The Six Pack Revolution – 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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Nourishing Foods in Hot Weather

I believe this topic is long overdue as the Hot British Summer just keeps on giving, however, who knew! I do hope it is not too late for the advice and that we keep being blessed with this glorious weather (that we are so not used to). When we prayed for summer in the winter months (for the past few decades at least), I do not think anyone expected our wish to be granted in such abundance this year. My husband would say – be careful what you wish for. Now, many complain that it is too hot, however, let’s all admit – there is something rather refreshing waking up to a warm, sunny morning; it makes you want to wake up early and seize the day. I have been watering the plants at 7AM most mornings and that, in itself, has been refreshing and wonderful. Connection with nature from the word Go.

Back to our subject, when weather is hot, there are few things we need to bear in mind in order to keep our body well nourished and energised.

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Tackling Childhood Obesity

Not sure if you heard it – it has been all over the news… The government has issued a 33 page document in an effort to tackle childhood obesity as it is one of the biggest problems that the UK and many developed countries are facing right now. Nearly a quarter of children in England are obese or overweight by the time they start primary school aged five and this raises to one-third of children who are obese or overweight by the time they leave primary school at the age of 11.

Obese children usually turn out to be obese or overweight teenagers, which can lead them into adulthood also as obese or overweight. Not only that this puts a huge burden on the economy as, statistically, obese and overweight people need more health care (because of obesity related diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer, just to name major three), but also health of our children determines their opportunities in life, their level of confidence and generally quality of life. Every child deserves the best opportunity in life, I am sure you will agree.

So, this must be a step in the great direction, although, in my opinion, what is being proposed should be seen as just that – one little step in the right direction. See it for yourself…

Focus on calories

As overweight or obese children are consuming over 500 extra calories a day, emphasis has been put to find ways to reduce calorie consumption, which is in a form of an initiative to list calories on menus in restaurants, cafe, take aways. This sounds good, however, if a child wants a pizza and dessert and nothing else (which, by default, always has the highest calories) – what is the parent to do? These calorie listings are, of course, not for the children, but for the adults themselves, parents, to make an informed choice and whether it will actually help a child choose a lower calorie option – is another matter.

Sugar Reduction

Reducing sugar, of course, should be at a very heart of any adult’s or child’s health efforts. Government has challenged food industry to reduce the sugar content in their foods and drinks by 20% by 2020, with a 5% target in the very first year. If a 330ml bottle of a sugary drink has, on average, 40 grams of sugar, the plan is to reduce it to 32 grams. I am sorry, but whilst every little gram less helps – 32 grams is still way too high. The same goes for cereals and other foods and drinks frequently bought by children.

Advertising and Promotion

Of course, then we have to look at all the factors that influence our food choices. So, the proposal is to introduce 9PM watershed on TV for advertising junk food geared towards children. Problem again is – how many children do go to bed before 9PM? (Apparently over 1 million children are still watching TV after 9PM)

What is also proposed is that food companies and supermarkets will not be able to display tempting, sugary sweets at the checkout or advertise multi-buy offers. I think this is a great part of the plan as it will, at least, stop some impulse buys. Disappointing thing may be the lack of incentive to encourage deals on fresh produce as price matters to many, if not most.

Education is the Future

The above are major few take aways from the legislation that we need to know about.

But, how do we get children to naturally choose what is good for them? That, I believe, starts from home. It is parents that need an education and change in their own lifestyle before we can expect them to pass it on to their children. Obesity runs in the families only because of the same habits that members of one family adopt. And habits indeed can last a lifetime. I remember when Jamie Oliver tried to make school dinners healthier and more balanced – how much resistance there was from the parents themselves. Because they did not know any better themselves. It shocked me every time I saw them angry whilst dropping a portion of “fish & chips” across the school fence to their child who refused to eat a healthy, balanced meal. But, I understood. They simply did not know any better. Period. Most probably, their parents did not either. How can we expect a child to know any better then?

My children are a testament that it all starts from home. They are no strangers to a ocassional bag of crisps or a biscuit or even a fruit drink. But those are not found in our fridge or cupboard all the time. They are occasional. Fruit is always available in the house and, being a health coach with an access to knowledge & information and nutritional solutions for a healthy, balanced breakfast and snacks – that is what they grew up with. There is no tooth decays, no sicknesses, no excess weight of anyone in our household. We speak to our boys of healthy choices. They question things themselves. “Mum, doesn’s that have sugar?”

I believe also that it will take many generations before both adults and children are conscious about their health. Perhaps, this government initiative is just a stepping stone in the right direction despite that fact that it is as flawed as it sounds. Perhaps this is the best they can do as food industry is a giant and they are not happy right now even with these minimal changes they have been asked to adhere to. I hope it is not just to make us all quiet and content that at least something is done. I hope not. Afterall, the future of our economy depends on it as obesity has a potential to bankrupt it.

I am very happy to be in the health & nutrition industry and we need more health coaches to work in their communities making a difference. I believe, while Government can continue with their legislations, it is our work on the ground that involves education and helping people with their health and nutrition and getting them more active that will have the most powerful ripple effect on how overall habits are changing and, with that, also our attitudes toward health and what is good for us and our children.

If you would like to see how balanced your diet is, Online Wellness Evaluation Health Check is a quick way to see how well you as well as your family may be doing. There is no obligation, it is a free service and it can greatly help with educating you what might be missing in your diet right now or identify challenges and how to solve them. Just this knowledge can have a ripple effect on the changes you make for the entire family.

For those of you who would wish to work with me and find out how you can even change the health of a few people around you, I am always looking for more Health Coaches who would aspire to be agents of positive change in their community.

Until next time, wishing you a happy and healthy day!

Your partner in Health,

Sanela


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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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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Water, glorious water: The remarkable effects of drinking (enough) water each day

Brits can not believe their luck with the current hot weather spell and it is a topic of every single conversation. Now more than ever is important to keep our body well hydrated. And there is no better way to do it but with water. Apart from body’s need for air and breathing, water is possibly the second most important catalyst in keeping us alive. We all know stories of how, in extreme circumstances, some people have survived for weeks without food as long as they had water. It feels almost strange to be compelled to write about water in the first place as it is such basic human need, so what more could I add?

So many clients I work with struggle with fitting enough water in, even when temperatures increase. There are many reasons why we are not fulfilling this basic need. Sometimes, it falls down to the lack of a habit, so there is no natural thirst present. It could also be down to the fact that many are addicted to caffeine and sugar, so they keep hydrating with coffees and teas, which are slight diuretics – and they have an opposite effect – instead of hydrating, they can slightly aid to dehydration as they are diuretics. Some simply insist that they do not like water. I once had a client texting me on her very first day of starting her nutrition plan saying that she was gagging on water I suggested she drinks first thing in the morning (just to set the record straight, I only asked her to start with a one single glass of water, not litres at once) So, basic need and yet many issues about it. There are so many strategies that can help us develop a habit of drinking enough and if I tell you WHY you need to drink water, HOW may, perhaps, sort itself out. And, to those of you who simply love water, hope this inspires you to keep up a great habit!

So, let’s not underestimate the benefits of water:

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We all have a personal story. Here is mine on how to cultivate a health mindset and why…

I am inspired to write something rather different today. Something personal. And yet, something that concerns those who desire, sometimes desperately, to get healthy. I hope it gives hope.

You see, I have been healthy most of my life. I started being conscious about food when my mother’s breast cancer and her pure will to survive has inspired her to seek alternative ways of beating it on top of cancer treatment she received. Based on what I now know, she choose foods that reduce inflammation in her body naturally through seeking answers in plant-based diet and that gave her body a fighting chance to heal itself. I don’t even think she knew why she did what she did, she just knew instinctively by being open to natural healing she picked up from books and advice from people who had knowledge about the natural healing of plants… Fast forward 40+ years, she is a healthy 78-year-old still inspiring with her attitude to health and taking care of herself.

I was only an eight year old girl at the time when she had breast cancer. I remember waking up every day with a fear that I would lose her to cancer. I was fully aware what was going on. She made close friendships with nine other ladies in Zagreb clinic where they were all treated and all shared one room. Over the next 12 months, I remember phone calls she received being notified of their passing on, one by one. My father was my rock at the time. Hers too. I remember overhearing her crying to him saying that she feels lesser than a woman after the operation. He replied: “You at least have one. Look at me, I have none!” She laughed. And retold that story many times after that. We still remember it. Support is everything sometimes. When you feel you are at your lowest point, it can mean the difference between you giving up and picking yourself up again. Support is love. And I felt it. I still feel it. And I am better person for it. I am so grateful for this experience early on. It shaped who I am today.

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What Influences our Eating Habits: Are we (or not) fully in control of our choices?

Having spent over a decade helping clients improve their eating habits, it fascinates me how everyone has different eating patterns and behaviours and motivations as well as how different they all respond to even the same eating plan. Because we are all wired differently, which is part of the issue as, according to the research (Wansink/ Sobal, 2007), we make, on average, close to 230 food decisions every single day and close to 95% of those decisions are completely unconscious, believe it or not.

This means, we may not be in control of our food choices as we would like to believe. The point of this article is to bring to your awareness what those factors are as, once you have an awareness of them, it may be slightly easier to be more mindful about food choices you make and make alterations to your lifestyle in order to accommodate healthier eating patterns. And once you practice mindfulness for a certain amount of time – new patterns start appearing with new eating behaviours. So, we feel more in control as a result. And results follow too.

Influences on our eating behaviours can be due to social factors, our own physiology, psychology, hormones, visual factors such as food marketing, olfactory (influenced by the sense of smell), etc. It gets even more complicated when it is not just the single factor as, most of the time, it is more factors at once influencing our decisions and food choices. Here are some of the factors and I have left the most fascinated one for the end, so, stay tuned.

Take SLEEP as a one single massive influencer. There are numerous studies linking sleep deprivation with weight gain. University of California, Berkeley study concluded that lack of sleep made us desire food more and, at the same time, made our brain incapable of evaluating our appetite, whether we were hungry or not. Sleep deprivation has also been shown to increase stress hormone CORTISOL and higher cortisol levels – higher the fat and sugary food consumption, as another study at University of California concluded. It is all linked to STRESS, which leads to an increased appetite and brain’s inability to make right decisions and controlling our emotions. So, managing stress and improving our sleeping pattern could mean improving the amount we eat and choice of food we eat. Aim for 7-8 hours of good quality sleep.

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Dangers of sugar addiction and how to kick it

Dangers of Sugar Addiction & how to kick it

Almost every single day, more and more studies are proving that sugar is addictive and it plays a major role in the development of many major diseases from heart disease, diabetes, cancers, Alzheimer’s, just to name a few. Sugar is very topical these days, everyone is talking about it, but what can we do about it? More importantly, dear reader, could you, perhaps, be one of many who is eating too much sugar?

Some obvious signs that you may be addicted to sugar are:

  • You constantly crave sugar and simple carbohydrate foods like bread, pastries, cakes, biscuits, coffee with sugar, etc…

  • You crave meat and salty foods (as a way for body to seek balance as you are eating too much sweet foods – and it works vice versa too),

  • You can not stop eating simple carbohydrates and “will power” simply does not work

  • You eat them so much and can get to the point of being sick from the quantity you have eaten?

If any of the above is YOU – yes, you indeed may be eating way too much sugar or simple carbohydrates, in general.

But, do not worry as you are not the only one and it can be changed. I used to be the same. For years. Because I ate healthily the rest of the time, I convinced myself that it was OK. Everything in balance, right? Well, wrong! For me, anyway. Feeling that I was not in control and could not stop was driving me crazy. I don’t know about you, but Nutella was MY poison of choice. I even had a nickname given to me. I would sneak into the kitchen just to have “one little teaspoon”. And then I kept going for more, until I felt I was going to be sick or realising that in the space of two to three days it was all gone. Guilt galore! The truth is, with that action, I was undoing all the great work I was doing the rest of the day. Because of the way I felt emotionally (guilty, frustrated, disappointed) as well as physically (possible diarrhea, stomach pain, occasional spots on my face), I decided to take action…

Most people have their poison. What is yours?

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Think Yourself Slim – The Psychology of Weight Loss

I have been helping individuals lose weight for over a decade and a half now and, my belief through my experience is – even the best of the specialists in the world will not be able to help one lose weight and get them to their wellness goals if client is not mentally not ready for it, i.e. if they do not believe and see themselves there already with the burning desire to be at their goal weight or peak health. The best of specialists would work on psychology first before they can even attempt to help clients with their diet.

I have observed many client’s behaviours over time and, in my experience, if you are one of those struggling to stay on track of your goals, here are just few simple solutions that may help you get on with your wellness plan:

Find your reason WHY

Sounds like a cliche, however, if your mindset is not geared up towards making healthy decisions, you will not be able to stick with any diet or exercise regime. No one can really force you to change anything, and no one should. This needs to be voluntary. Even your doctor may tell you that your health is at risk, but it is you who needs to make a decision to change. Good start, perhaps, is to think how your life would be different if things were different; what would you be able to do if you had more energy in a day, how would it feel if clothes fitted better. Figure out the way so that pain of staying the way you are is higher than the pleasure that certain foods give you. Think of your why until it makes you cry. Dig deep to find internal motivation that would be a daily reminder and keeping you on track. Then stay with that feeling and a healthy vision of you believing it is possible. See yourself as healthy and at your ideal shape. Then start making health choices as the person who already is healthy and at their ideal shape would. The rest will follow.

Set Realistic Goals

It is almost impossible to transform your diet in one day. It took years to develop bad habits and Rome was not built in one day. When you start with a smaller goal, like drinking more water or eating a healthy breakfast every day or exercising twice a week for a number of weeks, there is a better chance you will reach it. Having all or nothing attitude and wishing to change everything in one go is setting yourself to fail as you do not yet have habits to support all that needs to change. Not YET!

Celebrate Small Wins

Setting smaller, more realistic goals helps you to achieve them. Achieving small goals on a daily basis reinstate your self-belief that YOU CAN DO IT. Celebrate small achievements, raise the standards slowly, keep repeating the process and slowly but surely you will build many new habits that support your healthy, active lifestyle. You would have built them over time and there is more chance they will stick.

Become more Mindful

Many of us eat out of boredom, sometimes when we are stressed or when we are feeling down. Emotional eating is a reality of many of my clients. Next time you reach for a drink or a snack– get in a habit of taking first a moment to decide whether you are actually hungry or thirsty. If indeed thirsty – have water instead. When having a main meal, make sure your portion sizes are right and put as much on your plate as you should be consuming in balance. Think twice before putting extra on your plate. Remember that it takes 20 minutes for the signal to get to your brain to say that you are full. So, eat balanced meals slowly, savour your meal, it will help digestion too. Being mindful goes a long way.

Find Some Support

It is well know now that joining a community of people who share like-minded goals will work out to be more successful. Whether it is a group support or an accountability health and/ or fitness coach, you will stand a better chance reaching results rather than going it alone. University studies show that of those who embarked on a program of losing weight or getting fitter with friends & within community: 95% completed the program compared to 76% who went solo and, after 10 months, 66% of the group had maintained new physique compared to only 25% of those who were on their own. So, you are THREE times more likely to succeed with support!

Commit to learning

Knowledge has a huge power. At this time of Information Age, any piece of information we need to help us make the right choices, whilst conflicting at times when it comes to health issues and what works and what does not, is readily available for us to find it, research it, study it, see what agrees with us and apply it. I believe that education is the most important component and that is why it is such a huge part of my business and how I chose to work with clients. I have seen my retention be the highest with those valued clients that are also committed to the process of learning because they get the best results. Only with learning we develop awareness and awareness is the first step to sustainable change. Always remain a student!

Be Accountable to someone

I have personally seen over the last decade that those of my clients that keep coming to see me regularly either on a 1-2-1 basis or those that keep coming to the classes, like our CobraFIT HIIRT  or past Weight Loss Challenge classes, will always get better results than those that come occasionally, then stop and then try to re-commit again and the cycle continues. All of my clients would have their meal plans & nutrition personalised, so they all have the same tools and mechanics, but regular accountability and support hold the magic key. I now have clients who have been with me for 10 years and they still see me at least once every one to two months, if not more often when they feel they dropped the ball. And they do. We ALL do. And that is OK. It is not about never dropping the ball, but how quickly we pick it up again.

Master Your Inner Game – Stop Negative Talk

While we all know now that 80% of your weight loss is nutrition and only 20% is exercise, I would totally agree that, on top of having the right mechanics and tools in place – your psychology is a whole other 100%. Work on your attitude and mindset daily. DAILY. Listen to the inspirational videos, audios or read books. Set aside at least 15 minutes a day on your personal growth, ideally first thing in the morning. Get up 30 minutes earlier to set yourself right for the day ahead. Set the right intention before the day takes over. Have a picture of yourself when you were at your best (or someone who inspires you) and let it be your daily reminder where you want to go and why making new healthy habits will be worth it in the end. That is what successful people in different areas of life do… work on their vision daily. Start as a winner, think as a winner, talk as a winner. Be impeccable with your word. No negative self talk! Only think in positives…

So, work on yourself more than you work on your weight loss, hence – Think your way to a slimmer, healthier You!

And please feel free to reach out if you would like advice or support! I hope this has been useful.


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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The Six Pack Revolution – First two weeks

I have been coaching clients into a better health since 2004, however, despite all the trainings and education, I have never had a health coach myself to guide me and make me accountable for the choices I make in order to achieve my wellness goals. Despite my own best efforts, while I was in what is considered a pretty GOOD shape, I have felt for a while that I needed to take it up a notch and get to the next level so I can inspire more people that we can all be fit at forty, fifty and beyond. Of course, I wanted this for myself too.

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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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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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Pancakes with a difference… for any day not just a Pancake Day

The tradition of eating pancakes on Shrove Tuesday has been around since the 15th century, when certain produce, especially perishables like eggs and butter, had to be used up before fasting began a day later in Lent. Saying that, anything else could go in, therefore, pancakes could possibly be made with anything, not just eggs, butter and flour. And I like that idea a lot. Hence, I had an idea of spicing up my pancakes a bit and, when researching for savoury pancake ideas, I could see I was not the only one.

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