Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Is it really Butter?

Did you know the use of Butter goes back to prehistoric times....
The cream from the milk is separated, fermented, then beaten to form butter ... something I remember my Gran telling me about from the days when she was a little girl.

Food for thought.......if a child was found to be intolerant to cow's milk, the advice given to farmers was to separate one of the cows from the herd and only feed it on good quality hay, excluding grain and silage .... this in turn removed the intolerant reaction to cow's milk for the child .....simple really.

The way butter is made has changed somewhat over the years, purely for ease of producing large quantities with as little overhead as possible.

This does change the composition of butter, rendering the vitamins and nutrients useless.

Simple correlation:
Quality animal nutrition -> quality milk -> quality cream -> QUALITY BUTTER!!

Learn More ....HERE....

Quality .... READ...

Friday, November 02, 2007

Sounds a bit Fishy to me ......

Where: air, water and soil
State: Metallic mercury is a shiny, silver-white, odorless liquid.
Reactivity: Heat -> colorless, odorless gas
Other elements -> powders or crystals
Uses: Thermometers, dental fillings, batteries, skin creams, ointments.

Mercury can pass through the food chain and build up in fish, shellfish and animals that eat fish.

Exposure to high levels of mercury can damage the brain and kidneys.

Follow THIS link for more about mercury

Is FISH as healthy as all the hype makes out?

Despite all the hype about how fish is great for vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids, most fish contain some level of mercury due to an abundance of pollutants.

Elemental mercury from rocks and soil exists naturally in lakes and streams. This is converted to organic methylmercury, which binds tightly to the proteins in fish tissue and is concentrated in fish higher up the food chain.

When consumed it is toxic to humans because it is very hard for the body to eliminate. This allows it to build up in the system where it can eventually affect the central nervous system.

Exposure to methylmercury / mercury largely through fish consumption. The toxin accumulates in fish, as it does in humans, therefore big fish that eat other fish typically contain high levels of mercury. This includes meatier fish such as swordfish, shark, mackerel, and tuna. Swordfish had the highest correlation with mercury levels out of the 30 fish used in the study. Fish that generally have low levels of mercury include salmon, flounder, cod, catfish and trout.

Find out MORE .....

And a bit MORE .....

Sweet Enough?

Here are a couple of things to think about with regard to sweetners.....

We have the caloric and non caloric sweetner, the former providing 4 calories per gram and the latter zero calories per gram.

Caloric sweetners are made from processing sugar or occur naturally, used for preservatives, flavour enhancers the list goes on.

Non caloric sweetners will provide the sweet taste without the calories, and are produced chemically .....

HERE's the Science bit ... here you will find a list of processed and naturally occuring sugars.....interesting.....

One of the most widely used sweetners we know of is SPLENDA which is the

" ......brand name for sugar-derivative sucralose, is converted from cane sugar to a no-calorie sweetener. It isn't recognized as sugar by the body and therefore is not metabolized."

Dr Mercola is an osteopathic physician, health activist, and entrepreneur.

He is the founder and editor of the popular website where he advocates dietary and lifestyle approaches to health criticizing many of the practices of mainstream medicine and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

If you try and perform a search on "Sucralose" .... you will get the following "Page unavailable" message:

HERE's a quick preview of the page.

Tests on animals showed Sucralose presented with many problems ranging from shrunken ovaries, anaemia, low growth rate in new borns ..... the list goes on.....

Check out what Dr Mercola has to say about it HERE

Monday, October 29, 2007

Cell Phones and Brain Tumours...

It seems that TV drama's on this subject may have more truth about them than we care to admit, certainly more than our friendly mobile phone service providers would care to share.
A recent study by Swedish researchers has found disturbing links between long-term (over a ten-year period) cell phone usage and the appearance of both benign and difficult to treat malignant gliomas.

Not surprisingly, this information has not been widely publicised by the media here in the U.K and many people continue to spend long periods on their phones oblivious to the potential dangers.

Hardell and his team identified 18 studies of brain tumor risk among long-term cell phone users, 11 of which provided data for 10 years or longer. When the findings were analyzed collectively, the researchers found people who used cell phones for at least a decade had a 2.4-fold greater risk of acoustic neuromas and were twice as likely to develop gliomas.

As usual the healthy disclaimer of 'more research is needed' is given - but this is nonetheless a worrying observation....

Read the Reuters News feature HERE.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Monday, July 02, 2007

Sea Bass with Orange, Watercress, and Fennel Salad

You haven't been treated to a recipe for a while I
know. I am currently in Scotland and have climbed Ben
Nevis today, it's very big! Summer is lovely for
trying new dishes and eating healthily is easier as
you can have lots of salads and eat lighter food.

This month I wanted to do a simple salad with a nice
piece of steamed fish, I am using Sea Bass but you can
use any firm white fish.

Steamed Bass with Orange, Watercress and Fennel Salad

For 2 Persons

2 x Fillets of Sea Bass (Skin on, trimmed and pin
1 Fennel Bulb
1 Orange - peeled
2 Handfuls of Watercress
4 Tbsp Extra Vurgin Olive Oil
Juice & Zest of 1 orange reduced in a pan by half
Sea Salt & Black Pepper

First of all slice the fennel very thinly, preferably
on a mandolin, remove any dirty outer parts and remove
the thin greener parts.

Bring a pan of water to the boil and place in a
steamer tray or a small plate balanced above the
water. Season the fish and steam in the pan with a lid
on for about 5 minutes until firm.

Thinly slice the peeled orange, as thin as you can get
it. Drizzle half the oil over the fennel and season
and place on a plate alternately with the orange
slices. Dress the watercress with the orange zest,
juice and season and place on top of the fennel and
orange slices.

Place the bass next to the salad, and believe me it is
fabulous for summer.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Chef Edward is back...

Grilled Chicken and Avocado Salad

It's good to be back, I hope you all enjoyed Graeme's recipe last month, but I think we should let the proper cooking begin again!

Quick, tasty and Healthy! That is what we would all LIKE to cook everyday, but quick often means unhealthy as does tasty and healthy often means lots of time. Well that's not always the case; it is usually about thinking differently about your approach to food. Instead of frying or try steaming, grilling or poaching - all great ways of cooking. This months recipe uses grilled chicken and with plenty of flavour you will need less oil and less salt.

Salads for me are about creating lots of textures as well as flavours in one bowl, this one hits the spot.

Serves 2

2 Chicken Breasts - Skinless
1 Hass Avocado
1 Handful Fresh Coriander
Juice 1 Lime
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1 Bag Mixed Salad of your choice
2 tbsp toasted Cashew nuts
1 Fresh Chilli - sliced
1 tbsp Fish Sauce
Fresh pepper

Start by pre-heating your grill and slicing you chicken into strips and seasoning with pepper, grill your chicken for about 2-3 minutes on either side or until cooked, it should be firm to the touch. Ensure your salad is cleaned and dried and placed in a bowl along with the coriander leaves. Peel and slice the avocado and add to the salad along with the Cashews and Chilli. Combine the oil, fish sauce, lime juice and any juices from the cooked chicken and mix well with the other ingredients. Divide into two bowls and top with the grilled chicken. Very quick and simple, lots of textures and flavours, very healthy and not too pricy.

See you all next month.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

New Course Dates

We are pleased to announce forthcoming dates for the following courses...

"Inside the Core" a three hour dissection of the core area. March 15th 1.30 - 4.30p.m

"Inside the Leg and Foot" a dissection of the lower limb. April 30th 1.30 - 4.30p.m

Both workshops cost £90

Here is the synopsis for the "Inside the Core" day, for more information drop us an email at

Inside The Core – A journey beneath the skin

Inside the core offers you the fascinating opportunity to take a journey beneath the skin and view the anatomy of the human body close up.

This unique course, led by a Professor of Pathology, will broaden your appreciation of human movement and function and bring to life anatomy diagrams and books in a way simply not possible elsewhere.

Inside the Core is a three-hour dissection of a human cadaver, concentrating on the ‘core’ of the body. Principally you will get to view, touch, and ask questions about key abdominal and pelvic musculature such as the following:

Transversus Abdominis - see how small and thin this muscle actually is and how it could never be solely responsible for spinal stability

External and Internal Obliques – View the way these muscles criss-cross the abdomen providing structural cross-bridging and reinforcement to the torso.

Psoas – See this powerful muscle of the hip in close up and realise why it is so critical in spinal function.

Thoracolumbar Fascia – Feel first hand how tough connective tissue can be and why fascia is so key to understanding core stability.

This course will lift your appreciation of true core stability to a new level and will change the way you think about abdominal and core training. It is ideal for anyone who operates in improving or treating functional performance, whether in the clinical environment or the fitness industry. Previous attendees have been physiotherapists, personal trainers, chiropractors, pilates teachers, osteopaths, yoga teachers, sports masseuses, and bodywork therapists.

To book on, or for more information please contact

Course is 3 hours long and at a SW London hospital easily accessed by public transport.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Article - Fat Loss and Thermogenics

Here is a recent piece from Personal Training on the Net that was written with the help of our nutritional therapist Angela Trisoglio. Angela and Graeme give us some insights on the thermogenic benefits of food for a post-natal client - how important is it actually??? How can you speed up the metabolism safely and effectively? Find out below.

For those new to the issues we are going to cover, we should first review some basic principles connected to diet and weight gain, also those of thermogenics.
Whenever we eat, our body can either burn the energy, or store it. As well as through voluntary physical exertion, we also use energy to maintain our daily bodily functions (our metabolism or basal metabolic rate) and to process the food we eat (thermogenics).
Of the three main macronutrients in our diet – carbohydrate, protein, and fat – the one with the greatest thermic response is Protein, meaning that we will require more calories to process a protein heavy meal than a fat or carbohydrate based one.
What we eat also has other impacts. Insulin is a key hormone in the weight gain/loss situation and its presence in the body is greatly affected by diet. Too much insulin will cause large swings in blood sugar and cause a storing of fat. Excess amounts can also prevent existing fat stores from being broken down for energy.
There are two main ways to affect insulin release. We can either avoid foods with a high glycaemic index (quickly raising blood sugar and triggering a large insulin release in response) or we can mix higher GI foods with protein to slow their release into the body. Eating small meals regularly with a good protein source in each can help control blood sugar levels and has the added benefit of increasing metabolism.
There are many foods that are associated with an increased thermic effect aside from protein, and if you have ever been out for a hot curry then you will probably know a few. Many nutritionists would argue that when it comes to thermic foods, most people would be better served concentrating on getting their actual diet sorted before concentrating on the smaller details, but every little helps right? All your choices are known for being thermogenic in action, as are cider vinegar, guarana and cayenne pepper as well, though they are all a bit of acquired taste. Fennel is also a useful food choice for suppressing appetite and removes fat from the intestinal tract.

There are many hormonal and metabolic changes both during and after pregnancy. Thyroid function may well have been affected and if so this will have a significant effect on her ability to shift weight due to its effect on metabolism. Supplements typically used to address this are iodine and tyrosine. However, iodine can easily be toxic in excess and should be prescribed under the care of a nutritional therapist if thyroid problems are diagnosed.

Excess weight gain round the waist, or an inability to loose this, can be an indication of a cortisol imbalance. Ironically, many weight loss supplements that ramp up metabolism actually increase cortisol levels and should not be used excessively as long-term they will almost certainly be detrimental. Excess cortisol results in the typical ‘apple’ shape (rather than the ‘pear’ shape weight gain on hips and thighs usually indicative of oestrogen dominance). To verify levels, and imbalances, of the adrenal hormones such as cortisol – a simple saliva test can be carried out, called the Adrenal Stress Index, available through Nutritional therapists. There are many possible supplements available to help with this and for more guidance check out the book “The Cortisol Connection” by Shawn Talbot.

Other supplements you might consider are –

- Glutamine: Increases glucose to the brain and therefore may stave hunger.
- L-carnitine: Has the ability to break up fat deposits and transport fatty acids for energy production.
- Tyrosine: May depress cravings in addition to helping with thyroid function. It also has antidepressant qualities. Not to be supplemented with an MAO inhibitor drug.
- 5 HTP or 5 hydroxytryptophan may decrease hunger by increasing serotonin to the brain. Not to be used with antidepressants however.

Supplements CAN really help for weight loss by promoting the body to burn more calories, especially the B vitamins that are involved in metabolising food for energy production. Vitamin C, which is necessary for glandular function, Choline and Inositol (B vits) may also help the body to burn fat and are required for its breakdown in the liver.
As well as the above amino acids, consider the use of an Omega 3 essential fat that can tap into the fat burning power of essential fats that prevent water retention (through prostaglandin production) and increase metabolism.
Finally I would be inclined to add some protein to her mid-morning snack. Keep fruit intake focused on low GI sources such as berries, peaches, apricots while moderating those such as bananas and mango, always eating them with a protein source to control their effect on blood sugar, perhaps suggest something like nuts or plain yoghurt for this.

There are many ways to increase thermogenics although you are only likely to see any effect if everything else in the diet is spot-on. Focus on getting major points right first (such as mid-morning snacks), protein at every meal (to balance blood sugar, and reducing high glycaemic carbohydrates (fruits, sugars, sweets etc).
Consider the use of a mixed essential fatty acid as these are safe, effective, and carry a wide range of health benefits. Also, consider other supplementations to help with possible hormonal issues with thyroid function or possible excess cortisol and you should be well on your way! However, be aware that supplementation needs to be used with care and similar to training and diet, it should be individualised. For optimum results at Aegis Training, we encourage our clients to work with our nutritional therapist who can provide a more targeted and effective nutritional plan.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

News - Egoscue Workshop photos

Egoscue P3 Workshop - Pictures

Check out some of the fun and games from the recent workshop held at the Aegis City studios last month. Everyone who took part in "Posture, Pain, and Performance" had a great time and we all learnt some new stuff to take forwards and use with our clients.
The Egoscue workshop focuses on a system of exercises designed to restore optimal movement patterns to the body.

If you fancy signing up for the next one, scheduled for march then drop us a line!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Article - How many reps should I be doing?

Q – I’ve recently started doing some weight training as part of my exercise routine but am a bit confused about how many repetitions I should do of my exercises, does it make a difference?

A – Absolutely, in fact the amount of repetitions you do for any given exercise is probably one of the most important factors in the success of your training programme, even if you are relatively new to using weights.
One of the most common mistakes that people make with their weight training is failing to change their routine often enough to keep the body changing. This happens because our body adapts to the challenge of a particular routine and no longer needs to change to perform it. By varying the amount of repetitions and sets you do, you can greatly improve results and also keep your workout varied and more interesting.
When you first start out, virtually any repetition range you use will result in some results, it is usually after 3-4 months when people stop seeing any changes. This is way too long to work the same programme and while changing exercises helps with variety, it won’t have the same effect as varying your repetitions.
However, there is also another factor that can make a real difference to the effect of your weight training and that is the speed at which you do each repetition. If you have a look around your local gym you will no doubt see everyone lifting weights at the same sort of speed – quickly.
Doing repetitions too fast reduces the amount of time that the muscle is under tension and often leads to people using momentum to move heavier weights with bad technique. This is a favourite for the men in the gym who are more concerned with how much they lift rather than how they lift it. As well as reducing the results you get, it can also lead to injured joints and poor movement patterns.
By controlling the speed you will not only challenge the muscle to work harder, but also improve your technique. Try lowering the same weight you currently use on an exercise for a count of 4 and then pausing for a count of 1 before raising it, I promise you will notice a big difference.

Here are my top tips for anyone starting out with weight training.
• Start out with 1-2 sets of higher repetitions, I’d recommend between 15 – 20.
• Control the speed you do the exercise, particularly the lowering part. Try lowering the weight for a count of 4 and feel the difference.
• Work the whole body each time you train using exercises like squats, press ups, and rowing movements, instead of bicep and tricep exercises.
• If you already have been training for several months, try varying the repetitions each time you workout. For example if you do 3 sets of 10 on a Monday, then try doing 2 sets of 20 on a Wednesday instead.
• The more reps you do, the less sets of each exercise you need.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

News - Advanced Functional Training Course

We are delighted to welcome the guys from 'Faster Health and Fitness' to Aegis Training on the 24th and 25th of February where they will be delivering their two-day course in Advanced Functional Training.
The course is taught by Chris Fitzgerald and John Hardy, both accomplished and experienced fitness professionals. Here's what they have to say about the course below...

“Functional Training” is the latest hot topic in the health and fitness industry, but function is not a new concept, and there much misinformation and confusion surrounding this subject.

Using the latest scientific research and training methods, FASTER’s Advanced Functional Trainer (AFT) Course aims to dispel some of the myths surrounding functional training. The course is aimed at Personal Trainers, therapists, sports coaches who already have existing knowledge of functional training, and are looking to enhance their clients’ movement potential. Participants will gain not only theoretical knowledge, but also a practical application using the core principles of functional training and conditioning.

The AFT Course covers 8 fundamental principles of function, “big rock” assessments, muscle activation, as well as FASTER’s unique 3 stage programme design system.

By the end of the course, students will have a clear understanding of the principles and application of functional movement for personal training including:

• Functional biomechanics and muscle function.
• Muscle Activation – the role of proprioceptors.
• Defining and recording exercises.
• Designing assessments to match the client.
• Designing a functional exercise programme.
• Reactivate-Construct-Refine.
• Movement Practical – 1000’s of new exercises.
• Strategies for keeping clients injury-free.
• A unique way of motivating clients to enjoy and perform in training.

Full course notes are provided.

Cost £400 (individual)
Call 0870 042 1275 or e-mail for group bookings and corporate rates.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Recipe - Pasta with Bacon and Cabbage

A Quick & light Pasta Dish for January with Bacon and

January is a difficult month, after the excesses of
Christmas and New Year everyone wants to start
healthily and lose any extra weight that may have been
found over the festive period.

So I want to show a simple pasta dish which takes as
long as the pasta takes to cook, yet is extremely
tasty and won’t leave you feeling guilty.

Serves 2 People

100g Wholemeal Penne Pasta per person
2 tbsp Fresh Parmesan
4 Rashers Smoked Bacon
1tbsp Olive Oil
1 Egg Yolk
¼ Savoy Cabbage – Thinly Shredded
Salt & Pepper

Place your dried pasta in a pan of boiling water and
cook as directed on the packet until al dente. While
the pasta is cooking chop the bacon into thin strips
and cook on a high heat with the oil and get some nice
colour on the bacon. Add the cabbage and 2 tbsp water
and stir for 5 minutes until the cabbage is mostly

Drain the pasta and add to the cabbage and bacon, add
the parmesan and mix well, add salt and pepper and
then add the egg yolk and mix vigorously; the yolk
will add a shine and coat the pasta adding a richness
and smooth texture. The yolk will cook enough with the
heat of the pasta.

This is really tasty and I have had it about four
times since new year, it is quick, simple and uses
ingredients which many of us have around.

Please enjoy and you will hear from me soon.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Sticking to your goals...

Each year thousands of people resolve to get in shape, or lose weight, only to end up giving up after a few months. To help you stick to this year’s resolution, try following my simple tips below.

Set Goals – Figure out what it is you want to achieve then write it down and keep it visible at home and at work. Make sure that the goals you set are specific and realistic as too many people aim too high or too wide and then lose motivation when they miss the target. Remember, you can always set new goals once you have achieved something.

Start slowly – If you haven’t been exercising for the past year (or even longer) then you need to get back into it gradually. Going to the gym every single day of the week and working out for two hours may be well intended but it is going to be virtually impossible to sustain and worse still, it’s likely to cause you injury and exhaustion. Progress your exercise as you go, and build up gradually to give the body time to adjust to new things.

Make a plan – You have probably heard that failing to plan is planning to fail? This is certainly true when it comes to exercise. But it doesn’t have to be rocket science. Simply planning when you are going to do your exercise during the oncoming week can avoid it from being left out of your busy life. Also, make a plan for what you are going to do, whether it is at the gym, outside, or just at home, write down what the plan for the workout is and stick to it. This way you’ll be able to keep a record of what you do and progress it as you go.

Find something you enjoy – You are far more likely to keep things up if they are fun to do. So, if you really don’t enjoy running on a treadmill at the gym, then run outside, or don’t run at all. Exercising should not be a chore, it should be rewarding and fulfilling. So to keep it going, find an activity that appeals to you or that is a new experience and go for it.

Reward yourself – We all need something to aim for when we are training. If you achieve what you set out to do then recognise that by rewarding yourself. For example, if you are still going to the gym after three months, then how about treating yourself to a spa day or a new outfit?

Get some help – You are not alone, plenty of people are starting to exercise every day and there are many different ways you can get support. Whether it means hiring a personal trainer, or just going swimming with a friend, it is a lot easier with someone else to keep you going.

Remember, whatever you do to stay healthy, have fun and good luck for 2007.

New Years false truths...

It is amazing how in the new year, so called "fitness guru's" are advertised by the newspapers as being London's top experts in the field. Yet, so many of these people are pedalling myths and false truths in an effort to promote their 'system' and guess who/what it is usually at the expense of - yes, weight training.
Today's Daily Mail had a body scuplting "expert guru" who tells us that her method does the following....

"Unlike gym-based exercise, it lengthens, as opposed to contracting muscles, making them lean not bulky. Pilates-devotees looking for a new challenge will love it"

Yup, how many times have we seen that one?

O.k, so just for a bit of fun, let's expose this ridiculous saying for the COMPLETE RUBBISH that it is!!

ANY muscle action involves contracting muscles, in fact we can't move without a muscle contracting....even stretching a muscle involves contracting another. These relationships are how are joints manage to stay in one place..if every muscle was long and loose then we'd end up with slack muscles everywhere and we wouldn't be able to move at all!
This long-touted belief that weight training leads to bulky, unattractive, inflexible muscles is one still held by many teachers of systems that have actually (in the case of Pilates) been born from strength training. It also shows a total ignorance of the wide range of exercises and outcomes that a well-designed weight training programme can address, choosing instead to focus on an outdated stereotypical idea of the overdeveloped and inflexible individual that is far from the reality.
While Pilates and it's associates do have many excellent benefits, it is essentially a system of training like any other. It is a shame that people have decided to take credible work and try to gain a commercial edge by using nothing short of "quackery" to sell their services.
It also betrays an inherent lack of understanding of exercise and muscle physiology. The fact is that ANY exercise done poorly can be detrimental to health. Perhaps the main problem with weight training is poorly performed exercises through incomplete ranges of movement leading to a loss of flexibility probably via muscle memory (thrixotropy). To avoid this simply ensure you work through a complete range of motion on each exercise.

A well-designed weight training programme can also do the following, many to far greater effect than other systems of exercise...

"sculpt" muscle
improve flexibility - YES I said IMPROVE flexibility
Strengthen bones, joints, and connective tissue as well as muscle
CORRECT imbalances
IMPROVE posture
Improve body composition
Develop fitness
Reverse disease
Maintain strength, power, range of movement, and muscle mass
Prevent many age-related declines in fitness...

and much, much, more....

Some food for thought....