It’s A Fight I Don’t Plan Losing

Always be thankful. Please read this re-post by @Cheymarie_fit on Instagram and give her some prayers!

REPOST: @cheymarie_fit: “This is hard for me to post…
Left- Before we knew I had cancer. I was a solid 130lbs and 15% body fat. Also had a nice little booty growing back there. –

Right- Taken yesterday. Stage 4 Low Grade Serous Ovarian Cancer. After almost 14 days in the hospital, a poop bag, and a major surgery; I stand at 105lbs. That’s way to small for me. I’m 5″5. I lost everything. Cancer has taken so much from me. The body I worked so hard for 2 years to get, the ability to have and carry my own child, my hair, and so much more, but one thing for sure is that cancer has not taken my fight and faith. –

I will never stop fighting. I will never lose my faith. I will never let cancer win. Today has been a rough day for me mentally, but that’s okay. I know tomorrow will be much better and I’m thankful to be alive and to see another day. I know GOD is up there working and I know he will give me the strength to fight, the light to see in the darkness, and will lay his healing hands on me. –

This is the toughest battle I have and will ever face, but I know I can do it. The hardest part of all this is my body change. I have a hard time looking at myself in the mirror but I’m learning to love myself again and I know this is only temporary. Once I get the clear light to workout, I’ll be in the gym banging those weights.

Oven Roasted Bacon Apple Wedges

Servings 4
 

Ingredients

 
• 4 small golden delicious apples – cored and cut into 4 wedges
• 12 sage leaves
• 12 slices of streaky bacon
• rocket and watercress leaves
• Parmesan olive oil
 

Method

• Preheat the oven to 220°C.
• Wrap a wedge and sage leaf together with streaky bacon, repeat with remaining wedges.
• Roast for ± 20 minutes or until the bacon is crispy and the apple is soft.
• Serve immediately with rocket and watercress leaves and a drizzle of parmesan olive oil.
 
Tip: If you do not have parmesan olive oil, sprinkle a bit of finely grated parmesan cheese over the wrapped wedges and drizzle some olive oil over

What is your view on?

I have been involved in the fitness/bodybuilding industry for many years, and I have never thought it strange to see or train a lady with weights. (Believe me some ladies are strong). In fact I have had ladies as training/spotting partners.

The following is an extract from an article in T-Nation

We’re not women trying to look like men. We’re women who want to express strength, resilience, dedication, and beauty through built, but natural physiques. The perception of female bodybuilding has been tarnished by pro bodybuilders who forfeited the look of a healthy female figure in order to go pro, become victims of fetishism, and garner attention by making muscle look grotesque instead of gorgeous.

We don’t want any part of that freak show. A hard female body can be accomplished with sweat, solid nutrition, good supplementation, and the right mindset.

And we’re tired of dispelling the myths. We are tired of having to reassure other women that weight training is not going to make them massive like competitive female bodybuilders.

Think, for a moment, how much better off we’d be as a society if women wanted to make their bodies healthier with weight training. And think of all the women who’ve been resistant to it because they’re afraid of looking manly. Yes, it’s a silly fear, but that image – that association between steroidal women and the word bodybuilding – still needs to be retired. It’s outdated and not enough women know it.

Smoked Mackerel & Avo

Servings 4
 

Ingredients

• 6 peppered smoked mackerel fillets
• 4 Boiled Eggs
• 2 ripe avocados
• 1 lemon
• Black pepper and sea salt to taste
• extra-virgin olive oil
• Chopped spring onions or rocket
 

Method

• Break the mackerel up on a plate.
• Slice the avocado and scatter it over the mackerel.
• Squeeze over the lemon and give it a good crack of black pepper, a sprinkle of sea salt and a decent splash of oil.
• Add a boiled egg, spring onions or rocket.
 
Tip: If you do can’t find peppered smoked mackerel, you may use smoked snoek

Lamb Curry

Cape Malay Cooking with Fatima Sydow

Ingredients

1 kg lamb pieces
3 onions, peeled and finely chopped
3 tbsp oil
3-4 cardamom pods
3-4 cinnamon sticks
3 tbsp, finely chopped garlic
1 tbsp, finely grated ginger
1 tsp turmeric
3 tbsp roasted Masala
1 tablespoon breyani masala
Salt to taste
6 potatoes, peeled and cubed
Fresh coriander

METHOD

In a large pot, heat the oil on medium heat and add the onions, salt, cardamom, and cinnamon sticks and fry until golden brown

Add the meat and garlic and ginger and braise for 5-10 minutes . Add 1 cup of hot water and and cook for 30-40 minutes on medium heat, stirring occasionally . Next add all the spices and braise and stir for 10 minutes. Adding only a tbsp of water at a time . Add the potatoes and 1 to 2 cups of water and cook until potatoes are soft, stirring when required , garnish with fresh coriander. Serve with roti or white rice .

Delicious

LAMB AHKNI

Traditional Cape Malay Recipe

Cape Malay Cooking with Fatima Sydow

Ingredients
10-15 Lamb pieces
5 tablespoons of oil
3 onions, peeled and finely chopped
Salt to taste
2 Star anise
5 cardamom pods
4 cinnamon sticks
2 cloves
6-8 garlic cloves, peeled and finely grated
2 tablespoons of freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon of turmeric
2 tablespoons of breyani or akhni masala
2 tablespoons of roasted masala
6 potatoes, peeled and halved
3 cups of Basmati rice
Fresh coriander

METHOD
First , cook the rice in water and a teaspoon of salt For 7 minutes only. Strain with cold water and put one side.

In a large pot, heat the oil and add the onions, and whole spices. Fry and stir until golden brown. Next, add the meat and garlic and ginger and braise on a medium heat for 10 minutes. Next, add a cup of water and cook for 30 minutes. Stirring occasionally. Next, add the salt and spices and braise for a few minutes to cook through the spices. Next, add the potatoes and 2 cups of water and cook until potatoes are almost soft. Next add the rice and give one stir. Sprinkle over coriander and close with lid simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. For a wet Ahkni add half a cup of water when adding the rice and 2 extra tablespoons of oil. Serve with sambal.

Delicious
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Baked mushroom meatballs

Servings 4-6
 

Ingredients

 

Meatballs:

• 250 g beef mince
• 250 g big brown mushrooms, minced
• 90 g fresh breadcrumbs
• 45 ml fresh parsley, chopped
• 1 egg, beaten
• salt and milled black pepper
• 15 ml oil
 
Sauce:
• 1 tin tomato and onion mix
• 250 ml beef stock
• 15 ml tomato paste or sundried tomato paste
• 5 ml smoked paprika
• 1 roasted yellow pepper, sliced
• salt and milled black pepper
 
To serve:
• sour cream
• smoked paprika
• oregano or thyme leaves
• mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables
 

Method

 
Meatballs
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Combine all of the ingredients, except for the oil, in a mixing bowl. Using floured hands, shape spoonfuls of the mixture into meatballs. Heat the oil in a pan and brown the meatballs on all sides. Transfer the meatballs to an ovenproof casserole.
 
Sauce
Mix all of the sauce ingredients together and pour over the meatballs. Season with salt and pepper.
Cover and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Top with a swirl of sour cream, a little smoked paprika and oregano leaves. Serve with mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables.
 
Recipe reprinted with permission of Mushroom Farmers’ Association.

Chocolate Java Protein Shake

Here is a great way to get your breakfast, coffee and dessert in on a Sunday morning.

 

Serves: 1

Ingredients

  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 cup Full Cream Milk
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee
  • 1 scoop PSN Chocolate whey protein powder

Method

  1. Add ingredients in the order listed into a blender.
  2. Blend until smooth.

(If you are wanting to make this a special treat/cheat add a tablespoon of dark chocolate chips before blending)

20 Effective Tips to Lose Belly Fat

By Franziska Spritzler, RD, CDE | July 11, 2016

Overweight Man Looking Down at His BellyBelly fat is more than just a nuisance that makes your clothes feel tight.

Fat inside the belly area is also termed visceral fat, and it is seriously harmful.

This type of fat is a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes and heart disease, to name a few (1).

Many health organizations use BMI (body mass index) to classify weight and predict the risk of metabolic disease. However, this is misleading.

People with excess belly fat are at an increased risk, even if they look thin on the outside (2).

Although losing fat from this area can be difficult, there are several things you can do to reduce excess abdominal fat.

Here are 20 effective tips to lose belly fat, backed by scientific studies.

1. Eat Plenty of Soluble Fiber

Soluble fiber absorbs water and forms a gel that helps slow down food as it passes through your digestive system.
Studies show this type of fiber promotes weight loss by helping you feel full so you naturally eat less. It may also decrease the amount of calories your body absorbs from food (3, 4, 5).
What’s more, soluble fiber may help fight belly fat. An observational study of over 1100 adults found that for every 10-gram increase in soluble fiber intake, belly fat gain decreased by 3.7% over a 5-year period (6).
Make an effort to consume high-fiber foods every day. Excellent sources of soluble fiber include flaxseeds, shirataki noodles, Brussels sprouts, avocados, legumes and blackberries.

2. Avoid Foods That Contain Trans Fats

Trans fats are created by pumping hydrogen into unsaturated fats such as soybean oil.
They’re found in some margarines and spreads, and they’re also added to some packaged foods.
These fats have been linked to inflammation, heart disease, insulin resistance and abdominal fat gain in observational and animal studies (7, 8, 9).
A 6-year study found that monkeys who ate a high-trans-fat diet gained 33% more abdominal fat than monkeys that ate a diet high in monounsaturated fat (10).
To help reduce belly fat and protect your health, read ingredient labels carefully and stay away from products that contain trans fats. These are often listed as “partially hydrogenated” fats.

3. Don’t Drink Too Much Alcohol

Alcohol can have health benefits in small amounts, but it is seriously harmful if you drink too much.
Research suggests too much alcohol can also make you gain belly fat.
Observational studies link heavy alcohol consumption with significantly increased risk of central obesity — that is, excess fat storage around the waist (11, 12).
Cutting back on alcohol may help reduce your waist size. You don’t need to give it up altogether if you enjoy it, but limiting the amount you drink in a single day can help.
In a study of more than 2000 people, those who drank alcohol daily but averaged less than one drink per day had less belly fat than those who drank less frequently but consumed more alcohol on the days they did drink (12).

4. Eat a High-Protein Diet

Protein is an extremely important nutrient for weight control.
High protein intake increases release of the fullness hormone PYY, which decreases appetite and promotes fullness. Protein also raises your metabolic rate and helps you retain muscle mass during weight loss (13, 14, 15).
Many observational studies show that people who eat more protein tend to have less abdominal fat than those who eat a lower-protein diet (16, 17, 18).
Be sure to include a good protein source at every meal, such as meat, fish, eggs, dairy, whey protein or nuts.

5. Reduce Your Stress Levels

Stress can make you gain belly fat by triggering the adrenal glands to produce cortisol, also known as the “stress hormone.”
Research shows high cortisol levels increase appetite and drive abdominal fat storage (19, 20).
What’s more, women who already have a large waist tend to produce more cortisol in response to stress. Increased cortisol further adds to fat gain around the middle (21).
To help reduce belly fat, engage in pleasurable activities that relieve stress. Practicing yoga or meditation can be effective methods.

6. Don’t Eat a Lot of Sugary Foods

Sugar contains fructose, which has been linked to several chronic diseases when consumed in excess.
These include heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and fatty liver disease (22, 23, 24).
Observational studies show a relationship between high sugar intake and increased abdominal fat (25, 26).
It’s important to realize that more than just refined sugar can lead to belly fat gain. Even “healthier” sugars (such as real honey) should be used sparingly.

7. Do Aerobic Exercise (Cardio)

Aerobic exercise (cardio) is an effective way to improve health and burn calories.
Studies also show it is one of the most effective forms of exercise for reducing belly fat. However, results are mixed regarding whether moderate-intensity or high-intensity exercise is more beneficial (27, 28, 29).
Regardless of intensity, how often and how much you exercise is important. One study found postmenopausal women lost more fat from all areas when they did aerobic exercise for 300 minutes per week versus 150 minutes per week (30).

8. Cut Back on Carbs, Especially Refined Carbs

Reducing carb intake can be very beneficial for losing fat, including abdominal fat.
Diets with under 50 grams of carbs per day cause belly fat loss in overweight people, those at risk of type 2 diabetes and women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) (31, 32, 33).
You don’t have to follow a strict low-carb diet. Some research suggests that simply replacing refined carbs with unprocessed starchy carbs may improve metabolic health and reduce belly fat (34, 35).
In the famous Framingham Heart Study, people with the highest consumption of whole grains were 17% less likely to have excess abdominal fat than those who consumed diets high in refined grains (36).

9. Replace Some of Your Cooking Fats With Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is one of the healthiest fats you can eat.
Studies show that the medium-chain fats in coconut oil may boost metabolism and decrease the amount of fat you store in response to high calorie intake (37, 38).
Controlled studies suggest it may also lead to abdominal fat loss.
In one study, obese men who took coconut oil daily for 12 weeks lost an average of 1.1 inch (2.86 cm) from their waists without intentionally changing their diets or exercise routines (39, 40).
To boost belly fat loss, it’s best to take about 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of coconut oil per day, which is the amount used in most of the studies reporting good results.
However, keep in mind that coconut oil is still high in calories. Instead of adding extra fat to your diet, replace some of the fats you are already eating with coconut oil.

10. Perform Resistance Training (Lift Weights)

Resistance training, also known as weight lifting or strength training, is important for preserving and gaining muscle mass.
Based on studies in people with prediabetes, type 2 diabetes and fatty liver disease, resistance training may also be beneficial for belly fat loss (41, 42).
In fact, one study in overweight teenagers showed that a combination of strength training and aerobic exercise led to the greatest decrease in visceral fat (43).
If you decide to start weight lifting, it is a good idea to get advice from a certified personal trainer.

11. Avoid Sugar-Sweetened Beverages

Sugar-sweetened beverages are loaded with liquid fructose, which can make you gain belly fat.
Studies show that sugary drinks lead to increased fat in the liver. One 10-week study showed significant abdominal fat gain in people who consumed beverages high in fructose (44, 45, 46).
Sugary beverages appear to be even worse than high-sugar foods. Because your brain doesn’t process liquid calories the same way it does solid ones, you’re likely to end up consuming too many calories later on and storing them as fat (47, 48).
To lose belly fat, it’s best to completely avoid sugar-sweetened beverages such as soda, punch and sweet tea, as well as alcoholic mixers containing sugar.

12. Get Plenty of Restful Sleep

Sleep is important for many aspects of health, including your weight. Studies show that people who don’t get enough sleep tend to gain more weight, which may include belly fat (49, 50).
A 16-year study of more than 68,000 women found those who slept less than 5 hours per night were significantly more likely to gain weight than those who slept 7 hours or more per night (51).
The condition known as sleep apnea, where breathing actually stops intermittently during the night, has also been linked to excess visceral fat (52).
In addition to sleeping at least 7 hours per night, make sure you’re getting sufficient quality sleep.
If you suspect you may have sleep apnea or another sleep disorder, speak to a doctor and get treated.

13. Track Your Food Intake and Exercise

Many things can help you lose weight and belly fat, but consuming fewer calories than your body needs for weight maintenance is key (53).
Keeping a food diary or using an online food tracker or app can help you monitor your calorie intake. This strategy has been shown to be beneficial for weight loss (54, 55).
In addition, food-tracking tools help you see your intake of protein, carbs, fiber and micronutrients. Many also allow you to record your exercise and physical activity.

14. Eat Fatty Fish Every Week

Fatty fish are incredibly healthy.
They are rich in quality protein and omega-3 fats that protect you from disease (56, 57).
Some evidence also suggests that these omega-3 fats may help reduce visceral fat.
Studies in adults and children with fatty liver disease show fish oil supplements can significantly reduce liver and abdominal fat (58, 59, 60).
Aim to get 2-3 servings of fatty fish per week. Good choices include salmon, herring, sardines, mackerel and anchovies.

15. Stop Drinking Fruit Juice

Although fruit juice provides vitamins and minerals, it’s just as high in sugar as soda and other sweetened beverages.
Drinking large amounts may carry the same risk for abdominal fat gain (61).
An 8-ounce (248-gram) serving of unsweetened apple juice contains 24 grams of sugar, half of which is fructose (62).
To help reduce excess belly fat, replace fruit juice with water, unsweetened iced tea or sparkling water with a wedge of lemon or lime.

16. Add Apple Cider Vinegar to Your Diet

Drinking apple cider vinegar has impressive health benefits, including lowering blood sugar levels (63).
It contains a compound called acetic acid, which has been shown to reduce abdominal fat storage in several animal studies (64, 65, 66).
In a controlled study of obese men, those who took 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar per day for 12 weeks lost half an inch (1.4 cm) from their waists (67).
Although no other human studies yet exist, taking 1 to 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar per day is safe for most people and may lead to modest fat loss.

17. Eat Probiotic Foods or Take a Probiotic Supplement

Probiotics are bacteria found in some foods and supplements. They have all sorts of health benefits, including improved gut health and enhanced immune function (68).
Researchers have found different types of bacteria play a role in weight regulation, and having the right balance can help with weight loss, including loss of belly fat.
Those shown to reduce belly fat include members of the Lactobacillus family. These include Lactobacillus fermentum, Lactobacillus amylovorus and especially Lactobacillus gasseri (69, 70, 71, 72).
Probiotic supplements typically contain several types of bacteria, so make sure you purchase one that provides one or more of these bacterial strains.

18. Try Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting has recently become very popular for weight loss.
It is an eating pattern that cycles between periods of eating and periods of fasting (73).
One popular method involves 24-hour fasts once or twice a week. Another involves fasting every day for 16 hours and eating all your food in an 8 hour period.
In a review of studies on intermittent fasting and alternate-day fasting, people experienced a 4–7% decrease in abdominal fat within a period of 6-24 weeks (74).

19. Drink Green Tea

Green tea is an exceptionally healthy beverage.
It contains caffeine and the antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), both of which appear to boost metabolism (75, 76).
EGCG is a catechin, which several studies suggest may be effective for losing belly fat. The effect may be strengthened when green tea consumption is combined with exercise (77, 78, 79).

20. Change Your Lifestyle and Combine Different Methods

If you do just one of the items on this list, then it won’t have a big effect on its own.
If you want good results, then you need to combine different methods that have been shown to be effective.
Interestingly, many of these are the same things we generally associate with healthy eating and an overall healthy lifestyle.
Therefore, changing your lifestyle for the long-term is the key to losing your belly fat and keeping it off.
When you have healthy habits and eat real food, fat loss tends to follow as a natural side effect.

Jules Godfrey

Jules Godfrey has the amazing ability to capture the human physique with simplicity and elegance, turning every person into a work of art.

You be the judge!

Tim Grand Haegen By Jules Godfrey Photography

All images Copyright ©2017 Jules Godfrey Photography. All Rights Reserved. All photographs by Jules Godfrey Photography are protected by copyright law. No image may be used, edited, reproduced, transferred, published or distributed in any form or by any means whatsoever without prior written permission from the artist. Sharing on Facebook is permitted as long as the image and watermark/logo are not altered in any way and the image is not cropped.