Recently I have watched a programme on BBC regarding calories, what are the simple ways of losing weight and the importance of good and bad calories and I found it extremely interesting and informative.
The programme was presented by Dr Chris van Tulleken a doctor and a broadcaster. The programme was very well presented and explained by Dr Chris. It was straight to the point and easy to understand. So before writing this article I did some research on Dr Chris van Tulleken, to discover his amazing contribution to the world of global health.
Dr Chris and his identical twin brother Xand van Tulleken are both doctors and are both currently working on television projects examining different aspects of global health. They are two remarkably interesting people, the kind I would love to meet one day. If you wish to see their some of their work you can visit their website: www.vantullekenbrothers.com
CALORIES by Dr. van Tulleken for BBC:
1. Do we have to count calories?
It's common knowledge that if you eat more calories than your body needs you will gain weight. But counting calories accurately is difficult and time consuming.
The good news is that it is easy to make yourself 'calorie aware'. This basically means understanding roughly how many calories you need to consume each day and which foods are surprisingly high in calories.
But are all calories the same when it comes to weight gain and loss? And how much does exercise help? This guide explains the facts behind the myths
2. How do we lose weight?
It's important to have an idea of how many calories your body needs, based on your age, body size, sex and levels of physical activity. There are lots of online calorie calculators to help you do this.
The NHS advises that trying to lose about 0.5-1kg (1lb-2Ib) a week is a safe target for most people who need to lose weight. Do this until you reach a healthy weight for your height. To lose this amount you need to take in about 500-600 kcal less than you require each day.
Eating 500-600 kcal more than you need each day will make you gain weight at the same rate.
Accidentally eating an extra 600 kcals is easier than you might imagine.
One portion of apple pie and cream or a bar of chocolate that you would gobble up in about five minutes, or a bag of peanuts.
3. Not all calories are the same
It's not simply the calorie count we consume that we have to think about. The type of food we eat can make a difference to our daily calorie intake too.
The calories in processed sugar are digested quickly. Sweets, snacks and fizzy drinks can all cause a surge in blood sugar levels, which then crash soon after eating, making us tired and hungry again.
Fibre is your friend
Brown bread, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, fruit and other natural foods that are high in fibre are digested more slowly.
They provide slow-release energy and make you feel full for longer, which helps you to avoid snacking.
Swap sweet snacks for fruit, choose brown bread instead of white, and have porridge for breakfast instead of sugary cereal.
Are all calories equal? This is one of the misinterpretations in diet.
The importance of Fibre: the way our guts work means that not all calories are equal. We absorb most of the calories in our food, but some foods are rich in fibre, and fibre is different. We only absorb about half the calories it contains, the rest passes through our gut undigested and some fibre can absorb water in our stomach making us feel fuller for longer.
4. Are nutrition labels reliable?
By law food labels are allowed to be slightly inaccurate, as minor variations from pack to pack during manufacturing are difficult to avoid.
Nutrition labels sometimes provide information about how much of your body's daily calorie requirement a food provides. This is referred to as 'Reference intakes' (RIs), and unless the label says otherwise it is based on the energy requirement of an average-sized woman doing an average amount of physical activity: 2,000 kcal per day. The RI is not intended to be a target, as energy requirements are different for all people
If a food is labelled 'light' or 'lite', it should be substantially lower in at least one typical value, such as calories or fat, than standard products. But you may be surprised by how little difference there is between foods that carry claims to be 'light' or 'lite' and those that don't.
The TDay Note:
So cutting calories can be quite easy if we follow simple daily ways of reducing them. Exercise should always be part of the agenda, not only for calorie loss purposes but for our general health and well-being… Here are some tips on easy everyday calorie reduction:
Approximately 28gr of potato chips contain 150 calories and 10g fat and 1% fiber when 4 cups of popcorn contain 60 calories, 2g fat and 4% Fiber!!
A list of some of High in Fibre Foods:
Women sould try and eat at least 21 to 25 gram of fiber a day, while men should aim for 30-38 grams a day.
And don't forget to exercise regularly, it always feels so good after...
Have a productive and healthy Tday!!!
Lately I am fanatical with blueberries! Except that they taste delicious, reading about all the health benefits of this tiny fruit makes me want to eat it even more!
Low in fat — coming in at about 80 calories per cup and practically fat-free — blueberries are loaded with fiber to keep you fuller longer. Just a handful can satisfy your daily fiber requirement. Plus, blueberries are an excellent source of manganese, which plays an important part in bone development and converting carbohydrates and fats into energy.
Blueberries also possess notable health benefiting plant-nutrients such as dietary fibre, minerals, vitamins, pigment anti-oxidants, essential fatty acids that contribute immensely towards general health.
Blueberries are rich in vitamins C, Vitamin A and E that can be excellent for the skin. Their main health benefits are thought to come from anthocyanins – naturally occurring pigments that give them their blue colour and act as potent antioxidants. This amazing superfood can boost brain health; much research has focused on blueberries’ anti-ageing role, particularly in terms of mental functioning.
Enjoy my post exercise homemade delicious, low in calories and super filing blubbery smoothie:
- 1 cup of vanilla protein powder
- 1 orange
- Almond Milk (1/2 cup)
- Some Ginger
- A full cup of Blueberries!!
- Plenty of Ice
Blend all together and there you have it!!!
The TDay Note: Superfoods are foods with more nutritional value than other foods. Here are some other examples:
and many more... that can tranform your body and health!
Have an Amazing TDay!!!
It takes guts to be one and it’s an honour to know one!!
Today I am more than excited to introduce to you an athlete and a friend, that I not only admire and respect but I personally consider him a ‘legend!’ He is a working father of two, a dedicated athlete, a triathlon champion and most importantly an Ironman!
So meet the amazing Andreas Djiakouris!
Andreas is a Greek Cypriot living in Nicosia, he is 34 years old and works at EMAK (Special Unit Dealing with Catastrophes, which is staffed by 50 firefighters from almost all districts of Cyprus) since 2001.
Due to his job responsibilities, he is always active. His work requirements mainly involve climbing and rappelling on steep areas to rescue people, handling polytraumatic patients and rescuing people that were involved in traffic accidents. He also received training abroad and specializing in earthquake rescue and also received specialized search and rescue scuba diving training for seas, lakes and dams.
Having said all of the above you build an image of an adrenaline junkie in your head. And you are absolutely right… He wakeboards, snowboards, long boards, downhill cycles etc etc the list is long but the greatest achievement of a man who tried everything was in May 2014.
He attended his first IronMan race in Lanzarote, Canary Islands. When I read about what an IronMan race really is, I understood that this is not a joke. How much willpower, determination, strength, hard training and guts are required and how much I respect those athletes...
An Ironman Triathlon is one of a series of long-distance triathlon races organized by the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) consisting of a 3.86 km swim, a 180.25 km bicycle ride and a marathon 42.2 km run, raced in that order and without a break.
Most Ironman events have a strict time limit of 17 hours to complete the race.
Andreas Djiakouris 2014 results were:
Swimming - 1:10:44
Cycling - 6:13:03
Marathon - 3:54:23
Total time: 11 hours and 29 minutes!
11 hours and 29 minutes of non-stop swimming, cycling and running. This is totally beyond me. I believe that completing an Iron Man race you are automatically in a league of your own. Definitely it’s not about only winning this race but just participating and even completing it puts you in a different category and that’s why I dare to call him a legend!
Let me put it to you this way….What does an average person do those 11 hours ½ hours? You wake up, you go to work, you have a lunch break, a coffee break, you finish work, you potentially go to the gym (and feel tired), you go home to relax when all of that time an Iron Man triathlete was fighting to remain in the correct mindset to maximize his resources to finish, the will power to make it, not to beat anyone but simply to complete the race. I strongly believe that triathletes are the most dedicated athletes. It requires not only body strength but moreover mental training.
Andreas is attending the Ironman this year in Nice, France with very high expectations.
I asked him to give me a few details about his training and dieatary habits leading up to the race.
'I am training on average 12 hours per week. It is very important to train correctly. It doesn’t matter how many hours you train as long as you train properly. In other words Smart Training. Diet is an important part before the race; 2-3 days before, a carbohydrates diet is very important. Eating carbohydrates prior to a race improves the athlete’s endurance, speed, energy and alertness. Consuming carbohydrates can also improve performance if ingested before, during or after a workout session. For example, eating carbohydrates before exercise will give a person a boost in glycogen stored in their muscles, enabling them to work out for longer.
His trainer Kypros Nicolaou an ex triathlete, the first Cypriot IRONMAN (participated in 2006 in Austria) and the owner of the 3D FUNCTIONAL TRAINING STUDIO (Training Services) is an expert trainer that a lot of athletes of Cyprus place their trust in.
The T Day Note:
Having spoken about respected athletes, you know how I always say how much I respect and admire people that are passionate about something they love and believe in, people with goals, dreams and hobbies whatever they are and whatever makes each one of them a better person. But of course because this is a sports oriented website I must admit that active people are my favourite ones. People of any age and with any achievement, all of us in this category deserve an applause. Doing something is always better than doing nothing!!!!
Good Luck to Andreas Djiakouris on June 28th 2015 on the Nice, France IRONMAN race. We are proud to know you and proud to have another Cypriot IronMan!!!
Of course I have to mention the important role of his wife and my dear friend Erika who has been 100% supportive and despite the hours he puts into this sport, she is always next to him following him to all the races, supporting him and allowing him to live his dream combined with a loving family of two kids and their three dogs!!
The T Note 2:
A follow up of Andreas race soon after June 28th!!!!
One of the main reasons I created this website is to get the chance to meet and also introduce to you interesting people who love the same things as I do, people I admire for what they do and people who can teach me new things and inspire me.
Meet the Inspiring Renee...
I met Renee two years ago while we were both attending a fitness course in London. She is from Greece and is currently living in Brussels. She is a personal trainer, spinning instructor, fitness instructor and a kettlebell specialist, but what really caught my attention was her passion with veganism and how well informed she was about it.
Vegetarians do not eat meat, fish, or poultry. VEGANS in addition to being vegetarian do not consume any animal products, which include meat, dairy products, eggs, honey, gelatin and any other animal secretions or their derivatives.
I consider myself a healthy eater, but I had never met a vegan and I have to say it is a brand new world. I learnt a lot from her and I respect what she does. However, I don’t think it’s an easy thing to do and it is a decision that one needs to make rationally with a lot of thought according to your circumstances. If you don’t really believe in it, read about it, make veganism a way of living and love it, then it’s a hard thing to do. That is one of the reasons I admire Renee for loving it and following it devotedly.
Healthy Living, it’s not about making your life difficult but exactly the opposite, making your life better inside and outside. It’s all about creating healthy habits; focus on health and what make you feel good about yourself.
Q: How does someone decides to become a vegan! I guess it’s not a decision you make from one day to another
Renee: When someone decides that they want to become a vegan, I would personally suggest that they really study it, in order to be well informed and to gain all the essential knowledge they need to eat correctly and make sure they're getting the sufficient amount of nutrients they need in their daily diet.
Q: Since you are exercising a lot, where do you get your protein from?
Renee: This is usually the most common question that vegans are asked , "where do you get your protein from?" Well it's actually very simple! If you think logically, the gorilla, for example, is one of the strongest animals on the planet and all it lives on is a plant based diet. It lives on whole, fresh, ripe, raw fruits and vegetables. So I think that that says it all! The consumption of a variety of fruits and vegetables adequately meets human protein needs. And it doesn't just end there! There's such a big variety of protein sources in today’s market like seeds, beans,nuts,whole grains, and soy products to name a few.
Q: In your opinion, what are the main benefits for being a vegan?
Renee:Research has shown that by eliminating dairy products and animal protein you reduce significantly the risk of heart disease and cancer and so many other degenerative diseases.
So the benefits of being vegan I'd say is you can gain optimal health and prevent diseases.
Q: Can you describe a daily meal plan of yours?
Renee: I usually start my day with lemon water, it’s ever so good for you, it's refreshing and stops your hunger. The most important thing is it cleanses and flushes out unwanted wastes from the day before.
Then I always make a veggie juice!! It's very important to drink your green veggies as they are the most alkaline forming and packed with protein! The reason I say drink is because by drinking leafy greens like (kale, rock, watercress, parsley, celery etc.) and vegetables (carrots, beetroot etc.) you are capable of gaining more nutrients because you eliminate the fibre and therefore you don't waste your energy on digestion, and simultaneously you nourish your cells.
If I’m hungry after my juice which I’m usually not, I make myself a delicious smoothie!! Usually containing coconut water, banana, dates, and some kind of superfood berries!
For lunch I make sure I have a gigantic salad accompanied with some kind of vegetable (peas, potatoes, green beans, lentils) or mixed veggies in the oven and so on.
For dinner I always have a green juice before I eat and then I will eat my meal, usually some kind of vegetables in variations.
These are just some brief examples of my meals.
Renee exercises daily she is kettlebells specialist and a real motivation for a fit and healthy lifestyle. In her Instagram page –RENEEZOUN- shows us every day how to keep an amazing body like hers…. Enjoy
The T day Note:
Veganism is a very controversial way of life and that’s why we hear vegans very often fight about what they believe. A lot of dieticians and doctors are concerned due to some vitamins deficiency (especially vitamin B12*, protein* and Vitamin D*) It is a huge subject where, in my opinion, there is no right or wrong. It is a very personal decision; we are all different and what works for one person may not work for the next. My personal advice is for you to read and learn about anything new you want to do especially if it concerns your health, including becoming a vegan. How we eat and live, is 100% a personal decision, however ignorance is unacceptable. I am not a vegan myself but I read about everything I eat and I am concerned about my general health and what enters my body. I am interested in being better every day, month and year. I am interested in loving how I look and feel and invest in how my general health will be in the coming years.
Renne has a lot of knowledge on the subject, she loves that way of life, it makes happier and healthier and she is really a devoted vegan. She can answer any questions and she is definately not doing it for fun! That's why I respect her and admire her for not giving up on something she strongly believes in!
***Vitamin B12 is a water soluble vitamin that is involved in the function of every cell in the body. It is particularly important in the formation of blood and the function of the brain. Because B12 is important and isn’t found in any amount in plants (except some types of algae), it is the most important nutrient that vegans must be concerned with. Chew a reliable vitamin B12 supplement to enable you to absorb as much as possible. All vitamin B12 is produced by micro-organisms. The only reliable sources of vitamin B12 on a plant-based diet are fortified foods and supplements.
***Vitamin D is not found in the vegan diet but can be generated following exposure to sunlight. At least ten to fifteen minutes of summer sun on hands and face two to three times a week is recommended for adults so that
vitamin D production can occur. Food sources of vitamin D include vitamin D-fortified soy milk and rice milk.
***Protein Sources for Vegans:
EAT HEALTHY - SLEEP WELL- BREATH DEEPLY - EXERCISE REGULARLY - ENJOY LIFE!
Have an Inspiring T Day!!!
Suunto Oy is a company that manufactures and markets sports watches
The word "suunto" is an old deviation of the Finnish word "suunta", which is translated as "bearing", "heading" or "direction".
If you are active and like to keep your records, Suunto is tried and tested!
Light and waterproof with an amazing GPS Map.
For more information visit: www.suunto.com
Have an active T Day!!!
THE SKI TRIP
Bad Aussee, Loser Altaussee Ski Resort
Bad Aussee is a town in the Austrian state of Styria. It is a very beautiful town near Salzburg and Graz. Actually if you are in Salzburg, Bad Aussee is a nice day trip by train.
- Approx. 4 hours drive from Vienna
- You can choose to take the train it is very easy 3 1/2 hours. For train information:www.thetrainline-europe.com
There are two ski regions accessible from Bad Aussee: Loser and Tauplitz. The Loser Ski Region boasts an amazing view of the Dachstein Glacier and has been recently modernized. At the Tauplitz Ski Region, you can also go cross-country skiing or sledding in the evening.
I haven’t had the chance to go skiing for some years probably because I usualy choose to spend my holidays at a more sunny destination. Now that I moved to Austria, one of the best countries for snowskiing, I think it’s the ideal time to remember how much I loved it, how addictive it is, the adrenaline rush you get and what an amaaaaazing exercise it is!
I am not really good in snowskiing so certainly I needed a good ski school for a good guidance after all these years I wasn’t skiing, and I found it. If you are looking to enjoy the slopes skiing and snowboarding, or freeriding, learn how to ski from the very beginning then I highly recommend:
Loser Altaussee Ski Resort:
You will find modern 6-seater chair lifts that transport you up to the ski area quickly and comfortably. They are equipped with a sheltering hood and warm, comfortable padding to offer maximum protection in all weather conditions. The certainty of snow cover on the Loser is legendary, and the newest snowmaking installations guarantee you skiing fun until spring - www.loser.at
- 15 minutes’ drive from the city centre of Bad Aussee
- Very well organised ski school
- Friendly teachers (all of the staff is fluent in English)
- All equipment for ski and snowboarding available for rent
- Tel.: +43 (0)3622-71315
We stayed at Hotel Erzherzog Johann right in the centre of Bad Aussee city.
A very traditional hotel with the friendliest staff I met in Austria so far. The breakfast was excellent but overall the food was average.
The hotel offers an amazing Spa definitely worth visiting, especially after skiing. With an indoor 5x10m, 30 degrees pool AND an outdoor 3x1.5m, 32 degrees hot tub!!! Special daily health and mental programmes, gym and relaxing panoramic area with complimentary healthy snacks and selection of teas, even if you just need to relax and unwind after a long day.
It was the perfect weekend with a lot of activities (8 hours of skiing), swimming and relaxing!
Have an amazing and active T Week x
Stephania is certainly one of my friends who is really passionate about cooking. She loves it!
She is a vegetarian and obsessed with pasta, so I thought she is absolutely the right person to recommend a low in calories, healthy option of a pasta dish for lunch.
And here it is easy and delicious:
Lemon Tagliatelli with prawns and peas:
393 calories per serving
1 packet MITSIDES tagliatelli
200g large frozen prawns
150g frozen peas
1 egg yolk
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
handful grated parmesan, sour cream (optional)
1. Cook the tagliatelli in boiling water according to packet instructions. 3 minutes before the time is up pour in the prawn and peas.
2. Reserve a cup of the cooking water, drain pasta and return to the pan.
3. Add the egg yolk, lemon zest and juice, most of the parmesan and some sour cream (optional) Stir everything together, adding a little of the reserved cooking water to loosen the mixture.
4. Sprinkle with parmesan and serve.
For more delicious and healthy pasta recipes you can visit: www.mitsidesgroup.com
The Tday note: Instead I used Mitsides Whole wheat pasta, why not try it too! Whole wheat pasta contains fewer calories and supplies about three times as much fiber and 25 percent more protein than traditional pasta, according to the book “Whole Grains For Busy People.”
Enjoy and have a great T Day!!
I decided I will run the 21k Vienna half marathon this April. Of course I owe this decision to a very special friend of mine, who is a single working mother of four, yet still finds the time and the energy to run 5-12k every day. A month ago, at the beginning of January, I decided to listen to her and just go once and try this masochistic tendency, as she called it ‘the best anti-depressant’ and that life is better when you run…If she has the time and energy with four kids and work I think everyone does! I truly respect her for that!
We ran 5k and I thought that I would never be able to walk again, I barely made it….However it gave me such an energizing boost and the next day I wanted to run again. I was thinking that the 21k of the marathon was just funny and impossible for me though…
A month later, now beginning of February, I say I CAN and I WILL….watch me!!!! I am training 2-3 times a week and I have a target which I will accomplish.
Today I ran almost 10k (9.82k to be precise) easily, so if I can, you can…. Lace up!!!!
I felt like writing this article not only because I was super proud of my self and not because I say we should all have the target to run a marathon, but to choose a sport you like and you thought you could never do and just start practising today. A bad exercise is only the one you didn’t do! Fitness is not about being better than anyone else it’s about being better than you used to be… inside and outside. In three months you will thank yourself!!
The T Day note: No one is born like this, you want it you earn it!
Have a Nice T Day
I was scrolling through my news feed this morning whilst being super unmotivated to go for a run because it was snowing outside until I saw this photo of @emilyskyefit
I was scrolling through my news feed this morning whilst being super unmotivated to go for a run because it was snowNow I am sitting here post-8k run, a little sweaty and feeling so satisfied that I got out and kicked ass.
I know it can be hard to find the motivation but its always worth it when you make the effort and go!
Our bodies are capable of anything, it's our mind we need to convince.... the sooner the better.
Science has linked aerobic exercise to improved brainpower. Could it actually make you smarter and more successful?
‘There have been thousands of studies on how aerobic exercise affects cardiovascular health, but there are equally powerful ones that assess its impact on mental performance. Of course, intuitively, one could argue that cardio is just mentally arousing, like a Starbucks double latte. Exercise, after all, raises your heart rate and increases the flow of oxygen-rich blood throughout your body, including your brain.’ng outside until I saw this photo of @emilyskyefit source: menshealth
The TDay Note: Give your self the chance to warm up for at least 15 minutes and don't stop, then you will feel that you want to run more. Dont give up if you get tired the first time. After a few weeks of running, you'll begin to believe that there's something to this “runner’s high” thing. Feel-good brain chemicals—like dopamine and endocannabinoids—will be released while you’re on the road, and you’ll feel so proud of what you accomplished that it will take more discipline to rest than to work out.
Get up and start Running today! Excersing makes you happy..... and fit!
Have a sweaty TDay!!!
Since I have mentioned my love for water skiing, I couldn’t but dedicate my first article to this sport, and to a couple that I truly admire and who I dare to say have possibly turned this love of mine for water skiing into an obsession!
The first time I visited Drepani water ski resort was on my own in June 2008, as I had heard about a clubhouse in Poros Island in Greece that had a slalom course and did intensive lessons. I desperately wanted to improve my skiing skills and as the slalom course is on a lake it meant that waves were not an issue and so we could practise as much as we want.
I was a bit afraid that I was traveling alone and that I was going to be bored so I only booked for 2 nights!! Big mistake!!! J
I arrived to Drepani in Poros and I couldn’t believe that this place even existed ; it has one of the most beautiful sceneries I have ever seen, the most friendly environment and nicest people I have ever met. Needless to say that for the next 3 years I was there every single summer!!!
My last visit was in November 2014. YES for some winter action!!! Drepani is open all year round. That is the best part…..for the brave ones on a sunny day in December, you can enjoy a ride without a wet suit!
Drepani is owned by Sotiris Kyprios, 3 times European Champion and his wife Marianna Konti National Champion together with their 4 kids. The oldest son Sotiris Kyprios is also a European Champion.They are all passionate about what they do, are very well-known and respected skiers globally.
As they both said referring to their Clubhouse: ‘Our life dream has finally come true’, it is worth mentioning that this year they are celebrating their 30 year anniversary!!!
Drepani offers twelve cosy apartments each one equipped with a double bed, a sofa, TV, refrigerator, personal kettle-boiler, and a shaded veranda where you can relax before and after training.Two of the apartments are specially designed for family needs, each one equipped with two bedrooms, one with double bed, one with two twins, a kitchen, and a big living room.
How to get there:
From Pireas port in Athens you get the flying dolphin to Poros. When you arrive to Poros you get a small boat (water taxi) for less than a minute to take you opposite to Galatas. From there you get a taxi(very easy) and takes you directly to Drepani Waterki Resort! For Flying dolphin reservations you can call at: +30 22980 23423.
Or by car directrly from the airport since it is located in the mainland- Galatas oposite of Poros
The TDay Note: At Drepani Club house you can also do:
All you need is positive energy all the rest they have!!! See you there…..
For more information visit: www.passage.gr
Have a Lovely TDay!!!