Getting back to Basics

I read an article somewhere the other day, revealing Gwyneth Paltrow’s secret diet and exercise routine. Want to know her secret? Gwyneth says "I do 45 minutes of cardio five days a week, because I like to eat. I also try for 45 minutes of muscular structure work, which is toning, realigning and lengthening. If I'm prepping for something or I've been eating a lot of pie, I do two hours a day, six days a week for two weeks."*

I like to eat too, but all that for a bit of pie?!

It got me thinking. How many of us have the time, like Gwyneth, to train 2 hours a day six times a week with your very own personal trainer? And if you don’t have 2 hours a day to train, should we just give up now?

I’d say no, to both questions. We still want the results though, right? So how drastic and committed do we really have to be.

True health is your birthright and your own individual responsibility. Not any one diet or gadget will bring it to you, and nor is this setting you up for a healthy lifestyle. Forget the 10kg’s you want to lose in the next 4 weeks, try thinking about how you want to feel in 4 years, 8 years or 15 years from now.

As a C.H.E.K Holistic Lifestyle Coach, I use the Foundation of Health principles, as taught to me by Paul Chek (creator of the C.H.E.K Institute). Read the below checklist and see how many out of the 6 fundamentals you implement on a daily basis.

The 6 Fundamentals of Good Health:

1. THOUGHTS: You move in the direction of your current dominating thought – so make it a good one!

Thoughts lead to action and actions lead to words. Everything you do begins with a thought, and every action that stems from your thoughts are positive or negative dependent on your state of mind. Your thoughts are more powerful than you realise, so be conscious of your “self-talk” and make it positive. This will be reflected in the direction you take with your success. This might not feel natural to you at first, so help yourself by writing a daily affirmation on a Post-It note and stick it beside your computer screen or phone at work so it prompts your thought patterns throughout the day. Go to for daily affirmations you can use.

2. BREATHING: Breathe with the belly

Breathing right is essential for optimum health. Your breathing directly impacts your body's pH balance and it's also the primary function of the diaphragm. Most of us are constantly in a stressful state and tend to over-breathe or take shallow breaths, so take 60 seconds to sit still and consciously breathe. Slow your breath down to 3 seconds inhale (breathe into the belly and let the rib cage expand), 3 second pause, 3 second exhale, 3 second pause. This exercise can be done at night before going to sleepas it’s a great way to calm the nervous system and massage your internal organs.

3. HYDRATION: Nothing beats water hydration

Hydration is linked to performance. If you allow yourself to become dehydrated your mental clarity, energy levels and productivity will suffer. Fizzy drinks, juices, sports drinks, alcoholic and caffeinated drinks will use more water to digest them than the amount of water they put into your body. They dehydrate you, not re-hydrate you. Aim for 0.033 litres of filtered water per kg of body weight to ensure you’re getting enough water throughout the day. Add a pinch of Himalayan sea salt to aid the uptake of water into your cells and remember filtered water is always best. Go to to find out more about water filters to fit onto your taps at home.


Avoidance of CRAP helps you reach your optimum health! What is CRAP?

C- Carbohydrates (processed)

R- Refined Foods

A- Additives

P- Preservatives

A golden rule to follow when it comes to your nutrition: THE LESS HUMAN INTERFERENCE, THE BETTER! If it comes in a packet it’s a product, not a food.

5. MOVEMENT: Move more!

Movement helps build stamina, increase flexibility and put your body in good stead as you get older. Look at training techniques that build lean muscle tissue (to increase your metabolism), increase your heart rate (which increases heart health) & use functional movement patterns (which will assist your body in everyday tasks).

Sexy night sleep6. SLEEP: Sleep with the Sun

Our lifestyle of late night television and artificial lights make it easy to forget that our bodies are in rhythm with the light and dark cycles of day and night. When the sun starts to fade it’s time to unwind so that by 10pm you’re ready to sleep. When you are sleeping your body repairs and regenerates all the systems of your body, so you can work to your optimum again the following day. The body uses your sleep phaseto go through important cycles including detoxification and rebuilding of cells. Why would you want to cheat yourself out of these vital processes? Get to bed by 10.30pm, and aim for 8hrs sleep per night.

For more information on any of the above get yourself a copy of How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy, by Paul Chek.