Protein Bars – Good, Bad Or Ugly?

Protein bars have been around for some time now, but there are more and more entering the market. Go into any WHSmith or supermarket and there’s literally dozens to choose from. So are they really ‘healthy’? The answer is it depends. They’re both good and bad. So below we’ve broken it down for you and provided some advice on what to look out for.

So let’s start with the good.

  • They’re a great convenient ‘snack’ if the alternative is a McDonalds Drive Thru!
  • Protein helps repair and grow muscle tissue, keeps you fuller for longer and stabilises blood sugar levels
  • Many protein bars are low in carbs. High carb bars will spike your insulin levels and leave you feeling hungry faster than protein, so choose the low carb options
  • Some protein bars have a great mix of added nutrients – so can be perfect as a top up

OK – now the bad.

  • Some have such high calorie and sugar content, you might as well eat a Snickers bar! Some have as much as 30 grams of sugar and 400 calories!
  • Like anything, eat too many of them and you’ll gain weight/fat. Just because they’re deemed as healthy, it doesn’t mean you can eat three a day!
  • Some bars have an insane amount of ingredients. The more ingredients, the less ‘good for you’ they are. The rule of thumb is that the first 5 ingredients make up the bulk of any product – so read the label and pay attention

Our advice…

  • DO NOT use protein bars as a meal replacement. There is no substitute for a balanced diet
  • If you do need a protein fix, a protein shake will always be a cleaner option
  • Eat the bars in moderation!
  • And finally, this is what to look for in your protein bar:
    • Minimum of 5 grams of protein per bar
    • Low in sugar – preferably less than 8 grams per bar
    • Low carb – less than 20 grams
    • NO sugar alcohols or artificial sweeteners
    • Low calorie – between 150-300 if possible

We’d love to know – what do you think about protein bars? Do you eat them and what’s your favourite brand?

5 Super Simple Exercise Tips

Getting back into the swing of exercise can be tough, so can maintaining it. It’s really important you get your mind on board (that’s why we spend so much time talking about motivation, goals and mindset!). Make sure you enjoy what you’re doing, set realistic goals and if your efforts at exercising are not going as well as you had planned, take a look at these tips. They might help get you back on track.

Tip #1 Do Something You Enjoy

Exercise doesn’t have to mean spending hours at the gym peddling away on a stationary bike. It doesn’t mean you have to spend money on exercise gadgets you will likely never use, either. Anything you do to get your body moving is going to be better than doing nothing. Walking is an easy exercise that you can do just about anywhere, in any climate. Bike riding, dancing, gardening, weight lifting, swimming, playing a favourite sport, house cleaning and even playing in the yard with your children are just some of the ways you can add exercise into your daily routine.

Tip #2 Schedule Time for Exercise

As you would a meeting or a doctor appointment, sometimes the only way to make time to exercise is to put it on your daily schedule. We’ve all got busy lives and we’re often so busy taking care of others that we never seem to make time for ourselves. Once exercise becomes part of your daily To-Do list, you’re more likely to do it. Some people have only a certain time during the day available for exercise while others will have to vary the time each day. Some people need a nudge and for them, exercising with a friend is a good solution. Choose whichever way works best for you. Just remember to actually go and do it!

Tip #3 Remember that Exercise Can Energise

Even though you might feel too tired to exercise, give it a try anyway. You might be surprised to find how energised you feel while you’re at it and afterwards, when you’re finished. Exercise is a great stress-reliever too and if you know anything about stress, you know that it is one of the body’s biggest energy-sappers. We suffer from this too, some mornings you just don’t feel like it, but you always feel better afterwards 🙂

Tip #4 Don’t be Afraid to Mix it up

Like anything that is done over and over again, exercise can become mundane and your body adapts fast to whatever you’re doing. When you get bored with exercising, you’re less likely to keep at it. To keep from getting bored with your workout routine, change it – you’ll get better results too by mixing things up. If you’re tired of walking, try cycling. If you’re into weight lifting, try alternating this with cardiovascular exercises throughout the week. Go bowling or play a game of tennis once in a while, and if you find you enjoy these types of activities, join up with a team.

Tip #5 Always Begin by Warming up

Regardless of the type of exercise you choose, it is very important that you begin each session by warming up your muscles. Stretching helps prevent damage to muscle tissue and it gets your blood flowing. It gets your heart pumping, too. Just five minutes is all it takes to get your exercise session off to a good start. Do stretch at the end too – this is why we finish our retreat days with stretching or yoga.

Abs: How To Get Yours

Abs.

They’re everywhere.

Thank you Instagram, Facebook, YouTube.

I’m guilty of this myself. The looking and the posting.

But here’s something you should know. This time last year I had never even seen one of my ab muscles. At 38.

And I didn’t think that was on. For myself or the people that look to me to help them transform their body.

Why?

Because I didn’t want to dish out practical advice without doing it myself. Plus I wasn’t happy with my tummy area. And I coach people to take responsibility and ACT if they’re unhappy with something. And I’d never followed through when it came to getting the abs I wanted.

So here’s the real deal. What it took, how long it took and the sacrifices I made.

It went something like this:

  • I imagined a time in the future when I’d be comfortable in a sports bra showing off my mid section
  • I visualised what I would feel like in great detail (what would be different)
  • I used my NLP techniques to anchor the goal
  • I set a time limit and created a plan
  • I visualised it every day

You’ll notice none of that is actually DOING ab exercises, eating differently or cutting out booze.

I was doing the groundwork.

I knew it was my mindset that would get me abs. Not a clever workout or the latest faddy diet…..

I knew I was going to need more patience and commitment than before. And this time it had to be different.

And here’s why I got them. Because I decided to. I didn’t ‘intend’, ‘wish’ or ‘want’. I had a fire in my belly – an unstoppable, hell-bent focus.

If you don’t have that – don’t even bother. Anything less and you’ll fail.

Same goes for anything in life.

If you want to achieve it, don’t quit. Dig in. And focus on what you’re becoming, not what you are.

Once I set the groundwork, it went something like this:

  • 12 minutes of ab exercises 3 times a week – progressing the moves with weights and changing up the timings
  • Doing more compound exercises
  • Getting my diet on point – eating the right carbs at the right time, upping my protein for muscle growth and cutting down on the sugar
  • I reduced my vino intake – but not completely. I still had at least half a bottle of wine a week

That was the eas(ier) bit. Keeping at it was harder.

But once I started seeing results – I was hooked.

And now I can share this story with you. Mindset is KING. Nurture your thoughts, act consistently and you will see improvement. No – maybe not like the Insta gang, but a better version of you that you can be proud of.

If you want to hear a little more on this, watch James and I rant about it here:

https://www.facebook.com/38DegreesNorth/videos/1630881816959159/

Finally – if this kind of approach is what you’re looking for…..authentic, honest, real information on how to live your healthiest, happiest life – you can join James and I this Easter at the stunning 5* Pine Cliffs Resort & Spa, Algarve.

In fact we are here now – so you can check it all out on Instagram and Facebook and on the link below:

https://thirtyeightdegreesnorth.com/our-retreats/bodyfit-algarve-portugal/

We’re confident that it’ll be a life changing experience for you, like it has for many other – from discovering fat torching training methodologies and nutrition guidance, to techniques helping you create new habits and behaviours.

Plus it’s all inclusive, with a serene complimentary 50 minute massage.

Dates: Thursday 29th March – Sunday 1st April
Number of nights: 3 (2pm start on Thursday, 2pm finish on Sunday)
Inclusions: All meals, accommodation, training and workshops. Plus a complimentary 50 minute massage
Location: Pine Cliffs Resort & Spa, Algarve, Portugal
Price:
£1649 solo occupancy (down from £1899)
£1449 per person sharing a room (down from £1699)

Grab your spot by replying to this mail, calling us on +44 (0)203 051 8467 or dropping us a mail at info@thirtyeightdegreesnorth.com.

Have a great rest of your week and we hope to see you soon.

Claire (& James)

Want To Know What A Weekend With Us Is Like?

Loads of people ask us what our retreats are like, what they can expect on our holidays, what take-aways they’ll have when they leave.

Well, rather than say it ourselves, we’ll hand over to the lovely Miranda at the Metro newspaper who joined us recently in Marbella.

See what she had to say then you can decide for yourself if you think it’s for you:

http://metro.co.uk/2018/03/05/luxury-fitness-boot-camp-perfect-solo-holiday-7355939/

Even though she came solo, we get lots of friends coming together, couples, sisters, mothers and daughters.

If you’ve got any questions, would like to learn more, or would like to book a place, just drop us a line 🙂

New Year New You – Top Tips To Make It Happen

Need some help STARTING your fitness, health and wellness goals this January, and SUSTAINING them so you don’t become another statistic?

Here we reveal 5 things that will set you on the right track and have proven super useful to ourselves and our clients:

Decide you want to change – we mean really decide. Most people don’t do this. They dream big, but don’t actually become unstoppable in the achievement of their goal. You have to want it so badly that nothing will stand in your way. Decide now that this is YOUR year.

Set goals – but realistic ones. How are you going to spend an hour at the gym four times a week if it’s twenty minutes to get there and you normally work a 10 hour working day?! Look at your lifestyle and figure out what you CAN do. Setting unrealistic goals is the surest way to lead you to self loathing!

Break down the mountain. If you have a big goal (we hope you do!) – don’t look at the top of the mountain because you’ll get overwhelmed. Most brains can’t compute something it’s not achieved before. So write down three things you can do in the next two weeks and then the next two etc. Surprisingly these two week goals add up and then you’ll find yourself half way up the mountain and feeling amazing!

Think about the pain/ pleasure scenario and use it in situations that might derail you. Take a moment to think how you’ll feel if you’re in exactly the same place this time next year. How does it feel? What are your relationships like? Career? What are you wearing and doing? Horrible right? Imagine that feeling as a black ball somewhere in your body. Now breathe it out – forcefully. Now imagine you’ve achieved your goal this time next year. Again, what do you see in the mirror, how do you walk and talk, what is different? Now take a deep breathe in of white light – imagining all those visions as you do – let it fill your body. Bravo – so now when you’re at a choice point (don’t want to go to the gym at 6am, want to reach for a takeaway etc) – remember this and tap into that white light…

Take a look at your habits. Be aware of the triggers that may cause you to go in the opposite direction to your goal. Then spend some time having a think about what new helpful habits the healthier, happier version of you would have – and start to emulate them. But remember, new habits take a while to form – so be patient.

We hope that helps. One last point, you already have everything you need within in to make positive changes in your life, so why not start now?

A Ritual A Day Keeps Negativity At Bay!

As winter’s rolled around we’ve had more time to rethink some aspects of our lives and our training and we’d love to share our experience of rituals with you. Those of you that have attended Claire’s goal setting and motivation workshop will know that she strongly advocates rituals to help form habits and keep you on track.

When we think of rituals we can often mistake them for habits. Habits are the things we do almost always unconsciously – like pre-packing our gym bag in the evening so we’re ready to rock a workout in the morning, through to cleaning our teeth and eating that chocolate biscuit after every lunchtime meal!

Rituals however are the things we do more consciously do to keep us on track. Rituals that one day, if we persist, will become incredibly life enhancing habits, that you don’t have to consciously think about. They just exist. They’re part of your lifestyle.

Let’s look at habits again first though. We’re a bundle of habitual behaviours. Where you stand waiting for the tube door to open, the order you do your exercises, the way you make a cup of tea or coffee, the route you walk to walk, the things you say to a friend when you first pick up the phone. Some habits are wonderfully part of our personality. Yet some can seriously derail us from our goals if you’re not aware of them and have no strategy to change them. That’s where Rituals can help shift things up a huge gear.

Right now though, I’d like you to grab a piece of paper and write down which habits you’d like to change (which ones you feel aren’t in your best interest). These are the habits we’re going to change (over time) by installing new Rituals.

Perfect – now on a new piece of paper write down how you would like to feel throughout your day. Would you like to feel more grateful, have more energy, feel proud because you went for the workout, be kind and generous to others and also loving towards yourself? This is important – because it makes you aware and laser focussed on what needs to be changed. You don’t like the way the old habits make you feel and live your life, but you’ve identified how you would like to feel in the future.

I’ll give you an example – Claire and I slipped into the habit of waking up, grabbing phones and checking emails and social media. This is not good – for our mind, body or soul. It’s not helpful for connecting to the person you love. Just after sleep your mind is still open and the subconscious hasn’t become conscious. It’s the PERFECT time to move old habits out the way by bombarding them with new, positive and upbeat Rituals!

So we decided to do the following:
– Leave phones alone
– Make coffee (well that’s always me!)
– Over coffee visualise your perfect day, your perfect week, your perfect month, your perfcet six months
– Write down 10 things we’re grateful for
– Lastly create an intention – such as (for us) it’s “I will transform as many lives as possible through helping people become healthier, happier and more confident”

There – simple Rutuals that will take about 10 minutes and we absolute swear by the results. It’s changed and shifted so much for us in just 15 days of doing this already. The bi-product is also that your not so helpful habits will begin to move into line with the Ritual’s way of thinking. Your subconscious mind will want to skip the workout, but the conscious mind is aware that there’s a new Boss In Town – called Rightful Ritual…and he/ she has a much grander vision of your life in mind.

Try it – we would LOVE to hear your thoughts.

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