Dr Sarah Schenker.

But don’t ruin it with too many fizzy drinks, she warns — the phosphoric acid they contain impedes calcium absorption.


Avoid alchorexia: Don't eat less to allow for extra calories in alcohol

Avoid alchorexia: Don't eat less to allow for extra calories in alcohol

Dietician Sian Porter, spokesperson for the British Dietetic Association, warns against ‘alchorexia’ — common among women in their 20s, where they restrict their daily food intake to allow for the extra calories in alcohol.

‘Alcohol provides empty calories, so you can end up with a very poor nutritional intake which will swiftly show up in the poor condition of your hair, nails and skin.’

Binge drinking can cause internal weight gain that you can’t see, says Dr Schenker. ‘Alcohol leads to the laying down of dangerous visceral fat around the internal organs, linked to heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers, in later life.’


Don’t be seduced by celebrity crash diets, which statistics show often ultimately result in weight-gain. Establishing good habits now sets you up for the coming decades.

Have a healthy breakfast such as porridge, scrambled eggs on toast or fruit. ‘Missing breakfast is a sure trigger for unhealthy eating patterns — it will leave you hungry mid-morning when healthy food choices are limited,’ says Dr Schenker.


You’re juggling work, a partner, possibly young children and despite all your best intentions you probably grab meals on the go, or pick off your children’s plates, rarely sitting down to properly stock up on nutrients your body needs. You’re also likely to be sleep deprived.


If you’re tired, don’t seek a false energy hike from coffee, tea or cola which will only ever give a really short-term lift.

Dr Schenker recommends a diet packed with low-GI slow-release carbohydrates (with a little protein in every meal). ‘Try dried apricots — they release their energy very slowly — an apple, or a slice of nutrient-rich pumpernickel bread.’


All women who are planning to have children should be taking a 400mcg (0.4mg) supplement of folic acid each day. This nutrient is vital to prevent miscarriage and spina bifida) in an unborn baby.

‘Folate is also essential for blood health, and some studies have linked a poor folate intake to increased risk of breast, pancreatic and colon cancers,’ says Dr Schenker.

Boost your intake of folate-rich foods such as fruit and vegetables, wholegrains, lentils, pulses, and Marmite.


Snack on apricots: Dried fruit releases energy very slowly

Snack on apricots: Dried fruit releases energy very slowly

With a hectic lifestyle you run the risk of grazing on high fat, high salt, high sugar snacks to get you through the day — meaning you’ll put on weight and lack the nutrients you need to protect yourself from viruses and worse.

Snacking should be restricted to a handful of mixed nuts, an oatcake with a scrape of peanut butter, or carrot sticks dipped in hummus.

Sian Porter emphasises the importance of setting an example: ‘Children pick up healthy eating cues very early.’


Metabolic rate — for both men and women — is up to 10 per cent lower now than it was in your 30s, meaning you could put on weight, and be at increased risk of weight-related diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.

Women will be experiencing at least some of the hormonal upheaval of the peri-menopausal years, such as mood swings, hot flushes, and anxiety.


For women, if the menstrual cycle becomes erratic you could very easily become anaemic. ‘The signs of iron deficiency — lethargy, listlessness, inability to concentrate — are so frequently ignored,’ says Dr Schenker, ‘but you can very easily boost your natural iron levels through diet.’

She recommends lean red meat three to four times a week, along with plenty of eggs, beans, pulses and whole grains. Take some vitamin C (orange juice, kiwi fruit, tomato) at the same time to increase your absorption of iron.


Foods rich in plant oestrogens such as soya, lentils, chickpeas and linseeds can help balance hormone levels. In Asia, where the average woman has a high daily intake of isoflavones in the form of tofu, miso and soy sauce or lentils, hot flushes are reported by only 14 per cent — compared with 80-85 per cent in the West. Choose tofu, soya and linseed bread and soya milk.


Tuck in: Boost your natural iron levels with a juicy steak

Tuck in: Boost your natural iron levels with a juicy steak

As age starts to take a toll on your skin, get plenty of brightly coloured fruit and veg which contain skin-nourishing betacarotene, plus vitamin E (in avocados and wholegrains), and essential fatty acids in olive oil, nuts and seeds.


With a slower metabolism, you will need to cut back by around 200 calories a day (or burn 200 more off through exercise). Small sacrifices (one KitKat, that extra glass of wine, the bread roll and butter with the starter . . .) will keep your body’s equilibrium.


Men and women are at higher risk of heart disease, osteoporosis, and cancer.


By adding soluble fibre to your diet in oats and pulses, and considering switching to specific brands of cholesterol-lowering milk, margarine and yogurt (such as Flora Active or Benecol), you can help lower your cholesterol levels.


One of the main risk factors for heart disease is high blood pressure, caused by inactivity, too much alcohol, and salt. Cut down on salt and salty foods, and eat more potassium-rich foods such as bananas, fruit juice and dried fruit. ‘Potassium helps counteract the damaging effects of excess sodium (salt),’ says Dr Schenker.


Your metabolic rate will be 20-40 per cent lower than it was in your 20s, so weight gain can be an issue, and the risk of cancers significantly increases.


As you get older you increase the chance that you might end up in hospital, and if you do, according to Dr Schenker, your best line of defence is a daily probiotic. ‘Many experts believe probiotics provide a better line of defence for hospital patients than hand gels and washing,’ she says.

Studies have shown patients who take a daily probiotic drink in hospital reduce the risk of catching Clostridium difficile (C.diff).


We gradually lose the thirst sensation as we get older (the mechanisms of thirst lose their effectiveness with age) and we can easily become dehydrated, leading to tiredness, headaches, lack of concentration, kidney problems and cystitis. Water is always best — aim for eight glasses a day — but contrary to popular belief, coffee and tea count, too.


Eighty per cent of bowel cancers arise in the over-60s, so cut back on processed meat (sausages, salami, ham, bacon, paté) which have been linked with the disease.

Scientists say a diet rich in folate — green and leafy vegetables — can lower the risk and will also keep your weight down, further decreasing your risk of cancer

Fitness myths

Weight training is no good if you want to lose weight’

When we want to lose weight, we tend to combine calorie-cutting with sweaty aerobic exercise. This is all well and good, but there’s a third prong of the fork that many would-be slimmers miss out on: strength training. In a recent study, women burned over 350 calories more over a 24-hour period on days when they strength trained compared to days when they did not.

While lifting weights per se isn’t all that calorie-consuming, it creates a higher ‘afterburn’ (a period when metabolic rate remains elevated post-workout) than aerobic exercise. It’s also been found that a higher muscle mass is related to a higher metabolic rate during activity and at rest. And if that weren’t enough, a study showed that strength training while dieting helps the body hold on to lean tissue and shed body fat.

'You should keep your aerobic exercise intensity low to burn more fat’

Let’s dispel this myth once and for all ... Here are the facts: exercise at a low intensity uses fat as the predominant fuel, while exercising at a high intensity uses mainly carbohydrate. (There’s a continuum between the two, so as exercise gets progressively harder, the amount of carbs used increases and the amount of fat used decreases.) But the trouble is, low intensity exercise doesn’t burn many calories, while tougher workouts burn shedloads. Think of it as two pieces of pie. In the low-intensity pie, a whopping big slice of the calories comes from fat stores. In the high-intensity pie, only a sliver of the calories come from fat stores, but — and this is the crucial bit — the pie is much bigger. So overall, the amount of fat — and calories — burned is higher the harder you work.

'The step machine or step classes give you a big behind’

Unless you’ve set the resistance on the stepper so high that you can barely move the pedals up and down, the action of stepping will be an aerobic, low-resistance activity. This means that it won’t present sufficient stimulus to muscle tissue to cause it to grow (so lifting low weights lots of times is best for tone, too) and won’t have any affect on the size of your backside. Stepping is actually a great cardio workout that will boost aerobic fitness and improve muscular endurance in the legs and glutes. But keep your posture in check: stepping with your belly hanging out and back arched will give the appearance of a big behind! Keep navel gently drawn to spine and tailbone tucked slightly under.

‘As long as you walk 10,000 steps a day, you don’t need to do any other exercise’
Hmmm, this is a tricky one! It depends on your goals. The 10,000 steps a day guideline is aimed at prevention of disease rather than at improved fitness. Of course, if you start off sedentary, then achieving that target on a daily basis will certainly improve your fitness — but it still only counts as low-intensity aerobic exercise. For all-round fitness, you should ideally complement this with shorter but higher-intensity aerobic exercise (such as going for a run, taking a spinning class or doing circuit training), strength training (using weights or your own body weight for resistance) and flexibility work, in order to maintain or improve your suppleness. Each type of exercise has its own specific benefits, which is why it’s never ideal to stick to the same intensity or same method of activity every time.

‘Lifting low weights lots of times is best for tone’

We often talk about wanting to ‘tone up’ rather than build muscle, but what we really mean is that we want to ‘firm up’. To do this, we need to make the long protein tendrils within the muscle fibres thicker, so that there is less space between the muscle fibres and the overall feel of the muscle is denser. And contrary to popular belief, lifting a low weight countless times is not the way to do it. To make a muscle change, we need to create ‘overload’, by challenging it with something heavier than it is normally accustomed to. Lifting a weight that you can only manage to lift 6 to 12 times before fatiguing is the way to go to tame slack muscles.

‘Sit-ups are the best exercise to flatten the stomach’

Sit-ups, crunches and curls — any movement in which you curl your torso forward — work the ‘six-pack’ or rectus abdominis (RA) muscle in the front of the torso. Unfortunately, though, working this muscle doesn’t flatten the stomach. Deep below the six-pack lies a thick, corset-like strap of muscle that goes all the way around the waist, from back to front. This transversus abdominis (TA) muscle is the one that is responsible for flattening the tummy — and yet few of us ever pay it any attention! To activate your TA, put your thumbs on the sides of your waist, level with your navel, and extend your fingers over your pubic bone. Now draw the part of the tummy below the navel backwards (away from the fingers) without lifting the ribs or holding your breath. Practise this regularly throughout the day and once you can ‘engage your core’ (as we say in the trade!), check out The flatter tummy workout — part 1 and The flatter tummy workout — part 2 for some other good moves to try.

‘The more water you drink when you’re exercising, the better’

While it’s true that our need for fluid increases markedly during exercise, it isn’t necessary to glug down gallons of water to stay hydrated. In fact, the ‘glug’ approach is counterproductive as the body can only deal with so much fluid at once, and if you pour in too much, you’ll simply pee it right out again! Indeed, in some situations (such as prolonged endurance events) you could even put yourself at risk of hyponatremia — a potentially fatal condition. The best approach is to maintain good hydration 24/7, not just 10 minutes before your workout. If you ensure that you drink water and other fluids throughout the day, then you won’t be starting out dehydrated and will get by perfectly well taking a few sips during exercise.

And your stomach won’t be sloshing uncomfortably! International sports authorities have now stopped recommending a certain amount of fluid to drink during exercise, due to the increased number of cases of hyponatremia in recent years. They now suggest you drink according to your thirst, or that you weigh yourself before and after a timed workout and replace the amount of weight loss in grams with the same amount of fluid in millilitres (for example, if you run for an hour and lose half a kilogram in body weight, you should aim to drink 500ml of water during future one-hour runs.)

‘Running is bad for your knees’

Running has long had a bad press for wrecking knees, but provided you train sensibly, wear the right kind of running shoes and do sensible things like warming up, heeding niggling pains and running on a variety of surfaces, it’s actually quite good for them. A study published in the journal Arthritis and Rheumatism showed that, far from increasing the risk of joint problems, running could protect against osteoarthritis by keeping joints and connective tissue strong, mobile and topped up with nutrients. Another study, published in the Journal of Rheumatology, found no difference in the amount or rate of degeneration in the knee and hip joints of runners and non-runners, although both groups experienced some degeneration with age.

‘The more exercise you do, the better’

Believe it or not, there is such a thing as too much exercise. It’s during rest, not exercise, that the body does all the necessary repairs and ‘housekeeping’ to make itself fitter and stronger — so if you take that rest away, you are never going to reach your full potential. You need at least 48 hours between strength training workouts to allow muscles to recover, and while you can do aerobic training and flexibility work daily, it’s wise to go by the ‘hard, easy’ rule — where you follow tough training sessions with a gentler workout the next day. Overtraining will also put you at risk of injury and can compromise your immune system — which may end up costing you weeks away from the gym while you recover.

‘You shouldn’t exercise too late in the evening or it’ll keep you awake’

We’ve long been told that only gentle activity, like yoga or Pilates, is suitable for the latter part of the evening. If we do any other sort of exercise in the evening, we’re told that we’ll be lying in bed, wide awake, for hours. Not so, according to sleep expert Professor Youngstedt from the University of California. He found that exercise was as effective as sleeping pills in helping insomniacs get to the land of Nod. ‘People should experiment for themselves to see whether exercise promotes better sleep,’ advises Professor Youngstedt. He also found that outdoor exercise was more effective in aiding sleep problems than indoor workouts.


From cholesterol-lowering cheese to beetroot shots that claim to prevent blood clots and vitamin-enhanced water, supermarket shelves heave with nutraceuticals - so-called smart foods with ingredients added to provide medicinal effects.

But are they really as healthy as they claim to be?

Catherine Collins, principal dietician at St George's Hospital, London, analysed the nutritional content of some of the bestsellers, and the results were shocking.


Minicol mature cheese

The claim: 'Proven to reduce cholesterol.'
Recommended dose: 68g (£2.13 for 195g).
Values per 100g: 400 cals, protein 22.5g, carbohydrates 1g, fat 34g (of which saturates 5g, monounsaturates 10.5g, polyunsaturates 18.5g).

Catherine says: The dairy fat has been removed and wheatgerm oil substituted in the cheese-making process, reducing the amount of saturated fat normally present in large amounts in hard cheeses. Wheatgerm oil naturally contains plant sterols, natural cholesterol-lowering agents.

Although this makes the cheese richer in healthier mono and polyunsaturated fats, which will also help manage cholesterol, the amount of cholesterol-lowering plant sterols from wheatgerm oil present in a usu

The 68g of cheese a day required for their cholesterol reducing claim would provide you with 320 calories and 23g of fat, virtually the equivalent to the fat in a Big Mac.


Hovis hearty oats loaf

The claim: 'Helps maintain normal cholesterol.'
Recommended dose: None given (£1.4 for 800g).
Per slice: 109 cals, protein 5.4g, carbohydrate 16.4, fat 0.4g, jumbo oats 20 per cent, beta-glucan 1.1g, salt 0.5g.

Catherine says: You would need to eat six slices of this bread daily to consume enough beta-glucan - a dietary fibre found naturally in oats - to lower blood cholesterol.

Considering each slice contains 109 calories, you would be consuming 654 cals, which is around a third of the average woman's daily calorie requirement.

Six slices would also provide 3g of salt, half of the daily recommended healthy limit - that's as much as four bags of Walker's salt-and-vinegar crisps. High salt levels in the diet can lead to raised blood pressure, increased risk of heart attack and stroke, bone-thinning and even stomach cancers.


Vitamin water

The claim: 'Vitamin enhanced beverage - vitamins + water = all you need.' Recommended dose: 500ml (£1.42 for 500ml bottle).
Per bottle: Spring water containing 50 cals, Vitamin C, niacin (B3), Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, sugar 13g.

Catherine says: This provides half the RDA of several water-soluble vitamins, but these ones are rarely deficient in the UK diet so they are a pointless addition.

There is no actual juice in this product but there is 13g of sugar which is about half of a can of Coca-Cola.

Instead, drink water and take a one-a-day multivitamin and mineral formula which provides a wider nutrient supplementation and is less likely to cause tooth decay.


Benecol light yogurt drink

The claim: 'One bottle a day is enough to lower your cholesterol.'
Recommended dose: 67.5g (£3.47 for 6 x 67.5g bottles).
Per bottle: 40 cals, fat 2g, carbs 7.3g, protein 2.8g, plant stanol ester 2g.

Catherine says: This product has been proven to work, reducing total cholesterol by up to 15 per cent and LDL (bad) cholesterol by ten per cent in just one shot per day.

However, considering this is labelled as a 'Light' product, one would expect it to have fewer calories than the normal version.

In fact, the fat content is the same, at 1.4g per bottle, and the sugar content in the 'normal' version is 3.1g, yet in the Light bottle it is 4.7g.

The 'normal' calorie count is 38 and the Light version is 40.

This may seem a small difference, but if you are counting the calories, are on a low sugar diet or have diabetes, then you have a product that is more sugary than the normal version.


Muller vitality pre-biotic + probiotic low-fat yogurt drink

The claim: 'Helps maintain the natural balance of a healthy digestive system.' Recommended dose: 100g (£1 for 6 x 100g bottles).
Per bottle: 71 cals, protein 2.6g, carbohydrate 11.1, calcium 90mg, fat 1.4g (sats 0.9g), prebiotic fibre 2.5g.

Catherine says: This contains probiotic bacteria, which aid bowel flora - microorganisms - that keep the gut healthy. It also contributes to protein and calcium intake in modest amounts.

However, lack of clinical evidence means a nutritional claim for improved bowel health for these products is not possible, hence the vague 'healthy digestive system' claim.

Whether improved bowel health occurs is not proven but the bottle contains less than half the protein and half the calcium of a 125g pot of its sister product, Vitality Yoghurt, so it's better to buy the yogurt version.


Beet It stamina shot

The claim: 'Tests have shown that the nitrate present in beetroot juice can prevent blood clots, protect blood vessels, and lower your blood pressure.'
Recommended dose: One bottle daily one to three hours before exercise (£1.85 for 70ml).
Per shot: 71 cals, protein 2.5g, carbohydrates 17g, fat 0g, dietary nitrate 0.3g.

Catherine says: Studies have shown that eating large amounts of beetroot can lower blood pressure. One theory is that the naturally occurring nitrates found in these are responsible.

Nitrate is generally harmless, but a small amount is converted by our saliva into compounds called nitrites which, in the presence of dietary protein, can be converted in the stomach into nitrosamines, chemical compounds that can be carcinogenic. Nitrates are also used in medicine - they dilate blood vessels which can help heart disease patients.

I find it a concern that this small 70ml bottle gives 30 times more nitrate than the maximum prescribed medical nitrate dose to control angina.

Flab Busting foods

My Top 55 Lean-Body Foods to Build Lean Muscle and Lose Body Fat

by Mike Geary - Certified Nutrition Specialist, Certified Personal Trainer
Author of best-selling program: The Truth about Six Pack Abs

In most of my Lean-Body Secrets Newsletters, I like to provide a healthy snack or meal recipe that not only is delicious and healthy, but also helps to get you closer to that hard-body appearance that everyone is looking for, while also more importantly, improving your health for life. In this article, I'd like to give you healthy food ideas in a different way. This time, I figured I'd just give you some ideas of what I stock my fridge and cabinets with.

Remember, if you don't have junk around the house, you're less likely to eat junk! If all you have is healthy nutritious foods around the house, you're forced to make smart choices. Basically, it all starts with making smart choices and avoiding temptations when you make your grocery store trip. Now these are just some of my personal preferences, but perhaps they will give you some good ideas that you'll enjoy.

Some of these will be obvious healthy choices, such as fruits and veggies... however, others on this page I think will surprise you!

Alright, so let's start with the fridge. Each week, I try to make sure I'm loaded up with lots of varieties of fresh vegetables. During the growing season, I only get local produce, but obviously in winter, I have to resort to the produce at the grocery store. Most of the time, I make sure I have plenty of vegetables like onions, zucchini, spinach, fresh mushrooms, red peppers, broccoli, etc. to use in my morning eggs. I also like to chop up some lean chicken or turkey sausage (make sure to look for nitrate & nitrite free) or grass-fed bison sausage into the eggs, along with some swiss, jack, or goat cheeses (preferably raw grass-fed cheeses when I can find them).

By the way I'm talking about whole eggs, NOT egg whites. Always remember that the yolk is the most nutritious and nutrient dense part of the egg, so only eating egg whites is like throwing away the best part... and no, it's NOT bad for you because of the cholesterol... whole eggs actually raise your GOOD cholesterol. Try to get free range organic eggs for the best quality. Here's an entire article I did on the topic of whole eggs vs egg whites.

Coconut milk is another staple in my fridge. I like to use it to mix in with smoothies, oatmeal, or yogurt for a rich, creamy taste. Not only does coconut milk add a rich, creamy taste to lots of dishes, but it's also full of healthy saturated fats. Yes, you heard me right... I said healthy saturated fats! ...Healthy saturated fats such as medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), specifically an MCT called lauric acid, which is vitally important for your immune system.

If the idea of healthy saturated fats is foreign to you, check out my article about why saturated fat is not as bad as you think.

Back to the fridge, some other staples:

Walnuts, pecans, almonds - delicious and great sources of healthy fats. Try to get raw nuts if possible as the roasting process can oxidize some of the polyunsaturated fats in some types of nuts making those damaged fats slightly more inflammatory. Overall, nuts are still healthy even if they are roasted, but raw nuts are optimal.
Cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, and yogurt (grass-fed and organic if possible) - I like to mix cottage or ricotta cheese and yogurt together with chopped nuts and berries for a great mid-morning or mid-afternoon meal.
Chia seeds and/or hemp seeds - I add these highly nutritious seeds to yogurt, smoothies, or salads for a great nutty taste and loads of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins and minerals. Don't use pre-ground versions of these seeds as the omega-3 polyunsaturated fats are highly unstable and prone to oxidation, creating high levels of free radicals if you use pre-ground seeds. No grinding is necessary to properly digest these seeds.
Whole eggs - one of natures richest sources of nutrients (and remember, they increase your GOOD cholesterol so stop fearing them).
Salsa - I try to get creative and try some of the exotic varieties of salsas.
Avocados - love a great source of healthy fats, fiber, and other nutrients. Try adding them to wraps, salads, or sandwiches.
Butter - don't believe the naysayers; butter adds great flavor to anything and CAN be part of a healthy diet... just keep the quantity small because it is calorie dense... and NEVER use margarine, unless you want to assure yourself a heart attack. Most important -- choose organic butter only, since pesticides and other harmful chemicals accumulate in the fat of the milk which is used for butter, so choosing organic helps avoid this problem. Also, choose grass-fed (pastured) butter if you can find it as it will contain higher levels of healthful omega-3 fats and the fat-burning conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).
Nut butters - Plain old peanut butter has gotten a little old for me, so I get creative and mix together almond butter with pecan butter, or even cashew butter with macadamia butter...delicious and unbeatable nutrition! Using a variety of nut butters gives you a broader range of vitamins and minerals and other micronutrients, and gives you variety instead of boring old peanut butter all the time.
Leaf lettuce and spinach along with shredded carrots - for salads with dinner.
Home-made salad dressing - using balsamic vinegar, spices, extra virgin olive oil, and Udo's Choice oil blend. This is much better than store bought salad dressing which mostly use highly refined canola or soybean oil (canola and soybean oil are both very inflammatory in the body). Here's an article showing why to NEVER use store-bought salad dressings.
Sprouted grain bread for occasional use -- My personal belief from years of nutrition research is that we're not really meant to consume the massive quantities of grains (not even whole grains) that we do in this day and age... a small amount may be okay, but our digestive systems are still primarily adapted to a hunter/gatherer type of diet with only a very small amount of grains, therefore I try to only have breads and other grain-based foods on cheat days.
Rice bran - If we're going to have some grain-based food, we might as well have the most nutrient dense part, and rice bran is one of those parts, since it includes the germ of brown rice too. Rice bran is loaded with vitamins and minerals but without the large amount of starch calories that rice has... and it actually adds a nice little nutty, crunchy taste to yogurt or smoothies, or can be added when baking to add nutrients and fiber to the recipe.

Some of the staples in the freezer:

Frozen berries - during the local growing season, I only get fresh berries, but during the other 10 months of the year, I always keep a supply of frozen blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, cherries, etc. to add to high fiber cereal, oatmeal, cottage cheese, yogurt, or smoothies. I also get frozen goji berries sometimes for a little "exotic" variety.
Frozen fish - I like to try a couple different kinds of fish each week. There are so many varieties out there, you never have to get bored. Just make sure to ALWAYS choose wild fish instead of farmed versions, as the omega-3 to omega-6 balance is MUCH healthier in wild fish. Also, as this article shows, there are some possible other health issues with farmed fish.
Frozen chicken breasts - very convenient for a quick addition to wraps or chicken sandwiches for quick meals.
Grass-fed steaks, burgers, and ground beef: Grass-fed meats have been shown to have as high as, or even higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids than salmon (without the mercury). Also, grass-fed meats have much higher levels of fat-burning and muscle-building conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) compared to typical grain-fed beef that you'll find at your grocery store. I recently found an excellent on-line store where I buy all of my grass-fed meats now (they even deliver right to your door in a sealed cooler) -
Frozen buffalo, ostrich, venison, and other "exotic" lean meats - Yeah, I know...I'm weird, but I can tell you that these are some of the healthiest meats around, and if you're serious about a lean healthy body, these types of meats are much better for you than the mass produced, hormone-pumped beef, chicken, and pork that's sold at most grocery stores.
Frozen veggies - again, when the growing season is over and I can no longer get local fresh produce, frozen veggies are the best option, since they often have higher nutrient contents compared to the fresh produce that has been shipped thousands of miles, sitting around for weeks before making it to your dinner table.

Alright, now the staples in my cabinets:

Various antioxidant-rich teas - green, oolong, white, rooibos (red tea) are some of the healthiest. One of my newest favorite teas is yerba mate, which is a south american tea that is loaded with antioxidants and other nutrients. I've found some delicious yerba mate mixes such as chocolate yerba mate, mint mate, raspberry mate, etc.
Oat bran and steel cut oats - higher fiber than those little packs of instant oats, which are typically loaded with sugar. If I'm trying to reduce body fat and get extra lean, I make most of my breakfasts based on eggs and veggies and bison sausage, but if I'm on a muscle building phase, I increase carbohydrate intake and use more oat bran and oatmeal.
The only healthy oils I have in my cabinets are virgin coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil. Macadamia oil may also be a reasonable choice as long as it's not "refined". But other than that, all "vegetable oils" (which is usually soy and corn oil) are total junk and very inflammatory. Never use soy or corn oils! Also, always avoid canola oil, as there is nothing healthy about canola oil, despite the deceptive marketing claims by the canola oil industry.
Cans of coconut milk (loaded with healthy saturated MCT fats) - to be transferred to a container in the fridge after opening.
Brown rice and other higher fiber rice - NEVER white rice
Tomato sauces - delicious, and as I'm sure you've heard a million times, they are a great source of lycopene. Just watch out for the brands that are loaded with nasty high fructose corn syrup. You also want to make sure that the tomato sauce is made with olive oil instead of unhealthy soybean oil or canola oils. Also get tomato sauces in glass jars instead of cans, as canned tomatoes are notoriously high in the dangerous chemical, bisphenol-A (BPA) due to the acidic leaching of BPA from the can lining.
Stevia - a natural non-caloric sweetener, which is an excellent alternative to the nasty chemical-laden artificial sweeteners like aspartame, saccharine, and sucralose.
Raw honey - better than processed honey... higher quantities of beneficial nutrients and enzymes. Honey has even been proven in studies to improve glucose metabolism (your efficiency in processing carbohydrates). I use a small teaspoon every morning in my teas. Yes, I know that even honey is pure sugar, but at least it has some nutritional benefits... and let's be real, a teaspoon of healthier raw honey is only 5 grams of carbs... certainly nothing to worry about, and a better choice than refined sugar.
Organic REAL maple syrup - none of that high fructose corn syrup Aunt Jemima crap...only real maple syrup can be considered real food. The only time I really use this (because of the high sugar load) is added to my post-workout smoothies to sweeten things up and also elicit an insulin surge to push nutrients into your muscles to aid muscle recovery.
Organic unsweetened cocoa powder - I like to mix this into my smoothies for an extra jolt of antioxidants or make my own low-sugar hot cocoa by mixing cocoa powder into hot milk with stevia and a couple melted dark chocolate chunks (delicious!).
Cans of black or kidney beans - I like to add a couple scoops to my Mexican dishes for the fiber and high nutrition content. Also, beans are surprisingly one of the best sources of youth enhancing antioxidants! Did you know that black beans and kidney beans have more antioxidants than's true!
Dark chocolate (as dark as possible - ideally more than 70-75% cocoa content) - This is one of my treats that satisfies my sweet tooth, plus provides loads of antioxidants at the same time. It's still calorie dense, so I keep it to just 1-2 small squares after a meal... but that is enough to do the trick, so I don't feel like I need to go out and get cake and ice cream to satisfy my dessert urges.

Lastly, another thing that's hard to go wrong with is a good variety of fresh fruits and berries. The staples such as bananas, apples, oranges, pears, peaches are good, but I like to also be a little more adventurous and include things like yellow (aka - mexican or champagne) mangoes, pomegranates, kumquats, papaya, star fruit, pineapples, and others. Also, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, black raspberries (the highest fiber berry) and cherries are some of the most nutrient and antioxidant-dense fruits you can eat.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this special look into my favorite lean body meals and how I stock my cabinets and fridge. Your tastes are probably quite different than mine, but hopefully this gave you some good ideas you can use next time you're at the grocery store looking to stock up a healthy and delicious pile of groceries

Spot reduction

So you have heard many trainers or keen gym goers tell say how spot reduction is a myth and you can't target fat loss in specific areas of the body to burn fat from. Well they are half right in the way that you can not do specific exercise to achieve spot reduction but there is a way. It is achieved through manipulation of hormones. The way that it works is that if certain hormones are either too low or too high then it makes your body hold on to fat in certain areas of the body which then become problem areas for the individual and they work themselves into the ground to remove it through spot reduction and over all fat loss.

So to see how spot reduction can actually work for you look down the list below and pin point your 'problem area'. Then find the hormone imbalance that correlates to that and then read further down the article to understand how to correct this hormone imbalance.

Hormone Area Of Excessive Body Fat Storage
Cortisol (High) Umbilical. Excessive stomach fat
Estrogen (High) Quadriceps, hamstrings, bum. Excessive fat gain in thighs and bum.
Insulin (High) Suprailiac, subscapular. Excessive fat gain on 'love handles' and upper back
Testosterone (Low) Pectoral, triceps. Excessive fat stored on the chest and backs of arms
Thyroid (Low) Mid-axillary. Fat stored about 8 inches below the arm pit
Growth Hormone (Low) Knee, calf. This reflects sleep patterns and overall fat loss

So the way to use this article to help you turbo charge your fat loss is to figure out where your storing most of your body fat. Move across to the hormone that is causing the problem and read on to find out how to get it back in check!



If high cortisol is the problem then:

*Reduce stress! Just try to spend time relaxing and not stressing about life. Get on top of things that you worry about, be around people who make you feel good, de-clutter your house, bring a pet home, get regular massages etc.

*Following the Elimination Diet . Foods that the Elimination Diet cut out are difficult for the body to digest and work with so they cause a release of cortisol.

*Cortisol is released in large amounts during exercise. That doesn't mean don't exercise but it does mean try to avoid cardio as this releases lots of cortisol. Try to do short sharp bursts of resistance exericse to keep cortisol levels down and raise your metabolism in the long run.

*Take an omega 3 supplement. Omega 3 fatty acids will help to lower cortisol levels. Everyone should supplement with omega 3. Get a high quality source as with fish oil you get what you pay for.

*Take Rhodiola Rosea. It is a Cortisol Modulator, meaning that if your cortisol is too low it will help you raise it and if too high, it will help you lower it.

*Ensure your sleep patterns are in order. You should be asleep by 10.30 and wake by around 6.30. Plus make sure your room is pitch black with few electrical items around. The few hours before you go to sleep try to dim down light, not exercise, not watch tv, not go on the computer. Winding down and avoiding unnatural light before you sleep will help you sleep and keep cortisol levels lower.

*Stop drinking alcohol. Alcohol will do all sorts of bad things to your body but with what were talking about here it will raise your cortisol levels.

*Follow these points and you will not only lower your cortisol levels and achieve spot reduction on the stomach fat but also get huge benefits in your health and fitness as a whole.

Spot reduction on the stomach area is the most common requirement for most people so if you have any friends or family that are going about stomach fat spot reduction the wrong way (sit ups!) then direct them to this page and let them get the same fat loss results your going to get.



Hight amounts of estrogen in the body can be lowered by:

*Eat lots of cruciferous vegetables. These are ones like broccoli, cabbage, sprouts etc.

*Not use or store water in plastic bottles. If you have to use plastic bottles try not to leave them in direct sunlight. The quality of a bottle can be seen by looking at the bottom of it. You will see a triangle of three arrows with a number in it. The lower the number the worse quality the plastic. Most bottles are 1 but if you look hard you can find some around 3. Try to drink mineral water from glass bottles.

*The supplement DIM can help to lower estrogen levels. DIM is a strong anti-estrogen that specifically targets the bad estrogens caused by phyto-estrogens in our environment.

*Also brocholi extract and green tea are used to combat estrogen "16" (the bad estrogen)

*Yohimbine can also help to lower estrogen levels. It is extracted from the bark of yohimbe trees. Yohimbine cream is definitely a better choice because oral delivery of yohimbine could result in systematically high blood levels that could have dangerous side effects on the heart and the CNS (central nervous system).



If you have low testosterone levels and want to boost them:

*Get a good amount of sleep. Just like the cortisol lowering tactic you need to be asleep by 10.30 and up at 6.30. A pitch black room with few electrical items near you also will help you get a good nights sleep.

*Eating foods like steak and nuts will really help to boost your testosterone.

*Weight train using big weightlifting exercises. Exercies like squat, deadlift, lunges, bench press, bent over row will boost testosterone far more than isolating smaller muscles like biceps and triceps. Also lift heavy weights that only allow you to perform 5-10 reps, rest 1 -2 minutes and complete 3 – 5 sets.

*Ensure you are resting just as hard as you train. For this you need to get your 8 hours sleep, not over train, feed your body with good nutrition.

*Stop drinking alcohol. Alcohol of any type will lower your testosterone levels significantly.

*Zinc is low in most active people so supplementing with zinc will help to boost the testosterone levels.



*Following these few points will help to lower and keep your insulin levels in check:

*Taking a good quality fish oil supplement is not only the most important supplement that you could take but it will help to keep your insulin levels down.

*Consuming fats and protein in every meal so that they are eaten with your carbohydrates will slow down the release of the carbohydrates into the blood which will help to keep your insulin levels steady.

*Eating fewer carbohydrates is the main thing that will help with insulin levels. Also make sure the carbohydrates you are eating are whole nutritious, slower release carbohydrates like brown rice, sweet potato, pulses and try to avoid grains on the whole especially wheat.

The best time to eat carbohydrates is after you train.

The more insulin you produce the faster you age!


Growth Hormone.

To raise your growth hormone try the following.

*Eat more protein in your diet. All foods raise growth hormone temporarily but especially protein raises it to a higher degree.

*Exercise more. Exercising releases more growth hormone than eating does and it raises it for longer as well. This effect will be far greater when your exercise program contains a high amount of resistance exercises in it.

*Getting the correct amount of sleep every night will allow your body to release more growth hormone to help it grow.



Thyroid problems can store body fat 8 inches below the arm pit. To combat this:

*Avoid soy products completely as they cause you to become hypothyroid.

*Some supplements that you can take to help this imbalance are gugulsterones (a compound of herb Guggul), bladerwrack, a natural source of iodine, zinc and selenium, all responsible for thyroid hormone production. Finally, Ashwaganda and Coleus root (a member of the mint family) both used frequently to stimulate the thyroid gland.

*Iodine is vital for thyroid function and there is a quick and easy way to test if your deficient. Put some iodine on some cotton wool and then draw a 2 inch circle on a soft part of your skin like the inside of the arm or leg. If the iodine disappears in under 2 or 3 hours then you are probably deficient. If the iodine stays on the skin for longer than that then you are probably ok for iodine. If you are deficient in it you can supplement on kelp.