I love these ! they are so easy to make & prefect for snacking on through-out the day. They cater for everyone! for gym nuts! they make a great post work-out snack, as they keep your blood sugar levels stable afterwards and lower stress hormones such as adrenaline, which we released during working out. For busy office workers they are a prefect on the go snack, you can take into work and have the entier office envy you for your organizational skills!

I always tell my client’s if you can’t pronounce an ingredient on the back of label or don’t have a clue what it is,then don’t buy it! Have you read the label of a packet of sweets recently? the list is an endless amount of E numbers, chemical sugars and plenty of gut irritating ingredients such as maize starch. I’m pretty sure your kids will love these home-made Marshmallows too! A recent trick or treat visit from the local kids in my neighbourhood had them all smiling that’s for sure! Maybe not sure much the parents! But I would trust home-made real food over industrialized, chemically manufactured sweets! wouldn’t you?

Ingredients.

Total prep time 10 mins, cooking time 10 mins, set time 10 mins! so that’s a total errr total of 30 minutes, if you were bad at maths like me! and I promise I didn’t use a calculator to do this!

1 cup of filtered water. Half used for making the sugar syrup and the other half will be used for the marshmallow mix

3 Table spoons of Non-Hydrolyzed Gelatin: note I use beef Kosher Gelatin By http://www.greatlakesgelatin.com.

2 cups of cane sugar

1 table-spoon of coconut oil

2 teaspoons of Vanilla essence

Step 1. Start by making the sugar syrup add 2 cups to a pan and half a cup of filtered water, simmer on a low heat, stir often to avoid the sugar sticking to the bottom of the pan. After 10 minutes you should have a clear syrup mixture as all the granules have dissolved. remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

Step 2. grease a glass container with coconut oil, use your hands as coconut oil is solid at room temperature so melts when in contact with heat. By doing this I find that it so easy to remove the marshmallows once they are finally set.

Step 3. add 3 table spoons of Gelatin to a large mixing bowl and pour half a cup of water to it & leave it to set. The trick is you don’t want the gelatin to harden as then it will not blend easy. Add the sugar syrup still warm, this makes it easier to whisk. Add the vanilla extract, start to whisk, using a hand-held electric whisk is best.

5 mins into the whisking you should start to see the colour & consistency change…

Step 4. continue whisking for another 5 minute what you’re looking for is thick sticky consistency. Pour the mixture into the greased tray. Place in the fridge to set for 10 minutes or less.

step 5. using a smooth knife cut up into squares & remove with a spatula. Store In the fridge  & enjoy !

Note: If a UK resistant Non hydrolysed beef (kosher) Gelatin is sold by myself or you can order direct from the US. If not a UK-based resistant. http://www.greatlakesgelatin.com

guess what! Cholesterol is GOOD for me !

Posted: May 27, 2011 by vvfitness in Uncategorized
The idea that plant oils from plants are healthy and saturated fats from animals are unhealthy is wrong. It’s exactly the opposite that’s true and here the reasons why.
Saturated fats are stable and so they lower lipid proxidation which occurs when unstable fats break apart and react with oxygen, turning into free radicals which lead to disease and ageing. These unstable fats are polyunsaturated fats from plant oils Рalso known as PUFAs Рand when they come in contact with heat and oxygen they break up, destroying oxygen and turning into these very dangerous free radical molecules. These unstable molecules damage digestive enzymes, damage mitochondria in the cells and lower thyroid function. Saturated fats stop a lot of these PUFAs and unsaturated fats from breaking apart.

The cholesterol myth:¬†cholesterol is a protective fat so it isn’t harmful to us! Cholesterol turns into all of the protective hormones, as well as vitamin D and bile, our body needs, which is why our body makes it in the liver – because we NEED IT! Yet doctors say it’s bad! Our liver only releases cholesterol when our body is stable which means we don’t have allot of PUFAs in our bloodstream.

So which is smarter, your doctor or your liver?
Remember, a doctor gets trained to treat with drugs, this is really all they do. We need to understand how our body works. We, as the patients, need to be educated. We make cholesterol as a protective substance to lower inflammation in our body, as an antioxidant in the form of vitamin D and the bile – a cleaner for our gut – as a way to carry the toxins such as estrogen from our body. Recently my 35-year-old client has been scared into thinking he will have a heart attack due to his high cholesterol level by his doctor, who has put him on anti cholesterol drugs (statins). These drugs are devastating to the body. Now, by suppressing the natural production of cholesterol with statin drugs, his body is unable to carry out protective mechanism that it needs to do!
Here’s a simple way to look at this. If you eat a lot of cholesterol, your body makes less, and if you don’t eat a lot, your liver makes more. Try telling that to your doctor, yikes!¬†Dr. Duane Graveline wrote a book regarding his experience with statin drugs, how he suffered from amnesia, eventually related this to the statin drugs, and got himself off them.
A Review of Statin Drugs Side Effects and the Misguided War on Cholesterol by Dr. Duane Graveline, M.D.

The world average cholesterol reading is 220. Did you know the numbers have been lowered over the years to get more people on statin drugs? Now in the USA they say if your cholesterol is over 180 it’s considered high, when in reality 180 is very low! Once you get into this whole system of pharmaceutical drugs and their side effects, you are placed on another drug for the side effects of the 1st drug. Believe or not, people in the USA over 70 are usually on between 7-14 drugs and they all have contradictions with each other! This is how you end up on drugs for life!

When the commercial food industry started to grow grains and make all these PUFAs, at first they used them as paints & varnishes as they immediately consume oxygen. This is something you don’t want to happen in your body. PUFAs take up oxygen as part of the process of how they interact with the environment. For example, if you paint your wall with vegetable oil its going to dry very fast as it pulls in the oxygen right away. Whereas if you paint a wall with butter its going to remain sticky for 10 years because it’s so stable and it doesn’t pull in oxygen very well.
The commercial food industry made a lot of money from this and then decided it would be good to feed these – soy, grains & corn – to the animals to fatten them up, but they are not part of their stable diet! So then they decided to target humans and convinced them that any food that contains cholesterol such as something as natural as butter is bad and they need plant foods in order to be healthy! This is all a matter of marketing & selling, not a matter of human health and good knowledge. They have convinced your relatives that it’s better to eat paint & vanishes than it is it to eat real food!
As a result, I face a battle with my own relatives and clients who are petrified of real food! Unfortunately they don’t understand that the most dangerous things in their diet are these PUFAs, aka polyunsaturated fatty acids, that were never meant to be consumed by humans, maybe by cows, bison or lambs who can at least convert these fats into saturated fats.

So folks we have been fed a pack of lies since the 1900’s and it’s just built up over the years. Are you still worried about cholesterol knowing its good for your body? I think we should be more concerned about eating foods that are inappropriate for our bodies, plant foods that we cannot digest! I know that I am going to continue to eat meat, diary and fruit. People freak out when they see the amount of butter, cream, full fat milk and coconut oil I go through a week.

Life is great as I know what’s good for my body!


Reference – http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/cholesterol-longevity.shtml

Homemade Custard Easy Style!!!

Posted: April 17, 2011 by vvfitness in Uncategorized

Remember back in the day schools dinners sucked! well apart from the sticky toffee puddings and custard! oh those were the days, nowadays pre-made custards are packed with additives and preservatives when really it should just contains a few nutritious and simple ingredients such as milk!

The fact is that us humans have been consuming milk for at least 50,000 years!. Our hunter gatherer ancestors would even store the milk in clay pots. This evidence was discovered in the high Andres where herds of Alpaca & Llama were milked. Weston A. Price DDS visited the Swiss & African Masia population back in the 1930’s and found that their main source of protein was milk also! These cultures had no tooth decay and presented healthy & strong.

The benefits of dairy products – the prefect balance of calcium to phosphorous for our bones & teeth, a High quality protein, it contains essential vitamins and trace minerals and milk in particular contains an excellent balance of protein, carbohydrates and fat which helps heal the gut.

Since I started the Ray Peat program 5 months back I was drinking milkshakes which contained the same ingredients as custard these kept my blood sugar levels stable throughout the day, energy levels were good, kept me full and satisfied, They were also highly nutritious for my body. As well containing the right amount of protein, carbohydrates and fat in one serving. So custard is very similar alternative as it only contains milk, eggs, cream and sugar! So here how you can make this simple and easy food, desert or snack whichever rocks your boat!

Step 1. Get those ingredients together ! pasture fed organic whole or semi-skimmed milk, organic cream, organic free-range eggs also pasture raised, white cane sugar, vanilla essence and a pinch of salt. You can use raw milk but it needs to be scalded prior to making the custard. To scald put the milk in a double boiler and let it heat until you see the bubbles appear around the edges and the allow to cool and you can continue with the recipe.

step 2. Pre-heat oven to 160 degree C or for my lovely US peeps would be 325 degrees F.

Step 3. Beat the 3 eggs with a whisk! I if your lazy like me, I found a blender seems do the job just as good. So add the eggs and allow them to blend for about 2-3 minutes.

Step 4. Then add half a cup of sugar ! and pinch of salt, continue to blend for another minute.

Step 5. Measure out the milk 3 cups of milk but I add 2 and half cups of milk and a half cup of cream.

Step 6. Pour in the milk slowly while it’s still blending oh and (try not to make a mess) !

Step 7.  add the vanilla essence and blend for another minute. transfer mixture over to glass tray try not to use alumium as the chemicals when heated can leak into the food. Add a larger tray this is where you pour boiling water at about 1-2 cm deep. Cook for about 1 hour or more if needed a good test to know if its done is to run a knife and it should come out clean from the custard.

Step 7. Remove and allow to cool, you can store in the Fridge this will allow it to go more solid or reheat if you like it runny. Either way still taste good.

This custard works out to 6 servings in total if you’re not greedy and want to eat the whole thing like me! You can eat it alone or add whipped cream or some ripe fruit! nom nom… Enjoy!

My 5 Oh so Easy steps to making Bone Broth (gelatin)

Posted: November 22, 2010 by vvfitness in Uncategorized

For a while now I have been reading articles by a man way ahead of his time called Ray Peat’s and it’s has really opened my mind to how the body works in relationship to food and how it can affect us long-term! Being a strong Paleo style eater for almost 3 years of my life, I have decided now it’s time to turn the tables 180 degrees when it comes to nutrition! But I don’t think your are ready to hear about ALL the foods in eating right now, so will save that for a future post.

Muscle meats maybe good for growing  babies ! but as adults our abilities to digest them decreases as we get older. I still am a strong believer in grass-fed beef and lamb but now I only have this once a week.

The results so far as fascinating I thought my body wouldn’t survey without muscle meats in the day. So far I’m happier! better moods and concentration, deeper sleep, feeling more rested upon waking and the inflammation in my body which I had been carrying has also decreased.

I been banging on about the benefits to eating bone broth to all my clients and everyone on Facebook and Twitter. The amino acid profile is so much better than muscle¬†meats and we can digest it well so it’s very healing for the gut and lets face it folks I think we are all starting to realize the importance of a healthy gut.

Everyone is asking how do I make bone broth so here a quick and easy step by step guide for you folks. I really hope you all get cooking, it’s so easy and cheap also.

Firstly you may have to put an order in with your local free range butchers as bones aren’t readily available¬†well this is the obstacle I have faced anyway. The only readily¬†available¬†bones I found were ox tails and bone marrow at Wholefoods in High Street Kensington they always seem to have these 2 items in stock.(so they are good for something) ! ;)

I get my other bones from a free range butchers in Holland Park London that way I can put an order in for chicken backs and necks also. If you want more info on all your local free range and organic butchers in London I have listed these the my previous blog.

So my client asked me the other day “so you want me to go into my butchers and say can I have some bones please?” Bless him YES I do! Any part of the animal with connective tissue is great for making bone broth. So to produce a large amount gelatin, the trick is to use as many different bones as you can! Trust me I’m seriously an expert on making bone broth now :) So bones such as ¬†lamb shanks, chicken backs & necks ! you can even use the feet if they are clean and you know they come from a good source! lets not forget beef shins and ox tails. With the shin you can ask lovely butcher ¬†to cut them up for you or otherwise would be needing a Fred Flintstone POT!!!!

Step 1 . All you need  a big pan (stainless steel preferably) put all your bones in about a 3rd full then add 3 times as much water with plenty of salt! this is the only seasoning you need. Salt opens up the circulatory system and allows the nutrients to get everywhere.

Step 2. simmer for around 2-3 hours for me 2 and half hours is just right. You don’t want to cook the bones to long as this can change the amino acids. You will know when it is done as once the water have gone down and then you see the bones appearing on top.

Step 3. remove all the bones from the broth you will find that maybe some small pieces of muscle meat floating around its ok the keep them in there if you want to strain it you can also do that too.

Step 4. Once cooled down pour the bone broth into a bowl and place into the fridge for 1 hour until the fat rises to the top. Then you can easier remove any fat from the broth.

Step 5. Pour the gelatin into a glass jar and place back into fridge. When you want to use the gelatin you can re-heat at anytime! Enjoy.

Organic & Free range meats suppliers in London

Posted: October 29, 2010 by vvfitness in Uncategorized

Allens Butchers

117 Mount Street, London W1, 020-7499 5831

A brilliant range of meat including chicken, duck, guinea fowl, quail, game, beef, pork, lamb, veal. The free-range Devon rose chicken is particularly juicy and it also stocks seasonal oddities such as gull’s eggs. Prominent places that it supplies include Claridges, the Caledonian Club, and, believe it or not, both Stringfellows.

Coyles of Richmond

23 Friar’s Stile Road, London TW10 6NH, 020-8940 0414

Coyles stocks organic beef, lamb, pork, chicken and game from the Black Mountains and Dorset. It has a close relationship with suppliers, and insists on purity, quality and welfare. Fresh line-caught fish and shellfish are available and the new deli counter adds sausages, pies, cooked meats and cheese to the mix.

A Dove and Son (Butcher)

71 Northcote Road, London SW11, 020-7223 5191

This Balham butcher has been in the family for 120 years and stocks a selection of free-range (and some organic) meat including English lamb, Scots beef and chickens from Hereford. The on-site kitchen produces a constantly changing selection of seasonal fare, including casseroles and pies.

James Elliott (Butcher)

96 Essex Road, London N1 8LU, 020-7226 3658

Totally free-range meats, including Lincolnshire lamb, Scotch premier beef, and seasonal game, as well as a wide selection of English cheeses. Its impressive range of speciality sausages includes Toulouse (beef, pork and garlic), wild boar and apple, and the spicy lamb merguez.

Ginger Pig

8-10 Moxon Street, off Marylebone Lane, London W1U 4EW, 020-7935 7788

Free-range meat, including Longhorn beef, Tamworth and Old Spot pork and Blue Face Leicester and salt-marsh lamb, reared at its own farm in North Yorkshire. As well as good-quality meat, the shop specialises in cooked produce, selling 900 of its famous sausage rolls a week. The pork pie is much loved and its new Cornish pasty, made with top-notch beef and handmade pastry, promises to be another classic.

Frank Godfrey

7 Highbury Park, London N5 1QT, 020-7226 9904

Unit 12, Morris Place, London, N4 3GJ, 0207 561 1713

fgodfrey.co.uk

Run by a meat enthusiast, Godfrey’s sausages grace the plates of the Savoy and the Hilton and other establishments. It stocks some organic meat, including free-range, grass fed beef from Orkney, mutton from Ronaldsay in Orkney and chicken from Sutton Hoo in Norfolk. A recently launched range of traditionally made organic meat stock, created on site, hopes to encourage home cooking. Specialises in whole carcasses. Member of the Guild of Q and delivers in the local area.

Grahams

134-136 East End Road, London N2 ORZ, 020-8883 6187

A range of organic chicken from Herefordshire, Yorkshire beef and Welsh lamb flies out the shop. The on-site kitchen produces pies, cakes, and vegetarian alternatives.

Hussey’s

64 Wapping Lane, London E1W 2RL, 020-7488 3686; 54 Wapping Lane, London E1W 2RL, 020-7480 6081 husseywappinglane.com

Free-range beef from Scotland, free-range pork from Surrey, chicken from Gloustershire and lamb from around the UK. The new shop at number 54, a mere few doors down, uses products from the original and cooks them, with gammons, roasted hams, slices of Scotch beef and other meats on offer.

Highlanders Organics

14 Bittacy Hill, London NW7 1LB, 020-8346 1055 highlanderorganics.co.uk

Highlanders Organics supplies organic beef, lamb, pork, chicken, and turkey reared on organically approved farms in the Welsh Black Mountains. But the emphasis here is on quirkier meat, with crocodile, ostrich, kudu, zebra, wild boar and kangaroo available. Other unusual specialities include organic biltong and 60 varieties of gluten-free sausage. Order online with free, same-day delivery to London and overnight courier to the rest of the UK.
Mail Order
Organic

Kent and Sons

59 St John’s Wood High Street, London NW8 7NL, 020-7722 2258

kents-butchers.co.uk

Kent’s has been supplying meat and poultry since 1919 and now specialises in free-range and organic produce. The veal and the organic lamb from Wales come highly recommended. Sausages, burgers and kitchen-ready products are made on site. Member of the Guild of Q.
Organic

Kingsland

140 Portobello Road, London W11 2DZ, 020-7727 6067

Traditional butcher offering free-range pork, chicken and lamb from Beauminster in Dorset. It specialises in rare-breeds and, when available, stocks Gloucester Old Spot pork and beef from White Park and Herefords.

C Lidgate

110 Holland Park Avenue, London W11 4UA, 020-7727 8243

Probably one of the most famous butchers in the country, David Lidgate believes passionately in traceability and small producers. He was one of the founders of the Guild of Q Butchers, and his densely packed shop is a real treat for meat lovers. Some of the highlights include: organic lamb and pork from Highgrove; organic beef from Sussex; Shetland Island lamb; award-winning pies and sausages; and less run-of-the-mill meat such as guinea fowl and ostrich.

Macken Brothers
44 Turnham Green Terrace, Chiswick, London W4 1QP, 020-8994 2646

The customer always comes first here with recipe advice and meat cut to the individual’s specification. Going since the early 60s, it carries all the usual meats, impeccably sourced – poultry, beef, pork and lamb – and also specialises in game.

Meat City

507 Central Markets, Farringdon Road, Smithfield, London EC1A 9NL, 020-7253 9606

meat-city.co.uk

Stocking only naturally reared, free-range meats such as west country lamb, Norfolk chickens and pork from the rare-breed Gloucester Old Spot, this central London butchers aims to provide high quality meat at affordable prices.

The Meat Like It Used to Be Co
50 Cannon Lane, Pinner, Middlesex HA5 1HW, 0208 866 4611

A wide selection of quality British meats sold in a traditional butcher’s shop. Products include Plantation Pigs’ free-range pork from traditional breeds fed on GM-free diets, Aberdeen Angus beef, free-range chickens, and bacon cured on site.

AG Miller & Son

152 Waldegrave Road, Teddington, London TW11 8NA, 020-8977 2753

Organic beef, pork, lamb and poultry, with the current bestseller salt-marsh lamb.

WJ Miller

14 Stratford Road, London W8 6QD, 020-7937 1777

A certified-organic butcher, selling organic beef and lamb from Wales.
Organic

M Moen & Sons

24 The Pavement, Clapham Common, London SW4 0JA, 020-7622 1624

moen.co.uk

As much of a delicatessen as a butcher’s shop with a fine selection of prize-winning sausages, properly matured beef and free-range meat, hams, bacon and cheeses. Meat is organic or free range from more than 50 sources around the country. Currently popular is the quality barbecue range which includes miniature suckling pigs, butterflied legs of Welsh lamb and Spanish pork Iberico.

Pethers of Kew

16 Station Parade, Kew Gardens, London TW9 3PZ, 020-8940 0163

Free-range butchers, stocking a wide range of locally sourced meat and 40 varieties of cheese. Customers come far and wide for their multi-award-winning pies, with beef bourguignon or lamb, leek and apricot the pick of the bunch.

Pure Meat Co and B&M Seafoods (Butcher and Fishmonger)

258 Kentish Town Road, London NW5 2AA, 020-7485 0346

Organic beef, pork, lamb and chicken from Cornwall and a range of organic sausages made on the premises. Also sells organic, fresh fish from Devon, organic fruit and vegetables and deli products. The shop supplies the owner’s nearby new venture, Caf√© Red, an organic cafe/ deli/ restaurant/ bar and jazz club.
Organic

Randalls

113 Wandsworth Bridge Road, London SW6 2TE, 020-7736 3426

Gordon Ramsay is one of the many customers who come to Randalls for its organic beef from Somerset, lamb from Wales and chicken from Herefordshire. Member of the Guild of Q.
Organic

Rare Butchers of Distinction

Unit 29, Chiltonian Industrial Estate, Manor Lane, London, SE12 0TX, 020-8852 8401

Supplying some of London’s smartest restaurants, Rare Butchers has been going since 2000 when the owners realised that there was a dearth of premier meats hung using traditional methods. Some meat is organic, and some is local, but the emphasis here is on top-quality fresh meat and game.

GG Sparkes

24 Old Dover Road, Blackheath, London SE3 7BT, 020-8355 8597

Organic and rare-breed meat including Shetland lamb, Gloucester Old Spot pork and beef from South Devon, Kent and Sussex. It produces a wide range of cooked meats, which are stocked in the deli, alongside freshly made organic bread and an excellent selection of British cheeses.

HG Walter

51 Palliser Road, London W14 9EB, 020-7385 6466

hgwalter.co.uk

This Baron’s Court butcher brings a taste of the country to the town; with organic chicken from the Welsh borders and beef and lamb from Yorkshire and Wales. It also has an excellent selection of organic cheese and is a member of the Guild of Q.

Wyndham House Poultry

2-3 Stoney Street, London SE1 9AA, 020-7403 4788

339 Fulham Road, London SW10 9TW, 020-7352 7888

39 Tachbrook Street, London SW1V 2JR, 020-7821 6341

The flagship Southwark butchers specialise in poultry, although the other two also stock other meat. The in-house chicken is Label Anglais, bred in a free-range traditional farm in Essex, and current bestseller is the Sutton Hoe, a darker meat chicken with a larger breast. Boned or stuffed, it can produce meat to the customer’s specifications and recent innovations include duck stuffed with foie gras, crowns of chicken and boned turkey legs.



1. reduce your everyday stress – when your are stressed you release a hormone called cortisol which can cause belly fat around the center so next time your boss upsets you at work, takes some deep breaths and try clear your mind. Try doing some working-in exercises, these simulate the parasympathetic branch of autonomic nervous system allowing you to relax more! For working in exercises look up a Chek qualified Holistic Lifestyle Practitioner.



2.  Improving your digestion can reduce that bloated look! When you eat foods that cannot be digested such as grains for instance (bread, rice, cereals ect) Your gut becomes inflamed & swollen therefore it cannot move food through the digestive tract efficiently. So try to eat more foods which are anti-inflammatory and healing to the gut such as gelatin, dairy & ripe fruits




3. If your thyroid gland is under-active this will affect your metabolism, one simple way to improve it is by adding coconut oil to you diet. Coconut oil support and simulates the thyroid gland as it allows more thyroid hormones to be produced.

4. Train DON’T Drain! most people spend way to much time at the gym overdoing their exercise program which increased adrenaline & cortisol which are both stress hormones. Cortisol role is to break DOWN muscle tissue (catabolic) so you are slowing down your metabolism this way rather than speeding it up. My advice is keep your workouts very short no longer than 15-20 mins. To under exercise is one the hardest things in the world, so learn to listen to your body! once you feel any changes in your mood, energy levels or get a blood sugar drop then STOP!



5. Eat regularly – regulate your sugar levels and increase your metabolism by eating smaller meals and snacking every 2¬†– 3 hours. Skipping meals will break down your ‘OH so important muscles’ for fuel (yikes!) & fat is released into circulation due to the high the amount of adrenaline, so it is stored as excess fat around your middle, giving you that spare tire look! Your cells are weakened from low blood sugars as well and so allow water to enter them. This gives you that puffy look also! so another reason not to skip meals! So when you don’t have an appetite in the morning it’s another sign of high adrenaline. So eating breakfast is a great way to normalize your appetite throughout the day.

Are you sleeping well at night?

Posted: September 20, 2010 by vvfitness in Uncategorized

Didn’t we use to always laugh at your parents who were in bed 9/10pm sharp every night or even the fact they would doze off in front of the telly around that time!

Well did you ever ask yourself why they got up with the sunrise while you were still on snooze when the alarm went off at that hour! And then wondered how the heck did they have so much energy early in the morning, when the only thing that would have got you out of bed is being physically removed!

Well times have changed and getting to bed early is really the last thing on everyone’s minds nowadays! And it clearly wouldn’t make a difference no matter how early they have to get up the next day. Some of you may get home late after work and only start winding down and having dinner around 8/9pm and others are glued to their TV soaps and even big brother (even though we don’t like to admit it).

On average most of us are in bed past the hour of midnight and to make things worst we can’t even fall asleep!

So what do you do about this?

Do you call it insomnia and take a visit down to your local chemist for some so called natural sleeping pills that only cause drowsiness the next day and in order for your poor body to stay awake you overdose on caffeine which I will explain later on only keeps you awake at night, so here’s this vicious circle you’re accidently falling into!

Or do you just blame on the fact you’re a night owl and definitely not a morning person whenever someone asks you! And try and catch on sleep over the weekends by having sleep-in yet by that time, your body was so sleep deprived you have slept half the weekend away!

Cortisol

Here is one issue that maybe the reason why. Let me relate this to myself and my battle with these parasites in my gut which I discovered I had back early this year. These little buggers have different sleep patterns to us humans so they are usually active at around 1am-3am eating away at your food nutrients before you can! So not only do we find it hard to get out of bed in the mornings because they cause fatigue, draining all our energy as your bodies can’t get the nutrients that it needs. BUT they also have an effect on a very important hormone called cortisol, which is a stress hormone.

At night while the parasites become active in our guts our bodies temperature rises and seeing as under the covers we start to sweat to cool ourselves down. Cortisol is released which disturbs our sleep patterns hence the reason your may wake in the middle of the night finding it hard to fall back to sleep! Funny that my doctors told me a while back “don’t worry it’s normal, everyone sweats in their sleep at night!” Really? So that’s normal is it I think not yet the allopathic approach to such things as hormones and gut dysfunction is gone about different by treating the symptoms and not improving your health by getting to the root cause first.

Circadian Cycle

Secondly most people aren’t aware about the circadian cycle and I’m so glad I have applied this sleep cycle to my lifestyle nowadays. The results are instant! It’s simple! All you need to do is get to bed by 10.30pm at the latest. Now for some this might be a challenge and later on I will give you some tips on helping you relax and fall to sleep at night without having to take any harmful pills.

So the circadian cycle in simple terms is your bodies’ natural pattern with the sun and moon (day and night) as the sun goes down this is when we should be asleep and rising with the sun in the morning because whenever any light hits your skin your brain and hormonal system automatically thinks its morning. Cortisol is realised stimulating the body ready for movement which is what we should be doing (ever heard many fitness gurus and magazine advising us to workout in the morning) well they were right in this sense. Cortisol is at its highest between 6am-9am it does lower slightly but is still remains elevated throughout the day. So on the other hand when the sun goes down your cortisol levels decrease that allows melatonin to release, which therefore increase the levels of growth and repair hormones.

So ideally we should start chilling-out as the sun goes down but this isn’t always the case for most people. In this day and age most people finish work late and shockingly would hit the gym and put their bodies through a very high intensive workout routine and what happens adrenaline goes up! Cortisol levels increase and they find it hard to sleep at night. But what makes it worst is our bodies physical repair accrues between the hours of 10pm-2am anytime after that is all mental repair. So even if you were to get to bed by 12am and still get your 8 hours sleep, you would have missed out 2 hours of this vital physical repair cycle which in the long run sets you up for all sorts of niggling issues, such as injuries, frequent colds and even adrenal fatigue.

Adrenaline

During my crazy gym days I would be following a late night gym session at least 5 nights a week not getting to bed till after 12am having trouble falling asleep I was fooled into believing that I still was full of energy as some nights I felt like going for mid-night runs and just wanted to go and have a second heavy session in a 24 hour gym! But I was running on ADRENALINE that tricks you into feeling great!

Crazy as that sounds looking back I just didn’t know this was a strong terenant pushing me into stage 3 Adrenal Exhaustion. Of course I’m not stating this will happen to each and every person who trains late at night or leads a late night shift, which affect his or her sleep patterns. But people tend to accept now that it’s ok to be sick 3 times a year or have the injury that keeps recurring every few months? Why should be it this way when you can correct by just a simple adjustment in your lifestyle and sleeping patterns.

Relax

Ok so you find it hard to get to sleep lets take a look at some blocking factors that may well be preventing this,¬†we have already covered the late night work-outs as one, but a not so obvious stimulants is artificial light! Whether it’s television, laptops, mobile phones or your funky lamp shade they all act as a simulate tricking your body into thinking its daytime!

So once again this falls back to more cortisol being realised which take hours to clear from your blood stream, preventing the usual release of melatonin, growth hormones and valuable immune factors therefore affecting your immune system’s important repair time! So reduce your exposure to bright lights for at least 2 hours before bed, turn off laptop and TV and try and use the time to relax and unwind light some candles listen to music and chill out.

Caffeine

Drinking caffeine if you have to no later than lunch time, the reason why I say this because firstly caffeine is a stimulants which elevates cortisol levels, and secondly if you have a cup of coffee around 3pm it remains in your blood stream until 9pm so long to that early nights sleep.

Sugar

Sugar in its many different forms also acts as a stimulant and you will be surprised how many of the foods you buy contain hidden sugars, sugar can be also known by these names (galactose, glucose, arabinose, ribose, xylose, deoxyribose, lactose, trehalose, sucrose, maltose, dextrose, fructose, corn syrup).

So here is a interesting fact for you – only 1 teaspoon of sugar is known to suppress your immune system for as long as four hours! Your average breakfast cereal contains 46% – 53% sugar as well as most items we buy pre packed contains sugar just read the label and see for yourself and yes I’m not talking just desserts folks I mean savoury foods as well. So try preparing a healthy lunch the night before with wholesome organic ingredients that have been freshly brought and not been tampered with.

Lastly eating right for your metabolic type is essential to prevent blood sugar levels fluctuating (www.healthexcel.com). Typically most people grab something sweet when this happens that sends you off in this bad cycle and once again cortisol increases inhibiting you from getting a good night sleep. So folks I thought I would once again share some of my experiences through improving my health with you I hope you find this information useful and can start to apply to your life.

For more information on parasites and metabolic typing you can contact me through my website.

Written by Vahdaneh Vahid from VV Fitness.