Client Stories 2017

What an amazing year it has been! Upgrading to a new bigger and better studio, media exposure (front page of the Waikato times and a number of other publications), finishing postgraduate studies, meeting and working with some amazing people and overcoming my personal struggles (flexibility disorder and not being able to run for 3yrs) and chasing my triathlon dreams.

My why is to champion and help others to push their limits and achieve beyond what they thought possible. As the year comes to an end, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to celebrate a few of my clients successes from this year.

At Taylored Health & Performance we work with anyone looking to get more out of life and perform at their best whether that is in sport, work or just everyday life. This year I have helped  many of my clients from all walks of life, from those who have exhausted all options with no success to high performers looking to gain a competitive edge in their life, sport or work.


Client Stories

Overwhelmed to Success 

Dan found himself in a vicious cycle with his new high demanding corporate position. Sapped of his normal energy, weight gain, lack of time, and injured with a knee that he was told he will never be able to run on again. Dan knew a change was required and seeked my assistance to gain his life back and be able to do the things he loves. With a number of key focus areas our aim was to find a balance, taking the less is more approach we designed specific strategies for each area of life to ensure his success. Dan couldn’t believe the impact across the board; with the extra energy he could now find the time to surf (a big love of his), spend more time with his family, and he even got further promotions at work. Not only this he was able to run again and achieved his desired body composition. It is fair to say he was pretty stoked with life again.

“I have been working with Luke for 12 weeks. I am so  stoked with the results. Luke has helped me overcome some long standing injuries “knees and heel’s which until recently had held me back. Luke has improved my posture and mobility, we have done this in a fun and non-stressful way. I have learnt a lot about my body and what I need to do keep healthy including my mind. My body fat has reduced by 10% through a totally sustainable regime. My surfing has improved and I have more energy and confidence in my body generally. I would thoroughly recommend Taylored Health & Performance  to anyone looking to improve their health and performance. Luke is a really cool guy to work with and will find a way to customise an improvement program specific to your needs”

From Potential Surgery to Pain Free

Unable to stand without being in pain Debbie with severe back pain had exhausted all options with no success and was told she required back surgery. After getting varied opinions from specialists she was lost and confused unsure what to do and just knew she wanted to try everything before surgery. This lead her to me, in the pre-screen I quickly identified it was not as doomed as she has been told. Within 4 weeks we had her pain free with normal everyday movement, by 12 weeks we had her back into xome pain free exercise, which she had not been able to do for so long. There is no better feeling than removing pain from someone’s life.

“After visiting Luke,I found I had so much more movement and less pain. I’ve also learnt that posture was a big part of my problem and I have to constantly make sure I watch this.Luke helped a lot with this also.”  -Debbie

 

Chasing “Free Speed”

I will never forget after working with Megan, her racing into our session with even more excitement than normal. She was over the moon she had  just got her result from her most recent FTP (Functional Threshold Power) test. Not only did she see a massive increase in her power output but for the first time she was producing symmetrical power through each leg where she was previously producing 4% less power of he left leg compared to her right. This may not sound like much but when you are an athlete who competes at a high  level Ironman athlete like Megan this is massive! As Megan likes to refer to her training with me “it is Free Speed”.

“My first session with Luke was a reality check for me, i was overloading muscles that would have eventually resulted in injury.  Since seeing Luke i have glutes that work & hips that are free & am balanced.  Luke taught me how to do the exercises property & explained the reason for them.  I can now do these at home to ensure my body is ready for training & racing.  Thanks Luke” – Megan

 

Perspective Shift Resulting in Massive Transformation

I have worked with Marcia for a little while now and what a transformation! She is a different person! With a perspective shift and a massive reduction in weight to match she couldn’t be happier. Marcia has become a teacher like many of my clients, passing on the knowledge she has learnt and helping others along their journeys.  Marcia has not had an easy run, she was another who was on a last resort with very little belief left that anything could be done.  With a history of severe gut issues, depression and adrenal fatigue along with a unrecovered hip surgery. Marcia’s persistence and commitment to her journey has been truly inspirational.

“Since finding Luke, I’ve been steered in the right direction to improve my physical health, nervous system, ability to rest and recover, as well as increasing my understanding of mobility, biomechanics and functional movement. It’s been a challenging but rewarding journey, ignited and kept alive by Luke’s unwavering support and encouragement.” -Marcia

 

From Postie to top level Triathlete

I have now worked with Malcolm for over 2 years and it has been a pleasure working with him along his journey as he chases his dream of being one of NZ top Triathletes. This dream is now coming into fruition after he took out the Olympic Distance National Championship title earlier this year along with a number of other massive results both locally and internationally.

“I highly value the mobility sessions I do with Luke on a weekly basis, especially during my big training blocks, before and after races. These are one of the keys to my success as a triathlete and one of the ways I manage to maintain staying injury free.” – Malcolm


 

“THANK YOU to all my clients you truly inspire me, helping you succeed is the reason I love what I do, I can not wait to see what 2018 will hold” -Luke


 

 

Tricks & Tips for the Holiday Season

The silly season is among us! With the extra time it is the perfect opportunity to take the time to focus on your health and wellbeing.

Lets not sweat the small stuff, indulge a little and relax – you all have earned it! Enjoy.

The holiday period also presents as a great opportunity capitalise on extra free time to develop key positive habits that can help set you up for an awesome 2018. Here is some key tip we suggest you consider.

 

1. Remove Toxins & Stimulants

The holiday season is a great opportunity to clear out all the unneeded toxins and stimulants from your life.

  • Plastic

Reduce your use of plastics as much as possible. The plastic leaches chemicals like pcb’s dioxins which are xeno-estrogenic and mimic estrogen in your body. This creates an estrogen dominance which develops an insulin resistance, making it extremely difficult to regulate and reduce fat.

Remove Plastic:

  • Ditch the plastic drink bottles: Replace with a metal bottle
  • Rethink Tupperware: The last thing you want to do is put hot food into a plastic container (or worse – to reheat it!). Replace with glass or bamboo.
  • Plastic Straws: Replace with metal or bamboo

 

  • Coffee (Caffeine)

Coffee is the greatest source of Polyphenols (Antioxidants) in the western diet! It is also well known that us Kiwis love our coffee per capita consumption ranks among top 20 in the world, according to statistics portal, Statista.com.

Can there be too much of a good thing? If you have become reliant on it and can’t survive a day without it. It is time for a detox! With no deadlines or time constraints with work this is the perfect time for a detox! Remove caffeine from your life for 2 weeks to allow your body to reset.

Removing the stimulant for two weeks is extremely powerful as when reintroduced, you will once again notice the stimulant effects again, that have most likely been stunted due to overuse.

Quick note: If you currently exceed 3 coffees a day I wouldn’t suggest going cold turkey unless you are that way inclined. Gradually cut down!

https://tayloredhealth.co.nz/optimise-your-coffee-break/

  • Blue Light

Light is a nutrient that plays a significant role in signaling your mitochondria (celular powerhouses) to do things and when to do them. Different light frequencies trigger different signals in your cells. Blue light which mostly comes from LED lights places the body under a significant amount of stress.

Newer artificial light bulbs lack many of the sun’s frequencies that our bodies and brains need. Artificial lights, have eliminated most of the infrared, red, and violet light found in natural sunlight, and are amplifying the blue light beyond anything we have evolved to handle. Most LEDs and compact fluorescents emit about 5 times the blue light we’re used to.

Where to start:

Reduce blue light or what is now known as Junk light. Download a bluelight filter app like F.LUX for digital devices (Mobile & laptop) and switch all the lights in your house to halogen and incandescent. They aren’t perfect, but they’re better. Your white LEDs might be saving your power bill but they are sapping your personal energy levels!

 

2. Hydrate

Too often we forget the simple things like hydration. Yet, hydration levels are one of the most important things to regulate.  Water contributes to the maintenance of normal physical functioning, cognitive functioning and thermoregulation. Our body are made up of 60% water, so it is important that you achieve optimal water levels as it is essential for feeling good with optimal health and energy. With 1% of dehydration affects performance by up to 10%!

How much water should I drink?

0.033 litres per kg of body weight, which roughly equates to the following amounts:

  • 60 kg = 2 litres
  • 75 kg = 2.5 litres
  • 90 kg= 3 litres

Hydration Tips:

  • Carry a metal drink bottle with you everywhere.
  • Download Hydration app, to remind you to drink

 

3. Mindfulness

Slow Down: Too often while on holiday I see people stuck in the busy mode unable to slow down. On a mission racing around from place to place and not taking the time to relax and enjoy the present moment. It is easy to get stuck in old patterns but we need to be able to detach ourselves from these habits. I have caught myself in this very situation myself many times. This where it is great to include a mindfulness practice.

Mindfulness Definition: A mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.

Mindfulness is all about detaching yourself from the past and the future and focusing on the present moment, as it is only the present moment that you can impact. The holiday period presents as a great opportunity to increase or introduce a mindfulness practice.

Where to start?

  • Download an amazing app like Headspace, that will help guide your mindfulness practice. The great thing about Headspace is its flexible nature, that allows you to design a practice around your needs such a length of session and specific focus points.
  • Walk slowly, sounds simple but can be especially tough for busy people to do.
  • Sit down and enjoy scenery eg. beach, park.

https://tayloredhealth.co.nz/just-breathe/

 

4. Look after your Gut!

Our gut is now known as our second brain so it makes sense to look after it! Did you no 90% of your serotonin (feel good hormone) is created in your gut. That means poor gut health can lead to depression.

A great way to start your day is with a lemon juice/apple cider vinegar to help stimulate digestion through stomach acid and bile production.

  • 1 tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar (it has to be raw, unfiltered, with the mother)
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • Pinch of Pink Himalayan Salt (antioxidant/electrolyte)
  • 1 Cup of warm water (Make it as a tea)

Aim to drink 30mins prior to breakfast for best results.

Why not throw in some bitter and fermented foods to aid digestive support this summer too.

Popular recommendations include:


 

Bitter:

  • Turmeric, (turmeric lattes)
  • Cacao
  • Ginger
  • Good quality Organic sourced dark chocolate
  • Leafy greens like Spinach and Kale.

 

 

Fermented:

  • Kombucha
  • Kefir
  • Natto
  • Sauerkraut
  • Pickles

 

 

5. Gratitude

The benefits of practicing gratitude are nearly endless. By taking the time to notice and reflect on what you are thankful for, you experience more positive emotions, feel more alive, sleep better, express more compassion and kindness, and even have stronger immune systems.

A great way to cultivate this practice is a Gratitude Journaling. Journaling works as it slowly changes the way we perceive situations by adjusting what we focus on. Shifting our focus away from the negatives and onto the positives. Journaling can be as simple as writing 3 things  you are grateful each day.

6. Fear Setting

With the new year brings new year’s resolutions. University of Scranton research suggests that just 8% of people achieve their New Year’s goals. Let’s not fall into this trap! This year instead of new year’s resolutions replace them with ‘Fear Setting’ (An exercise recently popularized by Tim Ferriss)

Fear setting is all about embracing your fears! A simple process in which you write down and quantify your fears. What is the worst-case scenario? (often it is not as bad as you think). Once identified work back from that scenario, how can you mitigate these the consequences and then how could you recover from this scenario. You will be surprised how powerful this technique can be.

Follow these 3 steps to fear-setting:

Do an 80/20 analysis:

  • “Which 20% of sources are causing 80% of my problems and unhappiness?”
  • “Which 20% of sources are resulting in 80% of my desired outcomes and happiness?”
  • “Which 20% of sources are consuming 80% of my time?”

Write a to-do and not-to-do list:

  • “Why haven’t I done my most important to-do?”
  • “Why haven’t I stopped doing my most important not-to-do?”

Define your fears clearly (Once identified ask yourself this series of questions):

  • What is the worst-case scenario if I did what I’m considering?
  • What are all the things I could do to minimize that from happening?
  • If the worst-case scenario happened, what steps could I take to minimise repair the damage

https://tayloredhealth.co.nz/fear-setting/

 

Wherever you may be this summer, ensure it is a safe and happy one.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from the team at Taylored Health & Performance

 

 

Combat Jet Lag

After dealing with Jet Lag first hand recently and it is something that most people have to deal with at some point or another, I thought it would be a great opportunity to address Jet Lag and the strategies that I personally utilise to prevent and overcome from Jet Lag.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

What is Jet Lag?

Jet lag or desynchronosis is a temporary disorder that causes fatigue, insomnia, a result of air travel across time zones. It is a disorder which is a disruption to the internal body clock circadian rhythm.                              CircadianRhythm                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Cause of Jet Lag?

Jet lag is caused by the inability of the body to immediately adjust to the time in a different zone. To fully grasp jet lag we must first address circadian rhythm, our bodies internal biological clock that follows a 24-hour cycle, which is running in the background of your brain and cycles between sleepiness and alertness at regular intervals. It is the disruption of this internal body clock that leads to the Jet Lag.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Combat Strategies

When it comes to combatting Jet Lag there is an endless amount of strategies that you can utilise, I will share my personal strategies and hopefully, you will find them helpful in the future. I take a very scientific based approach, so each of the methods below you will find are grounded in science.

 

During Flight:

Stay Hydrated: With the reduction in oxygen and lack of humidity, dehydration is inevitable if you are not careful. To put it in perspective the air inside the cabin of a plane usually has a humidity level of 10 to 20 percent — much lower than a comfortable typical indoor humidity of 30 to 65 percent. Across 10 hour flight, men lose approximately two liters of water and in women around 1.6 liters Stay hydrated! My rule is always say yes to water but also carry a drink bottle to regularly sip on and don’t hesitate to ask the flight attendant for water. Most importantly, stay clear from alcohol as it will only further dehydrate you.  

Keep Moving: The human body is designed to be in locomotion. For this reason, I always select aisle seat, to ensure I can regularly get up and move and stretch (Key focus: opening up the hips and chest and increasing blood flow in lower limbs). I also take some time to complete isometric calf raises. All of these exercises and stretches are key in the prevention of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). (I also wear  compression socks to help in prevention of DVT as well)  

 

While seated:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
Ankle Circles (Clockwise / Anticlockwise)

Ankle Point / Lifts (Plantarflexion / Dorsiflexion)
Pelvic Tilts: Sit upright position and tilt your pelvis back and forth between anterior and posterior positions

Shoulder Shrug / Depression / Retraction: Key focus of the exercise is hold the depression and retraction for approx 30sec each rep

Chin Tucks & Gentle Neck ROM: Sit upright position tuck your chin in and then relax and repeat. Shift your head gently around (Clockwise / Anticlockwise / Back / Forward) if desired you can add some gentle resistance with one of your palms

 

Standing:

Isometric Calf Raises: 2x45sec each leg every 2hours

Deep Squat: Find some space and drop into a deep squat and shift around back and forth aiming to open up the hips and lower back. Aim for 2min but more is always better.

Forward Bend: Relax into this position with straight legs and if you can touch toes link fingers underneath (if not bend knees as needed) start with oscillating the hips around then aim to gradually fall deeper into the stretch. Complete a few rep of bending knees to straight.                                                      
Back Bend: Either place your hand high on a wall or overhead compartment and gently fall into the stretch driving your hips forward while also opening up through your shoulders

Groin Stretch: Stand with a wide stance and shifting your weight to one leg bending into it while keeping the other leg straight. Shift back and forth from side to side.90 degree Chest stretch: Find a corner or a wall, step to the side and place one forearm up against the wall in a 90-degree position from the upper arm and gently fall in and out of the stretch opening up through your chest.

 

Supplements:
Melatonin: Your sleep hormone is found naturally in the body which is a key component of regulating the circadian rhythm. I take this when it is time to sleep. A healthy version of a sleeping pill.

Magnesium: Naturally relieve stress by ensuring your muscles and nerves function properly. Magnesium is also a natural sleep aid, which makes it the perfect companion for overnight flights, and can help relieve the tension of muscle spasms and cramps, which are inevitable after hours in a stationary position. I take this before and regularly throughout each flight.

Exogenous Ketones: There is new research stating that being in a state of ketosis has the ability mitigate the impairments of sleep deprivation and this can be achieved through the use of exogenous ketones, diet (HFLC) or fasting. I use ketones for training and mental state but I have not yet used personally while traveling. However, I will definitely be introducing this next time I fly.

 

Transit:

Get moving: Take the stairs and walk as much as possible, this is a great opportunity to get some blood pumping.

Stretching / Yoga: If you have the time, find a quiet space where you can unwind and do some stretching or yoga. I normally carry a towel in my carry on as it can be tough to find airports with a soft surface to stretch on.

Refuel: While flying your diet is extremely restricted to what is given to you and airline food which is notoriously unhealthy. Flying at 30,000 feet dulls the taste buds and dries out the ingredients which impact the passenger’s’ ability to sense flavor by 30%. To overcome this issue, chefs utilise extra sugar, salt and spice to improve palatability.

What sort of foods should I be looking for? It can be dependant on the airport you are in but aim to get some healthy whole foods that are high in antioxidants, fiber, zinc, magnesium. Which comes through; fresh vegetables, fruit, meat and if limited on time grab a freshly squeezed juice.

 

Destination:

Light Exposure: No sunglasses! Exposure to light or to darkness is key in the regulation of the circadian rhythm. Exposure to light stimulates a nerve pathway from the retina in the eye to an area of the brain called the hypothalamus. This prevents the excretion of melatonin which therefore hinders your circadian rhythm.

Remove Blue Light: Just like sunlight the LED light that our electronic devices produce is just as impactful in affect our circadian rhythm. Most phones these days have blue light filters or you can download an app like F.Lux which syncs devices screen with the light to mimic circadian cycle of a set time zone. This is a key hack I use every day not only when flying, I suggest implementing this simple hack now for better sleep.

Adapt to new time zone: Flight the sleepiness! Stay awake until you are within an hour of your normal bedtime and wake with an hour of normal time.

Avoid naps: If you do nap, make sure it is before 3 pm and keep them tactical 20 mins only! Otherwise, you will impede your circadian rhythm.

Flotation Therapy: Long haul flights are a stress on the body and flotation therapy is a great way for disconnecting from that stress and unwinding. It also assists with the inflammation associated with long-haul flights. I personally make sure I visit
“New You” for a float before and after each flight.

Nutrition: High fat will help stabilise blood sugars and help avoid the big peaks and troughs associated with high carbohydrate diets. Aim to eat plenty of antioxidant-rich food (berries, pecans, dark chocolate) to help fight all the free radicals built up.

Cold Showers: Energy is produced through the mitochondrial (intracellular powerhouses) and cold showers is one of the quickest ways to induce neurogenesis
(the production of new mitochondria) therefore resetting the system and boosting energy levels.

Grounding: Kick your shoes off, get outside and connect with the earth whether is grass, sand or the ocean. This may sound a bit airy fairy but there has been a strong association with grounding and re-energising the system. This is done through soaking up the earth’s negative charge, which reduces inflammation and leaves you feeling more refreshed and recharged.

 

Supplements:

Flights are bacteria pits so always a good idea to boost your immune system with some vitamins. I personally use and love BePure products and have not come across anything better on the market.

BePure Vit C Boost: Quickest way to boost your immunity is a good quality source of Vitamin C, this high potency Vitamin C is unbeatable!

BePure One: A whole food supplement with such a diverse selection of nutrients it is a full proof method to ensure you not missing anything through your diet.

BePure Three: This would have to be the strongest Omega 3 on the market and one of the best ways to fight inflammation. With a long haul flight you are guaranteed inflammation, therefore, it is important to reduce it as soon as possible.

Exogenous Ketones: Due to the mitigating effects of sleep deprivation as discussed earlier this would definitely be a supplement to concider.

 

Hopefully, these tips and tricks help you avoid the nasty effects of jet lag ensuring your next trip is not wasted away trying to recover.

Recipe: GF & DF Banana, Berry, Almond Muffins

Quick and healthy. Perfect as an on the go snack, I freeze them individually and then grab one out the night before I need one.

INGREDIENTS
• ⅓ cup melted coconut oil
• ⅓ cup honey
• 2 eggs
• 1 cup packed mashed ripe bananas (about 3 bananas)
• ¼ cup milk of choice (I used almond/coconut milk)
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• ½ teaspoon salt
• ½ teaspoon cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling on top
• 1 ¾ cups Rice Flour
Extras:
• ⅓ Crushed almonds
• ½ Mixed berries

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Preheat oven to 165 degrees. If necessary, grease 12 cups of your muffin tin with olive oil.
2. In a large bowl, beat the coconut oil and honey together with a whisk. Add eggs and beat well. Mix in the mashed bananas and milk, followed by the baking soda, vanilla extract, salt, and cinnamon.
3. Add the flour to the bowl and mix with a large spoon, just until combined. If you’d like to add any additional mix-ins, like nuts, dark chocolate or dried fruit (I used mixed berries and Almonds)
4. Divide the batter evenly among the 12 muffin cups, filling each cup about two-thirds full.
5. Bake muffins for 23 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.
6. Then enjoy! 

Conquer the Winter Blues: Key Nutrients to Consider & Stay Healthy

Winter is fast approaching, as made apparent by the recent drop in temperature with the cooler mornings and evenings. By now, you thinking about your health and how to remain optimal over the cooler months. If you don’t have a plan of action yet. We are here to provide you with some quick practical tips for keeping you and your family healthy this winter.
Zinc
According to many pharmacists, zinc is the single greatest dietary supplement. Zinc is a vital nutrient for healthy immune function, energy, and metabolic regulation. Additionally, Zinc deficiency often means poorer absorption of zinc from high-zinc foods. A 2013 review on Zinc for treating the common cold showed once it was administered, zinc reduced the symptoms within 24 hours, and ultimately lessened the duration of the cold. The review identified zinc lozenges were widely studied, and at doses of 75 milligrams per day or higher yielded best results.

Practical Advice:
Am I deficient? Call into the studio for a quick test or your local pharmacy should also offer a zinc test. Other signs are: white spots on your nails, suppressed immunity and infertility.
• Include foods like red meat, chicken, Cashews, Oysters, and other seafood (crab, lobster, mussels) chickpeas and pumpkin seeds
• Try supplementing with Be Pure’s product – Zinc Restore.
• Men should aim to acquire at least 14 milligrams per day (key for male reproductive health), and women should aim for 8 milligrams.

 

Vitamin D
The Vitamin is mostly obtained through direct sunlight, but also from foods like oily fish and walnuts. A study this year reported that Vitamin D is essential in protecting against respiratory infections and in the prevention of the common cold. Additionally, It is believed Vitamin D boosts levels of antimicrobial peptides (natural antibiotic) in the lungs, warding off the infection.

Practical Advice:
• Increasing intake of oily fish, walnuts, eggs and liver.
• Expose your skin to sunlight for at least 10min/ day
• To obtain sufficient amounts of the vitamin through diet alone is tough so it is key especially through the winter months to supplement.

 

Echinacea
Echinacea is known for its effects on treating the common cold, A 2014 study concluded that Echinacea reduced the chances of catching a common cold by 58%. It can also reduce its duration by 1 ½ days.
Practical Advice:
• Try supplementing with Echinacea Capsules. A good New Zealand brand we suggest is Kiwiherb. You can find them at www.kiwiherb.co.nz

 

Vitamin C
When we think Winter, Vitamin C is always at the top of people’s list for treating the common cold and its symptoms. In 2013, a review of dozens of studies on the effects of Vitamin C in treating the common cold found that it reduces the duration by up to 8% in adults, and 14% in children. This translates to approximately 1 less day of symptoms, in a cold that persists for a week. The studies also found those people under intense physical stress through an exercise like marathoners and skiers, were about half as likely to get colds as those who did not supplement with Vitamin C. Vitamin C works as an antioxidant to protect our bodies from damage.

Practical Advice:
• Dose with a minimum of 200 milligrams daily from different sources.
• Include these foods to ensure a diet rich in Vitamin C: Blackcurrants; Broccoli; Kiwi fruit, Citrus fruits.
• Supplement with BePure’s Super Boost C. Highest quality source of vitamin C I have found.