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What is Functional Diagnostic Nutrition?

Friday, October 1st, 2010

Hi All,

As some of you may be aware, especially some of my personal traoning clients, I have become very interetsed in the work of Reed Davies (sparked by Sean, ofcourse).  Reed has developed a system called Functional DIagnostic Nutrition, a course that i am litterally gagging to do!

I thought I would outline some of the key points of how Functional Diagnostic Nutriton works, what it can do for you and the many health benefits it can offer.

FDN does not however deal with, treating illnesses, treating symptoms and diagnosing diseases.

FDN is all about establishing health from the foundation, normalising bodily systems and strengthening the four pillars of health. This is all done by a practitioner who is experianced in looking at the hormonal, immune, digestive and detoxification systems of the body.  The unique factor about the functional diagnostic nutrition approach is that it uses a great deal of detective work to get to the root causes of a condition.  This is done through the taking of an extensive client history and also the use of laboratory testing.  This is a key element to allow the FDN practitioner to find the underlying causes of a variety of diseases.

FDN can help with a number of conditions but some of the key ones are detailsed below:-

  • Weight And Fat Distribution
  • Mucosal Surface Integrity (1st Line Immune Defence)
  • Insulin Levels
  • Thyroid Function
  • Ovarian Hormone Levels
  • Memory and Learning
  • Neuronal Connectivity
  • Quality Of Sleep
  • Mood
  • Muscle Integrity
  • Protein Turnover
  • Bone Turnover
  • Connective Tissue Turnover
  • Cell Energetics
  • Glucose Homeostasis
  • Inflammatory Status
  • Immune Regulation
  • Heavy Metal Endo Chelation
  • Mixed Function Oxidase Modulation

Part of the FDN system is to look at the bodies stress hormones and how the body reponds andreacts to those, these hormones play a crutial role in some of the conditions listed above.  Overuse can also lead to Adrenal Fatigue SYndrome.  Look out for a blog post on this over the comming weeks!

Functional Diagnostic Nutrition is an amazing system and can help a wide variety of people, to find out more have a look at the site or our interview with founder Reed Davies.

Foresight Persona Training Will be offering a range of FDN services across Manchester, Sockport and Cheshire in the next 12 months so if you would like to go on our already established waiting list please fill in the form below.


What is a Good Oil?

Friday, September 24th, 2010

Hi All,

I get asked this question so much by my personal training clients that I thought it might be a useful post to put out to you lot in cyber space.

People are generally getting round to the fact that a no fat diet is not a healthy one, you need some fats in your diet.  But many people are unsure of what constitutes a good fat?  That is where we can help to gove you some guidance.  We are going to look purly at cooking ils in this post and try and identify which oils are good for various cooking situations.

Olive Oil

Olive oil is a very popular oil  and is easiy available in the average superarket. It’s a great source of essential fatty acids, and is a source of monounsaturated fat, making it a great choice for maintaining a healthy heart.
A higher intake of olive oil in your diet will also help to increase the level of antioxidants present in your system, helping to fight free radicals that can cause disease.

Best use: Olive oil has a low smoking (burning) point, so it’s best used in dishes that aren’t cooked, like salad dressing or drizzled over vegetables after they’ve been cooked.

Coconut Oil
Although coconut oil contains a high percentage of saturated fat, these fats are in the form of medium chain triglycerides, which are handled by the body differently than regular saturated fats. Your body will use them immediately for energy and they won’t pose the same health threat as typical saturated fats do.

Best use: Good for frying due to its high smoking point or eaten cold because of the unique flavor it offers.

Fish Oil
Fish oil is a relatively healthy oil because it contains the omega-3 fatty acid precursors EPA and DHA, which work to reduce inflammation throughout the body.

Best use: Fish oil isn’t extracted and sold for cooking the way other oils on this list are; most people take fish oil supplements in capsule form, but you can also get fish oil when you eat fattier varieties of fish such as salmon or mackerel.

Hemp Oil
This particular oil is an extremely good source of essential fatty acids and has a 3:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 essential fatty acids, which is what the body needs for optimal functioning. This oil also helps with the treatment of eczema and is commonly found in facial products.

Best use: This oil is not good for frying, making it best consumed cold or in supplemental form.

Grape Seed Oil
Grape seed oil is a good source of essential fatty acids, with approximately 69% of the fat coming from omega-6 fats and 15% from omega-8 fatty acids. It does contain small amounts of saturated fat, but the benefits from this oil far outweigh the disadvantages. Grape seeds contain polyphenols (which are also found in red wine), which are a form of antioxidant.

Best use: Grape seed oil has among the highest smoking point of any cooking oil, so it’s great for preparing stir-fries and sautés.

Sunflower and Safflower Oil
Sunflower and safflower oils are a combination of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat and contain omega-6 fatty acids. Sunflower oil is also a rich source of vitamin E, so anyone looking to boost their intake will benefit from using this oil.

Best use: These oils have a lighter taste and are great for making stir-fries or salad dressings.

Bad fats

The following oils supply your body with less healthy sources of fat, including saturated and trans fatty acids. Make an effort to reduce or eliminate these oils from your diet whenever possible.

Palm Oil
Primarily used for creating many of the processed foods on the market, palm oil is a reddish color due to its beta-carotene content. It is quite high in saturated fat so it’s best avoided.

Best use: Look for palm oil that maintains its reddish color, since that means it’s less processed and healthier to use (but still not ideal). Use it in the same way as any other cooking oil.

Partially Hydrogenated Canola Oil
Any time you see the words “partially hydrogenated canola oil” on an ingredient’s panel, avoid eating that food or product if you can. While canola oil is a good source of healthy fats, when it goes through the process of hydrogenation, it transforms into trans fats, which increase your risk of coronary heart disease. Partially hydrogenated vegetable oil is commonly found in commercially prepared snack foods as well as fast foods, fried foods and baked goods.

Best Use: None — these should be always avoided.

Cottonseed Oil
While cotton seed oil is made up of 50% omega-6 fatty acids, it contains virtually no omega-3 fatty acids, so the imbalance between these could lead to health problems if not carefully balanced with other sources of fats rich in omega-3. Furthermore, cottonseed oil also contains 24% saturated fat and is very frequently partially or fully hydrogenated, which is extremely bad for your health.

Best use: If you are going to consume cottonseed oil, you are best off using pure cottonseed oil to make a salad dressing.

Hope that has proved useful,


Fitness Venues Review

Thursday, September 16th, 2010


Fitness Venues has been established for a number of years, over this time the site has grown massively and has incorporated loads of features.  This site really has become a one stop shop for fitness news and information.

Listings – The site has a comprehensive listing of a number off wellbeing services such as personal training, beauty salons, gyms, physiotherapists, etc… The listings are very in depth, with a wide choice of compaines in a wide variety of geographical locations.  The listings are very detailed giving you a wide range of information on the individual companies in a very clear and easy to use manner.

Forum – This is the best UK fitness forum that I have seen, it covers a wide range of topics.  Having a good ratio of industry professional and general exercisers regularly posting.  The great thing about the forum is that it has member’s who are both people seeking to improve thier health and also personal trainers, sports therapists and other wellbeing professionals.  This means that if you have a question it is one of the best places to post it and get some great information.

Look me up on the forum under the username Tom@foresight

News – The site also helps to keep you upto date with all the latest news on new products services and changes within the fitness and wellbeing industry.

Reviews – One of the best aspects of the webste is the vast range of independent reviews on various chains, and independent gyms across the contry.  This is a very useful resource for anyone who is looking to join a gym and would like to know the pro’s and con’s of various gyms in their area.

Articles – Fitness Venues has a great database of articles, written by fitness professionals and industry experts.  The range of articoes is very impressive covering a wide variety of topics, incuding exercise, nutrition, and overall wellbeing.

Fitness Venues has become a one stop shop for all your fitness needs, well worth a look for anyone who is interested in health, fitness and wellbeing in general.  I highly recommend that you have a good look at the site and also add it to your bookmarks list!


Train like a pro with your TRX

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

Hi All,

As some of you know I have gone a little TRX crazy over the past few weeks, well it is an awesome bit of kit!

Just came across this video from Todd Durkin of Fitness Quest 10, in San Diego. It has some great little exercises you can do anywhere with your TRX! So if you have one get it out and try some, if not why don’t you?


Summer workout with the TRX!

Sunday, August 29th, 2010

Hi All,

Here is the final video in Sean Croxtons summer workout series!  Well worth a watch, man you have been working hard over the summer Sean!

The video is packed full of great ideas for your next workout, and using the TRX!  Look out for a TRX review in the nest few weeks.


European Code Against Cancer

Friday, August 27th, 2010

Hi All,

I thought I would post this interesting pointer of the main factors that are all under your contarol that can be considered and put into your daily life to reduce your cancer risk.

It is all about minimising teh risks that you can control, everytime you reduce a risk you reduce your cancer risk too!

My advice is learn and live by this code, it is nothing unusal or even hard!  Just well worth while.

1. Do not Smoke

2. Avoid Obesity

3. Do 30 mins of moderate intensity physical activity a day

4. Eat a healthy, balanced diet

5. Drink a maximum of 2 alcoholic drinks per day

6. Aviod excessive sun exposure

7. Avoid contact with known cancer causing substances

8. Participate in screening initutives

Over the next few weeks i will be picking out a few of these points to talk about in more detail, so keep your eyes peeled on the blog for more info!

Any questions just ask.


Interview with Ben Pratt (Nutritions Playground, Premier Training and Natural Food Finder)

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

TG: Hi Ben, thanks for being interviewed.  Could you start off by telling us a little about your background in the wellbeing industry?

BP: Thanks Tom, I appreciate the opportunity to discuss things over. I have been in the health, fitness and wellbeing industry since 1995. I started out all those years ago working as a leisure attendant in an exclusive private health club near Tower Bridge, London. I have had many roles since then including gym instructor, personal trainer, duty manager, gym manager and fitness and nutrition lecturer. I am currently working as Premier Training International’s Research and Development Manager and as such author leading fitness and nutrition courses that get taught in many venues around the country. I founded my own business as well over a year ago called Natural Food Finder.

TG: How important a role do you think nutrition has to play in overall levels of wellbeing?

BP: I believe that nutrition is one of the greatest providers of optimal health. Out of necessity we eat regularly every day to nourish our bodies and fuel ourselves for the activities of life. Unfortunately in today’s world of fast paced living the food we eat often has little if any thought put into it. The convenience foods and take away meals that are becoming ever more a dominant part of our diet are literally diminishing our health with every bite. Many people struggle with ill health and search endlessly for an answer from doctors, specialists and pharmaceuticals, but continue to eat food that damages them slowly from the inside without considering the impact. Food can truly be medicine for those who need to rebuild their health. It is extremely important.

TG: What are the first 5 steps a person should make to improve their diet?

BP: There are so many things that could be offered as an answer to this question. The most appropriate answer is that the top 5 things will depend very much upon the person whose diet needs to be improved because as Lucretious said ‘One man’s food is another man’s poison.’ There are some general steps that would be important for all people.

  1. First and foremost a clear and solid decision needs to be made that now is the time for change. All too often people’s lives are scattered with occasional efforts to try and eat healthily with little effect because they do not get to the root of the problem. It’s not always so much about how much you need to change, but how much you want to change.
  2. Quality! There is no substitute for quality food. Learn what really good food is and what is not. I will give you a clue it is a great deal more than just eating fruit and vegetables. Investigate, educate yourself, read labels and ensure you buy the best food your circumstances will allow
  3. Avoid foods that contain damaging ingredients such as hydrogenated fats, trans fatty acids, artificial sweeteners, flavour enhancers and are sprayed with agricultural pesticides and herbicides.
  4. Get over your fat phobia. Modern advice and guidelines has created a huge amount of unfounded fear regarding dietary fat and cardiovascular disease. Fat from high quality sources is a vital nutrient for optimal health and should be actively included and used with wisdom in cooking and food preparation.
  5. Take time for your meals and food preparation. Adjust your priorities so that food fills a more significant part of your life. Food preparation is an essential part of life and can become very enjoyable and fulfilling. It also makes you become significantly more aware of what goes into your mouth and how it can affect you.

TG: You have been a member of the Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF) for a while can you tell us a little bit about this organisation?

BP: Yes I have been a member of the WAPF since 2006. The WAPF is a charity that has been set up to share the unique and valuable work of the great dentist and researcher Dr Weston Price. He is one of the few inspirational people who decided to research the lives and diets of healthy, untouched cultures to see what it was that made them so healthy. This is a fundamentally different view to how we study health today. The medical world predominantly studies illness to learn how to treat it and by so doing makes educated suggestions about how to be healthy. The WAPF seek to teach how natural, traditional foods can return us to optimal health and vitality. They always seek out research and modern science that supports the wisdom known for generations in populations throughout the world. If you wish to learn any more about them go to

TG: I recently came across your site , what an awesome site!  What was the idea behind this site?

BP: Thank you for your complimentary comments about the site. Over the 5 years I worked as a fitness and nutrition lecturer many students would enquire about where to buy the foods that we were teaching them about in their home towns. This led to the idea of creating a website that campaigns for suppliers of the highest quality foods and helps the consumer know what these foods are, why we should be eating them and how to find and purchase the best that nature has to offer. It has been so rewarding to see the response of many of our website users to Natural Food Finder. We know that it is just the beginning and that there are many excellent farmers and food producers who we can still assist in bringing them into contact with consumers who need their high quality food.

TG: What do you find is the biggest barrier people come across when it comes to dietary change, and how do you overcome it?

BP: That is quite a difficult question to answer because, to be honest, it varies considerably from one person to the next. There are many common barriers such as financial restrictions, family likes or dislikes and understanding which foods to buy and which to avoid. But perhaps one of the most difficult barriers to overcome is your own dietary history! It is tough to overcome the habits that people have developed over years – when they eat, how often they eat, quick fix snacks, favourite take away meals and foods they buy when they go shopping. If these habits are less than helpful in the search for health and wellbeing it is essential that some habitual retraining is needed. This goes deeper than just setting a few goals and being accountable, but moves towards needing to influence the dominant regular thoughts and the emotions that they generate. When these fall more in line with the direction of change required then maintaining change will be much easier.

TG: What are your top 3 tips to achieve weight loss?

BP: My top three tips…that is valuable information you know!

  1. Weight loss is not all about calories in and calories out. That is one of the longest running myths regarding weight loss. I am not saying that energy intake and output has no part in weight loss, but that there are other factors that have significant effect.
  2. We can’t store body fat without carbohydrates in our diet. This is because carbohydrates stimulate the release of insulin in our blood, which is the most potent fat storing hormone in the body. If insulin levels are elevated we are effectively in a fat storing state. Therefore to lose weight, we must lower blood insulin, which will require and reduction in carbohydrate rich foods.
  3. There is no substitute for good quality food! Eat as natural and nutrient dense as you can and your body will detoxify, feel more satisfied and healthier.

TG: What state do you feel the UK food industry is currently in?

BP: Well that really depends on your perspective. In comparison to some Western countries our food industry is doing fairly well. We have a great history of high quality farming and still produce some of the best food in Europe. As part of the EU we are subject to high organic standards, including the prevention of GM farming. Britain prevents pig farming in prison-like sow stalls, a practise that still happens in Europe. We have more recently pushed for higher chicken welfare and free range chicken is in huge demand. Since the BSE crisis in 2000 more cattle roam free on pasture leading to higher quality beef and dairy. However, we are losing out with fruit and vegetable production as imports are undercutting the demand for UK grown produce. We also spend vast amounts on junk food and take away food, nearly as much as the rest of Europe combined. The supermarkets have huge control over the food chain with over 80% of the consumer market buying their food from these large corporations. If we continue to purchase our food in these large supermarkets it is only a matter of time before they have control of the whole food chain. Then we would be in a terrible position where they can buy and sell to us on any terms they see fit. We must continue to support local, quality farmers and farm shops. Spending money in your local community is rewarding and helps you keep control if where your food comes from and how it is produced.

TG: What key changes do you wish the government would make to improve the food we eat?

BP: I grow tired of the attempts to punish people who eat poor quality food, by focusing on labelling these foods as high in fat, sugar or salt and by so doing branding people who eat these foods as unhealthy and burdensome on society. There has been talk on and off of taxing these foods, which will of course put the price up. Research has shown that the poorest areas of society tend to eat the highest amount of lower quality foods because they tend to be the cheapest. So taxing these foods will create considerable strain on the poorer classes of society and do nothing to make healthy foods more available. I wish the government would offer subsidies to farmers who uphold high standards. Also offer solutions to making high quality, nutrient dense foods more affordable so that a larger proportion of society could benefit their health.

TG: Tell us a bit about what the future holds for you and your business?

BP: Well top of the list at present is the imminent release of my book, Nutrition’s Playground. I recently finished writing it and am in the middle of publishing. This is a unique read that reveals how and why we need to make a shift in our eating habits towards truly nourishing foods, opens up the science of weight loss and empowers the reader into guiding their own efforts to achieve optimal health. Look out for its release towards the early autumn.

On September 24th we are holding a one day nutrition conference with some outstanding presenters. It will be a fantastic event that I am already looking forward to. Full information can be found on my website

It’s been great sharing with you today, Tom. Thanks.

TG: Thanks for your time Ben, and we wish you all the best for the future!

Can going organic save your life?

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

Hi All,

Here is another awesome video from Wellness Force, looking at the importance of having an organic diet.


How to you achieve your ideal weight?

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

Hi All,

Here is a quick clip of Leigh Brandon talking about what you need to do to achieve your ideal weight.


And Personal Training in Manchester

Monday, July 19th, 2010

To follow on from the last post we have also now uploaded info for the Manchester area!

Personal Trainers in Manchester

Personal Trainer in North ManchesterPersonal Trainer in South Manchester, Personal Trainer in Manchester City CentrePersonal Trainer in Burnage, Personal Trainer in Collyhurst, Personal Trainer in Chorlton, Personal Trainer in Crumpsall, Personal Trainer in Denton, Personal Trainer in Didsbury, Personal Trainer in Droylsden,   Personal Trainer in Eccles, Personal Trainer in Failsworth, Personal Trainer in Firswood, Personal Trainer in Fallowfield, Personal Trainer in Gorton, Personal Trainer in Handforth, Personal Trainer in Harpurhey, Personal Trainer in Hulme, Personal Trainer in Hyde, Personal Trainer in Ladybarn, Personal Trainer in Levenshulme, Personal Trainer in Longsight, Personal Trainer in Moston, Personal Trainer in Openshaw, Personal Trainer in Northenden,  Personal Trainer in Parrswood, Personal Trainer in Pendlebury, Personal Trainer in Prestwich, Personal Trainer in Rusholme, Personal Trainer in Stretford, Personal Trainer in Swinton, Personal Trainer in Urmston,  Personal Trainer in Walkden, Personal Trainer in Wardley,  Personal Trainer in Whalley Range, Personal Trainer in Whitefield, Personal Trainer in Withington, Personal Trainer in Worsley