Benefits of BCAAs

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I used to be a firm believer that you get everything you need from a healthy and balanced diet. Supplements were something that pregnant ladies and Athletes took, as their bodies went through more than your average Joe. I’ve since discovered that, no matter how great our diet is, we simply cannot ingest enough food to give us the the level of nutrients our bodies need.

It seems there has been a huge decline in the nutritional levels of our food (in particular fruit and veg) over the last fifty years. This is thought to be because of how our food is now grown and harvested. Not grown in soil, chemical fertilisers used, storage and transport all play their part in the lost minerals and elements. I don’t know about you but as much as I love tomatoes, I don’t really want to have to eat ten of them to benefit from what I would have been getting out of just one, half a century ago.

Now lets throw into the mix a little calorie controlled dieting. My interest in nutrition grew as I started my own journey towards a lighter, healthier and more energised way of life. I used to feel virtuous for eating a salad! Now when I think about it, I’m eating even less (albeit clean, whole food). How on earth do I get what I need without supplementing my diet? The simple answer is, I don’t.

Anyway, I’m not going to harp on about amazing and necessary supplements today. (watch this space!) Learning more about nutrition is what lead to my understanding of the importance of BCAA‘s and how they can really help with weight loss.

Branch Chain Amino Acids. So what are they? What do they do? Why do we need them?

They are the building blocks of protein and are essential to our body. We cannot make them ourselves and therefore need to consume them. Without them we would die. There are three in particular that make up around a third of our muscle tissue.

Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine.                               

BCAAs can be found in meat and dairy produce and legumes. They can also be taken in supplement form. They are very much en vogue in the health and fitness industry already, particularly amongst athletes and body builders. What isn’t widely known is just how beneficial they are for those simply wanting to lose weight.

Have you ever found that dieting has left you feeling tired/lethargic? This is because when we consume less calories, our bodies enter a state of catabolism. This is the breaking down of tissue (fat and muscle). As the body increases protein breakdown, it frees these muscle BCAAs to use them as fuel and if they are not replaced, this leads to reduced energy levels.

Supplementing our diet with BCAAs means that we can retain lean muscle mass, whilst shedding the much loathed fat cells. It is important to hold onto that muscle as it keeps your body burning off fat and weight loss is therefore less likely to plateau.

Branch chain amino acids also support the immune system, are good for your intestines and gut and can also reduce cortisol levels. Cortisol is catabolic, it breaks down muscle and elevated levels can even result in increased body fat.

When should I take BCAAs?                    Click here to buy BCAAs!

If you are controlling your diet and working out, then they can be taken before, during and/or after exercising. Taken before, they can help prevent fatigue and improve concentration and a more effective workout. During can give a quick energy boost and taken after exercise they are great for tired and aching muscles, even aiding in muscle repair. Otherwise, if you are just controlling your diet then they can be taken with protein or in between meals as a boost that gets into the bloodstream fast and helps to keep you going until your next meal.

So there you have it. The secret of nutritionists and trainers everywhere! Can I get this through diet alone? On a reduced calorie intake, probably not. It is suggested that BCAAs should be taken as a supplement for a period of up to six months at a time. The great news is that if you would like to try this as part of your regime, there is a delicious, chocolate flavoured (BCAA packed) Power Boost powder supplement in the Pure Nourish range. One scoop can be mixed with 8oz of water or almond/soy/rice milk or added to the Pure Nourish original protein powder.                             Power_Boost_Image-1-500x470

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With regards to my own weight loss, I have now lost 8kgs/17.5lbs, following the Slenderiiz program and I feel great! I’m counting down to a family summer holiday, lets see what the next few weeks bring…

Stand by for more food inspiration.

 

 

 

 

Small changes

I could tell you that my little drops of joy are working miracles but the truth is, it’s a combination of small changes that are making the difference. As my blubber disappears, people are now starting to ask what I’m doing and how I’m doing it.

The program is all about lifestyle changes. A combination of the homeopathic Slenderiix and Xceler8 drops, mind set, a low calorie diet, plenty of sleep, lots of pure water, a little exercise and Pure Nourish. I’ll post about all of these things but today I wanted to share with you a few simple ways I’ve changed my diet and how I cook.

I’m compiling a list of healthy swaps, some of which are already on my food inspiration page. Choosing foods with a low glycemic load is now second nature and I’m guessing it’s one of the reasons people who use this program don’t regain the weight. For example I now eat sweet potatoes instead of normal potatoes. In fact the whole family does! Not only are they packed full of vitamins but they taste great and will keep your blood sugar level steady. I’ve also swapped olive oil for coconut oil. The triglycerides (fatty acids) in coconut oil  do not get stored as fat in the body but are sent straight to the liver where they are used immediately as energy. Fabulous news if you want to lose weight and I’ve found it works well with both sweet and savoury flavours.

IMG_2843Pancakes are a weekend favourite in our house and I’ve found that by simply mixing eggs, ground almonds and a splash of almond milk along with mashed fruit, we get a very healthy and tasty treat on a Sunday morning. Ground flax seeds also work well in the mix.

This most certainly does not feel like a ‘diet’. I’m loving my food and look forward to meal planning for the week. I’ve expanded the range of foods that I eat and am experimenting with different flavours. Best of all I’m not going hungry!

Here is an example of how I’m changing normal recipes,

simple steps to a healthier

You would not believe how much fat I drained from that mince meat! I left it to cool and set and was sickened at the fact that we would have normally consumed the solid white mass.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m no saint. I do fall off the wagon.

After running late one particular evening and hearing some bad news I felt that I deserved some comfort food. The voices in my head told me that one little cheat wouldn’t hurt. I actually couldn’t find any junk in the cupboards or fridge as I hadn’t bought any in so long but then I remembered… the fish fingers in the freezer. Yep, all thanks to my 14 month old I found myself eating (emergency, my baby needs feeding in a hurry food) a fish finger and potato waffle sandwich albeit in brown bread and I felt so satisfied! Unfortunately, I paid for it for the rest of the evening. I was sluggish, bloated and uncomfortable and a little guilty.

It happens but I get up the next day and start again.

Generally, I don’t miss carbs. My body seems to have adapted to my new clean eating and I have plenty of energy. I’m not sure I’ll completely rid the urge for pasta as I associate it with amazing flavours but after a little research and experimenting I am finding alternatives.

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Courgetti! This is possibly the quickest meal ever. One medium courgette per person, using a julienne peeler, toss it in a pan with some coconut oil spices of your choice and some protein and hey presto. I finished my prawn version with some lime juice. My husband doesn’t do courgettes or prawns but was rather jealous when he got a whiff of this dish.

Watch this space for more inspiration and Slenderiiz support.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2nd week weigh in.

Another healthy loss. My jeans seem to like me again!

Seeing results so quickly is really keeping me motivated. In the past, with any diet, the first week has always been a good loss then it starts to go a little slower. It’s the same for the Slenderiiz program. I hope to keep losing 1-2lbs per week from now on.

So far there are a few differences though.

Firstly, and amazingly, I’m not hungry! For the second night in the last week I’ve had a Pure Nourish shake for dinner. Last week I only had it for the odd lunch, when I was on the run or if there was nothing inspiring in the fridge. I had my new favourite, 8oz almond milk, 2 scoops of Pure Nourish, a pinch of cinnamon, 1 banana and a big handful of frozen berries, all blitzed in the blender. An ice cold smoothie (so good).

I expected to need to snack later but four hours on and I’m still not hungry. This means that the Slenderiix drops are working!

Secondly, because I’m keeping myself full with lots of protein, fibre and water and taking my daily superfood Moa shots, I’m not missing anything or craving anything. I guess my body is getting everything that it needs.

After a little while, I usually get bored eating lettuce or I simply miss chewing if I’m having regular meal replacements but I’m actually looking forward to and enjoying every meal (not because I’m starving either!).

If I’m sounding a little enthusiastic, it’s because I’m so happy with what I’m doing and I want others to be happy too!

Choosing what to eat is sometimes a stumbling block for me. When there are set rules to a program I tend to do better as I need a proper plan rather than, ‘just cutting down’ or ‘eating salad’. Slenderiiz gives you a list of dos and don’ts. I however need I bit more inspiration than that and I thought others might too. As I create something yummy to eat I am now adding it to the Food inspiration (under Support) page. Please note, these are not approved Slenderiiz dishes (hence no actual recipes) but they follow the guidelines and are also helping me get to my goal. And when I get stuck, I’ll also be using the gallery for inspiration.

Fingers crossed for another great week!

 

 

One week in, it’s working!

I am feel pretty awesome today having stepped on the scales. A good healthy loss for my first week, I also feel more energised and I’ve lost that bloated feeling.

I’m making changes that I wouldn’t have thought of in the past. My two favourite buys of the week have got to be almond milk and coconut oil. Perhaps I’m a little behind on some of these new healthier options but I love them!

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I’ve even started to add almond milk to my Pure Nourish shake with a pinch of cinnamon and it’s delicious. Just makes it that bit creamier and sweetens it a little.

I wouldn’t have normally replaced cow’s milk for a diet (maybe just rationed it) but the Slenderiiz program does suggest it and when I looked into the benefits of almond milk, I now understand why.

  • For every 8oz serving (227ml) it has less than half the calories of semi skimmed cow’s milk.
  • It has a low glycemic Index level, great news for your blood sugar and fat stores.
  • It’s packed with vitamins B, D and E.
  • It contains no cholesterol or saturated fat but is high in healthy fat.
  • It has 1 gram of fibre in every serving.

In short, it’s good for your heart, bones, skin, muscle and immune system. It helps you lose weight, tastes great and doesn’t need to be kept in the fridge!