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Focus on Sugar – #fit4feb

February 17, 2014

In the past few weeks there has been an influx of media attention on the issue of “sugar”. Much of it has been confusing and contradictory. Is it really that bad for you? Are all kinds of sugar bad for you? Can I eat it in moderation? Laurie Hill, Certified Health Coach gives us the answers:

Laurie Hill is a Certified Health Coach who has been coaching people on better health for over 10 years. Laurie’s passion about health began when she had come to a crisis point herself15 years ago. At 70 pounds overweight, and suffering from some serious health issues such as rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, gall bladder disease, acne, and horribly low self esteem, Laurie found a Health Coach in California, who helped her lose her weight by showing her how food heals the body.  Amazingly, the health issues either went away completely, or were nearly non-existent.   Laurie says her body was given healthy beautiful food, which stabilised her blood-sugar imbalance, cravings disappeared, her energy increased, and began walking 40 minutes a day.  Laurie says that her body ecology had become messed up from years of chronic yo-yo dieting, stress, sugar addiction, diet-coke addiction, and quick foods (from being a busy mother), that she couldn’t lose weight by trying every fad diet around.  Laurie was so impressed from this natural and healthy approach to body ecology that she became a Health Coach last year and now offers workshops that helps people understand how sugar has devastating effects on health, how to eat healthy and heal your body, and how you can eat for beauty. But most importantly, Laurie says that it’s about learning to love yourself and if you have curves, love them! You’ve been blessed!

#fit4feb OFFER: Get your FREE 60 minute health consultation with Laurie Hill, Certified Health Coach

When my clients first come to me, aside from wanting to lose weight, they may be suffering from; aches and pains, irregular menstrual cycles, blood sugar imbalances, sugar addiction, emotional addictions to food, low energy, low sex drive, and many others…

I can tell you that sugar is a culprit in all of those factors. I have had people tell me that they although they suffer from the above symptoms, they don’t have a “sweet tooth”, and hardly consume sugar. However, when we sit down and examine the typical foods they eat, they soon realise that they are consuming loads of sugar, but most often it is hidden sugar.

The problem with focusing on “sugar” too much is that we can become myopic. The food industry is so clever at manipulating our impulses, that we are brainwashed through the media and even government “nutrition” agencies, that making swaps is our best attempt at limiting sugar. So really, all we are doing is exchanging one bad habit for another, without ever addressing what healthy eating actually looks like. We’re choosing “no sugar added foods”, “low and non-fat foods”, thinking that we are cleverly outsmarting our bodies from taking in sugar. The problem with chemical sweeteners is that they have some pretty scary side-effects that the media isn’t talking about.

My goal of helping my clients is teaching them that their health is their responsibility. Part of that responsibility is learning how to listen to their body. Believe it or not, your body communicates with you all the time. Pain, fatigue, cravings, acne, headache, low sex drive, all are ways that your body is trying to get your attention. When you visit your GP for blood tests and such, blood, pH, thyroid, sugar, iron, are all ways your body is getting your attention. What is it saying to you? Do you throw medication at it, or are there natural ways to help bring your body into balance?

When you shift your perspective about caring for your body, you will be attentive to how food (and non-foods) affects your body. The issue of sugar and all of our questions about foods will be answered because how you feel when you eat those foods will be the great litmus test!

Here are 10 tips I give at my workshops to help people make wiser food choices:

  1. How much colour of fruit and vegetables did you have in your diet yesterday? Have a quick count. If it’s fewer than 7, add more colour every day.
  2. How much of what you ate was live food (fruit and vegetables) and how much of it was dead foods? (Cooked foods, meat, pasteurised dairy, processed food). A life-giving diet will be at least 70% live foods. Even adding a salad, a fruit smoothie, and crunchie veg sticks would be enough to start.
  3. Eliminate sugary drinks; fruit juices (unless you blend them or juice them yourself), fizzy drinks, no-sugar added drinks, and vitamin water.
  4. Drink more water. Sometimes we think we’re hungry or craving sugar, and we’re actually thirsty.
  5. Eat 2-3 times a day, until you’re 80% full, with no in between meal snacks. (Just like how we were raised).
  6. Don’t eat after 6pm.
  7. If you eat dairy foods, eat the full-fat kind. Good fat is your friend, don’t worry.
  8. When you have painful joints, or any kind of inflammation, lay off grain products and dairy foods.
  9. When you shop, focus on the fruit and veg section and don’t get lulled in by the £1 or yellow tag deals, which are usually bread and junk stuffs. Make a list; don’t shop hungry, when you know they’re baking bread, or when you’re feeling emotional or vulnerable.
  10. And lastly, read food labels! If sugar (or any word that has “ose”, “dex”, “malt”) is more than 5 grams, third on the list, or if there are any substances you can’t pronounce, choose another brand or make it yourself)

From those top 10 tips, you’ll notice that the only time I mentioned don’t have sugar is with regard to sugary drinks. When you focus on nourishing your body, you are going to heal it at the same time. Sugar is what we do when we are not conscious of what we eat, eating out of emotion, where we eat, and are too busy or tired to prepare food.

It takes time to bring our taste buds back into enjoying real food, so don’t be hard on yourself. Our kids are even slower to change. The point is to begin taking those 10 steps. When you do, sugar will be naturally replaced with whole healthy foods, and believe it or not, our old favourites will taste way too sweet. We will love the taste of fruit again, we’ll crave fresh foods on our tongue, our bodies will feel better, and communicate back to us with more energy, clear complexions, healthier looking bodies, and weight will shift naturally.

Find more advice on Sport & Fitness – or search now for Activities in your Area

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We need your help….

January 29, 2014

We often get enquiries through our website about different types of activities…Bootcamps, Crossfit, Zumba, Metafit, Bokwa….the list is endless….and, we’re not the Experts.

Our new Sports & Fitness Feature is starting in February & running for a full year.

Please let us know the Activities that you’d like to see in our Guide!

Here’s a start…  Feel free to comment below with more…

Metafit, Zumba, Crossfit, Bokwa, Bootcamps, Personal Trainers, Pilates, Boxercise… 

If you’re an instructor or expert – would you like publicity in our Sports & Fitness Feature?

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#Fit4Feb – Your Guide to Sports & Fitness Starts here…!

January 27, 2014

Throughout February we’ll be asking our Experts and Local Activity Providers to contribute to our Sport & Fitness Guide, which will run for one year.

Our Feature will give you an easily accessible Guide to the very best in Sports & Fitness including some of the new trends at local classes – such as Metafit, Boxercise, Kettlercise and much more…

Bookmark this page as it will become jam-packed with information, offers, competitions and everything you need to know about getting fit.

We’ll also we using our Special Hastag throughout February to keep you abreast of additions to this page and our directory! So bookmark #Fit4Feb on both Facebook #fit4feb and Twitter #fit4feb

The Womens Business Club – What’s On 4 Me 2013 Sponsor

November 8, 2013

The Womans Business Club

What’s On 4 Me 2013 Awards Sponsor

Womens Business Clubs LogoOur sole aim at the Women’s Business Club is to help you grow your business so you can make more money and gain more time! Join us for our Networking events , Business Growth Workshops, the Maximise conference and for personal Mentoring.

Membership is not a requirement to attend events but why would you not join us for fantastic benefits and savings? We only allow one person from a profession to join each location, this helps avoid any conflict of interest. Annual membership is £120 and can be purchased when you book into a networking event.

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British Nannies – What’s On 4 Me 2013 Sponsor

November 7, 2013

British Nannies

What’s On 4 Me 2013 Awards Sponsor

British Nannies Logo (Web version)Providers of high quality childcare to families across the UK and internationally. We take pride in listening to – and meeting – every detail of a parents childcare wishes and a Nanny’s career aspirations.

Whether you need someone to help look after your children full-time while you work or just for the holidays, we can help! We can help find Nannies & Au Pairs for any family based anywhere in the UK.

We have a proven track record of finding highest quality childcare that is suited to your needs. As part of the British Nannies Group service we are able to help find and place Nannies in destinations around the world.

We’d be very happy to offer a 10% discount on our placement fees when the special offer code WO4M is used.

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Joanna Helcké – What’s On 4 Me 2013 Awards Finalist

November 5, 2013

Joanna Helcké, Leicestershire

What’s On 4 Me 2013 Awards Finalist

From academic to pregnancy and postnatal fitness expert

DSC_1690 copy (5)What motivated you to start the business?

I started off life with a career in academia which explains why my title is “Dr”. Everything was ticking along quite happily until I had my first two sons within the space of 17 months – it turned my life upside down, and to be honest I found it really quite hard going.

One day a leaflet dropped through my letterbox announcing the opening of a fantastic new gym on my doorstep. I joined, started exercising regularly and my life was quite simply transformed. I suddenly felt wonderful, as if I could take on the world! This planted the seed in my mind which eventually grew into my business, Zest4lifeUK.

Tell us about your business…

Zest4lifeUK specialises in pregnancy and postnatal fitness and was born out of my desire to bring together health, wellbeing, fun and friendship for mums-to-be and new mothers. It’s all about creating social networks and providing support for mothers because it’s my firm belief that health is not just about physical fitness but also about mental wellbeing. So Zest4lifeUK offers a range of specialist pre and postnatal fitness classes which are accompanied by all sorts of social aspects, such as tea and coffee after the lessons, meals out, a breakfast club for mums-to-be and a very lively facebook page! Time and time again people tell me how important the social aspect is –exercising and socialising seem to be the perfect combination.

About three years ago I started thinking about how I could expand my business. My initial thoughts turned towards franchising but I have to confess that I’m a bit of a control freak and I would be breathing down the poor franchisees’ necks. So I decided to create an online pregnancy and postnatal fitness system which would be accessible to women everywhere and anywhere. I’ve spent that last two years working on this huge project and it is due to go live in November 2013 – I am incredibly excited about it as it will be the first of its kind in the UK.

What were the first steps you took when setting up your business?

Well of course the first thing I had to do was retrain and gain a whole series of vocational qualifications, ranging from personal training and Pilates to aquanatal and pregnancy/postnatal fitness. Part of my personal training qualification included a business module which gave me the opportunity to reflect on the business I was going to set up. We had to prepare a business plan and I remember that whilst everyone else had created a fictitious one, mine was for real! So by the time I had completed my qualifications I had a name for the company, I had purchased a domain name, I had a professionally designed logo, and I had high quality headed notepaper.

During my studies I also offered to set up a postnatal Pilates class at the college where I was studying so that I could gain hands-on experience of teaching new mums. By the time I qualified I felt ready to steam ahead with my business plan, which is exactly what I did.

Most effective marketing?

Now that my business has been going for nearly 5 years I have the pleasure of being able to let word-of-mouth do the work for me. It’s always lovely to know that you have been recommended. Having said that, this has been underpinned by years of extremely hard work and of never ever letting standards fall. Interestingly, people often say to me “Jo, you are everywhere” and I think there’s a really important lesson to learn from this comment: successful marketing is cumulative and people will eventually come to you when they have heard enough about you and seen you in many different arena. I give talks for the NHS, I write for local magazines, I get myself into the local newspapers, I support many local business and they in turn support me, I organise charity events and, above all, I remember everybody who I have ever taught and when I bump into people – which is all the time – I chat. A lot.

With the forthcoming launch of my online pregnancy and postnatal system I now have to take marketing into a completely new sphere: a national sphere. Scary but exciting!

What has been your biggest challenge?

There is no doubt in my mind that the biggest challenges are yet to come. The shift from local to national is enormous and feels daunting, yet at the same time incredibly exciting. I was giving a talk last week and I commented that it feels as though I am standing at the very bottom of Mount Everest looking upwards and, boy is it high! In answer someone said “Jo, you just don’t realise how high you have climbed because the peaks are up in the clouds”. I like that!

What do you most love about running my own business?

It would be far quicker for me to answer the question “What don’t you enjoy about running your own business?” because I quite simply adore what I do. Teaching  mums-to-be and new mothers makes me happy, whilst developing my national online fitness system gives me a huge buzz of excitement and anticipation.

What advice would you offer to others?

Choose to work in a field that you are passionate about because people will always sense genuine enthusiasm and will be drawn to you and your business.

What is your business philosophy

Always exceed your clients’ expectations by going the extra mile or two. Aim to delight.

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Kelly’s Kitchen – What’s On 4 Me 2013 Sponsor

November 5, 2013

Kelly’s Kitchen, Lancashire

What’s On 4 Me 2013 Awards Sponsor

CooLogo2king with Kelly ~ in Kellys Kitchen ~ is a brand new cooking channel bringing you authentic home-made cuisine that everyone can cook in their own home.

From over 15 years extensive experience, Kelly brings the very best tips and recipes to transform your OWN kitchen into a world of fine cuisine and cookery.

See her brand new videos for a taste of world cuisine that you can cook at home!

Kelly’s Kitchen on YouTube

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Pussy Doll Palace – What’s On 4 Me 2013 Sponsor

October 23, 2013

Pussy Doll Palace, Tyne and Wear

What’s On 4 Me 2013 Awards Sponsor

pdplogoPUSSYDOLL PALACE is an ultra cool, on trend retailer bringing the girls of the UK, Europe and beyond the best in celebrity fashion and accessories. Having began life as a boutique store in Sunderland in the North East of England we have fast established ourselves as a reliable and trusted company that can compete with the best of the high street and most well known on-line retailers.

Join Pussy Doll on Facebook and Win a new fashion item everyday! Stock up your wardrobe for Christmas!

Earlier in 2013 TOWIE’s Jessica Wright played host to the grand opening of our second store in Newcastle-Upon- Tyne. PDP2 has proven a real attraction with the local Geordies thanks to its fabulous decor, unique ambience and gorgeous products. We work tirelessly to stay on top of the latest trends in order to provide our customers with the best the fashion world has to offer.

Our web site is a beautiful digital world home to a vast array of fashion, bling accessories and a huge selection of hair pieces in every style and colour imaginable. Our Facebook and Twitter pages are vibrant, bustling emporiums of fashion ideas, inspiration and conversation!

We believe that looking great and feeling your best are one and the same and should not come with a huge price tag. We persevere to bring the best of the fashion world at affordable prices for everyone, the second the trend hits if not before!

With the customer always at the forefront of our thoughts we have recently overhauled our web site to bring an increasingly engaging, user friendly shopping experience.

Our aim is to be the first name on everyone’s lips and the ‘go-to’ web site when you are celebrity clothes spotting on-line, in magazine or on TV!

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Jane Langston, The Amatsu Training School – What’s On 4 Me 2013 Awards Finalist

October 22, 2013

Jane Langston, The Amatsu Training School, Herts

What’s On 4 Me 2013 Awards Finalist

amatJane Langston has been practitioner since 2000, and a Teacher of Amatsu since 2003, working with Active Balance Training Ltd and Amatsu UK Ltd with the inspirational Dennis Bartram. Jane has taught in Hertfordshire (North West London), Hartlepool and Dublin, having been an assistant trainer since 2001.  The Amatsu Training School was formed in 2005 and Jane has a proven track record of teaching to a high standard. She was a founder member of the Amatsu Therapy Association (ATA), and acts as an External Examiner for  Amatsu Therapy International and is a Senior Practitioner with the Institute for Complementary and Natural Medicine. Jane is also a member of Amatsu Therapy International and the Institute for Learning, having completed the City and Guilds PTLLS at level 4.

AmatsuJane has a scientific approach to the teaching of the art of Amatsu, by virtue of her background as a Fellow of the Institute of Biomedical Science, specialising in Haematology.The school has produced award winning students, with Kim Holmes being awarded the Institute for Complementary and Natural Medicine’s Best Complementary Medicine Student Award 2011.

Jane will be assisted throughout the courses by Taz Faruqi, another qualified teacher.   Together they amass over 18 years of Amatsu teaching, and over 22 years of clinical practice. They will be ably assisted by Gina Croft , who has a keen desire to teach Amatsu, and will be participating on the Trainers’ Programme. Additional classroom and kitchen support is provided by Noura Abi-Chahine.
The Amatsu Training School Ltd  is proud to have been awarded the Institute for Complementary and Natural Medicine’s Award for Best Complementary Therapy Company 2012 – a tremendous accolade indeed!

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Cask Corner, Doncaster – What’s On 4 Me 2013 Awards Finalist

October 22, 2013

Cask Corner, Doncaster

What’s On 4 Me 2013 Awards Finalist

CASK CORNER LOGO 17.06.13Cask Corner first opened in 2011 under the patronage of Julie Buckley who’s mission statement was to promote Live Music in Doncaster; to both showcase and fuse young and old talent alike and to provide a platform for them to do this, to bridge the generation gap, to develop past and present musical influences and hone their musical skills, as well as to provide a stage for existing bands. They have achieved this by providing free rehearsal space, giving them an opportunity to perform either at Live and Gigging on a Tuesday, Open Mic on a Wednesday or a gig on a Friday or Saturday night. Also she wanted to make Live Music available to all, not charging an entry fee achieves this.

Julie “Very Rarely Wrong” Buckleys’ happy team consist of Adrian “Damaging Director” Daykin, Lorna “Mousekin” Buckley, Marc “I’m Off For My Sandwich” Jones, Phill “500 points in Scrabble “ Boguszewski, Alanah “Flirty” Flint, Becca “My Zips Stuck” Medley, Joie “It’s not my real name” Carruthers and Daniel “Dapper” Rowley.

Me and the girlsJulie was at Open Mic when she was informed that Cask Corner were finalists at the What’s On For Me Awards, several members of The Smoking Beagles and Groomlake Fugitives asked if they could come along to the awards. This ramshackle band of troubadours are a prime example of what she set out to achieve; the bands were formed by customers, friends and Open Mic attendees ageing from 25 to 53, they played their first gigs at Cask Corner with great success and went on to perform at T-Fest and are now a highly sought after bands.

cask corner photoAll Cask Corners events fit in with those in the Doncaster Community; many local bands performed there during Doncasters music festival MAPFest and they organised some great events for Doncasters first Steampunk weekend with a Music Hall Variety Show featuring lots of local talent. They also host Cask Fest twice a year with live music all day and night! In 2013 they were also proud to be invited to host a VIP tent at Tickhills’ first music festival, T-Fest which was a great success.

Getting to know the customers both in person and via social media is imperative to the Cask Corner team and a massive thank you goes out to all of them, the staff and the musicians for helping to make Cask Corner the great venue that it is.

Thank you, Julie

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