Vitamins & Minerals – tiny, but mighty little health soldiers!

Most of my health education was self-education and it started when I was a teenager. I have always enjoyed reading about health, especially vitamins & minerals and their impact on our health, which prompted my latest qualification as a Nutritional Therapist and why it felt so right, in the first place, to become a Herbalife Nutrition health coach nearly 15 years ago now. Because I understood the science already, I was open-minded to test the products and see the difference they possibly made. The rest is history.

Even as a teenager I used to make smoothies with any edible plant that was available in and around the house, together with fresh raw eggs from a local lady and soya milk I would drive for hours on my bike until I found one store that stocked it. Some teenagers smoked, I did this.

My mother, as you may already know if you read any of my previous stuff, is a breast cancer survivor and first thing she changed when she was diagnosed and then after she was given all clear – was to change her diet. I was not even 10 years old by then. Jars of fermented foods were common in our fridge, then hundreds of quail eggs that she drank raw, not to mention daily grating and soaking and you name it. God forbid I forgot to take my daily Omega 3 and Vitamin & Mineral supplement. That stuff was standard in our household, on top of fresh cooking every single day and buying fresh produce from the local market.

So, I was taught nutrition from an early age as a “way of life” and it stayed with me. Thirty years later, now that we have knowledge available to us at a touch of a screen, so I must admit that I find it difficult to understand how only 25% of the people seem to care about nutrition when considering their next meal, as the latest research points out. It surprises me also when I come across some giving quality supplements a bad rep, although many would happily take prescription pills from their doctor any time or even self-medicate.

That is why I can not ignore the knowledge and passion about nutrition I have and a genuine desire to educate about nutrition & healthy living. I believe nutrition alone can make a massive impact in the energy we bring to the world, the way we feel about ourselves, the way we age, protect ourselves from the disease and much more.

I believe healthy mind can only exist in a healthy body.

Let’s see what are vitamins and minerals exactly and why are they important?

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New Generation Formula 1

Herbalife Nutrition has been surprising me for over a decade now, since I became a coach in 2004, with its focus on progress and innovation. Our doctors and nutritional experts always seem to be at least one step ahead and yet, always careful not to play into the hype of things, which, without doubt, can leave us members in frustration. However, nothing is brough in or replaced before the science first checks in. And that takes time. And we can and should wait.

Our Formula 1, almost unchanged for nearly four decades, is such an advanced formula that it brought the company as the leader in weight management and meal replacement industry with 31% of the meal replacement worldwide market share. Which is massive.

Starting my day with anything else but Formula 1 is not an option for me and my family. My boys want it before bed time too. And when they come back from school. My husband goes away for a day or two without it and “I really missed having shake for breakfast!” he always says upon return. Because what is good – feels good. You know it. Your body knows it.

There is so much research on meal replacements and a role they play in an effective weight management. Independent clinical studies on Formula 1 show how combining F1 meal replacement with regular diet produced better weight loss and fat loss results than food diet alone. That is in line with the recent research on meal replacements, in general.

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Work those hormones for a successful weight loss!

If your idea of losing weight is still stuck on the old-fashioned calorie control approach – think again! Or worse – if you rely on your will power – think even harder (that is an exhaustive topic in its own right)!

Weight loss science has long evolved and weight loss has become what it always should have been – a lot more than a number on your scales, for sure. World is slowly realising that successful weight management starts from within… from nourishing your body as well as mind. By being kinder to yourself from the thoughts and beliefs you have about yourself to being kinder to your body by giving it the nourishment in the right balance so it can thrive instead of being deprived.

We are finally learning, or at least appreciate that we need to educate ourselves, about our bodies and how it functions so that we can eat for health and longevity and, with that, believe it or not, weight management sorts out itself. These days, we can literally abandon the scales knowing that we are good! Good for our body’s health and that shape is nicely coming along too.

How about that for body positivity! Loving our bodies just the way they are whilst we are building them healthier and better so this vessel can serve us well in whatever our purpose in life is – to raise a healthy, happy family or change the world – which is, kind of, the same thing, don’t you think?

By focusing on what IS – we only perpetuate its existence. Focus on health and becoming the best vision of you – you may be surprised how far THAT takes you instead of being obsesses with the number on the scales!

If you are not there yet and feel you are somehow behind this attitude towards your own health and wellness, don’t worry. It is never too late to start the journey the right way. Perhaps, keeping on reading for starters…

So, how do you get from that place of feeling heavy, lethargic, knowing you are not taking good care of yourself to actually not only losing weight, but also having energy, feeling good about yourself, having spring in your step?

The answer is as simple as – to make your wellness goals a reality – nutrition is the key and, more importantly, eating to balance your hormones related to weight management and metabolism. In the process, it is about repairing diet-related inflammation that exists in the body. Quality over quantity, right? Equally, quality of food is not measured in calories, but what it does within the body – does it feed & nourish your cells or does it damage them.

When our hormones are unbalanced – we age faster, develop disease as well as put on weight as they play a critical role in how body gets energy from the foods that we eat, which is known as metabolism.

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10 Item “Healthy Diet” Checklist

Back in 2004, a year after my first pregnancy, I took what I can only describe as a leap of faith, by embarking on my very first, and luckily last, weight loss journey. Since then, my focus has shifted on long-term health and becoming a better version of myself over the years. Healthier and happier version of me. However, I did not even understand at a time that weight loss is such a big thing for so many people and that choices are so vast that can truly leave a person lost in confusion as well as despair. These days, I imagine it to be even harder for the person looking to improve their health or better manage their weight. The moment you open up your email or social media account – you are overwhelmed with health messages, recipes, different diets being promoted from all kinds of experts and influencers in health industry.

I am one of them. Well, who knew that out of my first and very positive weight loss experience, passion was born and so was my calling. Because one thing I knew was that I felt better, not just for the weight I lost, but for the energy & confidence I gained as well as incredible satisfaction from helping others has given me. With all that, there is also a constant need to remain a student myself as well as educate others on the latest in nutrition and health as, not only through solutions that we offer, but through the education – we can make this world a better, healthier place. Because knowledge is power. Always.

If you are one of those looking for help and not sure where to start, let me give you a few pointers what to look for, so you can make the right choice, the one that is sustainable long-term, rather than go astray or run around in circles. If you are no stranger to dieting, I am sure you have, at some point perhaps, started a diet or an exercise regime but never got the shape and result you wanted, felt hungry or deprived, lonely, lacked energy or motivation to keep going?

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Karine: “50 lbs GONE but the journey CONTINUES” … Herbalife Nutrition Success Story

My friend Karine has reached an important milestone today, here is her story to date…

Today is a big day for me as I have reached 23 kg of weight loss… yes that is indeed 50 lbs!

Back in December 2017, I was watching some fellow Herbalife distributors sharing their amazing results on Facebook after completing a 90 programme of healthy eating and fitness.

Having struggled for over 10 years to lose my pregnancy weight and having tried so many different types of “diets”, I thought I had nothing to lose but excess weight and fat and I decided to give a 90 Day programme a go. Unfortunately, I was very ill with allergy and asthma at the time and even spent most of the Christmas holidays indoors as stepping out in the fresh and cold December air was triggering my asthma attacks so I decided I had to treat this problem and get better first before embarking on the programme especially as I knew that it required some form of exercise and I thought that sadly it was not the right time for me to join the next 90 day programme which was due to start beginning of January 2018…

However, deep down I knew that I wanted / I had to give this programme a go and so it stayed in the back of my mind and I was mentally getting ready to join the next wave starting in March whilst getting my asthma under control…

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Lessons and Blessings from my Second 90 Day Challenge

As my second 90 day challenge is about to finish, of course I am inspired to share my insights this time too. Many times down the line I thought I made a mistake for joining as I already got to my goal in the first challenge and I doubted that I will have the same resolve as I did in the first wave from January until April this year. Almost 90 days later, I am so very glad I did.

What was my goal? Mainly maintenance. I think I secretly wished to be ready for The Next Level, but, I knew, while I had such strong resolve in the first wave, this time I was not as hungry for results as I already got the result that satisfied me. It is true when they say – the biggest enemy of great is good. And sometimes, good will just have to be good enough, as long as the purpose remains to be happy, healthy and strong.

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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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Health, like happiness, is an inside job: Healthy and Happy can only coexist

Achievement of any goals in our lives come down to our mindset. Health goals included. I have been working on this article a while, bit by bit, until it came together. It is a message to those who perhaps struggle at this point in time with their health and choices they make. I have seen a lot of struggle and I wish to tell you that you are not alone and there is hope.

If it was enough to just be told to “eat healthy”, advice we are given all the time (ambiguous as it is as it means different things to different people), everyone would be at their ideal weight and peak health. No, it is not easy, because it is a science and we are only human, so, try to feel less frustration and let’s focus on what we can do. We all know we should choose, buy, eat healthier foods, however, unhealthy options can have such huge grip on us, until unhealthy habits are all we have. No wonder food gives us such anxiety.

Part of it, to a certain extent, is not necessarily even our fault. Do you know that the food companies employ food scientists who design foods with the exact ratio of fat, sugar and salt that gets us to the so-called “bliss point”? It is a point at which foods have such an appeal that we are begging for more. Foods with too much salt will cause us crave foods with sugar as body is seeking balance. And vice versa. Simple carbohydrates will make us crave just more of the same.

So, that is one issue and “easily” taken care of when we just decide not to touch foods we know are not good for us. Think cakes, biscuits, chocolate, sweets, crisps, ice cream, etc… Easy peasy, right? Well, it is not. It is much easier said than done because foods with a “bliss point” can make a food addict out of us. Sugar addiction is real. But so is smoking and there are people who decide to stop, smoke their final cigarette and never smoke again.

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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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Here is what happened in 12 weeks when I reduced sugar & salt intake and eliminated wheat & processed foods…

I am in Week 12 of my 90 Day Challenge and now I can really see the end of it in sight. It is the next week! Saying that, my husband and I have already agreed that we wish to continue in as similar manner as we have learnt to live and eat over the past three months time. We are asked often when our diet finishes and the question does create a little bit of resistance in both of us. While it was restrictive in many ways, I have not seen it as anything that was depriving my body of anything. The only thing that body was deprived of was added sugar, unnecessary empty calories, processed food, alcohol, unhealthy fats, added salt and everything else in between.

So, when you “deprive” your body of empty calories of cakes, biscuits, chocolate, candies, ice cream, crisps, alcohol, and then also white rice, white potato, pasta, bread, processed meats, sauces and other processed foods, etc., I can guarantee you your body will notice. If you add, on top, home-made cooked meals with lean protein, healthy fats and vegetables as well as nutritional supplements that further enhance overall nutrient intake – your body will truly be able to get to Optimum Nutrition level. That is how it felt, almost for the first time in a long time.

You see, I have always been healthy, I had an interest in health & wellness since I was a teenager, but I have also “sinned”. A lot. When I think about it – most probably, on a  daily basis. Because I could. Overall healthy eating and supplementation helped me to stay on top of my weight most of the time, with respectable energy levels, and very low amount of illnesses over the past decade, certainly a lot less than an average person. Some may even call this balanced. I used to. Not any more. And I used the word “sin” for a reason. The feeling we get when we do or say something we know we shouldn’t.

After starting my 90 Day Plan, it became clear that this challenge was going to challenge us. Physically and mentally. It was the cleanest plan we could have chosen, science based, balanced, safe and solid. This was important to us. Because of what we believed in personally and it also meant I was not doing all that much different from what I was advising clients to do. But, starting in January also meant that we would need to go through family’s five birthday events and a few other dinner/ lunch engagements. And we did. Successfully. Without breaking the “diet”. Looking back, here are the changes that took place over the past three months:

  • My husband lost 10 lbs of body fat, with body fat going down from 19% to 14%. Visceral Fat went down from 8 to 5.
  • He used to suffer from digestive issues and flatulence. No more.
  • I lost just over 12 lbs. Muscle mass intact. Body fat went from 29% to 23%. Visceral fat from 4.5 to 3. I am 44-year-old mum with two children… I am very happy with those results. And I can tick off the list getting a six pack, although this has never been part of my list. I now know how to get it myself and how to help others get it too.
  • My skin has never been problematic, but every month, around my period, I would get a spot or two, I always thought they were hormonal. Well, there is no sign of them, I have had clear skin for weeks now without any breakages. I used to use a face concealer, now less and less, most days not at all. I am happy how my skin feels naturally.
  • I used to get painful period cramps and mood swings. This has disappeared too. They say there is no Japanese word for “menopause” as Japanese women do not suffer from it. This is, of course, all diet related. I am hoping, being at the age when menopause is not that far away, that the same can happen to a Western Woman when diet is right. Stabilising my PMS or, rather, eliminating it, gives me that kind of hope.
  • I have a generally sweet tooth, however, after three months of not touching any sweets, cakes or chocolates – those can be in front of me and would not bother me. We have a cupboard with biscuits for the boys if they wish to have something sweet – I have not been tempted to raid it in any shape or form. Craving has disappeared. I truly am free from temptation. I am not saying I will never touch chocolate, but, being in control and doing it when it is my choice, rather than craving, feels liberating.
  • I have more energy, not that it has been lacking, but there is even more of it. Getting up at 5:30AM and doing my exercise routine before boys get up has become a habit and something I truly look forward to each morning.
  • My children took notice of our plan and we are showing them the way, they are asking questions and, with that, learning at the same time. This all is a way of us, as parents, setting up the example.
  • My mental strength has increased. I am tempted each day to go back to old habits or break our 90 Day Challenge rules because of some foods being all around us that are not on the plan or do not serve me, but are incredibly yummy and satisfying. Instead of giving in, I am mindful, I pause, think about it and opt out. And then feel good about it. Really good feeling. This has got to do with more than just no longer being addicted to sugar. This is a CHOICE. And, from whichever angle you look at it – it is liberating.

I used to think my diet was balanced, but forcing myself initially into clean eating, I have grown to like it because my body is thanking me so much each day after following it for almost three months now. I think word “balance” will mean a different thing to different people, but, my approach to “balance” has shifted. For my body to feel and stay in full balance, diet needs to be clean. Full stop. Any time when it is not, my body will be pushed OUT OF Balance. Balance for me these days is feeling well and in top form every single day. This is how I want to live. And this is why our plan has never been a DIET. Word DIET comes from a Greek word DIETA, which means WAY OF LIFE. So, if I have been on a diet, it is a WAY OF LIFE kind of diet. And, I think, this is the only one that counts and that gives sustainable results over long period of time, so you stay healthy and vibrant for a long period of time. I focus a lot on eating as it is 80% of your health, but, rest assured, I also think that to change your health, one needs to change their habits in relation to exercise, rest and hydration too. Those, together with clean eating, will give you the best chance to truly live a disease-free, healthy life for a long period of time.

Thank you for reading to the end, hope it has inspired you to live cleaner, healthier lifestyle. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions.

I have been a coach for nearly 15 years now and have helped many achieve great results. Have a look at the Success Stories & Testimonials of some who were inspired to share their stories. If something in you tells you to give it a try – I can promise you will not regret it. Contact me or, as a great start, check how balanced your current lifestyle is by doing an online wellness test and we can take it from there. I will give you my recommendations on how to take it further.

Please feel free to fill in the form to get in touch:


Day 60 Out Of 90 Day on the Challenge

Two Thirds of the way is under the belt.

60 Days. 1440 hours. Almost 9 weeks.

Hours of exercise in 9 weeks: 30 … way less than 5% of those total hours. 30 Minutes per day. Not even that. The RIGHT kind of exercise, that is. (I could have done more, many participants have done more, I am sure).

Meals: 370, out of which 120 are Formula 1 Meals and 10 are Herbalife 24 Recovery Shakes after exercise (and a lot more as a Snack No. 3 one hour before bed time).

Birthdays: 5… Cakes eaten: 0. (Even I can not believe this, but it is true… not a tiny slither!)

Total Lapses: 2 (discovered Almond Butter… not buying it any more).

Total Pounds Lost: 10 lbs, 4.5 kg.

Lessons learnt: 5 …

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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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Sheila’s Story

I often ask clients if they would share their story of working with me and how Herbalife Nutrition plan works for them. I believe in telling stories as I always had an open heart to be affected and inspired by a story. So, when I ask someone to write something it is because I recognise something in them worth sharing with others. I may admire them for their perseverance, commitment, loyalty, transformation or all of it together and hope sharing their story from their own perspective would inspire others into action. We all need more inspiration in our lives. Also, I believe putting our journey on paper and using the power of reflection can be a great personal exercise in appreciating our journey to date and help us gain clarity and decide on the clearer vision we have for ourselves for the future.

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Become the best version of yourself… Start today!

Rome has not been built in one day and our attempt to improve our physique and health should pretty much be approached with bearing the same in mind… We need a plan, patience & vision. Those with vision move even in darkness. Our vision for ourselves is best when not focused on the outside appearance alone as our health and beauty are a lot more than just skin deep. Our vision needs to be strong and inspire action every day, which will make us more patient and committed to a long term goals. Then we need a plan that is simple, even fun and that nourishes us on our path to becoming the best version of ourselves.

Start Today

One of the biggest mistakes we all make is waiting for the “perfect storm”, that perfect moment to start something new… to start a new diet, to stop smoking, to look for a better job, start that project, make an important phone call, study for the exam… The only perfect moment is RIGHT NOW. Delaying action whilst waiting for that perfect opportunity is simply procrastination and the more we do it, the more we develop a habit of it that can be very costly.

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Mum, thank you, for your passion!

My mother is a breast cancer survivor. She is the only one of 10 ladies that were treated at the same time back in 1980 in Zagreb hospital that survived. The other 9 ladies died within the same year, may they rest in peace. Actually, most of my childhood I thought my mum was going to die too. I am telling this story to celebrate her recovery and the fact that she is still alive and healthy, soon to be 77 and probably healthier than most of her age.

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