Health, Motivation, Nutrition, paleo


What is the Paleo Diet?

The ‘Paleo’ or ‘Caveman’ Diet is generally explained is a way of eating that removes processed food in favour of natural, single ingredient foods.
The idea being that we eat how our Paleolithic ancestors ate. A concept that theorises that we as humans have gone through very minimal genetic changes in the last 2.5 million years (approximately) and therefore are poorly adapted to a ‘modern’ diet.
Advocates of this way of eating again theorise that it is because of our ‘modern’ diet, that we have ever increasing rates of Obesity, Disease (in both children and adults) and poor health and by removing said foods, we are able to, to a certain degree, optimise our health and go some way to ‘healing’ our bodies.
There are however many benefits of eating a diet rich in natural, single ingredient foods, such as:

• Improved Body Composition (increase or maintenance of lean muscle tissue with a decrease in overall body fat
• Increased energy
• Improved mental clarity & mood
• Improved gut health (reduction in IBS symptoms etc)
• Improved skin (reductions in acne)
• Reductions in general illness (cold & flu symptoms)
• Improved joint pain
• Reduced risk of disease (such as CVD & Type 2 Diabetes)
• Improvements in blood pressure
• Reduction of foods that are possible allergens to an individual
• Reduction in food cravings
And there are many more benefits both scientifically (that require a simple internet search) and anecdotally (as each individual may benefit in a different way to another, eating this way).

In my opinion (among others) it isn’t possible, regardless of the name of this way of eating, to actually eat the same as our ancestors; the foods available simply aren’t the same. What I think we could all agree on however, is that a reduction in heavily processed foods with many ingredients in, half of which we can’t even pronounce, would provide unique benefits to us all.


3% Body Fat Lost! First Mini Milestone!!!

They are great results Penny well done, hard work is paying off, once we get your nutrition nailed down more things will continue to move in the right direction 🙂


Gutted, I was writing my blog last night, whilst on the phone to my cousin and I forgot to publish it. The phone has been wiped and sent to the iphone hospital this morning, as No.1 Daughter smashed the front and back covers….Arghhhhh!!!

It was my best one yet… only joking, I’m still surprised people read my blog. English was never my strong point at school, as you may be able to tell….

Anyway, back to the training. I went for my second session of the week today. I had no idea Chris was going to take measurements today! Yikes!

He measured all my body fat and it turns out that I have lost 3% total body fat! WOO HOO!!!

Considering I have only had a few sessions and I haven’t changed my diet at all, I think that’s pretty impressive!

Imagine what I could achieve, if…

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Health, Motivation, Nutrition

How to not get poorly over Christmas….

It’s getting to that time of year again, where it’s getting dark earlier, it’s getting wetter and colder, and generally greyer.

And it’s getting to that time of year where I see all sorts of tweets and Facebook posts saying how poorly someone is, or how they have been off work with a cold etc.

So this post is to help give your immune system a bit of a boost to keep those sniffles at bay.

First of all let’s cover something a little more obvious than what’s in the rest of this post:

  • Keep warm.

It’s an oldie but a goldie 🙂


Next I’m going to list a few foods that have been shown to increase your immune system.  And the stronger that is, the easier it will for your body to fight off any rampaging viruses that are already rearing their heads this winter.

  • Garlic
  • Probiotic yoghurt (and I’m talking Total 0% here, not heavily pasteurised, processed ones)
  • Dark Green veggies (these will help populate the healthy bacteria in your gut and increase your immune response)
  • Protein (this is possibly a lesser known immune improving food source but there are studies out there that show that diets higher in protein are linked to a stronger immune system)
  • Homemade chicken soup
  • Adding ginger to your foods
  • Adding spices to your foods
  • Adding black pepper to your foods
  • Drinking Green & Herbal teas

Next I’m going to list foods that are best to be left out of your diet:

  • Any food that has been processed and has a label full of ingredients you can’t pronounce

Simple yet hugely effective.  Over consumption of alcohol will have a very detrimental effect as well.

As you can see, this isn’t rocket science; it’s about eating plenty of warm whole foods and leaving the garbage out.  Full stop.

If you eat the crappy stuff, and get poorly, don’t go moaning about it after I’ve told you what can help and you’ve ignored it.

Health, Motivation

What’s the point of having a Personal Trainer?

An odd title I realise.

Especially as just under 4 years ago, I became what the industry calls, a ‘Personal Trainer’

Back in the day when I was a prototypical gym-goer, I thought I had a good thing going every time I stepped out of the changing rooms and out onto the gym floor.  I was armed with my little notepad when I jotted down all of my workouts that I’d found either in magazines, or trolling through some random webpage I’d found after I’d searched for ‘How to build muscle in 19 seconds’ – or some other such nonsensical google request.

And each time I was in there, warming up on the treadmill before I hit the weights (WTF was I thinking there!?) I’d see the Personal Trainers wandering around the gym.  Some were with clients, and some were just chatting to random people, trying to ‘sell’ their services to them.  I couldn’t fathom for the life of me why anyone would feel the need to hire this person to help them exercise.  I just didn’t get it.

Even why I wasn’t getting results in my own training, it still never occured to me to spend my money on these people.

And why would I, as far as I was concerned, all they did, was apparently push people to the point of wanting to be sick……that wasn’t for me.  That wasn’t what I wanted to feel like.

And so I carried on, still not getting any decent results (does this all sound familiar to anyone yet!?)

So fast forward a year or so and there I was, with my little notepad, no more definition, no leaner, more or less the same weight and absolutely no happier what so ever, almost being annoyed at myself for never asking for help.

But even then, did I really want help just being beasted in the gym?  What else was it that these people had been told that was making such a difference?

It wasn’t until after I got my qualification, and really started to do my reading, my research, and being taught by some very knowledgeable other fitpros (fitness professionals) that it finally clicked; the whole training side, the bit we all see in the gyms, is such a small part of the puzzle.

And I’m sure it’s what people think I do as well.  Rarely do they see any of the other things that go into it.

The assessments, measurements, nutrition protocols, the goal setting, the motivation, the RESULTS, the near constant questions from clients (which I don’t mind) and the mass of information that my clients have at their disposal, through me.  There is just simply so much more to it than I, and possibly you, thought.

That’s why if you’ve ever even though about getting a coach, I urge you to look into what they do and how they can help you.  Ask lots of questions and make sure they know what they are talking about.

If you have any questions about your health and/or fitness, please give me a shout

Twitter: @Coach_Mainer



Act Accordingly


Call to action.

This really goes hand in hand along with a recent post that I did on being Happy.

I’d like to ask you a question; and it’s really aimed at people who are looking at making improvements in their lifestyle and want to do this with the guidance of a ‘Personal Trainer’.

And that question, is WHY?

Why do you want someone telling you how to exercise, how to eat?

Why do you want to get out of bed early during the week, or at the weekend to go and train?

Why do you want to go to the gym after a hard (or easy) day at work?

Why do you want to get up and go exercise outside in the rain or snow?

Why do you want to say no when a friend offers you an alcoholic drink?

Why do you want to say no when someone offers you some junk food? Or something your trainer has advised you not to eat at that moment in time…

And why do you want to pay for all of that?

Maybe you feel that you have to because you’re paying for it perhaps?

Or maybe, just maybe you’re the type of person, who takes action.  Someone who looks at all the potential excuses and distractions around them and says, ‘you know what, I am a stronger person than all of those things combined.  I am in control of myself and I won’t allow anyone, or any thing, to dictate my life.  Because if I do, then I am doing all of this for someone else and I’m not being true to myself.’

Over the years I’ve been a ‘Personal Trainer’ (which is only just over 3 years), I’ve coached, trained, and just spoken to 100’s of different people, with all sorts of backgrounds and stories; and through all those interactions, a few things have always stood out.

One of which, is their ‘True Why’.  And to me, this always becomes apparent on their willingness to take action.  To look at me and tell me they are willing to do all the little things they need to, to get all their jigsaw pieces together to make up what ‘Happiness’ looks like to them.

If you don’t know your ‘True Why’ (in any aspect of life) then you aren’t going to give 100%, all of the time, to get the result that you think you want.

And don’t get me wrong, some people might say you can’t be 100% all of the time, at anything…

However you can….

If what you’re doing is what you really want.

Effort only comes through a desire to succeed completely in whatever endeavour one chooses.

So whatever you choose to do, do it for the right reason.

Find your ‘True Why’ > Make a plan > Hire a Coach if you need to > TAKE ACTION

Don’t say you really want something and then half arse it.  You’re life is better than that.  Act accordingly.


Calorie this and Calorie that


I’ve been asked a few times about calorie restrictions. Does it work? Does it not?

My answer to both of those questions is ‘Yes – but it depends’

Let’s look at it from the point of an overweight person who eats a very calorie dense ‘diet’ with calories coming from highly processed junk foods.  By the sheer act of removing the junk food and having them eat a very nutrient dense (not calorie dense) ‘diet’, from as many single ingredient, whole foods as possible, this person would naturally be eating less calories then they had previously.

They would start to lose some fat, and some stored water weight.

In this instance, calorie restriction would work, in the way I mentioned above, for the brief period of time it would take for the body to naturally adapt to the change in calorie intake; at which point any loss of weight/measurements would start to slow down.

To then improve fat loss, an increase of calories may be required to improve thyroid function (metabolism) as restricting calories for an extended period can have a negative impact on this, and actually slow your metabolism down.

This takes me on to my next point:

A person who has been on a calorie restrictive ‘diet’ for months/years. I’m going to throw a bit of maths at you here, I’ll be as basic as I can.

Before restricting calories, let’s say this person had a Base Metabolic Rate of 2000kcal per day (which basically means that this person’s body requires 2000kcal per day just for basic functions like breathing, digestion, brain function, movement etc).

Now let’s say they find a generic fitness app, input a few arbitrary details (height, weight, how active they are daily) and out pops this new number of let’s say 1500Kcal needed, per day, to lose ‘weight’.

So down go this person’s calories.

They now consume 1500kcal per day

Yet they need 2000kcal per day just to function properly

But they are consuming 1500kcal per day

Yet they need 2000kcal per day just to function properly (I felt I needed to repeat that for clarity)

So what happens, after they have lost a little water weight and a little fat?

Their body MUST slow down, because it’s not able to function properly on just 1500kcal. So metabolism is slowed in response.

And fat loss slows, and stops.

Your metabolism now requires 1500kcal to function (and not very well).

And so calories get lowered, body slows, and so on and so on until you’re miserable, and angry that you’re not losing any more weight, never mind fat.

In this instance, calorie restriction would not be recommended.

In conclusion, if you’re going to reduce calories down to lose weight, do it through exercise and not food restriction.


Don’t worry… HAPPY !!



I would imagine that a lot of people, knowing that I’m a Personal Trainer, would think that all I want to do is get as many overweight clients as I can, targeting their perceived insecurities and lack of confidence….and turn them onto some skinny minnie (or mickey) who can parade around in a tight little outfit.

And don’t get me wrong, a lot of people out there have that as their Goal, which is great and I love helping them achieve said Goal.

But that’s not why I do what I do.

I do it, to help people (male or female) to be happy.  Be that a size 6,8,10,12,14,16,18,20 and so on.

Because that’s what we all ultimately want isn’t it?  To be happy…..

And Happy is a very broad term.  What makes one person happy might be a thousand miles away from what makes someone else equally happy, or even happier.

There is so much perceived ‘social pressure’ out there in the big wide world that we all think that we should look a certain way; and by ‘we’, I mean guys and girls alike.

Women have to look like so and so from the tv, or fit into that dress or blah blah blah…….

And guys are now being more and more surrounded by big, shredded men with hundreds of topless instagram’d photos, floating around that we decide we must look that way as well.

And again, don’t get me wrong, if to be like that is someone’s Goal, more power to them, and I will gladly help that person hit that.

I do have a caveat though and it’s something that I feel personally can be missing.

Is achieving that Goal, going to make you Happy?

Because if it’s not, then you have to ask yourself, who are you actually doing this for?  Because I’m betting that deep down, you’re not doing it for you.  You’re doing because you believe society demands that you do.

I’ve rambled on a little there so I’m going to wrap up; and in closing I just want you to look at all aspects of your life, not just your ‘Health & Fitness & Body Shape’ part and ask yourself, ‘Am I actually Happy?’

If you are, brilliant, keep doing what you’re doing, but if not, maybe it’s time to take a look at yourself and really find what makes you truly happy, and do that.

Thanks for reading 🙂

You can follow me:





Reasons you aren’t losing Fat….Part 2

Ok so in Part 1 we touched on some of the things that make up the ‘Weight’ of someones body.

If you haven’t read it yet, I suggest you read it first.

My issue with trying to lose Weight is that there are far too many things that can affect that little number on the scales


So lets focus on something that you’re able to have far more control over:


When your goal is to lose Fat, there are certain changes that will need to be made in order to allow you body to go through all the process it need to mobilise fat from cells, oxidise it to use as fuel, and make sure that it doesn’t get absorbed back into cells.

Here are a few tips to help shed some Fat:

  • Eat Protein with each meal (this has a thermogenic effect when digested)
  • Drink filtered/mineral water
  • Eat Dark Green Vegetables with every meal
  • Eat Healthy Fats
  • Remove Processed/Refined Foods
  • Remove excess sugars & sweeteners from your diet
  • Reduce starchy carbohydrates (except after a resistance training session)
  • Eat Fibre, 20-30g per day (from vegetables, berries, nuts, seeds – NOT from grains)
  • Exercise using Weights (don’t worry women, you’re not going to get massive, you don’t have the hormones)
  • Exercise using Interval Training
  • Exercise using ‘Cardio’ Training (30-40 minutes maximum each time, provided you’ve not had a stressful day)
  • Prioritise the first 2 exercise methods for Optimal Fat Burning

And let’s not forget the Health implications of removing processed foods from your Diet and starting an effective training plan.

You will get healthier, full stop…..the reduction in fat and increased fitness as just a happy side effect 🙂



P.S – if you want an extra BOOST with your FAT LOSS, get your Lean Greens here & try some of these:

If you want to discuss how I can help you, please contact me on:

M: 07738832271


T: @Coach_Mainer


Do you stay inside your comfort zone?

Right so I’ve had a really sh*tty Fibro week this week.

Monday night especially was the worst.

The pain woke me up at 1:27am and pretty much kept me in the foetal position for more or less the next 10 hours.

Safe to say I was going no where – another reason I love my clients – they understand and accommodate.

They are awesome.

Anyway – we’ll get to the comfort zone bit in a minute, and you’ll see why I was well and truly thrust out of mine last night (03.09.13)

So one of the wonderful symptoms I seen to get, pretty bad sometimes, is what’s called Fibro Fog.  And this is basically Brain Fog (forgetting seemingly simple things really easily) – for me, names and new information just don’t seem to stick, and stringing sentences together coherantly becomes more challenging……I sometimes mix up words (call arms legs and visa versa etc)

I even forgot what water was called once, weird.

Anyway, the comfort zone part.

So last night at Elite, we hosted an amazing Event for the charity Hoop (Helping Overcome Obesity Problems: along with an American Trainer, Jessie Pavelka, who was recently on Fat: Fight of my Life on Sky Living.

So to kick this event off, Antony (founder of Elite Performance Fitness: ( welcomed everyone to the gym and said a few words about the gym also.

Then it was my turn to speak.

Now the largest audience I spoken to before was around 10 people and that was bad enough.

I get very anxious and nervous when a large group of people look at me.

And there were upwards of 150 people there last night.

Cue the sweats.

I was crapping it…… to speak (no pun intended there).

Now I had written something, just a couple of minutes worth……..I must had read this thing 20 times in the lead up…….and because of how I was this week, I was really struggling to remember a lot of it.

I was really panicking.

So I walked out in front of everyone, microphone practically in my mouth (trying every way I could to hide ha)…..

And I said my first line. My name. Nailed it I thought, this isn’t going to be too bad!!

Second bit, welcoming Hoop and Jessie……flowed out fairly well……

Ok brain, give me the next one…..

Nothing there……..

F*CK……………everyone looking at me, brain giving me nothing………………

Thankfully it did give me the ability to talk to a nearby stool to sit down, so off I went, desperately trying to think of my next bit…….

Now I don’t know why, but sitting down really helped.  Oh I’d also taken my trainers off before this point, that helped too….and helped cool the nervous sweats ha ha.

I said my piece, which in my mind was a bit bumbled and rushed but people told me I did well, so I’ll take that.

The point I’m making with this now rather long post is that in order to getting better at something you already do or to do something new, you’ve got to step out of your comfort zone, as scary a prospect as that might seem, because great things can happen if you do.

In my case I’m much more looking forward to the Ladies Exercise and Nutrition Seminar we are holding at the gym on the 21st of this month (sept 2013), because I took this step.  I could have said no when I was asked, and believe me at the time just before going on, I really wished I wasn’t doing it.  But the second I finished, I was so glad I did it.  My confidence grew by leaps and bounds.

So I ask you, when did you last step out of your comfort zone, and achieve something great? (

Please contact me if you feel you need someone by your side if you want to embark on a new health and fitness journey.

Great things can happen.


Twitter: @Coach_Mainer


What do you want?

set and reach goal concept

Back in September, we held a Women’s Training and Nutrition seminar at our facility, Elite Performance Fitness (check out the website here:

My part in the seminar was to deliver a short presentation on Goal Setting and Vision Boards.

I’m going to cover those aspects here today.

So first of all, what is a Goal and why do we need to set one, not only in our ‘Health & Fitness Life’ but in all aspects of our life?

I believe that we need to do it, because as a population, we are amazing at not setting goals and then hitting that with amazing accuracy.

Wayne Gretzky once said “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” – for those who don’t know, he is one of the greatest Ice Hockey players to have ever laced up skates.  And he’s completely right.

And as a trainer who spent some time in a commercial gym, I saw this lack of goal setting time and again with members.

They’d come in, ‘warm up’ and do the same little routine over and over and over again, with little or no success.

Now I’m not blaming them for that, because they don’t know any different, and that’s one of my reasons for writing this.

Now because of the scope in which I’m writing this is Health and Fitness, I’ll keep all references in that area.

Not having a Goal (and subsequently a specific plan of action to achieve that goal) is like driving your car without knowing where you’re going.  It’s a waste of time and energy and will end up getting you ‘nowhere’.

Here’s how we can remedy this:

Create a SMART (Specific Measurable Achievable Relevant Time-bound) Goal.

Take a blank piece of paper and write down all the things (Health, Fitness, Body Fat %, Clothing Size, Event, Personal Growth) that you want to achieve.  Once you’ve done that, prioritise the top 3 goals, labelling the most important as number 1.  This is going to be your long term golden goal.

Next, turn the page over and write down your golden goal (because this is a long term goal, I like to use 12 months with my clients).  An important part of goal setting is positive reinforcement, so we always write them in the present tense, as if we have already achieved them.  For example:

It is October 20th 2014.  My body fat is now down to 7%.  I am much happier and confident with my body composition.

And the second part of this is giving yourself a reward for smashing your goals.  Because we do love rewards don’t we 🙂

the caveat with this is that you don’t reward yourself with food….you’re not a trained animal (so to speak).

I’ve found with clients is always great to buy something you don’t already own, or go somewhere you’ve never been before etc, something along those lines, so that it means more when you receive it.

And that is how we set goals.  It’s nothing complicated, it’s just about finding what’s most important to you, that you want to change or achieve, writing it down, and putting it up somewhere that you’ll see it everyday, to remind yourself what you want, and why you’re doing it.

In the next post I’ll talk more about expanding your goals onto a Vision Board, where you can get even more creative with your goals!