11 sneaky ways to get more exercise fitness anti gym crossfit Paleo Network-min

11 sneaky ways to exercise

Let’s be honest, we don’t all love exercise. For some of us, the idea of going out for a run, or an early morning boot camp is enough to make us break out into a cold sweat.

But the fact is, movement is good. There’s a huge myth that exercise has to be long, intensive cardio for it to be worthwhile. But that’s just not true. Often it can do more harm than good exercising in this way – not to mention the increased risk of injury. If you don’t enjoy the exercise you’re doing, is it really going to benefit you as much as working out in a way you love? The stress from long intensive cardio, particularly if you hate it, could do you serious harm. Especially if you’re regularly forfeiting an hour of sleep most nights to fit it in.

11 sneaky ways to get more exercise fitness anti gym crossfit Paleo Network-min

If you love running on a treadmill in the gym – good on you – but for those of us who don’t – how about getting your fitness in another way? A way you might actually LOVE?

Here are some alternative ways to get some exercise in – without stepping foot in a gym:

Dance

There aren’t many things more fun than dancing – whether you’re out with friends, taking a dance class, or just dancing in the privacy of your living room.

Yoga

Yoga is so easy to start, whether following online at home, or joining in at a class. Wherever you live, there’s bound to be a class near you.

Walking

Seriously, it doesn’t get any easier than this! Whether it’s walking for a purpose, or just to explore your local area

Playing video games

Seriously! Of course, I mean an active video game, like Wii Fit or Just Dance

Playing with the kids

Pretend you’re the same age – it will keep you young, and they’ll love it!

Martial Arts

Have you ever tried karate or judo? A lot of fun – and a valuable skill too

Garden

Maybe this is the year to sort your garden out, have a proper veggie patch and some light landscaping? I love dial purpose exercise like this – the treadmill doesn’t reward you with home-grown veg, does it?

Clean

Not the most fun, I admit, but cleaning your house is a great workout – and has the side benefit of making everything all sparkly and shiny

Volunteer

Wherever you live, you can guarantee there will be some volunteer schemes nearby. Maybe it’s looking after the Local Park or beach, or at an animal home – give it a try!

Get a dog

Well, you should probably have more reasons than for it’s exercise benefit alone – but what better way to move than with your canine best friend?

Dust your bike down

Cycling is such a low impact, fun way to get out. Put a basket on the front and who needs the car next time you go grocery shopping?

 

19 worst types people gym workout crossfit Paleo Network-min

The 19 worst types of people at the gym

Personally, I hate going to the gym. I’d much rather actually be outside in nature, in the fresh air, than stuck in a sterile gym, that could be anywhere in the world.

Part of the reason I hate the gym is because of the other gym goers. Some of them are just so annoying. Well, I hate to stereotype, but I bet you’ve encountered one or two of these on your gym visits:

1) The contortionist yogi

There’s always one taking over the mat area with their incredible feats of flexibility defying the laws of gravity

2) The resident

They’re always there. Always! Everyone knows them – and surely, they must actually live there?

19 worst types people gym workout crossfit Paleo Network-min

3) The hoarder

That weight you want to use? Yep, he’s hanging onto it, he might need it later. You can’t have it.

4) The sweat monster

We all sweat, but the sweat monster takes it to a whole new level. And never has a towel. Good luck getting on the machines you want after him

5) The model

Always wearing something different from lululemon with matching trainers and nail varnish

6) The always-skips-leg-day

You know the one, he’s always working on those muscles up top

7) The texter

Always on their phone. Always. Presumably to keep their facebook friends updated about their workout.

8) Mr oh so hairy

And why is it the hairiest always wear the briefest of outfits?

9) The selfie queen

You’re sure you saw her load a few extra weights on, take a photo, then walk off

10) Mr. doesn’t want to be here

But he has to be. So he reads a book on the machines and barely breaks into a sweat.

11) The water fountain junkie

He’s always there. Always.

12) The expert

Whatever you’re doing, you’re doing it wrong – and rest assured they’ll let you know about it.

13) Miss competitive

Just because you’re on the next treadmill does not mean we’re racing.

14) The grunter

He’s a warrior and don’t you know it

15) Mr. farts when he squats

Admit it, you laughed when you heard him

16) Miss Perfectly made up

You’ve seen them, perfectly applied make up and just-out-of-the-saloon-hair. And what’s more bizarre is not a hair out of place, or smudge to be seen after a workout.

17) The ten minute man

He’s just arrived before he’s off again. The ultimate in power workouts

18) The cardio bunny

Exclusively treadmill with a bit of (fast) bike and cross trainer to mix it up a bit

19) Free trial Kyle

Never more than 7 days in any one gym – one the free trial is over, he’s off to a new trial at a new gym

YOUR Quick 20-Minute Paleo Dinner Ideas fast no time recipes-min

YOUR Quick 20-Minute Paleo Dinner Ideas

I recently asked the followers of the Paleo Network’s Facebook page for their favourite quick paleo dinner meals and got some great replies (and only one “McDonalds” comment!) – here are 70 of them…

Steak & beef ideas

This was by far the most popular meat people use for a quick dinner, here are some of the responses:

  • Reheated beef stew that I make sure I have frozen
  • Steak and salad
  • Steak, eggs and broccoli.
  • Steak and salad
  • Steak and steamed veggies
  • Steak with a side order of steak
  • Sautéd kale & cherry tomatoes w garlic, onion & olive oil, sweet potato rosti & BBQ grilled steak – quick, easy & yummy
  • Steak and sweet potato
  • Grass fed beef broiled topped with egg. Sweet potato coins, Raw red onion slices on top of fresh spinach, grated carrots, sliced avocado with fresh lemon juice and thinly sliced elephant garlic. Yummy!
  • Bbq steak sliced placed on a large salad topped with a soft boiled egg and crumbled blue vein. Yummo!
  • Steak with Morton Bay bugs, Sweet Potato Mash and steamed beetroot and zucchini…..exactly what I’m having tonight!!
  • Steak or pork chop, pan fried with cumin seeds … then cabbage, kale spring onions and broccolini all sauteed in the pan juices…. super quick and absolutely delicious!
  • Steak on the BBQ on salad. That’s what we are about to have.
  • Bison burgers with caramelized onions and grilled zucchini slices.
  • Steak and broccoli

YOUR Quick 20-Minute Paleo Dinner Ideas fast no time recipes-min

Fish & Seafood

Another popular choice:

  • Salmon cooked on the sandwich press and steamed veg
  • Shrimp
  • Coconut salmon and green salad!
  • Tuna and salad
  • Steamed shrimp with broccoli/cauliflower!
  • Salmon with lemon, parsley and garlic, spinach and kale
  • Salmon and salad, bacon & eggs, ham & salad
  • Oven Grilled salmon or any other fish and greens or salad to go with it.
  • Baked Salmon vegies and dip
  • Half an avocado with fresh prawns
  • Grilled salmon with green veg
  • Salmon steak on a bed of English spinach with avocado and mango and drizzled with fresh lime….nom nom nom!!!!

Lamb Dinner

Lamb chops are so quick to cook, I thought a few more people would have suggested this:

  • Lamb chops, cauliflower rice and sweet potato mash
  • Lamb chops and sweet potato mash
  • Lamb tangine
  • Lamb chunks braised in onion garlic and ginger cooked with prunes
  • Sliced cold lamb roast with salt and fruit/veggie juice.

Chicken & Turkey

Lots of great ideas here too:

  • Chicken broccoli and kumara gets boring but fast and effective haha
  • Baked chicken with kumara all in one tray
  • Grilled chicken breast and sweet potato mash with steamed veggies.
  • Paleo turkey nuggets pan fried in coconut oil. Yum!
  • Baked chicken thighs with green beans & shallots sautéed in coconut oil.
  • Chicken breast meatballs with herbs, sundried tomatoes, onion, garlic and Parmesan served with walnut salad. Or poached chicken breast and steamed veggies.
  • Ground turkey, kale, Brussels Sprouts, bone broth fried over mashed parsnip
  • Chicken (scrambled eggs with onion, spinach, bacon)
  • Chicken Red curry on a bed of grated zucchini
  • Salad & coconut chicken
  • Salad and chicken Sandwich using lettuce instead of bread! Mmmm
  • Chicken thigh marinated in my garden herbs and a big salad
  • Spiced grilled chicken tenderloins on a mango, avocado, lettuce, tomato salad. With orange balsamic dressing… yummo…
  • Chicken breast, grape tomatoes and shallots. Cook in oil of choice in a pan and any spices you like on top of stove. Easy peasy.

Eggs

I use eggs a lot when I need to prepare something to eat in a hurry, as do you by the looks of it:

  • Eggs and almond butter
  • Bacon and eggs
  • spinach and mushrooms sautéed in ghee with soft boiled eggs= Heaven. It’s the perfect meal.
  • Eggs and shrimp for my daughter, eggs and salami for my son… lol. Add chicken broth to it and stir, microwave if you are in a rush. Cook over a pan if you have more time. Quick and easy. You can also add in frozen/non-frozen veggies, herbs, etc. Apple slices, Clementine, other fruit on the side.
  • Squashed avocado with boiled eggs and steamed carrot and broccoli- all together it’s DA BOMB
  • Eggs and anything or everything.
  • Eggs and sautéed sweet potatoes!
  • Omelette!!
  • Omelette filled with vegies, or meat and a big salad.
  • Onion, sweet potato, mushrooms, turkey bacon, all fried up with two whole and two egg whites cracked on top

And the rest

A few paleo versions of non-paleo favourites cropped up to:

  • Taco salad.
  • Paleo fajitas.
  • A salad with whatever meat I have cooked in the fridge.
  • Jamaican curry
  • Soup, salad, raw veggie tray, stir fry…
  • Cabbage and bacon
  • Fajitas and a great salad.
  • Meat & veg. Who knew?
  • A frittata loaded with veg, a chicken stir fry or Thai curry, grilled chicken and salad, or chicken thigh fillets marinated in coconut milk, ginger and chilli then grilled and served with steamed Chinese greens. So many quick, delicious, and stupidly easy meals to make!!
  • Paleo chilli con carne
  • Paleo bratwurst & sauerkraut
  • Left over spaghetti squash with 3 over easy eggs…salt and pepper of course.
  • I make a stir fry….ANYTHING!! use eggs, meat, veggies, coconut aminos and spices…. The great thing about paleo….you can make dinner quickly and it is ALWAYS great!!! I keep my veggies cleaned…ready to cook or make salad. Always have a meat ready to cook…whether it is beef, chicken, fish or deer meat.
  • Whatever animal is unlucky and slow enough to be near my chompers

So over to you. Please share your answer in the comments below: “You’ve got 20 minutes to put dinner together – what’s your favourite quick paleo meal to make?”

Crossfit gym fitness HIIT exercise paleo primal

What Is Crossfit?

If you’ve been reading about the Paleo diet – you’ll almost certainly have come across Crossfit. Perhaps you do it? Or perhaps you’ve been wondering what it is – and what the link is with Paleo?

What is crossfit paleo diet fitness

I only started crossfit a few months ago, having gone to “normal” gyms before. I’ve made so many big improvements since I started. There’s a big focus on technique and form and I feel like I’m finally engaging the right muscles and making progress.

What is Crossfit?

CrossFit is a form of fitness that combines weight training, athletics and gymnastics into one. During Crossfit workouts, functional movements are performed in an almost infinite number of ways at high intensity. The philosophy behind CrossFit is to not specialise in only one specific area, which is why no two sessions are the same!

Training consists of a warm-up, a technical part to learn the CrossFit movements and a 10-20 minute during intensive training called WOD (Workout of the Day). Results of the WOD are often tracked by writing them down on a whiteboard. This adds an extra competitive element to it and builds up a great team atmosphere in the Crossfit box.

During training, you may use barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, tires, sandbags, ropes and pull-up bars. The exercises are based on natural body movements such as pushing, pulling, thrusting, throwing, lifting, jumping, climbing and running, rather than the artificial movements so many people use in conventional gyms on resistance machines.

The goal of CrossFit is to get fit and healthy – regardless of age or background.

Why the Paleo link?

Crossfit promotes a natural Paleo diet to their athletes. With Crossfit being based around HIIT (high intensity interval training), lifting heavy things and being anything but “chronic cardio”, it fits in well with the paleo framework.

Why is Crossfit better than a “conventional” gym?

CrossFit doesn’t believe in specialisation or routine. The workout program is different every day, but always with short bursts of high intensity. All workouts are set up in such a way that people of every level can participate, by using different weights or changing the number of reps.

CrossFit doesn’t work with machines because they force you into isolated, artificial movements. Crossfit uses functional movements. The whole body gets involved: lifting, throwing, running and jumping.

Get Involved!

More and more crossfit boxes are opening all around the world. Most boxes offer introductory sessions, so you can find out what it’s all about. What have you got to lose?!

I’d love to hear how you workout and whether or not you’ve tried Crossfit. Let me know in the comments below!

Crossfit gym fitness HIIT exercise paleo primal

Gluten Free Athletes paleo primal diet nutrition celiac sport athletics-min

Gluten Free Athletes

I was very interested to read that the top Tennis Player Novak Djokovic has a gluten-free diet – and credits it with making significant improvements to his performance. Given that gluten intolerance can manifest as aches, fatigue, joint and muscle pain, it makes a lot of sense for athletes in particular to avoid gluten. Especially as it is not possible to have a gluten deficiency – why wouldn’t you cut it out of your diet?

Gluten Free Athletes paleo primal diet nutrition celiac sport athletics-min

It turns out several of the Olympians from the London 2012 Olympics did so on a Gluten-Free diet. Initially I assumed this was due to a Coeliac diagnosis, but it appears to be becoming common knowledge that ditching the gluten can improve performance and stamina. I wonder if at the 2016 Rio Olympics we’ll see even more Athletes going Gluten free – and perhaps taking it one step further and adopting a Paleo Diet?

US Swimmer Dana Vollmer went gluten (and egg) free due to an intolerance, but apparently found it made a significant difference to her performance. She went on to win Gold (twice!) at the Olympics – I wonder how much of her win can be attributed to her diet?

Pole Vaulter Jenn Suhr went gluten-free just last year after being diagnosed with Celiac disease – and also won a gold medal…

Canadian Swimmer Nare Brannen went gluten-free on the advice of his coach last year – and has had minimal injuries, he believes, as a result.

If you’re an athlete, amateur or otherwise, I’d be very interested to hear what differences you noticed going gluten-free. Do you think there’s going to be a big increase in gluten-free (or better still Paleo) athletes by the time of the 2016 Rio Olympics? I’d love to hear your comments, below!

The first Australian Paleo Weekend Event Conference Retreat Primal Sydney Australia Seminar Expo-min

The 1st Australian Paleo Weekend!

Note: This is an old post – the next weekend has not yet been finalised, but please sign up to my newsletter if you are interested in the next event!

I’m very excited to announce the first Paleo Weekend in the Southern Hemisphere will be held on 12th & 13th May, 2012 on the beautiful Cockatoo Island, in Sydney Harbour.

Whether you’ve been living a Paleo lifestyle for a while, have been interested but are yet to dip your toes in – or are looking for a way to finally improve your health and fitness – this is the weekend for you!

I’ve got together some of the leading experts from this side of the World (including Jamie ScottDr Anastasia BoulaisJulianne Taylor and Dr Ron Ehrlich), to talk about all aspects of health, nutrition & fitness and to demonstrate and teach techniques to participants.  The Paleo Weekend will be held on 12th & 13th of May 2012, on Cockatoo Island in Sydney Harbour – an absolutely fantastic venue!  The weekend will be fully catered with an amazing Paleo menu.  There is also the exclusive option for a limited number of attendees to sleep on the island overnight, in pre-erected luxury tents (it doesn’t get much more Primal than that!).

The first Australian Paleo Weekend Event Conference Retreat Primal Sydney Australia Seminar Expo-min

Attendees will: –

·         Learn about Paleo nutrition and health
·         Have the opportunity to quiz the experts,
·         Learn through a demonstration session how to cook quick and healthy Paleo meals,
·         Learn how to get on the fast track to peak sporting performance, by opening the door to their mind
·         Learn barefoot running techniques
·         Enjoy an early morning yoga session on the harbour shore to kick start the day
·         Enjoy a social Paleo feast on the Saturday night with like-minded new friends
·         Have the unique opportunity to sleep on the island
·         Enjoy fantastic Paleo meals prepared for them
·         Enjoy a life changing Paleo Weekend in a unique venue like no other!

Sessions Include: –

Cookery Demonstration; learn how to cook quick and easy Paleo meals at home

Barefoot running technique

Early morning Yoga overlooking the harbour

Fitness techniques – learn how to improve your technique and fitness – details to be announced

Paleo Nutrition lectures – on a variety of topics to be announced soon

Paleo Health lectures – on a variety of topics to be announced soon

Learn how to achieve improved health results & how to get on the fast track to peak sporting performance, by opening the door to your mind

Ticket prices are currently on sale at an early bird discounted rate until 31st March.  

Numbers are strictly limited due to the island licensing – so book yours today to avoid missing out!

Read more about the Paleo Weekend

I can’t wait to hear your thoughts about this exciting event!

The Unexpected Way I’ve Improved my Training Performance paleo primal crossfit mindset gym fitness mental attitude-min

The Unexpected Way I’ve Improved my Training Performance

Since I started considering the mental aspect to Training, I’ve found I can achieve more reps, better reps, faster reps and lift heavier weights.  It still amazes me how much of the hard work is down to my mind and not my body.

I thought I was doing everything well in my Training Sessions; I had the right mental attitude, the right pre and post workout Paleo nutrition and was focusing on good form in everything I did.  Well, almost everything…

I’ve been talking about the mental aspects of training at great length with a friend, who recently came along to an interval training session with me.  After the session he commented that he’d noticed in the rest between activities, my posture completely changed.  I would put my hands on my knees and look towards the ground.  I hadn’t realised I adopted this position until it was pointed out, but after noticed that it was my default rest position after a high intensity set.  I also noticed when forced to pause a run by traffic lights, I’d also drop my shoulders and look to the ground.

I’ve been noticing a lot of other people in the gym adopt their own version of negative posture during their sessions too – sometimes even sitting down or lying in a heap on the floor!  It seems I wasn’t alone.

The Unexpected Way I’ve Improved my Training Performance paleo primal crossfit mindset gym fitness mental attitude-min

“Slumped” positions like this enable the muscles to relax, which feels like a good idea, especially during a hard tabata session.  However, it’s logical that putting the body in this position signals that you are tired and resting.  When the rest ends a few seconds later, this is not an easy position to come back strong from.  In this position, lung capacity is significantly smaller, making it harder to intake as much oxygen as the body requires – making the rest period even less effective – and the following activities that much harder.

Since this revelation, it has been so easy to change my posture in the rest between high intensity activities.  As soon as I have finished my reps I stand up straight and tall looking straight ahead, never down.  I’ve found this posture makes me feels strong, focused and ready to get onto the next exercise.  It’s actually hard to think negative thoughts about being worn out and not able to lift any more when I adopt this posture.

How is your posture between sets?  Have you found changing how you stand – or think – has improved your performance?

7 Habits of highly healthy people-min

7 Habits of Highly Healthy People

Since I’ve taken such a keen interest in my health over the last couple of years, and particularly since I’ve adopted a Paleo lifestyle I’ve come to be surrounded by more and more healthy people.  It doesn’t take long to realise that these people have a lot in common.  I’ve been trying to understand exactly what they do differently, so that I can try to adopt these habits myself.

7-Habits-of healthy people paleo-min

1.  View food as nutrition and fuel.

Healthy people see food purely as a means of providing their bodies with the fuel and nutrients they need – not for pleasure and enjoyment.  They are never obsessed with where their next meal is coming from and with constant thoughts of their favourite type of junk food.

2.  Prioritise healthy lifestyle above all other distractions

Healthy people have their health as their number one priority.  This makes it easy for them to decline social invitations that they know will mean poor nutrition, poor sleep and a hard training session the next day.  They constantly keep their focus on their health, instead of being easily tempted by distractions that go against these aims.

3.  Consistently get adequate sleep & get up early

I’m realising more and more how crucial sleep is to leading a healthy lifestyle.  Healthy people almost always seem to have a routine of getting up early and going to bed early (because they know they can’t burn the candle at both ends).  Going to bed earlier means being more organised with evening meals and of course, not staying out all night on social events.  Consistently having proper rest allows the body to recover and recharge ready for the next day.  Sleep also seems to have crucial roles in how the body stores fat as well as willpower and concentration.

4.  Surround themselves with healthy people.

Healthy people tend to have healthy friends.  Having a circle of healthy friends means meals out and social events will be based around healthy food and activities.  A group of friends with a similar outlook will also serve to inspire and motivate.

5.  Seamlessly integrate fitness into their daily routines

Fit people don’t have to rearrange their day and cancel arrangements to squeeze some exercise into their day.  They have established routines that centre around fitness.  For example, getting up early every morning to get some training in before work or walking to work.  They will routinely take the stairs instead of the lift – and perhaps even work at a standing desk!

6.  Results not excuses

Successful, healthy people don’t make excuses.  It might be raining, they might be tired, they might have an important meeting, or a friend visiting.  It makes no difference.  They will still eat well and exercise.  They won’t allow these factors to impact their life.  The motivation to stay fit and healthy is far more significant to them than the temptation to give into any excuses.

7.  Healthy self image

Crucially, healthy people seem to visualise themselves as just that, fit and healthy.  Those who are not yet there, may instead visualise themselves as unfit, unhealthy and overweight – all negative connotations that can only hinder their efforts.

Do you agree with my observations?  Have you noticed any other traits healthy people seem to have in common?

Ido Portal Movement Culture event conference classes australia sydney

Ido Portal – Paleo Fitness

With MovNat coming to Australia in March – and founder Erwan Le Corre teaching at PrimalCon in April – it really is the year of natural movement. Get ready for Ido Portal!

I’ve recently found out about Ido Portal.  His YouTube videos show the most incredible movement, strength and balance.  You can’t watch these videos and not be completely in awe – he makes the movements look so effortless.  My handstand push-up ambition just doesn’t quite cut the mustard anymore!

As all the Paleo & related experts do eventually, Ido Portal is coming to Australia!  He’s taking a two day workshop on the 25th & 26th February, at Elements of Movement, CrossFit Sydney.

Better get practicing…

Ido Portal Movement Culture event conference classes australia sydney

Mental Toughness paleo diet workout exercise fitness mindset-min

Mental Toughness

I got to the gym a few times a week, where I do lots of strength work.  This is a great complement to my Paleo diet and is making so many positive changes.  I’ve been giving lots of thought lately to what goes through my mind in the middle of a really hard set.  When I first started, I used to think

“This is so hard, I can’t do it, I want to stop”

And guess what, as soon as I allowed those thoughts to enter my head I did stop!  This is clearly not a helpful thought to allow.  I’ve noticed on the Biggest Loser that a few of the contestants have that defeatist “can’t do” attitude in training.  When they think they can’t do it, it always seems to become a self fulfilling prophecy.

Once I realise how damaging this attitude was,  I tried to distract myself from what I was actually doing, to not allow myself to think how heavy the kettlebell was and how much I wanted to stop the reps.  Thinking about my plans for the weekend or planning my next holiday was a far better strategy than focusing on how hard the set was, but I still felt I could do better, especially in terms of technique.  I don’t want to “just do” a set after all, I want to do it with good form.

Mental Toughness paleo diet workout exercise fitness mindset-min

 

I’ve been trying lots of different mind strategies myself, but the most enlightening thing has been speaking to the fit and strong people in my life and asking them exactly what they think about when the going gets tough.  I’ve been really interested in the answers they’ve given me, and have been trying out a different mental attitude in each of my gym sessions lately.  I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the strong, fit people have devised such good mental strategies.

Kevin suggested I repeat the mantra “this is easy” with every rep – which is the exact opposite to what I used to say!  This immediately made a big difference.

My PT Karl tells me he focuses on how much he enjoys a difficult set.  I’m not quite at this stage yet, but I will get there!

I asked an Iron Woman what she does in the middle of a 180km cycle, when it starts to feel really difficult.  She looked at me in surprise and said she can’t let herself think it’s getting difficult.  She has no option but to continue cycling – or she won’t get home!  She focuses on the cycling, her technique and on cycling home.

A PT friend said he feels the set doesn’t get going until it starts to get difficult, perhaps not until rep seven.  At this stage he tells himself this is where he’s making the difference in his muscles, so he focuses on making these reps as perfect form as possible.  The harder it gets, the more he focuses on his form.

Trying to copy these strategies is helping significantly with my training.  But I still want to understand the mind set of more fit, strong people.  I’d love to hear your mind strategy – how do you get through a hard training session?  What goes through your mind?