Monthly Archives: May 2015

Mindless eating

The weekend was busy and you didn’t get a chance to do a proper shop. You get up and look into the press to see what the available options are. Unfortunately they are quite limited. In your mind, you were going to make an omelette but one solitary egg would make a measly omelette. Ah well, you don’t worry, that box of Special K will do the job. A large bowl with a drop of milk and a slice of toast has filled the gap and you are out the door to work. 

In work, you are having a break at 11.00. Jim your workmate is 30 so the boss has ordered in a nice tasty sponge cake. Everyone is having a bit of cake so you dig in, yummy! 

At lunch time, you pop out to the nearest shop to grab something. The nearest shop isn’t the best but will do the job in this situation. You scan the available options and decide to just get a sandwich and a cereal bar. The shop has limited options, but you console yourself with the notion that you did try to be healthy by getting the cereal bar instead of the chocolate option. 

You come home from a tough day at work and are starving, on the table is a box of biscuits. You are so hungry so you start nibbling on a few. You start throwing shape on dinner and before you know it, you’ve eaten three or four biscuits. After a little while you serve up dinner with your regular large plates. To fill the plate you need a relatively large portion and as you’ve put a good effort into making this meal, you leave none to waste. 

You are peckish after dinner and as you scan around the kitchen, you are presented with two options looking back at you. The biscuits (‘oh no I’ve had enough of them’ you think) and the box of cereal. You go for the cereal as you think that is the ‘healthy’ option. 

You can have all the nutrition knowledge you like but if your environment is working against you, you are setting yourself up for failure. 

There are many ways this person could have improved their food environment.

  • Ensure they do a shop with a variety of healthy food.
  • Be aware of portion sizes and use smaller plates and bowls when trying to eat less.
  • Have a bowl of fruit with two or more fruits instead of a bowl with crisps or biscuits.
  • Have healthy snacks available instead of toast and cereal- nuts, yogurt, fruit, unprocessed cheese, carrot stick are good options. 
  • Have lunch prepared for work and don’t run the risk of going to a shop with limited healthy food availability. 
  • Remove unhealthy snacks from view in the kitchen and put them into a cupboard that is awkward to get to and is out of the way. 
  • Work environments can also massively influence eating habits. Is your work place making you fat or fit!?

This blog was inspired by an excellent podcast by Danny Lennon with Brian Wansink. Well worth listening to for anyone interested in understanding how we can use our environment to help eat in a healthy manner. We make so many unconscious decisions about food but thankfully new can change our environment to work in our favour.
So good, I listened to it twice, fairly sad I know! 

But I do a lot of driving so that my excuse.


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Afternoon Group Fitness 

You finish work early?

You want to get the exercise out of the way before you get home?

You love to have the whole free evening where you can meet up with your friends without worrying about having to go to the gym?

Fear not, Brunner Bootcamp is here to serve your needs! 

Afternoon classes have started in St. Paul’s CBS. Every Monday and Wednesday at 3.45. 

Come along, check us out. 

If you are a teacher, email with your name and school before Friday 15th May. One lucky person will be in with with a chance of winning a month of bootcamp. 


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Focus on what you CAN DO 

You’re sitting on the couch chilling out watching the television after a hectic few days. You’ve not had a great week with exercise and food. Work was very busy and you had to work a bit later than usual. When you got home it was a bit late, you felt quite tired and couldn’t face the effort of going to the gym. To make matters worse, you didn’t do a proper shop at the start of the week and ended up eating any sort of rubbish whilst on the run. 

You’re having a flick through the oul Fakebook. 

A quick scan through your feed tells you your mate John has 10 selfie photos up after completing the Boston marathon whilst wearing a clown costume, he looks wrecked but happy out, ‘fair play John’ you think.

Sarah from down the road has just finished the Ballytowntwomilehouse Ultra triathlon, ‘she is always up to something, good woman Sarah’

Your cousin Maggie has 102 likes on the photo of her standing on the top of a windswept mountain. ‘Oh my God I’d never be fit enough to do that’

As you nibble on the last few crumbs of your biscuit, you feel decidedly inadequate. 

We unfortunately tend to see other peoples achievements and judge ourselves based on them. It can sometimes magnify our own disappointments when we realise that the marathon, the long cycle or the fitness goal that seems so easy to other people is currently out of our reach. (Maybe now but not forever) 

We need to stop feeling sorry for ourselves about what we can’t do but instead start focusing on what we can do. 

We are all at different stages in our nutrition and exercise journey. What may seem easy and achievable to one person may be totally impossible for another. We should not set our goals based on what others around us are doing but on where we are at currently. Constantly looking at what others are doing can lead to failure and disappointment. 

Instead of feeling down about our situation compared to others, we need to find something that we can do. Something that is achievable and will make us immediately feel better and set us back on the road.

  • That marathon may be out of the question but a 30 minute walk/run is not (raincoat maybe needed!)
  • Prepare and eat a salad, full of fresh goodness, this will instantly invigorate you.
  • Do a home exercise routine (10 squats, 10 press ups, 10 lunges, 10 jumping jacks, 10 burpees, 10 high knees) Rest and repeat for 20 minutes. Just do it!
  • Dust off the bike and head off on the bike exploring some unchartered territory.
  • Give up fizzy drinks for the week
  • Get to bed early a few nights in a row, just switch off the phone, turn off the television and hit the hay. Aim for 8 hours.

This week, instead of focusing on what you can’t do, concentrate on what you CAN do. When you do it, you will feel great and be ready to tackle the next little challenge that comes your way. 

Stop using other people as a bench mark and focus on being a bit better than you were yesterday! 

Little steps lead to greater things. Just start…



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