Happy & healthy life at any time and ages

Born in England Rona Morgan has made a great career in a banking. She had been managing large branches of HSBC in London, then for 13 years in Hong Kong, and more years in Melbourne, Australia. But now, instead of chilling during her retiring, Rona is a very happy woman with her new full-time job as a health-life coach, personal and small group exercise trainer in Singapore.

I have met Rona at a biggest fitness educational conference in Asia for fitness, health and wellness professionals in Bangkok (Asia Fitness Conference and Expo 2015). When I heard her life story and the way to fitness pro, I understood I have to share this motivational story with people. Rona knows well what does it mean to be busy, stressed and depressed with your business and job. She was not in a good shape or fitness person for all her life. But she has found a way to manage an active and healthy lifestyle regularly, has lost 20 kg, and used the time from banking retirement to study Personal Trainer and Health Coach certifications.

Me: Have you ever been in a bad shape?

Rona: I started my first diet at the age of 13 and had been on and off a weight-loss diet for most of my adult life. While I had always been active, there were periods of my life when I was very busy, stressed and sometimes travelling for work, which impacted my exercise regime and my health. I would say there were 3 occasions when I lost a significant amount of weight, each time vowing never to regain it!

On the last occasion, I was in Australia. I foolishly believed that moving to Australia would enable me to get fitter and healthier because of the outdoor lifestyle and fresh food, both of which are highly limited in Hong Kong.  I was wrong, and gained even more weight due to a number of factors including hormonal changes, great food and great wine which is relatively inexpensive, and stress.  Due to my job, I wasn’t as active as I should have been, although I did try.

I joined the gym in the same building as my office and came across a Step class and I loved it. I used to do Step a lot in Hong Kong and at one time, I used to do 5 classes a week. I went into the classes with a bit too much enthusiasm and at the beginning of my fourth class, I badly sprained my ankle. It was quite bad, and I didn’t work out for quite a while. I became depressed. I felt I was not in control of my weight and I would end up being obese.

The image is from a personal archive of Rona
The image is from a personal archive of Rona

Me: How did you find your motivation again?

Rona: Eventually, it was husband who took positive action. He came across a small PT studio near where we lived and signed us both up. They specialize in weight-loss among other things and friend of mine had also lost weight with them. It was a very non-threatening and friendly atmosphere and all the team knew our names and greeted us each time we went. In addition to PT, they ran a lot of group exercise classes, which were fun, and so we went almost every day!

Our weight-loss was slow and steady. In 10 months, I lost 20kg and John lost 30kg. In the process, we learned more about nutrition and healthy eating. I think doing it together was huge factor in our success, since we would shop and cook together and most importantly, did not lead each other astray, even on holidays. We have maintained the weight-loss now for more than 3 years.

The image is from a personal archive of Rona

Me: Why did you decide to be a PT and Health coach?

Rona: I have always been interested in health and fitness and it was more than 10 years earlier (when I had lost weight and got fit after an operation), that I first thought about trying to help others, particularly mature women, to lose weight and get fit.  I saw a gap in the market at that time, as many older women find the gym environment intimidating.  That idea was put on the back burner when my career took off but once I decided to “retire” from banking and having achieved my lasting transformation, it became a possibility. With not working for the first time in my adult life, I had the time and energy to study, so I took the ACE personal Trainer and ACE Health Coach certifications, as well as a nutrition qualification.  I also achieve a Functional Ageing Specialist certification, as this is an area that particularly interests me and is not well served by our industry yet.

Me: Are you happy now? Why?

Rona: I am very happy now, as I feel I doing something very worthwhile and helping others to make changes in their lives.  I was also very fortunate to be hired by a new concept club that’s looking at a holistic approach to wellness for senior executives, business people etc.  This is a very good match for me, having worked in the corporate world for so many years.  I understand their challenges.  Every day, I use my previous corporate experience to help me to help others.  The last 10 years of my banking career were in Risk Management and I see a lot of similarities in the world of wellness.  I am passionate about disease prevention and exercise as medicine.  The world is facing a health crisis of epidemic proportions (obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease etc).  I hope to change the world, one person at a time.

Me: What is your schedule now?

Rona: I am currently working full-time at the club I mentioned. My normal day is coaching a few clients, running a small group class and helping with health assessments. I am also continuing my studies in the next levels of nutrition and coaching.

I try to workout every day, except Sunday, when we usually take a long, evening walk. I think the general population believes that people in the fitness industry are super fit but I have seen a large number of fitness professionals who are not “walking the talk”. While I don’t think I am “super fit”, I try hard to maintain a very good level of fitness.

The image is from a personal archive of Rona
The image is from a personal archive of Rona

Me: How can you explain your working style in a fitness industry?

Rona: I design my own workout programmes or borrow from the many sources that I read.  I love to try new things and always test before I use with clients.  I like to use combination exercises, which challenge the mind as well as the body and my current favorite thing is to incorporate a short metabolic circuit into sessions, which my clients enjoy too.  My approach is total body conditioning rather than to train isolated body parts, unless that’s what a client specifically requests.

My philosophy is to get people moving better and feeling better about themselves, at any age. For the future, I would like to further explore the market for mature adults and continue as a specialist weight-loss coach.

Me: How would you describe a good fitness & health coach?

Rona: Personal Training 101 starts with rapport, and that principle endures. A good coach is someone with great listening skills and empathy for their client. It is also someone who understands what their client is experiencing in their lives and someone who can identify and build on the client’s existing competancies and recognise their achievements.

Me: What is your main principle to keep happiness?

Rona: To stay happy, I count my blessings.  I acknowledge how fortunate I am to be able to live the life I lead and to be fit and healthy.  

How I was recovering from a cold virus

So today was my first workout in the gym during last two weeks when I was recovering from a cold virus.

During these two weeks I have done two weight workouts at home, and it was my big mistake. My fever become worse and just after that I gave my body the rest.

During this time I was laying on the bed full two days, but mostly I begun my morning with light and short yoga. During last week I felt I could increase the time for yoga from half an hour to one hour. And I finish my day with walking for 30 minutes.

My food dairy was the same as every time: with a lot of vegetables and greens, with some fruits and nuts every day, with a little fish or sea food, with quinoa, buckwheat blended flax seeds, chia seeds and berries. I was drinking a lot warm water with ginger and lime juice. I was using a lot of fresh ginger, onion and garlic in many dishes. I even ate dark chocolate, goat cheese and some cake.

The results are the same weight and measurements, the same abs and muscles are on the place!

How to reach a regular fitness?

  1. Push yourself to go to the gym or do other sports during first 6-12 months;
  2. Keep a strong discipline and willpower;
  3. Enjoy small results and love yourself more and more;
  4. Remember about the future and the quality of your life which increases by proper fitness and health food;
  5. Make photos of yourself in an underwear every two weeks in the same day and compare these in different periods. Enjoy results or be honest and correct your nutrition plan or/and workouts;
  6. Listen and feel yourself. Have a rest;
  7. Finally enjoy fitness as your lifestyle habit.

Food and activities in the travel: Israel

They said Israel is a second home of start-ups after Silicon Valley now. This place definitely inspired me a lot by fresh ideas, new plans and challenging tasks. But what I liked most was people’s ability to live life here and now: just being yourself, walking, socializing, dancing, smiling and enjoying tasty food.

Food in the travel

  • Mediterranean cuisine is famous for its long positive impact on life expectancy. I could easily find both delicious and healthy food (fresh vegetable salads seasoned with local olive oil, fish and seafood) in any local cafe.
  • But… I had to abstain from eating up, even the most delicious and healthy dishes! I have discovered that food helpings tend to be really hospitable in Israel: three times larger than the average ones in Russian and European restaurants.  Here I experienced my first cheating day of not finishing the ice cream, as one scoop turned out to be much bigger than I had been used to.
  • I was really pleased by beverages variety. For instance, this is possible everywhere in Israel to select from coconut water smoothie, soymilk coffee, mint and lemon tea, or fresh juice. Actually, I encountered lots of fruit shops in every city I visited: Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Bat Yam and Haifa.
This is just one scoop of ice cream with one flavor in my cup, and two flavors on the cup of my friend
This is just one scoop of ice cream with one flavor in my cup, and two flavors on the cup of my friend

Activities

  • The trip was rich with strolls about Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa. My mobile pedometer would register approximately 18 000 steps daily for three days running.
  • I took my time to practice in-home yoga before breakfast.
  • My friend suggested our cycling tour along Tel Aviv shoreline. To tell you the truth, bicycles were not the most comfortable ever, but cycling truly accelerated our movements, contributed to diversity of sights seen and filled our day up with brand new emotions and experiences.

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  • When planning my trips, I always google good gyms and yoga classes or ask my friends and acquaintances about such places. It was my friend Katya this time, who took me to the Russian-speaking morning yoga meditation class, which took place at a sea view classroom.
  • I had spare time for gym on Shabbat. But Shabbos, or Shabbat is a holy day when Jews refrain from work activities. That’s why I quickly designed a training program for the open-air workout. In the morning Katya and me had one-hour boot camp in front of the sea. It is noteworthy that there is plenty of space for those who want to train at the seaside.

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You will be able to find out more about that training program of mine in one of the following posts.

No to Arthritis: Instruction Sheet

If you are familiar with my fitness record, you know that I had come to gym for health, not for beauty. The problem was solved and I created a muscular girdle in the core to support kidneys and not let them shift down. But soon life called me to the next challenge. The knee joint pains lead me to doctors who diagnosed a case of genetic knee arthritis.

It hurt to tears during inflammation of the knee.

I started studying the arthritis subject with innate systematic approach: discovered other people’s experience, searched for sportsmen’s recommendations, and consulted with orthopedists and rheumatologists.

In the course of treatment I formed the following habits.

1. Appropriate doctors are essential

You have to surround yourself with professional medical support: that of orthopedist, rheumatologist, ultra sonographer and radiographer. I found the right doctors on recommendations of acquaintances. I would arrange an appointment with a doctor, prepare a list of questions, visit the doctor and realize if he met my requirements and if I could trust him. You’d better also do ultrasonography and radiography in recommended clinics and undergo re-examinations at the same places with the same doctors.

2. Tolerating pain is forbidden

Knee pain is the first stroke of joint inflammation. In case of arthritis, the cartilage deteriorates and the bones start rubbing directly against each other. That’ s why I agreed to take medicines prescribed by my orthopedist. I was on non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs and cartilage protectors.

3. Daily exercising is a must

Your physical therapy should be on a daily basis. There are no capillaries in knee joints and important nutrients are provided by synovial fluid, which is transported into the joint space from cartilage only when the joint is active, i.e. during movement. Moreover, it is necessary to build leg muscles to create a muscular girdle for your knees. But it is not recommended to do weight exercises, such as squats, lunges and jumps at inflammatory state.

I relocated my lower body workout from the gym to home mat. I performed light 45-minute leg and butt workouts every day. My orthopedist had provided illustrated instruction sheet to those exercises.

I kept on working out my upper body in a gym with sitting position exercises prevailing. In that way, weight is distributed on hips, not on legs. I always warmed up by cycling only.

I added regular swimming to my training schedule for general joint support and my overall muscular tone maintenance.

4. Eating avocado and cottage cheese is good for you

In case of knee arthritis, nutrition should be focused on cartilage repair. Firstly, your diet should be healthy and balanced. Take lots of vegetables, fruits, green-stuff and safe drinking water. I had refused meat, gluten, roasted and junk food long ago and this point was no hard task.
Secondly, I increased the quantity of fatty fish, avocado, olive oil, prawns and other rich in healthy fats products consumed.
Thirdly, I added casein protein to my evening menu. I found out from several articles that growth hormone in human organism is produced naturally throughout the whole life, however, its level drops over the years. Protein tends to double up the growth hormone production, which facilitates cartilage repair. Casein protein is digested within few hours, which, in its turn, raises the chance of growth hormone production. I tasted casein protein powder but was preoccupied with body response. That was why I replaced it with 100-gram portion of skim cheese and used to have it two hours before bedtime. At the time it was the only dairy product on my menu. And currently there are no dairy foods at all. Collagen, which is contained within aspic, is considered to be beneficial for arthritis treatment. But I refrained from this experiment, as I didn’t feel like eating meat products back then.

5. Taking care of your knees, by all means

I ordered special orthopedic insoles, as proper foot fixation is another foundation for knee joints. And my personal experience proves it well. At least, now, that I have new footwear and insoles, I don’t get tired from long time walking, as I previously did. And you can easily displace your insoles from these or those shoes to the other ones. Now I choose to buy new footwear only if my insoles fit well in it.

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Happy end

I have no bum knees any more. The doctors have noted significant improvements. I have gradually added leg workouts to my training and displaced my in-home physical drills to the gym. I have built my muscles scrupulously and successively. Now all kinds of exercises, seated or stand up, lunges or squats, are included into my regular training programme. But I still tend to listen to my body and to focus more on sets quantity and quality, than muscle mass gain.
My body reveals and health strengthens.
To tell you the truth, this is a great piece of luck to prove first-hand that recuperating your health is possible at any age.

Everything happens for a reason

Natalia and I studied together. We were both television journalism students with prior TV work experience. You might expect something interesting with such a background, right? Natalia, now 29 years old, first worked as a translator and then as a PR-manager in a foreign company before eventually ending up as a yoga instructor.

In Natalia’s words, everything in her life has flowed naturally: twice living and working in the USA, a second higher education degree at the Department of Oriental Studies, teaching yoga, studying Japanese in Tokyo for three years and working in a show business. But I don’t think people’s lives are determined by luck. Natalia knows how to dream, and perhaps more importantly, how to make her dreams a reality.

Me: Why did you go to the East, to the origins of yoga?

It had always been my dream. After living in America I could speak English pretty well at the age of 22 and I decided that one foreign language was not enough for me. I had always wanted to visit Japan that is why I chose Japanese. This language is interesting and pretty hard to learn. Plus, three years of living in Japan is a fantastic experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything. I’ve experienced and compared European, American and Asian ways of thinking. And it’s been fascinating in speaking of our perceptions of the world.

The photo is a personal archive of Natalia. Model's work in Tokyo
The photo is a personal archive of Natalia. Model’s work in Tokyo

Me: Did yoga change you?

Yes, it did. Nothing would have happened without it; I couldn’t have earned enough money for my education and I wouldn’t have had the strength to change my life so radically.  I feel it gave me the belief that no matter what I chose to do everything would be fine.

Me: So how did it happen?

My plan was to learn Japanese and to get to know the country but sometimes things do not go according to a plan. So I first worked as a translator, then as a model, and then finally found my place in show business. I met many famous people and went to the gigs of rock bands that I’d been listening to since I was a teenager. I never thought I would see them perform live!

Natalia and Paul Stanly in Tokyo
Natalia and Paul Stanly in Tokyo

Me: Wow, how do you combine yoga and rock music?

Easily! I’ve loved rock music since I was 14 years old. This is one of the reasons why I was so lucky to be able to work with rock musicians in Japan. When you’re able to tell Fred Durst from Limp Bizkit: “Hey dude, I was listening to your songs when I was a teen, thank you for your music!”,  you can understand each other pretty well. By the way, there is a popular American yoga instructor with black eyeliner and leather bracelets whose motto is, “Rock your pose! Rock your body!”

Me: Does she practice with rock music?

No (laughing). I’m also true to my temperament and I prefer dynamic yoga – ashtanga vinyasa. This yoga is for energetic people; it suits better to people with western cost of mind. Madonna, Sting and many other successful people do practice it. Yoga helps them to balance their eventful life and prevents them from getting bored during practice.

The photo is a personal archive of Natalia
The photo is a personal archive of Natalia

Me: When you just getting started, which way is better – to practice yoga with instructor or to do it by yourself?

I recommend to practice with professional instructor for the first months. As soon as you get the basics and learn how to feel your body you can try to do it by yourself. Goes without saying that practice with instructor cannot be compared to practice with videotape.

Me: Some beginners have health problems after yoga. What do you think about that?

It happens, and it is quite normal. When you are doing yoga all your muscles are working really hard. Some of them cannot actually be trained on any gym machines. So when you touch some previously stabilized old problems you can feel some pain. Your old injuries can “wake up”. You can even feel something than have never bothered you before. Do not panic. Just tell your instructor about it and he or she will help you to deal with it. You should not endure the pain or give up doing yoga. Your task is to find your optimal load. After that the pain will be gone and will never disturb you again. It applies to musculoskeletal system. But if you have some problems with your blood pressure or headaches, it is better to see a doctor and find a cause.

Me: Who comes to practice yoga?

Yoga is intellectual training. It is usually the choice of educated and successful people. Some people are doing yoga for muscle stretching or because of health problems and they are getting more than expected. Yoga means strength and flexibility of your body, balance and calmness of your mind. If your spine is healthy, you are healthy. Many people cannot live without final shavasana relaxation. It is an ideal asana for having rest after a workday.

Me: That’s right! I’m ready to see my Vietnamese instructor anytime only because of shavasana with stroking and head massage!

Yeah, I use this technique too. And I learnt it in Asia. It is not actually “stroking” (laughing). It is the way your instructor can help you to relax and take more comfortable position. Sometimes you cannot lie down comfortably by yourself, and it is very important. And also an energetic aspect should not be excepted.

Photo: Alexey Tulenkov by Pressfoto Production Studio
Photo: Alexey Tulenkov by Pressfoto Production Studio

Me: Can yoga be combined with gym workouts?

Yes, but not at the same day. You should not underestimate the exercise stress of yoga. If you combine them, you will just be tired. It is really cool to do yoga with run or any other cardio exercises.

Me: What about your nutrition?

My basic principle is to listen to the body. If you want to eat some cake: find a reason why. And then let yourself to eat this cake easily and with pleasure. If you want to eat cakes every day, you should definitely find a reason. Maybe it is lack of glucose. You should check it with a dietician. Do not eat something that makes you feel heaviness; eat the food, which you are enjoying to eat. My diet is based on a principle of inverted pyramid: I eat most of the food in the morning and noon. In the afternoon I eat less, proteins prevail, and I exclude carbohydrates and floury food.

Me: Do you eat meat?

I used to eat a lot of meat. In the last six months I eat only white meat and it is not because any ethical issues. I realized that red meat makes my body heavier. Sometimes I have up to 5 workouts a day so I need proteins. That is why I prefer to eat fish and chicken. My only weakness is Korean cuisine.

Me: How did you come to love Korean cuisine while living in Japan?

It happened accidentally. My language school was in a Korean district of Tokyo.

Me: What is the conception of your life?

I like yoga principles in respect to modern life. In every period of life things should happen when they are supposed to be happening. You should not give up your youth for enlightenment. If you like to drink with your friends, do it even if you practice yoga. Do stupid things, gain some life experience. There are many limitations in our life, don’t make more. Practice yoga and try to feel your body. Do no harm. Give more than you take. Don’t wait for anything in return. “Practice yoga and you’ll have everything”. I am the best example of this saying.

Photo: Alexey Tulenkov by Pressfoto Production Studio
Photo: Alexey Tulenkov by Pressfoto Production Studio

Me: What is your ideal of beauty?

It is when everything is real and natural. You have to do a lot to look naturally beautiful. I mean sport and healthy nutrition. It is much easier to do make up.

Me: What is the freedom?

In my opinion, freedom is wrong idea. What kind of happiness can be found in the freedom? For example, it is so good to be depending on your beloved person! Or find your place in society. Friends and job are limiting our freedom but give us a lot more instead

Me: Why did you come back to Russia?

I decided that it was time to progress in yoga. Neon lights of Tokyo led me a bit away from my main goal. I have just passed through selection into international fitness holding company “Citrus” fitness-club. So now intensive training is in process. Now I’m on the way that I’m going to be on for all my life. I had to change something. It is always a regress without a progress.

Me: What’s next? What are your plans for the future?

I’m going to go to California soon to have a 200-hours class of yoga instructor and get an international level certificate. In my greater plans I’m going to create my own unique approach of yoga practice.

That is so awesome! Will you come to our production studio for some pictures and videos before you go?

Yes, with pleasure!

How a programmer from Seattle became the manager of a fitness club

27-years-old Tony is a fitness manager in one of the most prestigious clubs of 10-millionth Ho Chi Minh City – California Centuryon. He was born in the same American city as Bill Gates, Bruce Lee, companies Boeing and Amazon. Here in Seattle he grown up, was educated and began his fitness career. He is a kind and sympathetic person and always helps me with professional sports information.

Recently I have interviewed him and found out some details of his professional activities. I also asked him about life principles which directly influence the results of person who is keen on fitness.

— How did you come to sport and fitness?
— I had been studying computer science in one of the colleges in Seattle. I had been sitting in front of the computer round the clock drinking lots of coffee and eating chips and burgers. I was fat. Then I found part-time job as a sales manager in a fitness club. I got carried away by fitness and completed the course of personal trainer. At the same time I worked in the club as assistant of fitness manager. When the previous manager has left, I was offered a promotion. Thus I became Seattle fitness club manager when I was 21.

— Why did you move to Saigon? Many Russians dream of living in Seattle!
— I have a friend from Seattle, he is a trainer and fitness manager and he lives and works in Vietnam for several years. Two years ago he offered me a job in Saigon. I agreed because I want to get life experience in other countries. In the next 20 years I’m not going to return to America. I would like to live in some other countries during that time.

— Who are you now?
— I’m a businessman who helps fitness club clients to enjoy fitness.

— Do you like it?
— Yes, I do. After several years of work as a personal trainer you will know all body types, how to work with them and potential results. Of course it is nice to help specific people. But I already want more global results. Now I’m helping more than 750 clients of our club.

— How much do you work?
— 12 hours a day, 6 days a week.

— Do you agree with the opinion that Americans are workaholics and prefer career to family?
— Yes, and I like it.

— What does happiness mean for you?
— To win and be the first. I had always been on the top — in school, in college, in fitness club.

— What is your life philosophy?
— To enjoy and to progress.

— What is your fitness philosophy?
— Be handsome and fit. I think that the main goal in fitness for the most clients is beauty, not the health. Exactly the beauty! And I’m glad that I help my clients to be beautiful and sexy.

— What is your nutrition?
— It comes from the following: to see health and to feel healthy is completely different parameters. But everyone can see the beauty. So if you want to be handsome you have to be healthy in the first place. Reduce the amount of carbohydrates.

— What do you think about sport supplements?
— They are very important but they cannot replace the food. Your diet should be balanced.

— What are supplements for? For the health or for the beauty?
— They are for quick result.

— How long are you going to live?
— 75 years.

— Thank you for your time and for the interview!
— You are very welcome! See you in the club!

My nutrition or how to increase the immunity and loose 6 kg a month

Today I’m going to tell you about my nutrition that saved me from permanent colds and illnesses. It also helped my dad to lose six kg a month, my mom – three kg, and my boyfriend has lost four kg a month!

More than two years ago I had permanent immunity problems. It forced me to study different nutrition researches. I found out how the food influenced our health and lifetime.

Analysis of food preferences of people from different countries led scientists to impressive results. People with complex illnesses started to feel better; they got rid of symptoms and as a result had an eventful high-quality life for more than 80 years. It is not a one-time diet: first results can be seen only after 6-12 months. This is the diet for the whole life.

Having read lots of information I realized that everything we eat is potentially affecting our lifetime. I decided I love myself so much that I’m ready to stop eating cookies, chocolate, meat, mayonnaise and so on. That’s right; two years ago I’d been eating it every day!

So here is the summary of all the information that I’ve found in internet about a healthy diet. It became my healthy lifestyle program.

I harshly changed my nutrition. We discussed all the information on family council and decided to change our diet together.

First two weeks were the hardest. When we went to a supermarket we realized that at least 80% of food selling there was unhealthy. I had a headache after 30 minutes of reading lists of ingredients. During two first weeks I was hungry all the time. At such moments I’ve been eating the small amount of fruits, vegetables or nuts. But then everything has changed! I felt lightness and cheerfulness; it seemed there was more positive in my life and my brain started to work better and faster.

Later I felt terrible after eating something unhealthy (pizza, chocolate or French fries) and I didn’t ever want to eat it again.

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So here are my nutrition principles and their reasons*:
*Please, pay attention there aren’t prescriptions. This is just my personal experience. And this is your personal or your doctor responsibility to choose and/or prescribe any diet.

Principle Reason
(how I explain the reasons for myself*)
Exclusion of gluten: no wheat flour, barley or rye. It means you have to exclude bread, sweets, wheat noodles, kvass, beer, whisky, and oatmeal. Wheat, barley and rye contain gluten. It makes your intestinal walls thinner so pathogenic bacteria can penetrate into your blood. They also contain proteins, which cause cancer and autoimmune diseases.
90% exclusion of dairy products: milk, cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, and sour cream. Dairy products contain unhealthy proteins; they also contain fats, which cause different diseases and shorten your lifetime. I drink a cup of coffee with milk once a day.
Exclusion of red meat: beef, pork, and mutton. Researchers say that you can eat boiled beef or mutton once a week. Meat contains saturated fats, which increase your cholesterol level and the risk to heart disease and diabetes.
Saturated fats were replaced with unsaturated. For example, I don’t have any sunflower oil at home, but I eat more olive oil, nuts, red fish and olives.

I also reduced the amount of eggs consumption.

Saturated fats are increasing cholesterol level.
Exclusion of legumes: haricot, peanuts, and peas. I eat soy sauce but only with sashimi 🙂 Legumes contain unhealthy proteins, which can cause undesirable immune reactions or may be reason of cancer diseases.
Exclusion of sweets, any drinks from the shop, food with high content of sugar. They cause undesirable immune reactions; reduce intestinal flora.
Exclusion of semi-prepared foods e.g. sausages. Also mayonnaise and ketchup. Large amount of saturated fats. Plus you cannot control the production of this food and you never know what it contains.

Here is the list of my food daily plan:

  • Fish and seafood – two times a day for lunch and dinner;
  • Lots of vegetables – lunch and dinner;
  • Filleted chicken and turkey. I don’t eat it for the last year; formerly I had been alternating it with fish and seafood;
  • Rice or buckwheat crisp breads;
  • Rice or glass noodles, millet, brown rice, buckwheat, quinoa;
  • Fresh fruits;
  • Dried fruits and nuts;
  • Stevia instead of sugar just for baking;
  • Sweets of my own recipe (rice or coconut flour and stevia) – one-two times a week;
  • Eggs in the sweets or in the omelet – once or twice a week;
  • Coffee with milk without sugar – one time a day. Sugar can be replaced with stevia. You can put it into container and keep it in your bag;
  • Any amounts of greens;
  • Lots of water of room temperature.

Once a week I have a cheating day when I can eat scoop of ice cream or some cake in a cafe.

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I’m used to my nutrition and have no problems with it at all. I enjoy eating savory vegetables, fresh fruits and delicious fish and seafood!

I love cooking a healthy food and this is actually easier than to cook the food from my past life 🙂 My health has greatly improved for the last two years! I became healthier, more cheerful, more active and more creative! All the time and money I spend on healthy diet will be the best investment in the life!

My personal sport story

Childhood

I was lean and often sick when I was a kid. I never did sports regularly except two years of playing table-tennis and one year of shaping-up exercises in high school. I was a nerd and wanted to accomplish everything by myself.

November 2014
November 2014

What’s with the kidneys?

Around four years ago I lost weight again. As a result it was nephroptosis and frequent pains. Sometimes it was so bad that I wanted to cry. The doctor said that there were two options: get some weight or strengthen my back and waist. I chose the second variant and went to a gym to workout with a personal trainer.

I went to the gym twice a week but I did it regularly and never missed. After some time I started to do it three times a week. I would have never thought that I would enjoy doing exercises. My trainer Eugenia Bazunova helped me to understand that training in the gym is not just weightlifting. We did different aerobic exercises, body balance, TRX exercises and I started to enjoy it! Plus, my diet was in line with a diet of a sportsman at that time.

One more life test

After two months I felt better. My kidneys went to normal position but my knees started to hurt. It turned out I had chronic ailment – an osteoarthrosis. The doctors said it was hereditary disease.

That was a hard time – pain in the knees, tears… I wanted to continue my sport activities but didn’t know how. But my way of systematic thinking helped me again. I asked several doctors and they all said that I should continue to do sports, but all the exercises must be done while sitting or lying. So I found lots of information, created the special diet and exercises for myself. For the next six months I had been training every day and I succeeded!

How to deal with excess weight

I was training three times a week and was on a diet but after another months I had some hormonal problems and as a result I gained 7 kg of weight. Human organism can adapt to everything very quickly that’s why I must change my diet and exercises. And just after new workout program and new diet my body started to burn fat. Currently my weight is 50 kg. So this is 7 kg difference during 10 months.

November 2013 vs November 2014
November 2013 vs November 2014

I have been training myself about six to seven times a week. Usually in the mornings before the work. That’s why I trained myself to wake up at 6:00 AM. In the evenings and on weekends I read a lot of medical and sport literature. I make training programs and diets for myself, and then I test and correct them if necessary. Also I communicate with trainers from different countries. My weekly training schedule includes exercises for the legs, back, shoulders and arms plus I do yoga few times a week and play tennis one time a week. Sometimes I go swimming after a workout.

Happiness

The main thing is that I enjoy fitness, sports and healthy diet! My goal is the same as when I started training – health on the first place and then the beauty.