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I'm an intelligent grown-up, so why can't I eat like one?

Nutrition is complicated.
The rules change all the time. One minute we are told a food is bad, the next it's good. It's like scientists can't make their minds up!

Fat does't make you fat. Sugar is toxic. Undereating puts you in starvation mode. But you can "hack" your metabolism with this one weird trick.....

Of course all of this is false, or at least such a gross reduction of the truth that it is open to extreme misinterpretation. Put it out in plain sight and it becomes very clear that it doesn't hold water. So why are we believing this? Why are people telling us this, and most importantly; why as educated, intelligent adults who are perfectly capable of identifying a healthy plate of food, are we still struggling to consistently eat well?

The rules of healthy eating.
Healthy eating is not at all complicated. It's actually so obscenely simple that when I spell it out you're going to go "well tell me something I didn't know" and r…
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But how can you be an athlete when you are sick?

Training through chronic illness - living life on the edge.
I'm living a double life.

My superhero persona goes to the gym and lifts enormous weights. She's vital and has her life together. Endless to-do lists in a bullet journal, juggling work and kids and being an athlete and performer with theatrical effortlessness.

Then there's the secret side people don't see, where I lie on the sofa in my flare day leggings and fleece, clutching a cup of tea for the slight relief the warmth affords my stiff, clawed hands.

I know I'm not the only one. I know a lot of athletes living with chronic illness. Outwardly fitter and busier than the average person, inwardly wracked with pain and fatigue.

There are two ways people tend to interpret this. Either we are not as sick as we claim, or we are stupidly putting our health at risk doing sport that seems counter-intuitive to our well being. The reality is a lot more complicated. I wanted to formulate a decent answer to "why …

10 weird things I didn't expect to happen when I started lifting.

A whole new world of surprises.
I have some lovely friends, outside of "fitness people", who often seem perplexed with my love of lifting. I also have a lot of lovely friends who also love lifting, so I don't have to bore the former.

But one thing I have noticed from the non-lifters, is that they often see the gym as a place of drudgery, some kind of punishment for excess or desperate attempt to ward off the horrors of aging unfit.

When I worked in a gym, there was a member who turned up 3 times a week to train, and hated every second, but did it because she was worried about losing muscle and bone mass post-menopause. I always had an immense respect for her. Not many people would turn up religiously to spend an hour doing things they hated for the sake of their health.

That's not why I do it. I strongly adhere to the tenant of doing the exercise you love, and I really do love heavy strength training. That in itself was a bit of a surprise to me, a chronically ill b…

Eating healthy on the cheap

I was going through some of the awesome lesson content in the Precision Nutrition Curriculum last week, and a quote stood out:

"There's no such thing as cheap food"

Now, I am a super bargain hunter and thrift fiend and while I agree with the sentiment, I also know how to feed a family of 4, well, on a limited budget.

There's a lot of tricks to it, but one of my favourites is knowing how to work with my local stores and their clearance shelves.



Almost every store marks down their produce as it approaches its sell-by date. You can grab some amazing bargains if you know when, where and what to shop for. It's brilliant if...
You are going to eat the food todayYou can freeze the foodYou choose the sorts of food that actually stays good after the use-by date. It's common where I am for stores to use a yellow barcode sticker to denote near-date reductions (though some have red....) so I refer to these foods as yellow sticker of value (that link will take you to my In…

Pushing the limits... and learning more about your real potential

"I can't do that"
"My best is...."
"I can't live with/without..."
How often do we say things like this to ourselves? How often are we really sure it's true?
When I am coaching, I work with clients on developing a "growth mindset", which is a fancy psychology way of essentially being a little bit more open to your own possibilities.
"I can't do that... yet"
"this is the best I can do...today, but I could change that"

And it's fun and useful to talk about, but what I like even more, is seeing it in action. A couple of weeks ago I wrote about how our little slip ups can give us real insight to work with. Today I want to talk about what happens when we take ourselves to the edge of failure, on purpose.
Gym revelations - or how I totally broke my RPE meter.
For the last few weeks I have had Ryan at Project Barbell coaching me for powerlifting (he's a great coach, go check him out).
At the end of this short …

Have you fallen off the New Year wagon yet?

Have you broken your gym streak?

Dry January suddenly got damp?

Blown the diet?

Then let me be the first to congratulate you.
Seriously. Well done. You tried something out, then you discovered something that stops it from working out. You are a pioneer of resolutions, an experimental scientist of life itself. Good job!

I love it when my coaching clients have a "wobble". When something gets too hard, or they find they can't meet a goal they expected they could handle. It suddenly makes my job so much easier.

It's a fabulous learning opportunity, there's no shame in that.

Failure, is the process of growth revealing itself. It's great to set ourselves goals that we know we can reach. Most of the goals we set are based on the agreement between myself and the client that we believe they are going to achieve it with 90% certainty. I do that because achieving feels good, and it keeps the rock rolling as they nail more and more goals, week on week.

But when it suddenl…

Wishing you a Bigger, Better New Year

This is a tricky time of year in fitness.
It's kind of the best time, because suddenly everyone is very interested in what "fitness people" like me are up to.

Many people are making a new start, figuring out what they need to do to be healthier in the coming year.

Also Aldi and Lidl have what I like to call "Personal Trainer Christmas" where they suddenly have a tonne of low priced fitness equipment on the shelves. That's my favourite (do I really need another foam roller? Sure I do!).


But it all comes from a very harsh place.

For the last couple of months we have been bombarded with advertising telling us we need to buy and eat more rich food. Conform to the cultural norm of well, conforming to the sofa and none of it in moderation.

Now, the tables turn. What? You actually DID the eating and the movie-watching and you ACTUALLY overindulged? But now your body is unacceptable!

Of course all year around we are subjected to the message that our bodies are wro…