Schkinny Maninny - feeling, looking and being FAB!

July 01, 2014

Posted in alcohol, diet, dry july, healthy eating

Alcohol and your body!

I love a drink.  I don’t do it every day, and I don’t binge drink either, but I do love an icy cold beer on a hot day or a lovely glass of red on a cold winters night.  So I get it.  BUT it is sometimes easy to forgot that it is a poison.  So in honour of all those participating in Dry July this year, lets go through a few hard facts:

What is it?

Alcohol, also known as ethanol, is made through a process called fermentation. During fermentation, yeast breaks sugar down into ethanol and carbon dioxide. This process is done without any air present and once complete, the carbon dioxide gas bubbles out into the air, leaving ethanol and water behind.

What does your body do with alcohol?

Alcohol is not an essential nutrient and therefore, has nowhere to be stored in your body.  So as soon as it enters your system, your body will begin the process of metabolizing it.  Which means that everything else will stop being metabolized in order to first metabolise the alcohol.  Your liver is the primary site for alcohol metabolism; this is why you can have liver problems from consuming too much alcohol. Alcohol is detoxified and removed from the blood through a process called oxidation. Oxidation prevents the alcohol from accumulating and destroying cells and organs. A healthy liver oxidizes pure ethanol at the rate of about 10ml per hour.

Alcohol and your waistline

We know that drinking affects your weight.  It contains calories with no nutritional benefit AND it causes you to eat more after consuming alcohol.  A standard beer has 150 calories, and a shot of vodka 96 calories.  Think late night kebabs after a few drinks on the town, and you have really had a night filled with unnecessary calories.

Does alcohol affect blood sugar?

The sugar in your blood, called blood glucose is maintained in your body by insulin and glucogen.  If your blood glucose drops your body makes more or burns up stored sugar, and if your blood glucose rises, insulin brings it back into line. But when you drink, your body considers alcohol a poison and immediately starts the process the remove it, which means all blood glucose maintenance is stopped. Overtime, excessive alcohol consumption can decrease insulin effectiveness resulting in high blood sugar levels.  It can also cause low blood sugar when you consume a lot on an empty stomache, as it impairs the hormonal response to regulate you blood sugar.

Is there any upside?

In moderation, there have been some reported benefits of alcohol.  Some say that red wine does contain a good dose on antioxidants. There are certain substances in red wine that may help prevent heart disease by increasing levels of good cholesterol and protecting against artery damage.  But before you reach for the bottle, these studies have only been conducted in animals and not humans.


July 20, 2013

Posted in detox, detox diet, diet, healthy eating, nutrition

5 foods to make sure you eat everyday…

I have recently tried to make sure I incorporate a few certain foods EVERY SINGLE day into my diet.  I do a lot of juicing anyways, and have recently been keeping a cold from breaking into a full blown flu epidemic in my body!  So, I was on a mission to have LOADS of fresh ginger EVERY DAY, whether it was in juice or food.  And LEMON each day, at least 3 lemons a day, whether in juice, or hot water.  It started me thinking about what foods I also normally strive to have every day.  One is definitely cucumber, particularly in juice!   I have been visiting a few juice bars lately and notice that cucumber is noticeable absent from the list of vegetables you can chose from.  For me, cucumber juice is such a critical thing to get each day, call me vain, but because of the amazing properties it has for the skin.  I once tried a bit of a self experiment, having a litre of pure cucumber juice each day for a week, and  the change in my skin was very noticeable particularly  the texture, the brightness and colour.  


So my bit of advice today is to find these foods and make sure you eat them everyday, and don’t worry, this article is not meant to be fancy superfoods you cannot pronounce, it is meant to be everyday foods that you should be eating everyday and how to add them in:

  1. SPINACH –Make your salads with spinach; add spinach to scrambled eggs; drape it over pizza; mix it with a hot pasta sauce and put over pasta, chew on some to just get your jaws moving too!
  2. AVOCADO – add to a salad; mix with some beans or tuna and add to rice for a risotto type dish; squeeze lemon juice and salt and eat it out of the skin; spread on toast or bread in place of butter
  3. CACAO – sprinkle on your cereal each morning, mix with hot water and teaspoon of honey as a replacement instant coffee; mix into your smoothie mix
  4. SEEDS – add to salads; sprinkle in cereal; add to your baking; buy a few types and mix them up for a little snack as morning tea or afternoon tea
  5. NUTS – chop up into cereal; add whole salads; ground up into fine “meal” and replace flour in baking; add to stir-fries.
June 06, 2013

Posted in diet, nutrition, weight loss

I don’t count calories anymore…..

 I stopped counting calories a few years ago. I used to be compulsive about counting, and very careful about checking the calorie or kilijoule content of things.  I was a big believer in the energy in-energy out equation (as if health is so simple!!). 


This equation still rings very true for the obese weight loss community, obviously they need to learn to understand that eating chips, chocolate, tubs of ice cream and pizzas each day meanwhile sitting on the couch, is going to lead to your body storing energy is doesn’t use.  So reducing the energy intake, and increasing energy output will reduce body weight.  But I am not one of these people.


I am a 50kg, 5ft 2in healthy person, so looking at this simple equation as the be all and end all to my health philosophy was a bit limiting.  Nutritional panels are illuminating, and you do start to learn a lot about food by studying those little columns, but as important as the panels are the INGREDIENTS. 


I have attached the nutritional panels for two different foods:



Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 1 (357.0 g)


Amount Per Serving

Calories 121

Calories from Fat 0


Total Fat 0.0g

Saturated Fat 0.1g

Polyunsaturated Fat 0.6g

Monounsaturated Fat 0.2g

Cholesterol 0mg


Sodium 0mg

Total Carbohydrates 26.7g

Dietary Fiber 4.9g

Sugars 19.4g

Protein 2.4g


Vitamin A 0%

Vitamin C 389%


Calcium 5%

Iron 5%
















Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 2 (24 g)


Amount Per Serving

Calories 97

Calories from Fat 27


Total Fat 3.0g

Saturated Fat 2.7g

Polyunsaturated Fat 0.0g

Monounsaturated Fat 0.1g

Cholesterol 0mg


Sodium 59mg

Total Carbohydrates 17.3g

Dietary Fiber 0.4g

Sugars 17g

Protein 0.9g


Vitamin A 0%

Vitamin C 0%


Calcium 0%

Iron 1%










So by the reasoning of CALORIE counting, we would probably chose Food Two as our snack, rather than food one.  It is lower in calories, so therefore will be your choice morning tea today.  BUT guess what Food One and Food Two are???


Food one is a punnet of fresh whole strawberries, and Food Two is 2 coconut macaroons.  So the argument for eating well becomes a bit more than just calories.


So now my philosophy is based more around the level of processing, vegan, rawness, wholeness, I know there are still unhealthy options out there that I chose (a girl’s gotta live!!) but if I am making a choice about what to eat, it is more than just a number.

"Coffee, Coffee, you're my heroine" -Lisa Mitchell

 After not having coffee for a long while, I got up at 4am this morning (after working til 9pm at Fashion weekend) with the prospect of working until 9pm again tonight, and then all weekend, and really wanted a full strength coffee.

I got one.  A large soy flat white!  And it was good.  Made my mouth feel all yucky afterward, and I felt unclean…  But BOY OH BOY, did I get a massive buzz!!  I was super super tired, as you can imagine by Friday morning (after a week of getting up at 4am), I am normally pretty shattered.  So this morning I was particularly shattered and a little sad at the prospect of doing another 18 hr day. 

As soon as I had a few sips, I couldn’t believe the impact it had.  I used to drink coffee every day, only 1 or 2, but still it was an every day habit.

 It got me thinking about the habit itself and the addiction.  It was a very good feeling, I felt effective, quick, and productive (I am pumping out this blog post at the moment whilst “high”).  So I can understand how this “fix” has become such a huge part of our society.  It is quite simply an addictive stimulant.  But it is also a slippery slide into addiction.  Life is busy, its hectic, and there is simply not enough time in the day, so a little pick me up each day (or a few times a day) surely won’t hurt right?

I feel good now, but what about in 5-6 hours when I come down from this high, and feel tired and sluggish and exhausted again, will I just get another hit?  And then what about tomorrow morning, will it start like this again?  Will I just get another one? 

 I won’t.  But that is because I made an effort to break my habit a little while back.  The main reason is that I had an addiction (as do most people, they will just tell you they aren’t addicted, like most addicts do!).  If I didn’t have coffee, I felt shabby, tired, headachey, glum, and not 100%, that was because my 100% was not me, it was me PLUS coffee=100%.  I hated that I was dependent on something to help me feel better, I felt that was a sad way to live each day.  So I quit, and it was hard at first, but I am so much happier that I did.  I felt cleaner, lighter, better able to listen to my body to understand when I was tired, when I was sad, and also when I felt 100% without any “highs” to get me there.

 I know there are a lot of people out there that are addicted, much more so that I ever was too.  I am not entering into an argument about whether coffee is good or bad, because I am not taking sides, but I know that I am happier that I quit.

The 5:2 fasting diet... It makes sense....

 When I first heard about this, it made sense to me.  Obviously I am from a juice cleanse company, so it makes sense to me, but more from the perspective of my own life.  I work on more of a “weekends off” type strategy with my lifestyle.  So my boyfriend and I will indulge in whatever we feel like on the weekend, it won’t be junk food 24/7, but we eat a pretty strict vegan diet during the week where we can control what we are eating and making, so the weekends are the time when it is like “I feel like Mexican Fajitas, well, lets have it”.  It also means that when Monday morning rolls around, we are back on the juices and our calorie intake will decrease dramatically.  Normally Monday and Tuesday will be just juice and salad (purging for the fajitas on the weekend), and honestly it is all we feel like!

So when I heard about the 5:2 diet, I thought it seemed sensible.  The weight loss regimen that has become all the rage in the U.K, prescribes that adherents eat their typical diet five days per week and then spend two days consuming a quarter of their normal calories -- what amounts to about 500 for women and 600 for men.   Whilst, my diet doesn’t strictly adhere to these actual numbers, I still find the comparison to my own lifestyle of relying on getting through on just a few juices for a few days a week.  Even though our normal cleanse programs are not calorie deficient, we do have new juice packs that tailor quite well to those looking for an option for those “fast” days.  The juices that I rely on are the following:
Vego Mego – Spinach, celery, beetroot, lemon, ginger 188 calories
Leap Frog – apple, cucumber, spinach, parsley, kiwifruit  228 calories
Green Salad – carrot, celery, parsley, lemon, cucumber 174 calories
The Alkaliser – cucumber, celery, lemon, parsley, spinach, kiwifruit 167 calories

  The juices are part of the Mostly Veg Juice Pack, so even though they are more than the normal “fasting” day recommendation of 500 for women, they work beautifully for me.  You can see the other juice packs online now

Birds do it, bees do it, even you and me do it!

 Everybody does it, but no-one wants to have a chat about it….  We all think that what we do is normal, but unless something is very wrong, we would never ask anyone to check.   So lets talk about Number 2s.  And the unfortunate reality is, most people are constipated….

 Did you know that even if you have one bowel movement every day you are probably still constipated? The majority of people can go for days.  A healthier number is 2-3 times per day. And it shouldn’t be uncomfortable. It should be as easy as number 1’s.

There is another way to gauge if you are constipated. It is called the Bristol Stool Chart.  As unpleasant as it is to look at, it is a very important gauge of your health as well as the health of your diet.

Check it out here:

As unpleasant as it is to look at, it is a very important guage of your health as well as the health of your diet.

How to read the chart:

   Types 1-3: You are constipated.

   Types 4-5: Depending on who you talk to these are ideal.

   Types 6-7: Too "urgent" to be normal.

 The form your stool takes depends on how long it has been in the colon, with 72 hours being ideal. As you move down the chart you go from way too long in the colon (1-3), the normal ~72 hour time period (4-5) and finally under 72 hours (6-7). You can find much more detail about each stool type and what it means here (

 In order to be healthy, inside and outside, your bowel must be working and for every meal that we eat, every day. If you are eating three meals per day, then you must have three bowel movements per day. You won’t remember it, but those with children will know the regularity of an infants bowel, food in, poop out.  If you are having less than two bowels movements per day, food residues accumulate for more than twelve hours, purification and fermentation begins and the insides begin rotting, aging and becoming ill.  Often when I talk to people about doing a detox, they will ask me “But won’t I go to the toilet a lot?”  Well, yes, and you need to!  You will need to go to the toilet to move those nasty things you have eaten through you body.

Any nutritional elements present in the fecal matter passes into the bloodstream as polluted products, thus toxemia commences.  Pimples and other skin blemishes are generally the first sign of toxemia.
  Not only does it create a toxic environment, but increasing your chances of bowel cancer.

So, how do you become more regular? The are fibre supplements out there, but really a diet rich in fibre is what you need.  I speak from experience, when I know I have eaten a day full of just fresh fruits, vegetable legumes and nuts, I am as regular as clockwork, BUT give me a day of naughty food, coffee, bread, dairy and I am lucky if I go once!  My belly feels bloated, and I would like to get it out, but cannot!  A cleanse also really helps to reset your bowel and move the old matter through your body.  Then you can restart your new diet rich in high fibre foods.

But I thought I was healthy.... The quiz to test how healthy you really are..

So you made a news years resolution and it was to get back into shape, or get healthy, or eat better, or something good and positive!  And how are you travelling?  Are you on track?  How healthy are you, really…… 

I often get asked why sometimes people get quite sick and feel terrible on a cleanse and some don’t, some have more severe symptoms than others and other are quite mild.  Whilst everyone is very different and invidiuals will process things differently and remove toxins differently, a fairly reliable indication of the symptoms will be the persons diet.  And the one thing that people will always say, “but I thought I ate quite healthy…”  So what is quite healthy?  I can 100% guarantee that “healthy” for a raw vegan is VERY different to “healthy” for a fine dining carnivore.  Here is a little quiz to help you decide…


1. How many times a day would you eat fresh raw vegetables?

a)    more than twice a day

b)   Once or twice a day

c)    Less than once a day


2. How many times a day would you eat cooked/tinned/frozenvegetables?

a)    maybe a few times a week

b)   once a day

c)    twice a day


3. How many times a day would you eat fresh raw fruit?

a)    more than twice a day

b)   Once or twice a day

c)    Less than once a day


4. How many times a week would you drink alcohol?

a)    never

b)   a few times a week or only on weekends

c)    every day a glass or two


5. How many times a day would you eat something that has been bought from a supermarket shelf (not fridge) (e.g biscuits, cakes, crackers, etc)

a)    Less than once a day

b)   Once or twice a day

c)    more than twice a day


6. How soon after you wake do eat first drink water?

a)    Less 20 minutes

b)   Between about 20mins and 2 hours

c)    At least 2 hours after waking up


7. How often do you eat breakfast?

a)    every day

b)   a few times a week

c)    not very often, maybe once a week


8. How soon after you wake do you eat breakfast?

a)    within 30 mintues

b)   within 2 hours

c)    I don’t eat it


9. How many coffees/day do you drink?

a)    none

b)   only 1

c)    more than 1 per day


10. How do you feel if you don’t miss your coffee?

a)    don’t drink it

b)   don’t feel a thing

c)    headachey, tired and crappy



11. How often do you eat meat (chicken, lamb, beef, pork)?

a)    never or very rarely

b)   1 or 2 times a week

c)    every day


12. How often do you have some form of dairy product (eggs, milk, cheese, etc)

a)    never or very rarely

b)   a few times a week

c)    every day


13. How often do you add salt and pepper?

a)    very rarely (maybe once a week)

b)   at least to 1 meal a day

c)    every meal  


14. How often do you eat bread?

a)    Never or very rarely

b)   Maybe once a week

c)    At least once every day, sometimes twice



15. How many litres of water do you drink each day?

a)    Minimum 2 litres a day

b)   Between 1-2 litres

c)    Definitely less than 1 litre


16. How many times a day would you eat food not prepared by yourself (takeaway, pre-packaged, shelf life stable, tinned food, etc)?

a)    once or twice per week

b)   once  per day

c)    at least 2-3 times a day




3 points for every A

2 points for every B

1 point for every C



Score 40-48

You are doing well, you obviously have a grasp on the right things and the wrong things.  Keep up the great work, and always look for ways you can stay clean.  You might have a vice or two (e.g. coffee or salt or cheese) so keep on top of those, and keep them minimal.


Score between 25-40 – You might have thought you were pretty healthy, but  there is definitely room for improvement!  You are sitting in the middle onf the healthy to unhealthy scale and could definitely adopt a few more practices into your lifestyle.  Look at things like more fresh raw produce, more water, less meat, less food pre-prepared or takeaway, or less salt in the diet, cutting back or eliminating coffee.  Remember, its an addiction if you feel crappy when you DON’T have it.


Score below 25

Lots of room for improvement, even though your staple food may not be Hungry Jacks, you still need to work on where your food has come from, shelf stable food VS fresh stuff, water, coffee, dairy and meat and perhaps start to look outside the easily available option.  They are not always the best for you in the long run.

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