Struggling with your sleep? Read this………

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I’ve had lots of sleepless nights over the years….

…….take a naturally overactive mind, a tendency for a high caffeine intake, add in all the stress/worry/fears that come with age (it happens) and I have a recipe that will keep me up all night, if I let it.

There’s nothing worse than not sleeping……laid there ‘trying’ to sleep, or ‘trying’ to relax, the end result is often anything but……

And what about how you feel the next day after a broken nights sleep?

Every little issue is amplified, you far feel more emotional when tired, & you lose your temper far quicker and a lot easier.

On a practical level of planning/preparing your meals, starting your day in a fatigued state can lead to cravings and a huge instability in energy levels. This will do nothing but disrupt your lifestyle and hinder your progress.

Have you ever tried to cook, from scratch, a balanced and nutritionally sound meal when overly fatigued?

In this tired state the likelihood of reaching for that ‘quick fix’ is far greater, cue the increased desire for the pizza. Hormonally speaking, your body also reaches for these quick fixes for a reason.

Ideally, how you eat should help to stabilize your energy levels and you want to avoid any peaks and troughs throughout the day. A lack of sleep can quickly lead to a downward spiral if you let it. In turn, this can create a huge negative effect on your mindset, whilst also killing your results in the gym.

Trust me; I’ve been there, sometimes I’m very much still there.

In my experience, most people consider that to improve their health and/or their physique, then they have accepted they need to exercise. They may have also considered that they need to make changes to their eating pattern, but few consider the true application of rest & quality sleep.

Sleep is comprised of 4 main stages, the most commonly talked about/discussed being R.E.M (rapid eye movement). This stage is often associated with dreaming but has also been linked to memory improvement and retention.

I’ve wrote about sleep before, but today I want to give you some practical tips, and share some of things I do to help myself. Listed below is what would be my ideal routine.

First off, if you are struggling to sleep, I would consider looking at quality over quantity. In my opinion, 5-6 hours of uninterrupted sleep will always beat 8 hours of broken & stressed sleep. You need to find your own required amount that leaves you feeling rested, refreshed, and ready for your day.

1) Have a ‘cut off’ point for caffeine intake during the day. I try to make this 5pm, for yourself you may wish to make it earlier in the day.

2) Make your last main meal of the day balanced. What I mean by this is have meal that contains protein, carbohydrate & fat. Carbs help to release serotonin; these are the ‘feel good’ chemicals that help you relax.

Note: if you are struggling with sleep & you are on a low carb diet, this could be why. If you are concerned about overdoing your carb intake for the day, just reduce the amount from another meal throughout your day. Rice/Beans are an ideal choice, as is a bowl of porridge. This may seem strange or potentially go against what you have been led to believe, but if what you are currently doing isn’t helping, perhaps its time for change?

3) Depending on when you consume the previously mentioned meal, consider having either cottage cheese or Greek yoghurt (Fage would be my suggested brand of choice) about 1 hour before bed. If you are genuinely full/not hungry, don’t do this, don’t force it, doing so wont help.

4) Read a book 30 mins prior to going to sleep opposed to TV or scrolling through your IPhone or IPad.

5) Drink Chamomile tea whilst reading your book.

6) OPTION: you may wish to supplement with ZMA. This is taken orally and consists of Zinc, Magnesium, & Copper. These minerals can help your body to relax/combat stress. I have found this has helped, not necessarily to ‘get’ me to sleep, but to maintain my sleep.

5) Get your bedroom as dark as possible, think batcave!

6) You may wish to download some relaxing sounds. There are many apps available. Select one that can be played on timer, I personally opt for rain/thunderstorms.

Note: if you choose to do this on your IPhone, place the phone face down, & turn your phone to airplane mode.

7) Experiment with wearing an eye mask. This is something I’d never done until it was introduced to me last year. Whilst you don’t want to get reliant on wearing one every night of your life, and it may not be the sexiest of items, it may help you, as it has me.

8) If you wake up with a sudden panic or fear, try to remain calm. This is normal, we all have these moments, if it is worry that has awoken you, try writing it down. Don’t use your phone, use pen & paper; leave it by your bedside.

9) If you do wake up, don’t look at your phone or turn it over to look at the time. This will only add to your worry, and create further tension as you start to mentally ‘count down’ the hours until you have to be up.

If your sleep or lack of is becoming a real issue, there is absolutely no shame in going to see your doctor. I’ve done it myself. It’s important to address an issues you may have, not doing so will hold you back, not only in the gym but in all other aspects of your life.

Try some of the above practical tips first, see how you get on. I hope they help, let me know.

Until the next time,

Tristan ‘sleep tight; don’t let the bed bugs bite’ Buttle.

 

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How to eat porridge without feeling like Oliver Twist……………………….

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Eating clean/healthy is bland & boring………………..

Is it?

This is the typical perception, am I right?

Bland, flavourless, beige food, with no colour & no flavour, just eat, chew, repeat……… This is especially true when it comes to breakfast, particularly with reference to good old porridge oats………

This doesn’t have to be the case my friend………….

First up, I’d just like to start by saying that personally, I’m not keen on labelling ANY food as GOOD or BAD…I don’t believe that’s healthy……

…..think of it as good or bad CHOICES opposed to good or bad foods.

………For example, having birthday cake on your birthday isn’t bad is it? But having birthday cake every day becomes a bad choice……………Anyway, I digress…

So basically you CAN eat whatever you decide/desire…but when it comes to condiments/sauces/flavours, you may find that banging a load of your fav sauce on your meals may create a larger dent in your total daily calorie intake that you realise.

But if you want to be able to stomach your porridge without feeling like Oliver Twist, read on…………

Firstly, you may think me about talking about porridge oats is a bit typical/cliché/boring?

Perhaps, however: 1) Oats are a great source of carbohydrate.2) Oats are cheap. 3) Oats are quick.

By the way, for the sake of this, I’m talking about actual porridge oats, not the pre flavoured stuff which will quickly ramp your daily sugar content up….

If I’m having carbs as part of my routine with breakfast, I personally weigh out the oats I need the night before (I typically have 100 grams, you will probably not need this much)…this makes my morning routine easier……tip: get some digital scales.

I don’t soak them or any of that business….just a dry measure in a bowl, ready for the following morning….

Add water, stir, microwave for 90 secs- done… simple…

Now for the flavour:

I personally mix in 1 scoop of whey protein (you may not need a full scoop, especially if you are having fewer oats) into the cooked oats…I’m a chocolate flavour kind of guy….. Always look for quality, & a reputable brand when choosing your whey.

Next up, sprinkle some cinnamon into the mix…. Massive health benefits, tastes like Christmas, what’s not to like?!

Nearly there….meant to say earlier, you need to purchase some frozen berries (cheaper than fresh, won’t go off & some actually have lower kcal count than their fresh counterparts)…measure out what you need the night before & leave to defrost overnight in the fridge…

Chuck the berries into the porridge & you have yourself a meal!

No beige, lots of flavour & colour greater nutritional value, higher protein & higher antioxidant content… bang on!

Give it a whirl; let me know how you get on…

That’s all for today, until the next time,

Tristan ‘quaker’ Buttle.

P.S – if you’ve got any ideas yourself, let me know……………..

Sanity over vanity…………….

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Sanity over vanity………….

The best/most rewarding workouts (in my humble opinion) are not the ones when you are all fired up, ‘in the zone’, & beating all your personal bests……

It’s the workouts you do on the days when you are tired, you can’t be arsed, you are stressed, you feel over worked (maybe under paid) your kids are acting up, your ex is giving you hassle, or you where awake with worry the night before that are the most rewarding….

Those days where you could have easily stopped & you where lucky to even have got started…..

But you DID… You where not beaten, you didn’t stop, you made it through….you faced it head on….& you didn’t back down.

You kept moving forward…….this is why you do it…

With age often comes responsibility…with responsibility often (not automatically) comes the potential for higher stress levels….

Your time becomes far more valuable…..am I right?

These workouts become much more than ‘losing weight’ or ‘toning up’…

>They become your expression.

>They become your freedom.

>They become your ‘me’ time.

>They become your release.

>They become much more about sanity & a lot less about vanity.

This is, of course, only my opinion….

Do you agree? Let me know…

Until the next time,

Tristan ‘sanity over vanity’ Buttle

P.S – As ever, if you need anything at all, just holla at me………………………….

I’ll have Fish & a Rice Cake………………….

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>At 8 o’clock I’ll have fish & a rice cake…………

>At 10 o’clock I’ll have fish……

>At 12 o’clock I’ll have fish…………… & a rice cake

>At 2’clock I’ll have fish………

>At 4 o’clock before train I’ll have fish & a rice cake…………

After I train I’ll have my fish, then I’ll have some more fish with a rice cake……………..

>Then I’ll have some fish before I go to bed…………….

No, this is NOT my daily routine!

……. It’s an excerpt from an old documentary on aspiring bodybuilder Danny Andrews that has since become a bit of an internet sensation!

The above run down was Danny’s answer when asked about his nutrition/diet at the time…………

Fish……….

& a rice cake.

Or fish………

Or a rice cake.

Bit much?

Ha, definitely!!………..

Anyway, I’m using this somewhat extreme example to highlight how there can be a huge misconception that eating ‘healthy’ or ‘clean’ has to be boring or monotonous…..this simply doesn’t have to be the case!

I want to tell you today that you categorically do not have to live on the same meals on repeat day in, day out!

You can have variety, and you can mix it up!

Leaving on the SAME meals, MULTIPLE times a day is sure-fire recipe to boredom, driving yourself insane and is totally & completely unrealistic………

Get creative: there is NO need to simply live on chicken and broccoli (or fish & a rice cake) 4 times a day!

My advice would be to learn how to cook in different styles & try new things. Try to embrace change in the kitchen, get social and involve your friends/partner/husband/wife and kids in the creative process.

If you are stuck for ideas or ways to increase your protein content in your diet, give me a shout, I’ll fire you some ideas to keeps things fresh.

That’s all for today, until the next time,

Tristan ‘& a rice cake’ Buttle.

P.S – here’s the link to the original excerpt, so you can see Danny giving us his rundown:

Feeling lost? Read this……………

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I’m a geek……….

At times, I can be a right geek………especially when it comes to movies….

Anyway, I had a chilled out night last, just a lazy one on the sofa after going out socialising Friday eve, just me and X Men on blu ray….told you I’m a geek….

It was the latest X men movie ‘days of future past’ I wont go into the full plot or characters. For the sake of today you just need to know that the heroes are required to go back in time to change the fate of several decisions that ultimately lead to the extinction of all the X men & their kind…..

Kind of like Back to the Future 2, but with super heroes…. kind of…

During one key scene, Charles Xavier, the leader/founder of the X men, is required to literally have a conversation with his younger self and it is this scene that I want to share with you today:

Young Charles is greeted by the future world of destruction & chaos………….the chat is as follows:

Young Charles: So this what becomes of us. Eric was right. Humanity does this to us.

Old Charles: Not if we show them a better past.

Young Charles: You still believe?

Old Charles: Just because someone stumbles and loses their way, it doesn’t mean they’re lost forever. Sometimes we need a little help.

Young Charles: I’m not the man I was. I open my mind and it almost overwhelms me.

Old Charles: You’re afraid, & Cerebro knows it.

Young Charles: In all those voices…so much pain.

Old Charles: It’s not their pain you’re afraid of — it’s yours. And frightening as it can be, their pain will make you stronger if you allow yourself to feel it. Embrace it. It will make you more powerful than you ever imagined. It’s the greatest gift we have that can bear pain without breaking, and it’s born from the most human power: Hope. Please Charles, we need you to hope again………….

……………I’m sure you can apply this to yourself?

>We have ALL stumbled at times…………

>We have ALL lost our way at times……….I’m sure you have? Maybe you feel a little lost now right now?

Just like Charles says, it can all get very overwhelming; it can get too painful that we don’t know where to start, so we don’t, we block it out, or at least we try to…we bury it, but its still there……..deep down……..all this does it create further doubt, doubt that we carry into every other aspect of our lives, whether we know it or not……….

We ALL need a little help at times, you are not expected to tackle your goals and face your fears alone…it’s ok to be afraid, it’s part of what makes you human….

You are stronger than you believe you are, in every sense of the word. It’s ok to not always be ok, but you absolutely must not ever give up on yourself…….and you must have hope….

You may be facing struggles right now as you read this, if not I guarantee you know someone who is?

I want you be strong for that person, help them, and like Charles says bear their pain….

If you are struggling, please don’t give up on your goals, don’t give up on yourself, but most of all I need you to one thing for me………..

I need YOU to hope….can you do that?

That’s all for today, until the next time,

Tristan ‘X’ Buttle.

P.S – If I can help you with anything, please do give me a shout. If you know anyone who may benefit from reading this, please share & spread the word.

Thank you.

Here’s what I learnt from going out last night…………………….

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Here’s what I learnt from my night out………………

How you doing?

Are you loving this weather?

Incredible, right?

Anyway, I went out last night…..

I was at one of best mates charity football night in conjunction with teenage cancer trust…………

…………great laughs, great catch up, few drinks (not too crazy) lots of banter, all for a great cause………part of the evening included a presentation for the players, acknowledging their achievements on the pitch & their contributions to the team.

This got me thinking about you & your goals……….

>When was the last night you celebrated your success?

>When was the last time you where good to yourself because you truly deserved it?

All too often we focus on what we HAVENT done & what we are YET to do, we beat ourselves up so much that we sometimes forget have far we have come……..we forget what we HAVE achieved along the way……..

This applies to all areas of your life, not just your health & fitness goals……

It’s ok to give yourself a pat on the back now & again………….

Consider what you HAVE done, what you have been through…………I guarantee you will have achieved more than you give yourself credit for……….

I’m all for moving the goal posts & encourage you to keep pushing forward, just don’t beat yourself up chasing endless goals & forget all that you have achieved so far……….

Until the next time,

Tristan ‘big pat on the back’ Buttle.

p.s- as eve, if I can be of any help with your goals, please give me a shout. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

They are so in love……………………

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Have you ever looked at another couple & thought this to yourself, or perhaps said it out loud?

Have you been in the company of someone else who has said this about another couple?

What about….

‘He/She is so happy…….’

Or

‘They have the perfect lifestyle….’

Perhaps…..

‘He/She is so lucky…….’.

Or

‘He/She looks amazing’…

Comparison of everything/everyone is more evident in 2015 as we live in the age of social media.

If we choose to, we see on a pretty much daily basis:

>Photos (whether it’s a new car, a new job, a new body, holiday snap shots, wedding pics, photos of cute babies or pets)

>Status updates (stating they have the best partner/kids/wife/husband in the world, or how they have ‘killed the gym’ or lost x amount of weight or landed their ideal job)

>‘Check ins’ at fancy places (restaurants, bars, airports, concerts, etc etc).

We all like to share our happiness, our success, our wins, and our experiences…..

However, for some, comparison can lead to misery….

Constantly comparing your life to that of others, especially via social media is a sure fire way to drive yourself down….

The thing is with social media, is that it’s very often the highlight reel of life, the greatest hits, the ‘best of’…I get it, it should be, it should be positive, and all of the above memories should be shared…just take it with a tall glass of perspective….

…….We ALL have struggles, we ALL stress, we ALL have arguments, we ALL face fears, we ALL face doubt & fear, we ALL need help with at least area of our life…

You need to compare yourself to yourself…

How are YOU doing?

Are YOU happy?

What can YOU do to work on YOUR goals?

Celebrate the success of your friends, and those around you, but dont let it make you question yourself in negative way…like I said, we ALL have struggles, we just don’t always see those in between the highlight reel….

That’s all for today, until the next time

Tristan ‘greatest hits’ Buttle.

P.S – Nothing today, thanks for checking.