Thursday, 3 October 2013

Nutrition Support

Definitely one of the harder things for me in the grand scheme of getting fit, healthy and losing weight was changing my eating habits and attitude to food in general.

As part of the 'Feirme Bodies' programme we were paired up with mentors from the Nutrition Society in D.I.T as I previously mentioned.
I was paired with a lovely lady called Eileen who has had a good chat with me about my eating habits, my exercise regime (or lack of!) and my hopes for this programme and beyond.

She sent me some brilliant information which is tailored to what I had said to her but is still relevant to a lot of other people so I thought I would share it with you all. (I've tweaked it slightly to make it more general)


1. Aim for 7 days worth of exercise each week. If you're busy some days, add extra time onto another exercise session, or do 2 sessions in one day.

2. When exercising it's best to do so at an intensity that would be too difficult to sing at, but you could hold a conversation.

3. For weight loss, and to burn fat, it's best to exercise for greater that 30 mins. Aim for at least 45 mins for most sessions to get the most out of your exercise!

4. Try to fit a bit of extra exercise into your day...take the stairs or park away from work and walk in.

Download the couch to 5k app for some motivation and support while exercising!


1. Keep sticking with 3 meals and 2 healthy snacks during the day.

2. If you feel peckish try some fruit, a low fat yoghurt, some rice cakes, or raw veg sticks to tide you over

3. At dinner try to use the plate model of half veg, quarter potatoes /rice /pasta and quarter meat. The veg really fills you up, is packed with vitamins and minerals and is quite low in calories so eat as much as you want!

4. Make sure to keep hydrated, especially now that you're engaged in more exercise. Aim for 2 - 2.5 litres (5 pints) of water throughout the day. Refill your water bottle during the day and sip throughout the day.

5. Aim to include lean red meat (beef, lamb) twice per week to ensure you get enough iron in your diet. If this is not possible. consider talking to your pharmacist about iron supplements (eg. Galfer)

6. Attached is a copy of the food pyramid. Print this out (page 3 and 4) and stick it somewhere visible in your kitchen. Use it as a go-to guide when you're feeling peckish and don't know what to eat! There's lots of other useful information in this booklet too! 

I've made a whole other blog post about the booklet and food pyramid mentioned, the information is super useful, and I thought it would be great to share it with everyone. You can find it here.

Hope some of this helped and I'd love to hear comments from any of you with advice, ideas, etc.

"The only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on. It is never of any use to oneself"
Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Food Pyramid and information on healthy eating

I was recently given a very handy booklet on healthy eating and I thought it would be great to share it with you all, so here goes.


The results are in Part I.

I told you  a few weeks ago about our initial weigh-in. I still am too much of a wuss to reveal the starting weight here but I do hope to eventually! For the purposes of the Macra challenge, I'm starting at weight 'zero' and showing my losses/gains.

The whole 'Macra's Feirme bodies' crew weighed in on the 31st August and that was our start point in the journey to reach (and hopefully) exceed the target weight loss of one stone (14lbs) each at the end of the two month programme - the October Bank Holiday weekend.

We were all paired up with a mentor from the Nutritional Society in D.I.T (link to their facebook page here) and the mentor has been in touch with us each individually to chat about eating and exercise habits and ideas - more to follow on this later.

After a fortnight we were asked to attend our second weigh-in to record any losses/gains. Obviously we were hoping for the former and we had all been working towards it but there is still that butterflies-in-the-tummy feeling before it - fear of the unknown as well as the fear of being disappointed or worse, disappointing the other members of our three-person group.

I'd been keeping an eye on what I was eating as much as possible, cut out fizzy drinks totally and started getting more active. Zumba came back into my life.
Myself, Úna and James after our first Zumba class together
Lovely sweaty heads and all!
So, on the morning of the 14th September we met at a national Macra event in Dublin ( I was so dedicated I drove up and down on the day, a nice six-hour round trip!) and we took our turns to reveal our new weights...

No need for me to be worrying as I was down 3.5 lbs! 
Exactly on target to achieve the 14lb loss in two months.
As well as that, James Healy our Munster Vice President lost 6.75 lbs and Úna Ryan lost an astonishing 21.5 lbs!!! Go team!

This was a nice boost for all of us and definitely spurred us on to carry on and even improve.
Just hoped the next weigh in would yield similar results!
P.S. I'd love if all of you wonderful people reading this would comment, etc. - really like the idea of a more interactive blog!

"A dream becomes a goal when action is taken toward its achievement."
Bo Bennett

Sugar Infographic

Interesting infographic (a teacher's best friend!) on sugar quantities in common foods.
(Obviously an American creation with some foods we don't have here but a lot is relevant regardless).
Have fun viewing! (Click into it to see larger)