Articles/Educational Resources

Managing Weight-Related Comments During the Holidays

As Ireland’s answer to Socrates, eminent philosopher and boyband superstar Ronan Keating once said, you say it best, when you say nothing at all. This was statement was obviously made in direct reference to individuals who comment on the weight or body shape of others. Unfortunately, not everyone listened to darling Ronan, so we’re in a bit of a mess. How do comments from others affect our body image? And what, if anything, can we do about it?

Strong is Not the New Skinny: Challenging the Fit Ideal

You may have heard the latest uproar on social media owing to a certain media outlet publishing an article heralding the return of Heroin Chic. This was immediately used for content by a rake of influencers. Some virtue-signalling, some actually trying to make a fair point. Swings and roundabouts. However, it got me thinking about what we replaced thinspiration with – fitsporation. And, it turns out they aren’t all that different.

Should I Take This? Supplementation 101

Supplements are everywhere, and they aren’t all effective. Deciding what to invest your money can be really confusing (wouldn’t be like nutrition companies to mislead the general public would it?). So, I think it’s important to have some general guidelines to go off – and hopefully save yourself from making the same financial mistakes I did *cries in BCAAs*.

Social Physique Anxiety: Comparison is the Thief of Body Image

As the old adage goes: if everyone else had body dysmorphia wouldn’t you? Social physique anxiety is unfortunately a global phenomenon, exacerbated by social media and an increasingly appearance-based society. So, what is social physique anxiety and is there really something wrong with you for caring what other people think of your body?

My Disordered-Eating Experience

Binge-eating was my ride or die for 25 years. I don’t think it’s something I will ever be fully ‘healed’ from, contrary to the curative binge-eating recovery plans prescribed by Instagram PTs acting way out of their scope of practice. What better way to highlight this than by completing oversharing on the internet?

Working On-Call & Eating Behaviours

You know I love to come for shift work, and just how detrimental it can be to our health and eating behaviours. However, being “on-call” is a little different, and offers its own unique challenges to our dietary patterns.

The “Health Halo” Effect

The “health halo” effect has permeated our food choices for years, and the rise of the “wellness” industry has exacerbated this. For many of us, it’s something we have internalised for years, as a by-product of marketing, societal norms and you guessed it – Instagram. We talk about demonising food now (for good reason!), and the negative impacts that can have on eating behaviours, But, in doing so, we have neglected its equally as problematic cousin – the health halo.

Chronic Pain & Eating Behaviour

Chronic pain is extremely common, affecting up to 20% of the European population. Chronic pain can be debilitating and can hugely affect an individual’s quality of life. In addition to crushing your spirit, chronic pain can also influence our eating behaviour.

No More Sundays In September

The air is heavy, the ground heavy and dry underfoot and the glow of that coveted grand stretch in the evening. It can only mean one thing – we’re coming into the peak of the GAA club season. Forget Christmas, this is the most wonderful time of the year.

Body Image & The Menstrual Cycle

Bleeding from your internal organs is never a fun time. Whether haemorrhaging from your uterus drives body image changes amongst females is certainly worth exploring further.

Body Composition & The Elite Athlete I: Fundamentals

Body composition is a pivotal marker in high performance sport of the athlete’s nutritional status. However, there are a litany of assessment methods, and each has its own advantages and limitations. So, how do we separate the good from the unethical? And what does it matter anyway?

Education in Review: Sigma Nutrition Spring Conference 2022

If you are into science, critically evaluating nutrition research and looking beyond influencer discount codes for your health information, look no further than Sigma Nutrition. Last week, Sigma Nutrition held their spring conference, and who am I to turn down an opportunity to nerd out in a socially acceptable setting.

Navigating “What I Eat In A Day” Videos

“What I Eat In A Day” (WIEIAD) videos are a quick way to up your Instagram engagement, and garner follows and likes. However, WIEIAD videos and posts, no matter how well-intentioned also have a rather sinister undercurrent.

Shiftwork: Barrier To A Healthy Diet

The Venn diagram of shiftwork and health is two separate circles that do not overlap in any way. It can be incredibly difficult to maintain a healthy diet on shift – and is it really all your fault?

Picking The Best Protein Bar

Protein bars are like a houseplant – you’re not sure why, but having one makes you feel like you have your shit together. These days, almost every snack has a protein alternative with a 40% markup. But what makes the best protein bar for you?

Nutrition for Injured Athletes II: Macronutrients

So, you’re injured. Fear not. In the time you have finished reading this, I will most likely have also sustained an injury of some description, so you don’t have to go it alone. Part I discussed the role of energy balance in injury and recovery, and hopefully from reading that you understand some of the fundamentals. We want to limit the catabolic processes of injury – and tailoring our macronutrient intake can play a huge role.

Creaqueens Part I: Female-Specific Creatine Supplementation Benefits

Creatine is one of the most well-researched supplements on the market. It has potential benefit for athletic performance, body composition and even cognitive function. It’s no surprise creatine is a hugely popular supplement. However, like most supplements, the majority of studies supporting its use are carried out only on males. Is creatine as effective for women?

Why Girls Don’t Lift

Second to spicebags, weight training is one of the great loves of my life. It has helped me, and countless other women improve our physiques, strength and mental health. And yet, many women are still afraid of setting foot into the weights area.

Seasonal Body Image: The Problem With Hot Girl Summer

Winter 2021 was cold, dark and full of coronavirus. And now, much like Moses leading the people out of the desert, Megan Thee Stallion has arrived to lead us into Hot Girl Summer. But Hot Girl Summer isn’t all it cracked up to be, and can actually have some far-reaching consequences for body image.

Food Guilt & Eating Behaviour

Have you ever eaten something and thought “shouldn’t have eaten that”? Or, “I’m on a diet”, all whilst eating a bag of Doritos? This is known as food guilt, and it has a profound effect on our dietary behaviour and self-esteem.

PMS & Cravings: Straight to the Uterus?

The cost of being a menstruating female is ever increasing. You have to pay for sanitary products, suffer cramps like a champ and listen to male PT’s mansplain that it’s okay to be in pain during your period (arguably more painful than menstruating). In addition, some of us suffer from food cravings that can potentially hamper our goals. Thanks, universe.
We are going to run through what science says about pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) and food cravings.

Mindful Eating for Thicks: Introduction

Mindful eating is a tool I like to use with my clients. However, it is often misconstrued and poorly understood (looking at you Instagram fitness sphere). Furthermore, it’s something I struggled to get on board with myself, until I started to look into the science behind it and apply it to my own diet.
As we are very much Team Evidence Based over here, we will be discussing some of the literature, and key concepts. I plan on doing a series of articles around this, so for today we’ll cover some of the basics, and the potential advantages of adopting a mindful approach to your diet.

Education in Review: ETPHD Emotional Eating Webinar

If you are into science-based, compassionate coaching, Emilia is your gal. Chances are you’ve come across some of her posts on Instagram, or alternatively if you follow me on Instagram you’ll have seen me share so many of her posts that if her acccount ever got deleted she could use mine as a backup. Soz, not soz. Anyway, Emilia’s area of expertise lies in emotional eating, and this webinar was right up my street. I thought I would give an overview of my experience with the day.

Plant-Based Panacea: The BROAD Study

The BROAD (née Fraud) study is a perfect example of how misleading articles can get published, and how we an manipulate our findings to suit a narrative. Misleading, misrepresented and poorly designed studies are rampant, and unfortunately within the plant-based/vegan diet literature, it appears to be the more sensational the better.

Education in Review: Precision Nutrition Level 1

Precision Nutrition is the leading online coaching education masterhub. Chances are you’ve seen it on a few Instagram bios (guilty). With Level 1 coming around a couple of times a year, and the next intake opening in March, I thought I would run through my experience with it.

How Diet Culture Ruined Female Fat Loss

Ah, diet culture. The toxic ex that always seems to reappear in your life when you’re bettering yourself, to drag you right back down. Diet culture is unfortunately insidious, and has wrapped itself like poison ivy around how we market fat loss to females. Fat loss and diet culture are not synonymous, nor are they mutually exclusive. I’m going to run through the common problems and barriers created by diet culture, and my opinion on these issues.

Cellulite: Causes & Treatment

Cellulite is a common occurrence in the majority of women. Men can also have cellulite. It is not dangerous or wrong to have cellulite. This is of course at odds with modern day marketing and society. We are going to run through what cellulite is, if you can reduce it and why you should worry about it at all.

Exercise, Shift Work & Circadian Disruption

Shift work is like a bad Tinder date: it sounds dodgy, is rarely worth the hassle and there’s a risk it might kill you. Similarly, for some of us, it is a necessary evil. We have already discussed the impact of chrononutrition, and how optimal meal-timing and shiftwork tend to be mutually exclusive. Now, our focus shifts (lol solid pun) onto exercise and whether it can help mitigate or exacerbate the disruption to our circadian rhythm posed by shiftwork.

When “Feed The Heroes” Isn’t Enough: The Psychological Impact of COVID-19 on Radiographers

You’ve clapped for us. You’ve sent us Nando’s. You’ve put up “yup the frontline” outside your windows (10/10 sign). And that has all been stunning, and warmed my cold, dead heart. But it hasn’t been all sunshine and delicious carby goodness. A pandemic is still a pandemic. The impact this crisis has had on radiographersContinue reading “When “Feed The Heroes” Isn’t Enough: The Psychological Impact of COVID-19 on Radiographers”

The Effectiveness of Glute Activation

Any gym gal worth her Gymshark leggings will likely have some form of glute activation as a precursor to leg day. I myself love a good banded warm-up, but I haven’t actually looked into how effective it is. So, I thought I would investigate the literature to determine whether the Instahuns have led us down the path to glute gains or not.

The Accuracy of Fitness Watches

The fitness watch is like a tracking bracelet for fitfam: it makes us easy to identify, and keeps us on the straight and narrow. You may be considering purchasing one, have one already or just have some concerns about how accurate they are. We’re going to run through some common misconceptions and delve into just how accurate they are.

BCAA Supplementation: Placebo Juice

Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) hold a special place in my heart. AS THE BIGGEST WASTE OF MONEY EVER. This coming from the girl who once bought apple cider vinegar because it uPs uR mEtAbOLiC rAtE. So you know this shit is serious. I have seen a few PT’s posting on Instagram about the benefits of BCAA supplementation, and it occurred to me just how much misinformation there is out there. And, given the amount of money I wasted on them in the past, I hold a personal grudge against these glorified Boleros, as in my case I didn’t need them at all.

The Hip Thrust & Its Potential for Injury Reduction in Female Field Athletes

In my opinion, the hip thrust is one of the most underutilized weapons in the arsenal of training female athletes. With potential transferable benefits in performance, injury prevention and lower body strength, it is hard to believe that it isn’t the cornerstone of most female strength training programmes.
This article will discuss the biomechanics that predispose us lowly girlos to lower limb injury, and how the hip thrust may address these.

Resistance Training, Radiography & Reducing the Risk of Injury

Radiography is a growing profession, particularly in Ireland. As of 2019, there are 2,301 practicing radiographers in Ireland[1]. As the profession has grown, so has the demands placed on the health service, and consequently, radiographers. In this article, I will outline the main musculoskeletal injuries (MSK) faced by radiographers, and why I think strength training can benefit almost all radiographers.

Preparing Yourself for Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction As A Female Athlete

A common injury (unfortunately) amongst female field athletes, tearing your ACL is every bit painful psychologically as it is physically. It is common to feel helpless and overwhelmed after suffering such an injury. Whilst you cannot untear your ACL, you aren’t powerless to help yourself. I thought I would put together this article to give you an indication of what to expect. Having torn my ACL twice, and had three surgeries, I feel I have a wealth of experience on the subject, and I wish I had something like this to help me when I was going for surgery.

Body Image & Self-Acceptance

Body image and self-acceptance are almost mutually exclusive in the current climate that values body fat percentage over health. How can you navigate the two opposing forces?

Avoiding Injury & Returning To Training

In my last article, I discussed returning to training from an infection control perspective. With the immediate threat to life reduced, I wanted to run through another potential danger, absolutely wrecking yourself during your first couple of sessions back. We will cover the return to the gym, common pitfalls and suggested methods of easing yourself back onto the gain train

Infection Control & Returning To Training

The hallowed halls of the church of iron are finally open again in Ireland. The harsh, gainless spring has ended and it is now time for the return of gains and memories. However, the danger of being weak and having lost all your gains is no longer the biggest threat to you. There is now the threat of contracting COVID-19, which is killing people and also by proxy, their gains. Obviously, if you don’t feel well or have a temperature, do us all a favour and stay home. But if you’re ready to become the pinnacle of health once again, is the gym the safest place to be right now? I thought I would run through a few common misconceptions around infection control and good hygiene practices to prevent spreading the ‘Vid.

Feminism & The Female Fitness Industry

The female fitness industry is akin to a night in Coppers. Largely unregulated, full of creeps and a means to an end for many. I am a firm believer that the female fitness industry is vastly flawed, and as consumers, service providers and actual human beings we have a responsibility to educate ourselves and demand better. I love fitness and the empowerment it gives women. It is not simply picking things up and down again (as cool as that is), or eating salad (salad is never the answer). Handled correctly, fitness will challenge you, and everything you stand for, for the better. But you have to be ready for the bullshit you will encounter.

Chrononutrition & Shift Work: Research versus Reality

Chrononutrition marries the study of circadian biology and nutrition. It is a rapidly evolving field of research, with many interesting papers coming out in the last few years alone. Our internal biological clock can hugely impact upon our nutrition. However, nothing will fuck with your internal biological clock like some good old-fashioned shiftwork. Having done my fair amount of shiftwork (and currently typing this from a 20 hour shift!), I thought it would be interesting to compare the recommendations from the research against my own reality.

Ring Training For Absolute Thicks

Over the quarantine period, and sans gym, much like the general population, I have been forced to get creative with my training. I became quite fed up with high repetitious, low weight work (I am an 8-10 rep girlo, and that is the cross I will die on) and fancied a new challenge. I decided to change my training to incorporate movements that I would never normally devote time to training in the gym environment. Specifically, bodyweight movements. And then, because that gets old fast, I wanted to learn to do cool shit. And rings training is full of cool shit.

The Danger of the Dogma

Dogma: A principle, or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true. One of the most detrimental ways to hinder your progress in your health and fitness journey, being dogmatic and fixed in your ways is to be avoided. Right?

Every Book I’ve Read Since Covid Ruined Everything

It is no secret that I am a massive nerd, who eats up books like they’re salted pretzel chocolate. I have been using my newfound free time and inability to travel and see family and friends (#blessed) to indulge my inner bookworm. This list is non-exhaustive, and the links to each book will be inserted too.

Should You Track Calories To Lose Weight?

“The only way to lose weight is to track calories.” Another dogma you will see thrown around in the fitness realm. Tracking calories can certainly be effective, and educational. But it’s not for everyone. And it’s certainly not the only way.

Energy Balance: It’s Just Calories In, Calories Out Bro.

Energy balance is central to our survival. It is what constitutes whether we lose, gain or maintain weight. We can manipulate this balance to our benefit, or alternatively to our detriment. We will run through the principles governing energy balance, what makes a calorie a calorie and the basic fundamentals of energy balance. Energy, ThermodynamicsContinue reading “Energy Balance: It’s Just Calories In, Calories Out Bro.”

My Fitness Journey.

What more fitting way to start my website encouraging you to hand over your hard-earned money for me to train you, than regaling you with a list of all the horrific errors in training and nutrition I made over the years? The Early Years I have always been an active kid. I was extremely luckyContinue reading “My Fitness Journey.”

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