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Posts in the ‘Health’ Category

Photo of coconut tree

10 Coconut Oil Secrets Every Fitness Fanatic Should Know

photo for Coconut Oil Secrets blogIf there is one thing we have an abundance of here in Thailand, it is coconuts. There is so much goodness that comes from just one coconut- the water, the flesh, the oil and even the shell have an abundance of uses.
From a health perspective, coconuts should be a part of everyone’s diets, especially coconut oil, which has some really amazing health benefits. So lets have a look at our coconut oil secrets.

Healthy Fats

Even though coconut oil is a fat, it is one of the good guys that we need to have for heathy muscles and brain functioning. A medium-chain saturated fatty acid, your body will metabolise this type of fat for immediate use (and won’t make you fat- promise!).

Boosts Your Immunity

There are three immune boosting compounds in coconut oil- lauric acid, caprylic acid and capric acid. These acids are known to have properties that are antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial, meaning they can strengthen your immune system and even help to naturally heal viruses.

Improves Digestion

The fatty acids mentioned above also have super powers when it comes to treating digestive concerns such as Candida, irritable bowel syndrome or even in soothing the effects of stomach problems caused by bacteria and parasites. Adding a tablespoon of coconut oil to your smoothie might help to relieve bloating and have a positive effect on overall digestion.

Reduces Hunger

Not only do these fatty acids help with metabolism of fat, but they can also help to reduce your appetite so that you eat less calories, making coconut oil a great weight management ingredient.

Increases Metabolism

On top of its ability to suppress the appetite, coconut oil can also aid in speeding up the metabolism to burn calories more quickly. Turns out that coconut oil has thermogenic qualities, which means that it burns fats more efficiently than the same amount of calories from other fats. Help to keep your weight off by adding a tablespoon or two of coconut oil to your diet each day and increase your energy expenditure to about 120 calories per day!

High Smoke Point

Forget the olive oil for cooking and start using coconut oil, especially when making dishes at high temperatures. Coconut oil has a high smoke point of 171 degrees Celsius which means that you can heat it at very high temperatures and it won’t oxidise and cause disease-causing free radicals to be released into your food.
Look out for coconut oil brands that are neutral in taste and smell so that it doesn’t affect the flavour of your food, and always be sure to choose organic, cold-pressed varieties to get all the health benefits from using coconut oil.

Prevents Cravings

Often when we have cravings- particularly for sweets- it is because we are lacking in good quality fats. Coconut oil Photo of coconut treecan be a great solution to sugar when you want a sugary hit which will leave you feeling satisfied. Try making some coconut oil bark by mixing coconut oil with cacao powder and pouring the mixture on a tray, then leaving it in the freezer to set. Break off small pieces when you have sugar cravings and find them dissipate in an instant.

Skin and Hair Nourishment

You don’t have to consume coconut oil to get all its benefits. You can also apply it to your skin to hydrate it and in your hair to condition it completely naturally. Coconut oil can help prevent stretch marks, reduce wrinkles, and is even good for treating skin disorders such as acne, psoriasis, and eczema.

Removes Toxins and Whitens Teeth

The ancient practice of oil pulling involves swishing a tablespoon of oil in your mouth on an empty stomach for around 20 minutes every day. This action draws out toxins from your body and can improve your oral health as well as whiten your teeth. Use coconut oil in this way daily to reduce bacteria, plaque, and infections in the mouth.

Tasty (Healthy) Treats

One of the best ways to enjoy coconut oil is in delicious desserts and snacks. This tasty recipe for raw cookies not only uses coconut oil but some of the coconut’s other awesome bi-products too (and the recipe is simple and easy!).

You will need:
1 cup dry almonds
¼ cup coconut flour
¼ cup coconut palm sugar
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup coconut nectar
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil

Combine all the dry ingredients in a food processor for 30 seconds, then add the coconut nectar and oil to make a dough. Scoop teaspoonfuls of the batter onto a baking tray and press into cookie rounds. Put into the freezer until firm.

Photo of Louise and Richard founders of fitness holiday ThailandCoconuts are one of my all time favourite foods! I swear you can use them for basically anything from cooking, baking and beauty. I use the neutral non-tasting kind to bake my veggies and to fry my organic eggs in. I also add 2 teaspoons to my morning smoothie and I use it as a moisturiser all over my body! Have you ever wondered how to open a fresh coconut here is a video to help you out.

Living in Thailand at the fitness holiday we have an abundance of coconuts and feel very blessed to have easy access to so many and we definitley make use of  the coconut oil secrets! We treat our boot camps guests to fresh coconuts and they all rave about them!

If you are interested in attending our holistic fitness and health retreat then please press this link!

Stay happy and healthy Louise xxx

10 Simple Secrets to Longevity

10 Simple Secrets to Longevity

Thailand fitness resort takes a look at 10 simple secrets to longevity

You may be concerned about your longevity as you start getting older. Fortunately, there are things you can do right now that will help improve your longevity and your health no matter what your previous lifestyle has been like!

1. Eat Natural Foods

Natural foods provide the best form of nutrition for your body. The closer to nature the food is, the more readily your body can take in the nutrition. Eating organic is the best option if possible, but eating any fruits or vegetables will nourish your body from the inside-out. Make sure you’re properly cleansing your fruits and vegetables before eating them to remove any harmful residues, especially if it isn’t organic.
Many processed foods are full of chemicals and additives that are potentially harmful to your health. Next time you prepare a meal or grab something at the store, take a moment to read the label. Can you even pronounce the ingredients? The fewer ingredients listed, and the more natural ingredients there are, the better for you the food will be. The best option is to eat fresh foods you can prepare at home, but if you do consume convenience foods, try to select options that have ingredients you can pronounce and recognize as real foods.

2. Drink Only in Moderation

While there are studies that show drinking in small amounts, especially red wine, can be beneficial—anything in excess can be bad. Drinking heavily or often can reduce your body’s immune function and adds a considerable amount of calories to your diet. You’re also more likely to make poor choices such as eating the wrong foods or participating in risky behaviors if you drink to the point of intoxication. If you do choose to drink, opt for antioxidant rich red wine, which offers the most health benefits when consumed in moderation.

10 Simple Secrets to Longevity

Fun in the fresh water pool

3. Get Moving

Exercising promotes longevity by improving your body’s efficiency and making your mind healthier and happier in the process. People who lead active lifestyles live considerably longer than people who remain sedentary most of the time. You don’t have to dedicate hours a day to the gym. Even something as simple as a thirty minute walk every day can go a long way in improving your longevity. Movement also breeds an active lifestyle. The more you consciously make yourself move, the more your body will want to move without you even thinking about it!

 

4. Find Support

It may not seem like something directly connected to longevity, but having a positive support network will help you stay committed to a healthier lifestyle and will help promote happiness. In times of struggle, having a support network can help you rebound more quickly. Your support network could be family, friends, coworkers, an online community, or even found in a wellness retreat like ours!

5. Eat Fewer Calories

But make sure you’re still eating enough calories. Several studies have linked low calorie diets with longevity. Some of these studies have been conducted on extremely low calories, which we don’t recommend without close supervision by a doctor. However, most people can stand to cut back on their calorie intake and see health benefits. Even reducing your intake by just 200 calories can help. The more food and calories you put into your body, the harder your body has to work to do something with those calories. People often associate calories with their energy level, but many people find their energy level increases with a reduction in calories and decreases with an increase. Just make sure the calories that you do take in are nutrient dense to help properly fuel your body.

6. Get a PetPuppy

If you can and enjoy being around animals, consider getting a pet. People with pets, particularly with dogs, tend to live longer than people without pets. This is thought to be because pets give us a purpose and have a calming effect on people. Petting a dog can reduce blood pressure and the risk of heart disease, making them an excellent part of a healthy lifestyle for people considered about their health and longevity. Dogs need regular walks and attention in order to be healthy and their owners move more and make healthier choices as a result.

 

 

7. Enjoy a Cup of Tea or Coffee

woman drinking coffeeBoth tea and coffee have been shown to have longevity boosting benefits. Both contain antioxidants to help the body purge dangerous toxins taken in through unhealthy foods and the environment. Drinking four (reasonably sized, not giant!) cups of coffee a day has been linked to a reduced risk of type two diabetes, cancer, and even a decreased risk of depression.
Similarly, people who drink at least five cups of tea a day are less likely to develop cancer or heart disease than people who don’t consume tea. Use caution with both of these drinks, however, because many do contain caffeine. While small amounts of caffeine can be good for you, too much caffeine can disrupt sleep, increase your heart rate, or make you feel nauseous.

8. Boost Your Brain

Spend some time learning something new or visiting new and exciting places to help keep your brain young. Often the brain begins to age and slow down due to lack of stimulation, rather than getting older. If you’re stuck inside, try doing games that require brain power such as Sudoku or one of the many mind games available to help keep your brain young.
Reading is also very good for your brain and improving your longevity because it promotes thought and encourages people to learn knew interests, which may lead to gaining new experiences or living more active lifestyles.

9. Slow Down

While learning new things and keeping an active lifestyle can help keep you young, going non-stop can be bad. Packing too much into your day and always going non-stop can increase your stress and promotes lack of sleep or poor eating habits while on the go. Try blocking out even just an hour a day to relax and unwind. Meditate, enjoy a cup of coffee or tea sitting outside, do some relaxing yoga—do anything relaxing that you enjoy, for you. The key is to press pause and step away from all the demands of your life that stress you out so you can reset your brain. Once you learn how to really utilize this time to relax, you’ll find all your activities seem much more enjoyable and your stress level is greatly reduced.

10. Do What Makes YOU happy

The ultimate secret to longevity is realizing what makes you happy and what doesn’t. Find your true passion and feed it, along with a healthy lifestyle and you’ll be rewarded with greater longevity and happiness!

Louise-and-Richard-Thomas-Thailand-fitness-bootcamp

 

Our fitness resort aims to cultivate healthy habits and positive thought   processes. We believe a well-balanced, healthy lifestyle is rewarded by happiness and longevity. What makes you happy?

best way to stay healthy

Best way to stay healthy

best way to stay healthyFun Ways to Get in Shape!

As the summer approaches and the beach beckons, people around the  Northern hemisphere are scrambling to get our bodies and minds ready  for the hot sunny days and afternoons spent at the beach. Many of us are also looking at the winter bulge around our waists, and noticing that we may be a bit out of breath when we climb the stairs.

 

It’s the perfect time to get back on track and start to cleanse and heal our bodies in time for skimpy bikinis and summer vacations. Here are some of the most popular – and most fun – ways to get and stay healthy this holiday season.

1. Just juice it! A juice cleanse can help to get your body and mind in perfect shape. A juice cleanse allows you to take all of those delicious, abundant fruits and vegetables just coming into season and turn them into vital fuel for your body. While you may feel a little bit hungry on your first day, by day 3 or 5 you will be lean, replenished and on track to health.peaceful-442070_640

 

2. All about the yoga and meditation. By focusing on your mind as much as your strength and fitness, you can de-stress and relax, allowing your body to reach its optimal health. Many yoga and meditation courses are offered around the world, including here in Thailand. A perfect way to get in balance – and get in shape.

 

3. Do what you love. Is working out in a sweaty gym not working out for you? Do you get bored staring at the wall mounted TVs and count down the minutes until your grueling elliptical session is over? Then get outdoors and do what you love! Hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, snow boarding and even hula hooping are all ways to get your heart pumping, your blood flowing and to stay healthy while having fun.

lake walk and workout on Thursday's

Fabulous lake walk and workout

 

4. Take a vacation. You read that right: taking a vacation is a popular way to stay healthy! Keeping yourself happy and motivated can include a trip to an exotic locale, particularly if there is exercise and healthy eating habits involved. Many people choose to take a fitness boot camp holiday to Thailand, such as Fresh Start Boot Camp, in the spring and summer, and they are rewarded with travel, excitement – and a lean, mean bod.

 

5. Rescue Fido! Rescuing a canine friend in need can be a huge motivator – your pup will demand that you get up early each morning and get outdoors. Special harnesses exist for Fido so that you can jog and cycle with him in tow. Your mood, body and local shelter will thank you

As you can see – popular ways to stay healthy do not always involve calorie counting and grueling hours at the gym. We highly recommend that you kickstart your health and fitness by coming to visit us here at Fresh Start Thailand Fitness Boot Camp, located in gorgeous, safe and friendly Chiang Mai, Thailand. Our bootcamp is guaranteed to change your body – and your life – forever.

Louise-and-Richard-Thomas-Thailand-fitness-bootcamp

 

Here at Fresh Start Thailand Fitness Bootcamp, we make sure we apply all of those tips into our program. We guarantee your holiday with us will never be bored. If you have any question please feel free to contact us, we are waiting here to show you the best way to stay healthy.

running with a tyre at the Fitness holiday Thailand

New to healthy living? Advice from Richard founder of Fresh Start

running with a tyre at the Fitness holiday ThailandHere at the Fresh Start Fitness Holiday Thailand Boot Camp we take exercise and healthy living very seriously, what you should drink, how to stay motivated and how to introduce fitness safely into your life are all important to a healthy life style.

Are you new to exercise and healthy living? If you are here is some advice from Richard Thomas from the Fresh Start Fitness Holiday bootcamp in Thailand.

Introducing gradual changes for healthy living

Even light exercise can be beneficial to improving your life quality and length. Start off gradually with a 20 minute walk each day, even this amount of exercise can burn calories and strengthen your heart. As you start to find the 20 minute walk easier, you can increase the time you walk, increase the distance and eventually start to change that walk into a casual jog. If walking isnt your thing then try team sports, racket sports, aerobics, swimming and cycling. The trick is to find something you like and enjoy and which can be incorporated into your daily routine.

If you join a gym, make sure it is on the way to work or home, you will be more likely to use it if it on your main routes, not a dog leg and easy to avoid!

As well as small changes with the way you excercise, you also need to make small changes with the what you eat and how you diet. For instance, swapping full fat milk for semi skimmed or fruit snacks in place of chocolate one, easier said than done! We should think of weight loss in terms of life change, permanent changes in diet can lead to healthier ways of living. You should not think of a healthier diet lasting a week or a month but lasting a life time. The secret is small manageable steps.

Weight loss and energy

We all know that our body’s use food for energy, it stores any excess energy as fat in our body cells. This means that if we eat more than we expend or our body needs for daily activities, we gain weight and fat. In order to lose weight we need to get our body to use up those stores of fat. The easiest and most effective way to do this is simple. Reduce the amount of calories we eat and increase the daily amount of activities we carry out, weight loss is measured in terms of diet(what we eat and the amount we eat) over the amount of exercise or daily activity we carry out. Try to listen to your body and only eat when you feel hungry, don’t eat out of habit or feeling you have to. This is one of the thing people have lost touch with, listening to thier inner voice. Try to eat in a peaceful environement with no distractions. This is because you tend to eat more when you are not focused on your food. So don’t eat with the television on. It’s also a  good idea to eat slowly and take your time enjoying each mouth fall.

Motivation is all you need

In order to stay motivated and enthusiastic, you need to include activities that you enjoy and have fun doing. Try exercising with friends, join a running or cycling club or a gym. Set your self new challenges to keep your self stimulated and above all keep at it!

We hope you have enjoyed this article, if so, please give us a like on social media!

To your very good health

Richard co founder of the thailand fitness bootcamp

Richard Thomas Co-founder of the Fresh Start Fitness Holiday Thailand

 

Richard Thomas

Richard runs the fitness holiday bootcamp at the Spa Health Resort with his wife Louise. They have been running boot camps for nearly 5 years in Chiang Mai Northern Thailand. They live at the Spa Resort with their 2 young daughters Summer and Bonnie.

Guests come from all over the World and it is a great way to meet like minded people.

They have a varied and exciting program. Sessions include circuit training, aqua, power walks, pilates, yoga, Muay Thai, cycling and much much more.

Their program gets rave reviews click here to be taken to their programme page.

Vegetable

The Fresh Start Magnificent 7 Super Food List

When you are training, whether it’s to lose fat, gain muscle or tone up, you are unlikely to see great results unless you supply your body with the right nutrition. Luckily for you, Fresh start has been on a ‘shop til you drop’ frenzy around all the best super markets and come up with our ‘magnificent 7 Super Food list ’ of the best nutritional foods to get you the results you so desperately deserve.

Fresh Start Magnificent 7 Super Food List

1. VegetableSweet potatoes. Full of vitamin A, Fibre and vitamin C, these little beauties are lower on the glycaemic index which means you are less likely to get a sugar spike and is better at warding of the silent killer, Diabetes. I often swap white potatoes for sweet ones, they taste great with a little low fat butter.
2. Broccoli. At the top of the list of super foods, full of vitamins and a great source of calcium. Broccoli also contains the cancer fighting chemical, sulforaphane.
3. Apples. A great source of fibre and disease fighting flavonoids. These little wonders can reduce heart disease, hypertension and diabetes.
4. Bananas. The potassium in bananas helps maintain the body’s sodium levels and combats high blood pressure. I love to make my kids banana and strawberry smoothies as a healthy alternative to sweets and chocolate. They are also said to help overcome depression due to their high levels of tryptoplan, which is converted into serotonin, the happy mood brain neurotransmitters. They are also great at protecting you against post exercise leg cramps and due to their high levels of the Vitamin B12 reduce swelling and aid production of white blood cells. Why not take a look at some of the other amazing banana facts.
5. Red onions. These little red wonders have high levels of quercetin, which in recent studies suggest has potent anti-inflammatory properties. According to another recent study, eating just half a red onion a day can reduce your chances of stomach cancer by 50%.
6. Lentils. A versatile meal addition and full of protein, fibre and iron. Lentils add a variety of textures to make your dinner a lot more interesting. Lentils also help to lower your cholesterol as it contains high levels of soluble fibre which lower the risk of heart disease and stroke by cleaning out your arteries. At the Fresh Start boot camp we give you delicious lentil soup, actually tastes like beef, I love it!
Spinach7. Spinach. Provides around twice as much iron as other green vegetables and is also rich in vitamin K, which helps maintain healthy bones. Iron in your diet is essential in the development and growth of muscles and builds a strong immune system. Vitamin K is essential for strong bones and preventing heart disease, some say that it is as important as Vitamin D and that they both complement each other in working to build strong bones.

I hope you have found our magnificent 7 super foods interesting, please tell us on Facebook what you think.

To your very good health

Richard Thomas

pull a tyre a great fitness and health tip

Incredible Fitness and Health Tips.

Hello everyone, we here at the Fresh Start Boot Camp love to hear about fitness and health
tips and factoids. We have listed a few below to get you thinking, enjoy.

1.Laughter.

According to scientists, having a good laugh or sob can be good for your health. Studies in Japan have indicated that bringing on the water works or chuckling to your favourite comedy can boost your immune system which wards off those unwanted colds and flus and shake off the effects of stress and depression. So let it all out and feel better. Our boot camp is a great way of getting fit and having no end of laughter and fun. Here is a great article on the importance of laughter from the Guardian news paper. Click here .

2.Treadmill Sense.

A flat treadmill set on zero is not the same as running in the park. Even a setting on 2 percent will introduce a forward compulsive component which forces you to work harder and closer to simulating real running. You can’t get better than a run in the open fresh air but, if you have to use the treadmill then think about the gradients. If you can alter the percentage on a regular basis your heart will thank you. You won’t find a treadmill here at the Fresh Start boot camp but we do loads of amazing walks through some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world.

3.Intervals.

Burn fat, improve you fitness quickly and lose weight fast by introducing interval training. If you work out on the treadmill or step machine then set it on the interval programme, this is where your speed and gradient change automatically from minute to minute. This makes your heart, cardiovascular system and muscles work harder. This makes your cardiovascular workout more interesting and you get better results in a shorter amount of time. If you run, cycle or walk outside then try using the lamp posts or time 1 minute for a short high energy blast, you will notice your fitness improve in next to no time at all.

4.Core.

Before you start your exercise routine, think about your core, that’s your back and stomach area. Your core will stabilise and maintain posture and prevent injury. Try to do them at the start and end of your workout. If you have time enrol into a Pilates or Yoga class. These classes are great at creating a super strong core and bringing you peace of mind.

5. Our last fitness and health tips is ”Mix it up” best until last.

You should always mix your work out up into cardiovascular and weight baring exercises. As we get older our muscles become

pull a tyre a great fitness and health tip

Tire Pull with the number one bootcamp!

less fibrous, so we need to do some weight baring exercise. These weight baring exercises can be weight training with free weights or weight machines at the gym. You can also use body weight only exercises such as press ups, sit ups, Plank and squats.

If you want to remain toned and firm then you need to include muscle resistant exercises in your routines.

 

 

 

Richard co founder of the thailand fitness bootcamp

Richard Thomas

We hope you have found these fitness and health tips useful and informative. Thanks for reading.

Please share on social media.

Richard Thomas

Creator of the Fresh Start

Thailand fitnesss bootcamp program

Address

Fresh Start Fitness Holiday Boot Camp
The Spa Resort 165 Moo4
T.Huaysai
A.Maerim
Chiang Mai
Thailand
50180.

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