Revolution Fitness Blogs

Herbs and Spices. Did You Know!?

If you’re like me, herbs and spices scare you. Not knowing what to add to what, or worried it’ll change all your hard work and preparation at the last possible moment. Well the time has come to face the fear of them as they’re actually pretty cool and have endless amounts of benefits to our health.

I’ve always thought that herbs and spices being the same thing, but they’re actually very different to one another. Herbs are the leafy or flowering parts of plants, whereas spices are made from what remains of plants, and although there are a wide range of herbs to choose from to flavour your food, there are even more spices!


Spices are the dried parts of a plant other than the leaves, as like I said before, the leaves are actually considered herbs. For example; bark, roots, berries, twigs, seeds, or virtually any other part of the plant is a spice. The best thing about spices is that there’s so many to choose from, allowing you to make the same foods but flavour them completely differently to keep each meal exciting.

Benefits of cooking with Spices: 

Cooking with spices comes with a huge collection of health-related benefits;

Improving the health status of your meals: Adding spices to your meals may help you to save on some of the salt, fat, and sugar you would otherwise add to amp up the flavor in your dish. This means you can also add spices to protect against health conditions associated with excessive sodium, such as high blood pressure.

You may find you actually eat less: Well-seasoned foods are more satisfying than those that ae simple and taste bland, leaving you to resist that dessert!

Boosts general well-beingMany spices contain anti-inflammatory properties which can boost immune health, and may even reduce blood sugar levels.

Rev’s Favourite Spices:

While all spices are likely to benefit your health in one way or another, Revolution Fitness have found that certain spices are more useful to us than some others. (Beware! Big words that you may not be able to pronounce are coming up!)

Cinnamon: Cinnamon contains ‘cinnamaldehyde’, which gives the spice its known healing properties. It helps fights inflammation and can even lower cholesterol. Most particularly, cinnamon lowers blood sugar by slowing down the body’s breakdown of carbs while improving insulin sensitivity.

Turmeric: Turmeric is commonly used in curries and contains ‘curcumin,’ which gives this spice its restorative properties. Curcumin reduces inflammation and may also protect against high cholesterol, stomach ulcers, and diabetes.

Cayenne pepper: Cayenne pepper’s active ingredient, ‘capsaicin,’ reduces appetite and has also been shown to increase fat burning! Chili powder contains capsaicin as well, making it another beneficial spice to add to your meals.

Black pepper: Black pepper may not seem too important but recent studies reveal that its active compound, ‘piperine,’ may interfere with the formation of new fat cells. This process is known as ‘adiopogenesis’ and can actually benefit weight loss!

Mustard seedsSome studies reveal that eating just one teaspoon of mustard, can boost the metabolism by up to 25% for several hours afterwards.

Cumin: Recent studies suggest that cumin increases metabolism and due to it’s high iron levels, can increase our energy as well.

Ginger: Ginger is known to increase the metabolic rate while decreasing appetite, and regulating digestion.

Remember you can add spices to almost anything and not just savoury dishes. Try them in dressings, smoothies, juices and teas! I don’t know about you, but I’m defiantly going to experiment more with my meals and juices!


If You Can Grow It, Eat It!

To much of my friend’s and family’s disgust I turned vegan last Thursday. Now we all know that Phase Two of Revolution’s Re-Boot recommends to obliterate all animal products completely, but in all honesty, I haven’t actually been through this process myself before now. So Why? Well by being vegetarian for nearly half of my life, I loved my scrambled eggs in the morning and couldn’t imagine my life without dairy; especially a milky cappuccino and a slice of cake on ‘cheat’ days as it were. But early doors Thursday morning when Adam was sound-o and twitching away, I thought to myself; if I don’t eat meat for ethical reasons, why am I eating any animal produce what so ever? As you know, I’ve touched on the shocking ‘hidden truths’ of the dairy industry before in a previous blog, explaining cattle being pumped with hormones to produce an unhealthy amount of milk for the demanding market, and even organic hens to lay more eggs than they’re meant to, so I decided there and then that a plant based diet was my way forward.

… So you can imagine what everyone said when I told them. ‘Urgh – I’m never going to cook for you now!’ and ‘What on earth can you eat then?’ But the statement that never ceases to puzzle me is; ‘You’re not going to get enough Protein in you!’ Ahhhh … Protein. One of our three main Macronutrients. As a population, do we really think that are only source of Protein is from animals? Really? Now I don’t want to make this week’s blog a whole research paper and boring to read, but let me tell you a little background evidence before I touch on Protein within the Vegan diet.

During the occupation of Norway in World War 2, the Nazis seized most of Norway’s food resources for themselves, such as livestock, butter, and cheese. But as they did so, statistics show that the resident death rate, especially heart disease, dropped drastically due to the removal of animal products from the Norwegian diet for them then to only consume a plant based diet. Sure enough, when the War was over, Norway had their cattle back and the rate of heart disease increased once again, proving that a plant based diet supplied plenty of Micro and Macronutrients, including Protein, and actually improving health. And here we are in the 21st Century, adamant that without animal produce we won’t get enough protein, (even with the above evidence.) Yet what we should be questioning, is that are we consuming too much for it to hinder our health? So, to cut to the chase, where does this ‘Protein’ come from? And how much Protein do we actually need within our diet?

We all assume that a stereotypical Body Builder would eat steak for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and even though they need a tad more intake of ALL nutrients, (equal to every athlete,) just take a moment to look up Kenneth G Williams, Jimi Sitko, Billy Simmonds and Amanda Riester. I’m pretty sure they’re getting enough protein within their diet, right? #veganbodybuilders. Did you know that we actually only need 0.8g of Protein for every Kg that we weigh according to the RDA recommendation? And the best part? Nearly all vegetables, beans, legumes, grains, nuts and seeds and fruits contain plentiful Protein. And what does a plant based diet involve? Variations of vegetables, beans, legumes, grains, nuts and seeds, and fruits. There you have it. There’s where the protein comes from within a varied Vegan diet. Wait. It gets better … All these ‘earth grown’ foods are less inclined to be modified when being produced, not to mention being completely free when going organic!

So how do I feel after removing all animal produce from my diet in the past five days? Well, to my surprise I’m finding it really easy! Now, this could be due to not eating meat prior, but I’m not missing fish, milk or eggs what so ever! Physically? I haven’t changed a bit what so ever. I’m still my own ‘get up and go and get sh**t done’ kinda’ gal, and my energy or appearance hasn’t changed what so ever. Granted it’s only been five days but I’m actually looking forward to see if things do alter in any way or form. With no more dairy – maybe I’ll feel less bloated at the weekends when I meet friends for coffee, or maybe my skin will have a radiant glow to it? We’ll see … But what I can safely say is that it’s so much easier to resist that slice of cake knowing it contains eggs or milk, resulting in reducing my inner sugar-demon completely! Not to mention by eradicating the so called ‘staples’, it’s actually making me a little more inventive in the kitchen! You never know – I could be the next Deliciously Ella! J

So all in all, why don’t you try it for a week and see how you feel? What do you have to lose? Replace cow’s milk with pure oat, almond or coconut milk, and really use the earth’s produce to fuel your daily schedule without a detrimental effect to the environment. ‘You do more damage to the environment if you eat meat and drive a Prius, than if you’re a Vegan and drive a Hummer..’ Dr Mark Hyman. Something to think about.

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Benefits of a Dairy Free Diet

So, a ‘dairy free diet’ is still all up in the air and studies are constantly being undertaken to really understand if we as juniors and adults really need it in our lives. But in the meantime, I thought I’d share a few benefits that have been found when dairy is completely eliminated from an individual’s diet all together.

Clear Skin

It’s found that millions of people has seen their acne vanish as one of the many dairy-free benefits, some of which has been battling the dreaded eruptions for decades. After spending hundreds on numerous of treatments and products with the hope their skin would clear up, they ended up kicking themselves with the quick resolution once they took the easy step to cut out every drop of milk and slice of cheese out of their day to day diet. Although the exact link isn’t known as yet, some physicians state that it could be a milk allergy or sensitivity causing inflammation; others suggest the hormones in milk are aggravators; while one study points to lactose, butterfat, or perhaps excess iodine in milk as the culprit. Whatever the reason, an increasing number of dermatologists are now recommending the dairy-free diet as a first step in treating acne.

Healthy Digestion

I could go on and on in this category. For starters, lactose intolerance spurs a myriad of digestive symptoms in millions of people, including stomach pain, cramps, bloating, flatulence, diarrhea, and nausea. It has been estimated that 70% of the world’s population has some degree of lactose intolerance, which is perfectly normal. After weaning, humans no longer “need” the ability to digest their mother’s milk, so they naturally begin losing lactase which is the enzyme that helps to digest lactose in dairy milk. Lactase persistence, or the ability to digest lactose as we age, actually appears to be a relatively new phenomenon in our evolution. Dairy has also been labeled as a key trigger in IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and various other digestive conditions leading to chronic constipation.

Helping or Resolving Medical Mysteries

Whether backed by research or thousands of personal success stories, it is found that many people are squashing daily headaches, migraines, rashes, stuffy sinuses, chronic infections, arthritis pain, and even narcolepsy when they cut out all dairy foods. Still others are finding a notable reduction in behavioral issues with conditions such as ADHD and Autism when they eliminate dairy, and sometimes gluten.

Weight Loss and Maintaining a Healthy Weight

For those who are milk allergic and have had issues with low body weight, a milk-free diet can actually help them to absorb nutrients and potentially gain healthy weight. But for the rest of the population, weight loss is a real possibility with the dairy-free transition. It isn’t uncommon to see that going dairy-free, with no other changes in diet or lifestyle, allowed 15 pounds to simply melt away!” Why? Well if you are interested to going into it more scientifically there are a few hypotheses in the studies of Obesity and Milk, and in the consumption patterns outlined in Obesity in the Cheese Generation.

Cancer Prevention

Numerous research studies have shown a direct correlation between dairy intake and several hormone-related cancers. In fact, strong ties have been identified between milk consumption and both ovarian and prostate cancers. One very large study showed that women who consumed just 1 or more servings of skim or low-fat milk daily had a 32% higher risk of developing any ovarian cancer and a 69% higher risk of serous ovarian cancer when compared to women who consumed 3 or less servings per month. Another cohort study showed that men with the highest dietary intake of dairy foods were 2.2 times more likely to develop prostate cancer than men with the lowest intake of dairy foods.

Stronger Bones

Wait. Did I say stronger bones without dairy? Believe it or not, there is a large body of science that directly combats the promoted connection between dairy milk and bone health. According to the landmark Harvard study of approximately 78,000 female nurses, women who consumed greater amounts of calcium from dairy foods had a significantly increased risk of hip fractures, while no increase in fracture risk was observed for the same levels of calcium intake from non-dairy sources. To further these findings, study and population reviews have shown that the countries with the highest rates of osteoporosis are also the largest consumers of dairy products.

Vegan Living and the Environment

Vegans omit all animal products, which includes dairy. In doing so, they make a stance against animal cruelty, avoid the extensive use of antibiotics and hormones in our food supply, and lessen their environmental impact. Milk production has been shown to have a substantial footprint on air quality (greenhouse gas and nitrogen emissions), water quality (run-off of fertilizers, pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, and pathogens), and the soil and surrounding ecosystems (land use, cropping practices, fertilizers, and pesticides). But be sure to choose your dairy-free milk alternatives wisely. You may lessen the dairy-free benefits if you aren’t aware of the GMO issues.

Reducing Exposure to Added Antibiotics and Hormones

Antibiotics are given in mass quantities to dairy cows to help prevent infection, but great concern has been raised over the consumption of these antibiotics through the milk supply and antibiotic resistance. Also, back on the topic of cancers, there are two primary sources of hormones in our milk supply: BGH (Bovine Growth Hormone), a natural occurring hormone in cows that stimulates the production IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor-1), and a synthetic version, rBGH, used in conventional dairy farming to help stimulate milk production, which further increases the levels of IGF-1. The consumption of cow’s milk has been shown to increase the serum level of IGF-1 in humans by 10%. Consequently, higher levels of IGF-1 in humans have been linked to a significant increase in the risk of prostate, colon, lung, and breast cancers. Fortunately, dairy-free milk alternatives do not contain added antibiotics or hormones since they are plant-based!

Does your Period affect your Workout?

A blog just for the ladies …

Thanks to the ageless ‘taboo’, the impact of menstruation with exercise isn’t really talked about. But after watching the swimming in the Rio Olympics this year, the Chinese swimmer Fu Yuanhui blamed her period on her team missing out on gold and finishing in fourth position in the relay. As an ex-competitive swimmer myself, and now someone who trains with Rev.Fitness regularly, this turned my attention and made me dig a little deeper on the matter to see if Yuanhui’s excuse was actually believable or not …

So as we’re all too aware, our cycle kicks off the first day of our period with those lovely little reminders of water retention and bloating, irritability, naughty cravings, increased appetite, variations in pain tolerance, and not to mention the plummeting levels of hormones which can leave us feeling drained and exhausted. The last thing on our minds is smashing out a Rev session or even to continue to eat clean, and by being dedicated to regularly booked Rev.Fit sessions, PMS can leave you feeling psychologically devastated. Completely not fair lads!

… But before we wallow in jealousy, lets just look at the benefits. Yes – that’s right there are actually benefits to this time of the month! By learning what impact our menstrual cycle has on key factors influencing our workout performance and body composition, we can minimise the above negative effects.

What you may not have known is that our cycle influences our metabolic rate, which is the speed in which we burn calories. During the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle (the week or so before your period is set to begin), we actually burn up calories faster than at all other times throughout the month. Research shows that there are increases in total energy expenditure of 2.5 to 11% during this time. However, this is the time when most women also experience an increase in appetite by becoming hungrier and more prone to cravings, which may actually result in consuming more calories than expending through this increase in metabolic rate. But even so, we can use this handy bit of information to make careful decisions when we next crave a chemical whirlwind of sugar and processed foods. We also need to remember that during this phase, our body temperature rises, so if we do decide to perform an intense workout that increases our body temperature even more so, we may become uncomfortable, and consequently unable to sustain very high intensities as we have done previously in other stages of our menstrual cycle.

Another of the biggest cycle-related complaints among women who workout regularly is their concerns of bloating. It’s actually normal for women to take on 5 to 10 extra pounds of water during their cycle. One morning, you may feel impressed with the degree of changes or definition your body is showing, but the next morning, you might see what looks like a blanket of fat hiding what used to be those outlined muscles. But fear not! It’s not fat – just excess water retention caused by our female hormones and oestrogen in particular. However, carrying this excess water weight throughout the luteal phase can negatively affect our workout performance, especially if it involves running or any other endurance exercise, as the added weight can make us feel like we’re working harder than usual.

When it actually comes to our period, and the week after, our body is more like a man’s. Our levels of female hormones such as oestrogen and progesterone are at their lowest, making us a little more man-ish; at least metabolically anyway! During this low-hormone phase, it is shown that women also recover faster and have a higher pain tolerance. Why? Well it is thought that our body isn’t preoccupied with preparing for a possible pregnancy, and we’re reset into a more relaxed mode, which in turn make other systems operate optimally. Granted, feeling crampy and irritable can make it tough motivate you getting off the couch, but once we’ve made it to a Rev Session, the exercise can relieve the discomfort of cramps and an aching lower back and we may find that we breeze through the class. So lets challenge ourselves next time by increasing our weight or upping our pace and we may find that we set some new PB’s! J

All in all, from researching into many different studies, our bodies adapt to each phase of our menstrual cycle. Yes, we suffer from uncomfortable signs and symptoms, but by understanding the changes happening within our body at different stages, we can prevent and reduce them from affecting us negatively within our workouts. So when Fu Yuanhui blamed her team’s loss on her ‘period’ … I wonder what stage of her cycle she was talking about!

A Superfood and a ‘Miracle from the Sea’.

Spirulina is a microalgae that has been consumed for centuries due to its high nutritional value and believed health benefits. Today, we endorse Spirulina more and more as a secret, powerful superfood. Known as a “miracle from the sea.”

Spirulina is essentially “pond scum. A type of blue-green algae that grows naturally in oceans and salty lakes in subtropical climates. Spirulina was once classified as a plant because of its richness in plant pigments as well as its ability to photosynthesise, but as research continued, new understanding of its genetics, physiology and biochemical properties caused scientists to move it to the bacteria domain. Now what you might not know is that there are several species of the algae, but the three that are extensively studied due to their high nutritional and therapeutic values are Spirulina Platensis, Spirulina Maxima and Spirulina Fusiformis.

Health claims:

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Spirulina is often promoted as a treatment for a range of metabolism and heart health issues, including weight loss, diabetes and high cholesterol. It is also recommended as an aid for various mental and emotional disorders, including anxiety, stress, depression and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Does Spirulina work?

Unfortunately the NIH claims that there isn’t enough scientific evidence to confirm Spirulina is effective in treating health conditions. However, it is proven that Spirulina is rich in nutrients, some of which aren’t found in the average daily vitamin, such as significant amounts of calcium, niacin, potassium, magnesium, B vitamins and iron. It also has essential amino acids that are the building blocks of proteins; in fact, protein makes up about 60 to 70 percent of Spirulina’s dry weight! The only problem is that we’re still unsure of how much of that nutrient we’re actually absorbing within our body.

Spiriulina as an antioxidant:

As we know from the Rev.Fit manual and conversations with AP, antioxidants are compounds that help combat cell and DNA damage that leads to cancer, heart disease and other chronic diseases. Antioxidants are also known to aid athlete’s recover from exercise-induced oxidative stress that contributes to muscle fatigue. The body does make some antioxidants but others are actually found in food. Again, there is a lack of research that show that antioxidant supplements can actually rid us of diseases but studies have shown that it decreases percentage rates of conceiving them.

Now just remember, ongoing studies are still in place to determine if Spirulina supplements can help digestion, weight loss, memory problems, anxiety, depression, energy levels, chronic fatigue, ADHD, and PMS, but findings have shown that it definitely has a positive effect on the studies that have been produced.

Rev.Fitness does Confidence.

We are all familiar with the saying “Beauty is only skin deep”, however, if you are the same as me, we still feel pressurised as how we look on a night out or even a shopping trip with the girls.

As being part of the team at Rev Fitness, you know that we help those wishing to improve their physical appearance through weight loss, toning up or just wishing to become fitter. However, confidence isn’t all about having a flat stomach or beautiful long wavy hair; it’s about how you feel. We need to stop comparing ourselves with others. How often do you hear “if only I had her/his legs or abs I’d be happy”? No matter how hard you wish they won’t magically appear on your body, so what’s the point of obsessing about it?!

I ‘m sure that everyone of our Rev-Fitters have sworn, moaned and maybe even wanted to cry in at least one session. However, I can guarantee that after that session the biggest smile will appear as a result of feeling triumphant at what they personally have accomplished. These are the sessions and the sensations that will enhance the confidence within.

One important factor is that you need to believe in what to set out to do. If you constantly focus on your insecurities, over thinking all the negatives this will reflect in all aspects of your life, not just your aims and goals. Yes, you need to acknowledge they exist, but accept you’re human like everyone else in the world! By accepting things ‘how they are’ and working through them with the help of others in a friendly motivating environment, unwittingly signs of confidence will increase.

We strongly urge our members to take a ‘before’ photograph prior to embarking on their first 3 month journey. Have a look at some of these on our website and tell me how many are smiling? Now look at the ‘after’ photograph; spot the difference? See a smile? Note they stand differently? See a sense of pride in their face? So I’m not saying that physical appearance doesn’t impact on our confidence, but if you are not truly happy with the person you are on the inside it will not reflect on the outside. Imagine going through a dramatic change of lifestyle by yourself if you struggle to believe in yourself in the first place?…this is where Revolution Fitness Academy steps in.

What I’m trying to say is that as well as the visual results, Revolution Fitness Academy strives to make individuals confident by changing their outlook on health, exercise and nutrition (rather than who has the best legs or abs!) Someone who is happy within themselves is proven to be happy towards others and, in turn, will support them on their journey to become proud of whom they are. This inspiring environment has created a unique fitness academy in Bury St Edmunds.

AP’s Tuesday Tip


AP’s Tuesday Tip:


I hope you’re all having a great week!

Here’s my top tip for the week… Don’t be afraid of fat, in fact, try adding it to your meals in the form of olives, nuts, seeds, avocado’s, coconut or MCT oil, for a lushes form of fuel for the brain.

For years we were told that the brain only uses glucose for fuel, when actually it can burn fat too. If the brain is using fat for fuel it creates more energy molecules (ATP) efficiently and it does so with out producing as many ‘free radicals’. The brain loves to burn fat.

Give it a try.

Enjoy the rest of your week 🙂


AP’s Tuesday Tip


AP’s Tuesday Tip:

We all, at Revolution Fitness hope you’ve had a great day .

Here is my Tuesday Tip for the week:
When using cruciferous vegetables in you meals, cook half of them and add the other half to the meal raw.


Heating cruciferous vegetables destroys an enzyme in the called myrosinase.
Myrosinase helps boost the phytonutrient value of the vegetable.
There you have it, add in some raw cruciferous vegetables to a meal everyday to help boost your immune system and feel that little bit brighter.