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Raw Chocolate Reishi Brownies

Raw Chocolate Reishi Brownies

These brownies are so easy to make and don’t need baking – you just put them in the fridge.  They are protein-packed and provide an incredible boost to your immune system with the Reishi mushroom powder.  You can buy the Reishi mushroom powder on the internet – think of it as an immune-boosting supplement that will last a while so a worthy investment.

Ingredients:

2 cups whole walnuts

2 ½ cups Medjool dates, pitted

1 cup raw cacao

1 cup raw unsalted almonds roughly chopped

1 tsp vanilla extract

¼ tsp sea salt

1 tsp Reishi mushroom powder

 

Instructions:

  • Place walnuts in food processor and blend on high until nuts are finely ground.
  • Add the cacao and salt. Pulse to blend.
  • Add the dates one at a time through the feed tube of the food processor while it is running. What you should end up with is a mix that appears like cake crumbs that will easily stick together. If the mixture does not hold, add more dates.
  • In a large bowl mix the walnut-cacao mixture with the almonds. Press into a lined cake tin. Place in the freezer or fridge until ready to serve (it is easier to cut these when they are very cold).
  • Store in an airtight container.

 

Why we love eggs

Why we love eggs

We have been feeding ourselves on eggs for thousands of years and they have many nutritional highlights so is there any truth in the matter that we should be cutting them out of our diet? On The In-Sync Diet we feel that in the media they have unfairly received a bad press due to their cholesterol content. But there is no good evidence to suggest that egg consumption is detrimental to health and we don’t think so either.

Nutritional Highlights

Put very simply, eggs are literally packed with nutrients.  They are an excellent source of Vitamin K, important in bone and heart health and a very good source of B vitamins including biotin, thiamine and B12 – necessary for energy and brain health.  Eggs also provide you with selenium, an essential mineral for your metabolism and thyroid. And they provide vitamin D which supports your immune system. And what is more, eggs even contain omega 3 anti-inflammatory fatty acids.  So they are jam packed with health-boosting nutrients that are so essential to health that we think they should be an important part of your diet.

And what they are exceptional at is providing an incredible source of low-cost, high quality proteins. Proteins are vital to repair muscle, provide immune support and help with weight loss.  And despite the occasional study attempting to slur their reputation, several recent studies suggest that instead of contributing to heart disease they actually lower the risk.

This is because eggs are rich in several nutrients that promote heart and brain health.  For example they are a rich source of betaine which can reduce levels of homocysteine, a by-product of our metabolism which has the potential to damage blood vessels.  Elevated homocysteine has also been linked to other diseases such as osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s.  They are also a great source of choline which is particularly important for your brain to function.  It is also used to make acetylcholine which is a neurotransmitter linked to muscle function.

We recommend that you choose eggs, whenever possible, from free-range of organically raised chickens that may not have received antibiotics been fed on processed grain laden with pesticides.  Enjoy them scrambled with butter, fried gently with ghee or coconut oil or poached with water and apple cider vinegar.

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Jake Wood does the In-Sync Fridge Challenge

Jake Wood does the In-Sync Fridge Challenge

The In-Sync Fridge challenge

In the In-Sync fridge challenge series, no-one’s fridge is safe from Glynis as she peers through. She’s determined to find what people are really eating behind closed doors and the truth has to be in their fridge. She then rates them out of 10 on the In-Sync scale. People seem to be taking this a bit personally as you will find out in each episode.

Glynis meets Jake Wood

In this third episode, Glynis wants to find out if mens’ fridges are different to womens’ and decides to invade the kitchen of fellow Eastenders actor Jake Wood.  Jake’s fridge is actually double sided so plenty of room for Glynis to get right in to see what he has!  Jake keeps himself very fit and active so is that reflected in the food he eats too?  What the video and find out…

 

Andrea McLean Chat

Andrea McLean Chat

Andrea Mclean Chat

In this second episode, Glynis sits down with Loose Women presenter Andrea Mclean and has a chat about her relationship with food and any questions or problems she may have about it. She explains why being In-Sync means you have tons of energy, sleep well and your body weight stays consistent.

Andrea and Glynis talk digestive discomfort

She discovers Andrea McLean often has a problem with bloating – something we all suffer with from time to time.  The good news is Glynis thinks she knows why. Together they share their secrets for banishing the bloat and Glynis explains how being In-Sync is all about following an anti-inflammatory diet. When we are out-of-sync our energy is low, our hormone balance disrupted and we feel tired-all-the time.

Andrea McLean does the In-Sync Fridge Challenge

Andrea McLean does the In-Sync Fridge Challenge

The In-Sync Fridge challenge

In the In-Sync fridge challenge series, no-one’s fridge is safe from Glynis as she peers through. She’s determined to find what people are really eating behind closed doors and the truth has to be in their fridge. She then rates them out of 10 on the In-Sync scale. People seem to be taking this a bit personally as you will find out in each episode.

Glynis meets Andrea Mclean

In this second episode Glynis meets Andrea Mclean to talk about a range of subjects from bread to champagne, from optimum protein to vegetable diversity and from lactose intolerance to the discomfort caused by lectins.
Find out what In-Sync rating Glynis gives Andrea and how she feels about it…..

Don’t underestimate the power of sleep

Don’t underestimate the power of sleep

Did you know that….

  • Sleep loss costs the UK economy over £30 billion a year in lost revenue
  • After just one night of only four or five hours’ sleep, your natural killer cells drop by 70%.  Natural killer cells are your virus and cancer fighting cells
  • Brain scans reveal a 60% amplification in the reactivity of the amygdala – a key spot for triggering anger and rage – in those who were sleep-deprived
  • Sperm counts were 29% lower in men who reported regular poor sleep

Biorhythm

On The In-Sync Diet we recognize that biorhythm is one of the most important influencing factors on health. Biorhythm is our sleep wake rhythm that has an impact on every organ and system in our body from our heart function down to our digestion.  And its influence on the immune system is massive.  When we are out-of-sync we become fatigued, hormonally imbalanced, unable to sleep and start to store fat around the middle.

We are genetically programmed for twelve hours of activity and twelve hours of rest of which some will be sleep.  When our brain senses darkness we produce a hormone called melatonin which is designed to make us feel drowsy.  Melatonin is also a crucial repair hormone that works to protect us against disease.

In this article leading neuroscientist Matthew Walker talks about  why sleep deprivation is increasing our risk of cancer, heart attack and Alzheimer’s and what you can do about it.

Click on this link to find out more

Glynis Barber talks to The Lifestyle News Hound about life In-Sync

Glynis Barber talks to The Lifestyle News Hound about life In-Sync

The Lifestyle News Hound is a new podcast with a new direction and a fresh look at all things lifestyle, relevant and innovative to salute women 40 plus.  Hosted by Emma Forbes and Gemma Sheppard, it is both inspirational and aspirational with love, laughter and wisdom.  In this episode the wisdom is coming from Glynis Barber as she talks to her hosts about her In-Sync transformation and gives her top tips for good health.

Click here to listen to the podcast

 

Here are some of Glynis’ key take-homes:

Eat

  • Evolutionary nutrition may have something to say about our current  lifestyle because we are eating ourselves unwell.
  • There are foods that are harsh for the gut to digest even without allergy and intolerance and these can take their toll.
  • We should forget calories because they are irrelevant and really it is all about the foods you eat. Dieting can put tremendous pressure on you. Instead we should be more proactive about what we eat.
  • Breakfast may not be the most important meal of the day and often can be our most calorific meal – even smoothies can pile the calories on.
  • If you want to have more energy you should eat less often. Yet the world we live in is all about snacking.

Move

  • What you eat and when you eat and timing it in conjunction with exercise is very important if you want to burn fat.
  • Exercise is very effective for fat burn and also acts as an anti inflammatory when you exercise in a fasted state.
  • Eating and drinking little and often is a behavior that our brains do not recognize. In our evolutionary past, hunger and thirst were signals to move and hunt and forage.

Rest

  • Rest is as important as moving – we should aim to get quality sleep and go to bed at a decent time.
  • Being In-Sync means living within your biorhythm by trying to get into good habits e.g. by going to bed at the same time, not keeping your phone by your bed. It is basically about finding your rhythm and what works for you
  • Tired-all-the-time is now a syndrome. Part of the problem is our constant grazing.  We do it to keep blood sugar levels stable but in reality it means we are constantly digesting and that consumes energy.
  • One way to prepare for the day is to start with a short meditation. This means being still and breathing for five or ten minutes to calm the nervous system.
  • You can come to the four pillars of health at any point in your life – it is never too late to get In-Sync and go back to the four pillars.

 

Why calorie counting does not work

Why calorie counting does not work

Obesity rates have also doubled in the last 20 years and in Britain we are considered to be the most obese nation in Western Europe.  Clearly the mainstream approach to weight management, by calorie counting, is not working so why is this the case?

Calories in and calories out

The calorie counting approach relies on the hypothesis that we gain weight because we have consumed too many calories that we are not able to burn off through movement.  Proponents of this approach say that by eating less and moving more we are able to manage our weight better.  To reduce weight, we are encouraged to count calories each day and stick within a certain range. Often we are advised to eat the majority of our calories in carbs and reduce sugar, which makes sense, and fat, which doesn’t – as we explain.

One of the major problems with this approach is that not all calories are equal as far as the body is concerned because they have different effects and go down different metabolic pathways.  Carbs get broken down to glucose in a process known as glycolysis and generate relatively little chemical energy known as adenosine tri-phosphate or ATP.  This is why if you have eaten a meal that is high in refined carbs as in pasta or potatoes, it is quite likely that you feel full initially because of the volume in your stomach but it gets metabolized quickly and then you are hungry again.

Protein and fats

Protein and fats also get broken down to produce ATP.  Whilst protein tends to yield as much energy as carbs, one of its benefits is that it breaks down more slowly and so offers more sustainable energy.  This means that by consuming concentrated protein with each meal we are less likely to snack.

But healthy fats get the top prize because they make so much more energy than either carbohydrate or fat.  Not only that, if we reduce our carbohydrate intake to non-starchy vegetables only and eat sufficient protein and plenty of healthy fat in conjunction with different types of exercise, we can also produce ketone bodies in the liver. Ketone bodies then provide an additional energy source.  Ketosis, the process that yields ketone bodies, is now considered to be a healthy way of shifting body fat and increasing energy levels.

Skinny fat

And on top of this, one of the main reasons why people put on weight is not that they are eating too much fat but too little.  The over-consumption of high carbohydrate foods can cause us to become skinny fat which means fat on the inside but skinny on the outside – not having enough muscle.  Reliance on the regular intake of carbohydrates makes us less likely to be able to burn fat and when on this kind of a diet, more likely to breakdown muscle instead of fat as an energy source for the body.

Not only that, eating the right kind of foods also provide so much more for the body than just calories.  All of our energy systems require nutrients that act as co-factors to enable the biochemical reactions to occur in our body.  Without nutrients such as B vitamins, magnesium and zinc to name a few, we would not be able to function well and yet the calorie counting approach does not take this into consideration.

The struggle

Calorie counting can create an internal conflict for us, negatively affecting our relationship with food and possibly leading to a stronger desire for the wrong kinds of foods.  We should not be interacting with food in such a ‘spreadsheet’ way.  From an evolutionary standpoint, we are programmed to desire high calorie foods as they would have ensured our survival.  In our evolutionary past these foods would have been those that were high in healthy fat because they yielded the greatest amount of energy.  And that is just what we should be doing now. To learn more, see our The In-Sync Diet 6 Step Plan.

 

 

 

In-Sync Chat with Kate Thornton

In-Sync Chat with Kate Thornton

In-Sync Chat

In In-Sync Chat, Glynis sits down and has a cosy little chat with people about their relationship with food and any questions or problems they may have about it. She explains why being In-Sync means you have tons of energy, sleep well and your body weight stays consistent once you have reached your ideal weight.

Here she chats with TV presenter Kate Thornton who has had problems with her energy and gets mid afternoon dips. Glynis too used to have issues with energy and get energy dips that would make her tired and grumpy. She puts it down to the fact she used to rely on eating little and often to try and keep her blood sugar levels more stable. But really what she was doing was putting more pressure on her digestive system by doing so. Glynis explains that the more often you eat, the more your digestive system has to get to work to make sure you digest your food. And this can make you tired.

And of course, as Glynis highlights, what you eat when you do eat is all important. Remember that healthy fats and protein will make you feel fuller for longer and help you to avoid the snacking trap. Energy dips and sugar cravings may be due to you relying on the constant top-ups of food. The minute it is all metabolized, you are hungry again. And this way you never burn fat. When you burn fat you make so much more energy for yourself.

The In-Sync Diet is an exciting user-friendly online 6 step plan. It has been carefully honed into a six phase programme with lots of videos to help you along the way. As well as exercise videos and even a guided meditation, co-founders Glynis and Fleur will tell you what to expect in each phase.

Each phase is based on the four pillars of health – Eat, Drink, Move and Rest. Each pillar gives you the essentials you need to achieve success. We know that most diets either don’t work or have few lasting effects. The In-Sync Diet Plan works because it transforms your body from relying on sugar as an energy source, to burning fat. When you burn fat you not only look leaner and more toned, you drop weight and have much more energy too.

Join us and the tens of thousands of other In-Syncers for your health and weight loss transformation.

The In-Sync Fridge Challenge with Kate Thornton

The In-Sync Fridge Challenge with Kate Thornton

In the In-Sync fridge challenge series, no-one’s fridge is safe from Glynis as she peers through. She’s determined to find what people are really eating behind closed doors and the truth has to be in their fridge. She then rates them out of 10 on the In-Sync scale. People seem to be taking this a bit personally as you will find out in each episode.

In this first episode Glynis and Kate talk about healthy proteins and not so healthy ones. Having adequate amounts of healthy protein in your diet is important but we don’t want you to have too much of the processed meats such as bacon, pancetta, sausages, ham, chorizo and salami because of the preservatives that may not always be good for you.

The conversation then naturally turned to smoked salmon and whether that might be a good option. Eating more fish means you are eating more anti-inflammatory omega 3 fats that are often low in our diets. And when you are choosing fish you may want to select wild rather than farmed so that you are exposing yourself to fewer chemicals. By the same token, when you are selecting red meat (beef, pork, lamb), grass-fed may be a better choice. The meat will be higher in anti-inflammatory omega 3 fats too.

The way meat is cooked is also important to consider. High temperatures produced by roasting or frying can create unhealthy chemicals so aim to cook for longer at lower temperatures using oils that are able to withstand heat better, to prevent this from happening. And we give you plenty of suggestions of what to use.

Glynis was delighted to see that Kate uses a healthy fat, butter instead of a low fat-spread such as margarine. Butter tastes so much better and it is also one of the best sources of vitamin A and other vitamins such as E, K and D. Margarine is a processed food created from vegetable oil. The process of making the liquid into a solid can potentially produce trans fats that have been linked to many health conditions including heart disease.

Festive gluten-free pistachio, orange and olive oil cake

Festive gluten-free pistachio, orange and olive oil cake

This festive pistachio, orange and olive oil cake is pretty much completely In-Sync except for the coconut sugar and it is completely gluten-free. If you are looking for a delicious alternative to Christmas cake, here it is.  We have kept the sugar amount fairly low but feel free to make it even lower. With the delicious addition of extra virgin olive oil, the centre comes out beautifully moist and sticky.

Gluten, grain and dairy free

1 loaf serves 8

Ingredients:

 

250g unsalted and shelled pistachios

100ml olive oil

4 eggs, separated

3 tbsp orange juice

1 tbsp vanilla extract

100g coconut sugar (organic, unrefined crystallized blossom nectar)

100g ground almonds

grated zest of 1 orange

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

 

Instructions:

 

  • Preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Lightly oil a 900g loaf tine and line the base with baking paper.
  • Grind the pistachios in a food processor until it forms a consistency similar to the ground almonds. Don’t overdo though as it could start to turn into a paste.
  • Mix the egg yolks, orange juice, olive oil and vanilla extract together in a medium sized bowl. In a large bowl mix the dry ingredients together and then empty in the wet ingredients from the other bowl (not the egg whites). Stir well so all the ingredients are well combined and the mixture is evenly moist throughout.
  • Whisk the egg whites in a separate bowl until stiff and then fold into the cake mixture with a metal spoon.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and bake for 35-40 minutes until the cake feels springy to the touch and skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.

 

 

Keeping the weight off at Christmas

Keeping the weight off at Christmas

Keeping the weight off at Christmas can be difficult but it was not always the case.  Way back in our evolutionary history, when we depended on foraging and hunting for subsistence, winter would have been a time for enforced fasting.  This is simply because there would have not been enough food.  During this harsh time of the year, we would have had to rely on stored energy – namely our protein and fat stores – not something we need to do in modern life.

Of course nowadays it is completely different and probably the idea of having to go without during the festive season may seem abhorrent.  And rightly so, because we tend to come together at Christmas and celebrate with family and friends – it’s no time for denial.  But there are measures you can put in place to make sure that the pounds don’t pile on and still eat heartily and feel like you are treating yourself for all the hard work you have achieved in the year.

Keep up the exercise

There is no doubt that the freezing temperatures and limited daylight hours force us indoors more than we may want.  But there is no need to be sedentary.  Physical inactivity has been linked to almost every type of chronic illness including heart insufficiency, Type II diabetes, metabolic syndrome, gallstones, depression, neurodegeneration and the list goes on.  Here are our suggestions:

  • Dance to your favourite Christmas track for ten minutes each day
  • Take the dog out for a walk more often and if you don’t have a dog go with someone who does.
  • Find a hot yoga class – there is nothing like going into a heated room when it is freezing cold outside
  • Wrap up and go for a long walk to build up an appetite.

Eat plenty of the right kinds of foods that will fill you up and keep you satisfied for longer

Check yourself to make sure you are not feasting too much on the wrong kinds of carbs.  Foods like the bread, the cakes, the pasta of this world may make you feel like you are full but will not keep you going for long.  They will have you reaching for more within two hours of last meal.

  • Go for a good protein source at breakfast if you eat it(eggs, poultry, fish, mushrooms, nuts ) rather than toast or sugar cereals. This can help prevent the rollercoaster ride of cravings and blood sugar drops later on in the day.  And make sure you always include protein in each meal
  • Enjoy your root vegetables cooked in healthy fat – duck fat, goose fat or even coconut oil. Coconut oil particularly is easily absorbed and converted straight to energy. The more energetic you feel, the more calories you burn.
  • Enjoy a variety of vegetables as your main carbohydrate source with root vegetables offering the most energy

Additional fat burn tricks

  • If you enjoy a glass of wine, keep it to within your mealtime only. Anything with calories between meals can potentially stop you from burning fat.
  • Include some ‘thermogenic’ foods in your diet i.e. foods that increase your body temperature so that you have to use up calories to cool down. These include turmeric, green tea and peppers especially chilli.
  • Visit a cold plunge pool if you dare! This form of hydrotherapy especially after a sauna can stimulate the circulation and tone the skin.  It may also help to burn fat.