From 5-A-Day to Breakfast Everyday: Why You Should Make Time For a Healthy Breakfast

I am a firm believer in making breakfasts the most essential part of our daily routine and where we make a start when trying to change our lifestyle. And once we have this healthy habit sorted – of not just having A breakfast as part of our daily routine, but THE breakfast – the right kind of breakfast – then we build the rest of the good habits on top of it, one by one.

With chronic diseases on the rise, the United Nations, the World Health Organisation and Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have finally recognised the importance of breakfast as a healthy behaviour that is one of the key factors in reducing health diseases across Europe.

“As a former teacher, I can spot straight away who’s awake and alert and who’s tired and distracted. And in my experience, one of the biggest factors that determines success in the classroom is so simple and so often overlooked: having breakfast every morning.”, says Jean-Claude Gonon, Secretary-General of the European Association of Teachers (AEDE).

World Health Organization (WHO) stated:

“A regular breakfast is part of a healthy diet, which in turn has traditionally been considered an important factor in a healthy lifestyle. Breakfast contributes to the quality and quantity of a person’s daily dietary intake, and breakfast-skipping has been linked to inadequate dietary nutrition in several studies. Breakfast-skipping also influences cognition and learning and consequently may impact on adolescents’ capacity to take advantage of learning opportunities provided by schools and families.”

But breakfast isn’t just important for children and young people. Making sure we eat breakfast in the morning is just as important for adults too.

“Missing breakfast has been associated with several other health-compromising behaviours, such as higher levels of smoking, alcohol and drug use and more sedentary lifestyles. Breakfast skipping has also been linked with the increased consumption of snacks low in fibre and high in fat later in the day and an increased risk of obesity.”, World Health Organisation.

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Bulletproof your Digestive Health: how to keep your Second Brain happy

You may have heard already that our digestive health is our second brain and what goes on in the gut is responsible for 80% of our immunity. Small Intestine is where the majority of digestion and absorption of nutrients takes place. As our body is exposed to toxins in everyday life, such as smoking, alcohol, medications, stress, pollution, chlorine and many more, maintaining healthy digestion helps body eliminate them from the body. Without gut’s ability to neutralise and eliminate toxins from the body – weight loss is impaired and, as a result, we can experience a weight gain, as just one of the “side effects”.

One-third of the UK population regularly suffers from digestive illnesses such as IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), constipation, diarrhoea, stomach-aches, nausea and sickness and cancers of the digestive tract are the largest cancer killer, actually 23% of all UK cancer mortalities. So, with that in mind, our Digestive System does deserve special attention as it must be one of the most important parts of our entire body. Hippocrates famous quote still very much rings true today: “

“Death sits in the bowels. Bad digestion is the root of all evil!” (400 BC)

So, taking care of our digestion becomes an essential part of a healthy body and efficient weight management and here is why and how…

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Keep Fit with Fit Foods

Your body is yearning to get lively as it is designed for movement, but, if allowed, it will begin to seize up, fatten up and generally degenerate. So, whatever your age, moderate exercise can help with your wellness as it builds and strengthens your muscles, improves skeletal density & keeps osteoporosis at bay, gets your heart pumping, helps shift plaque from your arteries, helps mobilise toxins trapped in fat cells, uses up stored fat reducing stored weight, reduces feelings of depression, lessens fatigue, improves skin tone and colour and there are so many more amazing benefits, both physical and psychological.

Exercise, however, is just one part of the equation. You may have heard this before, or you may hear it for the first time, in which case you may well be surprised, but the fact is – your health as well as the success of your weight management effort is 80% down to your nutrition and only 20% down to exercise. Therefore, poor fuel will equal poor performance and athletes know this all too well.

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Day in a life of a Health Coach

Being a great Health Coach is more than just possessing the knowledge to help others improve their health and sharing health quotes and pretty looking plates of food. Those looking to make changes in their lifestyle are looking up to our profession for inspiration, so, our work needs to be “true love made visible” so it can have the power to make an impact on others, to touch them and inspire them to self-betterment and becoming better versions of themselves.

For me, Health Coaching is a calling. People are looking up to us not just for our knowledge, but how authentic we are in our message. We need to be relatable, honest, real, with compassion and kindness for those who are struggling and yet have strength to tell them the truth, the way things are and reality of the journey ahead, not just give a lip service. And we also need to have integrity to show up every day and be first in line who take inspired action in our own lifestyle to show what is possible, commit to our own self-betterment so we indeed can be great in our profession. Integrity is when we do the right thing when no one is watching. People can spot a fraud. We give it away in our energy or lack of it. You can not fake authenticity. Authenticity is beautiful. There are people I follow because they are honest and authentic. It also takes skill to be able to comunicate it right, but energy is always there and can not be faked.

This article is not just about to show what I do on a daily basis, something I am asked about all the time. Following Get.Healthy.With.Sanela on Instagram would pretty much answer that. I also wish to communicate something much deeper than my “dear diary”while I also give those who asked me what they were looking for.

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Brand new to Herbalife Nutrition or considering it? Here is what you need to know…

Thousands people every day start or are planning to start some new diet. Some choose Herbalife Nutrition. I don’t know about you, but, majority of my clients start because they were inspired by a friend, relative or colleague who had great results and can not stop talking about it and they wanted to give it a try. So, we meet up, or have a chat over the phone, start a 3-6 Dat Nutrition Trial most times and then on to a fully personalised plan with regular coaching and follow-up. I know there are many questions at this stage and a lot to take in although it is all made really simple to follow, so, I hope the following might help as it comes from personal experience as well as experience of many existing clients.

It is not a diet. It is a way of life. Start as you mean to go on.

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90 Day Challenge – Half Way Mark

Today marks our 45 days on the 90 day plan. First half – done & dusted. It seemed so far away when we started back on the 15th January. Time flies anyway, it is how we use the time we are given. And, I really made sure I wasted none this year in efforts to get in shape. First two months of the year are probably the toughest for us as a family because we have four family birthdays in a space of less than six weeks. And, yet, both my husband and I celebrated all of them in style and cruised through it without a cake, simple carbs or alcohol whilst allowing everyone else, right before our eyes, to enjoy themselves with all the food and drinks that were not on our plan. I think we surprised ourselves even. Where was this resolve last year? I do not know, but, I certainly found it this year.

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My results of a 4 Week Challenge

It has been exactly four weeks since I decided to embark on the journey of cleansing my body of sugar and toxins, reducing my overall body fat and really proving to myself that I can be this fit and strong woman and mother in her mid forties. I am already delighted with the progress I made to date, and, even more importantly, I enjoyed every moment of this journey! My husband is too with already his lowest ever body fat of 14%.

Why was this important to me in the first place, I wonder? When I ask myself that, my immediate gut feeling leads me to the answer that has less with body image, but with the disciplines and struggles one needs to have in order to achieve it. I do not necessarily want a muscly body, the one you see at body competitions, but I do admire the sacrifice and hard work, blood and sweat one goes through in order to achieve it.

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11 Tips on Generating Health in Your Life!

Being healthy could be incredibly easy, if one possesses the right knowledge and is ready to make the necessary changes in their diet and habits without resorting to fad diets and quick fixes as they clearly do not work.

Here a few tips that I have learnt over a decade from the leading doctors and nutritional experts in their field and that is a basis of how hundreds of people that came to me for help and advice got great results:

1. FREQUENCY. Start eating 5-6 SMALLER meals per day! Frequency is one of the keys to stable blood sugar levels! So, do not eat like a Sumo Wrestler! Breakfast Skipper (Or  Any-Meal/Snack-Skipper) – this is for you!

2. PROTEIN. Every meal and snack MUST contain Protein OR Protein + Complex Carbohydrate (Think FIBRE) for a stable blood sugar level that, remember, is THE KEY to a fast metabolism. 1 gram of protein per 1 lbs of lean muscle is about right (1.2-1.5 grams if exercising, up to 2gr if building muscle)! I measure muscle mass for my clients.

3. PLANT PROTEIN. We do not have enough of it in a diet! I get it through my Herbalife Formula 1 Shake. The best meal on the planet. How are YOU going to get it? I don’t know if you are ready for solutions that are already available. You can go my way, I would be the happiest to oblige, or you can figure out your way, it is your choice, just REDUCE the amount of animal protein in your diet. Eggs/ bacon for breakfast, chicken for lunch and beef for dinner and perhaps fish in between is a sure way to weaker bones and kidney problems due to the acid nature of animal produce that leaches Calcium out of your bones, not to mention links of animal protein to cancer.

4. FIBRE. Most of you don’t have enough, research shows around 15 grams per day, so no wonder so many suffer from digestion related problems! Minimum 25 grams per day for women and 35 grams for men and you will not have as much digestive issues. Can help with eliminating fat too.

5. SUPPLEMENTATION. It is a general knowledge now, so please also don’t believe your so called expert friend that we can get everything from food. We can not and there is a growing (and sufficient) body of evidence to support it. Also, don’t just go for your cheap local store supplement. Unless it is a Pharmaceutical Grade, you indeed are wasting a few pennies you are spending on them! Naturally, I take Herbalife’s Formula 2 Multivitamin, XtraCAL and RoseGuard, our powerful antioxidant. You get what you pay for!

6. WATER. Minimum 2 litres a day! Many need a lot more! Around 350ml for every 10kg of body weight is a good guide! Know how much you drink! Tea and coffee do not count! Water on it’s own or with some fresh lemon juice! If you do not like water – start liking it! It is a BASIC human need after AIR itself! We are creatures of habit – you CAN do it!

7. FRUIT. Limit to 2-3 servings per day and try not to have it on its own, add a few nuts, seeds or some natural yoghurt, especially if you are overweight as insulin will be sensitive and you need to offset sugar from fruit with some protein. Ideally 10 grams of protein per snack and 20-25 grams or protein per main meal, without blowing your calorie ceiling.

8. 5 A DAY MYTH. You need MORE, basically! Japanese believe they need 17 a day (although their servings of fruit and veg are 60 grams per serving, not 80 grams – that makes it 13 A Day here in the UK). They supplement on top too! Can you beat that? I personally would trust Japanese. They are one of a few nations that have their health figured out!

9. BREAKFAST. THE most important meal of the day, as your mother must have told you! Each time you skip it or have toast or cereals – you contribute to FAT STORING or, even worse in my opinion – causing nutritional deficiency! My family and I have Formula 1 shake instead. 20+ grams of plant protein and all the nutrients our bodies need. If this is not your cup of tea – happy for you to go and figure! Just DITCH your Cereal (Killer).

10. EXERCISE. Last for a reason, but not THE LEAST! Your weight loss results will be result down to 80% above mentioned nutrition (following every single tip from above, not just one or two) and only 20% exercise. Of course, benefits of exercise outweigh its benefits just for weight management, but as long as you don’t think you can out smart your body by eating junk and exercising! Because – you won’t! Nutritional needs of your body for Protein and Fibre as well as Vitamins and Minerals increase when you exercise, so, you need a great support from above! Stick to 30 Minutes per day, 5 Days a Week. Mix of Cardio, Resistance and Weight Training.

11. 100% MENTAL ATTITUDE. Yes, there is 11 and THIS is a magic ingredient. It is a First AND Last ingredient. A bad attitude is like a flat tire. You can’t go anywhere until you change it. Work on yours daily.

There is a lot more I could have mentioned, like serving sizes, Omega Fats, importance of keeping your Cortisol levels in control, taking rest, talking about the importance of keeping your body in an alkaline or PH Balance state for weight management/ health, alcohol, coffee, foods for heart health etc… But, I think the above guidelines take care of it, so, you do not need to know. Not for now. See how great you feel with “just” the above and you will want more!

Hope it was simple enough and, if in any doubt, just ASK! In the mean time, be happy and healthy. Generate happiness and health through making a daily decision that you will be exactly those two things! That is a healthy attitude, to start you off! Salut!


Anna & Phil’s Inspiring Health & Nutrition Testimonials

One of the highlights of 2017 has been meeting Anna, who then also introduced me to her husband Phil. I was very interested in Anna’s work as a Pranic Healer and we soon both realised we needed what the other one offered in order to increase our well-being to the next level. Anna is a wonderful, gentle soul and I am proud to call her my friend too. Anna and her husband have been coming to see me for about 6 months now and they have remained open-minded, keen students of improving their general health & nutrition, eager to apply what I suggested, so no wonder they had such great results. Here are their stories…

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Ann’s Story: Delighted with the results in time before 71st birthday

It was my local client who introduced me to Ann, her dear friend who lives in Liverpool. I have not yet met Ann, but, distance is not a challenge when client is ready to make changes as wonders of technology enable us to communicate despite the distance. Eight months later, Ann continues to make great progress and here is her story to date she was happy to share hoping to inspire more people who wish to lose weight and improve their health… and I am very grateful to her for that…

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Sari’s Story: Journey from running out of clothes that fit to feeling fabulous!

“On 24th November 2016 I ran out of clothes, nothing I owned fitted me anymore.

Time for change, I joined a gym, started walking and did exercise workouts at home, I was 86.5kg at the time, I worked hard with the exercise and two months later – I weighted 84.2kg, I could not believe how little weight I had lost for all the effort!

To up my exercise I joined my local CobraFIT workout class, I was surprised to see a few people I already knew at the classes and was very welcomed by all and really enjoyed the workout.

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Ramadan fasting and Herbalife Nutrition and Health

Have a Healthy Ramadan – Fasting during Holy Month & Your Health

Ramadan is a Holy Month for Muslims all around the world, during which time strict fasting is observed in daylight hours, from dusk till dawn, sunrise to sunset. Fasting, in general, is an ancient and powerful method that can promote healing and regeneration; it can bring consciousness to our life and give us an ability to get in touch with our body and let go of old patterns.

I personally have a very fond memories of Ramadan as a child. My grandmother was a devoted Muslim and Ramadan used to be my favourite time of the year because, as I did not know in-depth the true meaning of it until I was older, I enjoyed the custom of bearing gifts for children, usually in money and new clothes. House would have been cleaned from top to bottom prior the start of Ramadan, with crispy, brand new or freshly washed and ironed bed linen, even carpet rugs would have been washed in the garden, if season allowed it, and there was this excitement and anticipation in the air. When it was time in the evening to break the fast, food was so plentiful and colourful. Some of my favourite dishes were almost exclusively cooked during Ramadan, like my favourite dish with okra – “bamija”. I guess, I have always been a bit of a foodie.

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Formula 1 Ideal Breakfast Ideas (video)

It is a common knowledge these days that having a breakfast is a must. Preferably, having not just A breakfast, but a healthy, balanced breakfast. There are many healthy breakfast options around that will leave you fuller for longer, but it still does not mean they are nutritionally fully balanced or that they fit into the optimal nutrition concept, the one that, ideally, we shuld all be aiming for. That is why Herbalife, for over 35 years now, has been pioneering Formula 1 Healthy Meal that has been used initially for weight loss, but, it also ticks all the boxes of an Ideal Breakfast Meal suitable for the whole family:

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Skin regimen I trust…

It feels great to be 43 and often complemented on the health of my skin and asked what my skin regimen is. However, before I say what actually goes ON my skin, it is impossible to talk about skin health without talking about overall nutrition…

Healthy skin is a lot more than just skin deep, so nourishing your skin starts from the inside first. No cream or skin regimen will be a good substitute for a bad diet or lack of sleep and rest. One does not need to be a skin health specialist to say with confidence that what we eat and drink will show itself on the outside too. From personal experience, the moment there is more sugar in my diet, more fat or processed food, especially lack of water or good night’s sleep – my skin will feel it too, not just my overall body, be it digestion, energy levels or else. It is also well known that teenagers who suffer from skin conditions like spots and acne almost always benefit and see skin improvement when decreasing saturated fat and sugar in diet, starting with replacing sugary cereals in the morning with healthier and more balanced breakfast options.

So, my top nutrition tips for healthy skin are:

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February is a Healthy Heart Month and here is how we can improve our Heart Health…

Officially, February is a Healthy Heart Month. Heart disease happens to be our leading cause of death and virtually everyone nowadays will know someone who either has suffered, or still is suffering from some form of heart disease. Treatment of heart disease nowadays is merely through the prescription drugs. However, heart disease is a lifestyle disease and, as such, preventable and even reversible with the change in lifestyle, which could mean, for many, longer, quality life without prescription drugs…

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Suffer from high cholesterol? Here are 3 steps you can take to manage it…

Firstly, what is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a natural fatty substance made in the body by the liver. It plays a vital role in the formation of cells, production of vitamin D, production of hormones, production of bile and digestion, BUT high levels can lead to an increased risk or a heart attack, stroke, developing atherosclerosis and other heart diseases… There are two types of cholesterol or lipoproteins:

  • low density lipoproteins (LDL) or bad cholesterol and

  • high density lipoproteins (HDL) or good cholesterol.

High levels of blood cholesterol from either diet or genetics will speed up the plaque’s growth faster. If the plaque bursts suddenly, it cuts off the oxygen supply to a part of the heart: which is when a heart attack can occur. The higher the level of LDL, the greater the risk of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD). The lower the level of HDL, also the higher the risk of CHD.

There are no noticeable symptoms of high blood cholesterol or dislipidaemia and it is usually diagnosed based on medical & family history and blood test results. Whilst we can not control risk factors such as family history, getting a heart friendly diet & getting regular exercise is something we all can control. These are the lifestyle factors that affect our cholesterol levels. So, whatever our age, if our lifestyle involves smoking, drinking alcohol, sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy diet, excess body weight and body fat or existing health issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure, then we are at risk of having high cholesterol. High cholesterol is not only an issue for older or overweight people.

Statistics show, according to the World Health Organisation, that 133.3 million people in the five biggest European countries (Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the UK) have high blood cholesterol.

A 10% reduction of blood cholesterol levels will result in 50% reduction in heart disease in men of 40 years old in the next 5 years and a 20% risk reduction in those who are 70 years old.

Here are practical ways we can all manage our blood cholesterol…

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No need to diet… EVER!

The four main factors that influence our weight and how we feel are*: Nutrition: 75%, Environment: 11%, Hereditary: 8%, Stress: 6%. (*Source: www.euro.who.int), so, good news is – we can change a lot through a change in lifestyle! Through science, we have learnt that Nutrition plays a major role when it comes to not just Weight Management, but also our Heart Health, Energy Levels, Immunity & Aging process, Skin Health and so on. Losing weight does not always equal health if balanced nutrition is missing! Most diets you may hear about will usually restrict calorie intake or types of food you can consume. This means, your body may still not be receiving the nutrients it needs – not just for a healthy weight, but for a healthy life – strong immune system, healthy bones, healthy digestion, healthy heart, healthy skin and so on…

Losing weight can be hard. Right? It is a FACT, actually!

Statistics show that among those who succeed in losing weight, two-thirds return to their original weight within a year. Within 3-5 years only 3% of those who have lost weight maintain this weight loss. Of the remaining 97%, 15% return to their original weight and the majority (82%) put on even more weight. These statistics may alarm you. Furthermore, contributing factors to these statistics are:

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Group of people running in field.

The Power of Accountability for Weight Loss and Fitness Goals: one key missing ingredient

After 13 years of working with clients on their personal journeys to a better health, weight loss, as well as fitness in the last few years, one thing is for sure – it can be a bumpy ride for majority and hardly ever a straight line. Many times, despite having the best mechanics for weight loss, it is the psychology that fails us, which makes me believe that 80% is the psychology and having the right mindset to reach our goals. This is probably true for everything in life, not just our health efforts.

Once we have a great plan and a strategy, it is our mindset that needs the most support.

20% of Your Success – Having A Great Plan

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Protein Balls as a Healthy Snack

Protein Balls seem to be in fashion at the moment and there are many recipes – some I tried and they are to die for, but not all would constitute as a protein snack, in my humble opinion. I have seen many with over 200 calories and under 5 grams of protein. Just adding nuts does not hugely add to protein but it can add hugely to calories. And this does not work for me. So, based on some recipes I have seen, here is the one I came up with, but promise to keep trying improving on the protein v calories ratio:

  • 150 gr of almonds (944 calories/ 32 gr protein)
  • 100 gr Herbalife 24 Powder (380 calories/ 51 gr protein)
  • 20 gr coconut oil (172 calories)
  • 30 gr of raw honey, the one that bees actually make, not industrial (92 calories)
  • tablespoon of vanilla extract or (for adults) some rum
  • for garnish: sesame seeds or desiccated coconut and/ or raw cocoa powder

Mix it all in a chopper or blender until you get thick paste and using a bit of coconut oil on your palms – mould into balls and then roll in sesame seeds or desiccated coconut and add a sprinkle of raw cacao powder and, voila, they are done. Put your feet up and enjoy… one! (I know!)

I decided to use Herbalife 24 Rebuild Strength, normally used for a recovery shake after a strength training, because it contains array of essential nutrients, but also because I just love its distinctive chocolate flavour, reminding me of Baileys. Next time, and there will be next time, I will try with our Protein Drink Mix (Vanilla) and perhaps some other Formula 1 like Chocolate, Vanilla, Cookies & Cream or Cappuccino, or perhaps even some fruity flavours.

For my snacks, I am always looking for around 8-10 grams of protein under 150 calories and this snack just about does it. Above makes 12 balls each 25 grams and they are under 140 calories and 7 grams of protein. Not too shabby at all and makes a lovely difference. I think I still prefer my Herbalife Protein Bar with an optimum amount of protein (10 gr) and calories (140gr) per 35 gr snack as they are quick and handy and already done for me, but, if you do not mind a bit of fuffing around in making them, these protein balls are amazing and will be loved by everyone in the house.

The only two questions that run through my mind are where to hide them safely so they do not disappear in a flash and how to stop myself from not eating more than one in one go as they are superb and literally each is just one bite? Hmmm… But, mmmmmm….


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2017

I really wanted to do a little video to address and extend gratitude to all the people who made 2016 really special for me. Here it is…

I also hope you do not mind me adding some thoughts that did not make it into the video message… I feel I should start by acknowledging that year 2016 has been a difficult year for many and my thoughts are with the people of Syria and the people who are suffering right now in various pockets of the world. As a Bosnian, I feel tremendous pain that tragedy like this is allowed to happen again and feel powerless to do anything about it, as I am sure many feel right now too. World is watching, still. I can not help wondering what can we do individually. There is almost a sence of guilt for continuing each day to live the life I do, we all do, whilst so many people are dying and have died. I turn to great thinkers of our time Dr Wayne Dyer, Ekhart Tolle and more for a perspective that I know will be different to the feelings of anger and desperation we are all currently exposed to in the media, especially social media, because I do not think those feelings will solve anything and they surely do not lead to peace.

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