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TV Presenter And Wellbeing Advocate Melanie Sykes On Feeling Fabulous

By David Saunders, Health Editor | UPDATED: 08:28, 08 July 2020

Burgen bread has teamed up with TV star and wellbeing advocate, Melanie Sykes, to call on Brits to discover new things and go for the good stuff. Whether that’s playing around in the kitchen with new ingredients, to throwing yourself into a new workout routine.

Melanie recently spoke exclusively to the bread company about how her fitness journey began, revealing that she hasn’t always led the active and healthy lifestyle she does now.

Melanie went on to tell them, “It was only about 10 years ago when I realised I wasn’t having time to myself at all and it wasn’t healthy. So, I joined a gym and it was from there that I developed an interest in nutrition and health.

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“It happened when I was in my mid-to-late thirties and research shows, that’s also when people start looking at their lifestyles and the impact it has on their health.”

Below are some of Melanie’s golden rules for feeling fit and fabulous at forty-something:

1. Make time for me-time

The older I’ve become, the more time I put in for myself. I suddenly realised it’s not a selfish act, but it’s really crucial for my wellbeing. If I’m not feeling good, then I can’t perform and be a good mother and do all the things that I do.

I plan my week in terms of food and when I can fit in exercise, it’s actually in my diary! It changes every week because my schedule changes every week, but I’ve learnt to do it over the years.

Rhiannon Lambert – Nutritionist comments:

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“Hearing Melanie talk about this is so wonderful and refreshing because we do need to be prioritising these things. I think our health is dependent upon it.

I think this is one of the big problems we now have – we’re running around from A to B at such a fast pace. There’s no such thing as a “nine to five” anymore and we’re working around the clock.

Having a bit of me-time is something I know a lot of people aren’t prioritising and that has a knock-on effect on our health.

Burgen MelSykes Recipe

2. Carbs are not evil

That’s what I have heard for years [carbs have become the most vilified food in the industry] – especially in gym situations with PTs. All of a sudden, you’re looking at a roast potato like it’s the devil and you can’t have your toast and marmite – it’s just ridiculous.

I’ve discovered Burgen bread. It’s exciting for me because it has protein in it, which I know I need as someone who works out all the time. It has linseed too, so it contains really good fat. It’s good for me and I can eat it guilt-free, which is just heaven!”

Rhiannon Lambert – Nutritionist comments:

Carbs are always essential for life. It’s important to remember that glucose is the brain’s first source of fuel, so essentially that’s what keeps us going every day. It keeps your energy high, it fuels you and it keeps your mood at a good level. When it comes to picking the right kind of carbohydrate, you really want to be looking at things that contain good qualities and complex nutrition – wholegrain, lots of fibre etc.

I always say think of the two Q’s – think of the quality and the quantity of your carb, so just remember those because you can eat anything in moderation.

3. Don’t get whipped up in fad diets

I don’t tend to get whipped up in fads luckily, I’m quite a grounded and logical person, believe it or not! Know the basics health-wise and follow your instincts.

Rhiannon Lambert Nutritionist says:

If something sounds too good to be true, it kind of is a bit too good to be true.  Don’t take headlines for your nutritional information, you need to take that from actually reading the text and reading between the lines.

4. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself

Not everything is doable all of the time and I think the pressure of that is quite difficult. Some weeks aren’t as healthy as others and some weeks I don’t train as much as others.

The worst thing you can do is drive yourself crazy with an expectation of yourself. We all do that, don’t we? It’s more about an internal competition that we have, and you need to drop all of those things.

Burgen MelSykes Fitness 2

Rhiannon Lambert Nutritionist added:

We’re creating this internal dialogue in our head and we’re constantly building up this stress, that also has a knock-on effect on our health, our bodies and our minds for longevity.

When it comes to living a busy life, it doesn’t mean you have to turn to unhealthy convenience foods, because convenience can mean anything these days. It could be a smoothie that you’ve whipped up in the blender in the morning and you’re out the door with it in your hand. It could even be a pack of microwavable pulses, lentils, grains and keeping leftover bits of bread and things in the freezer. We’ve got the tools now, we just need to start putting them into place and getting organised with them.

5. Mix up your exercise

I’ve got a lot of friends in the fitness world, so if anybody’s coming up with a new concept, I’m the guinea pig! I try lots of new things – it’s just great fun and I don’t know what I’d do without it! I do some high intensity workouts and I discovered hot yoga this year. I’ve never regretted any exercise that I’ve done.

Rhiannon Lambert Nutritionist added:

It’s variety that’s key. The more different things you can test your body with, the better. There’s a myth that says an hour’s exercise is better for you then fifteen minutes of exercise, however it depends what you do in those fifteen minutes. You could be putting way more effort into fifteen minutes than your hour. Every little helps – even just focusing on elongating your posture as a break from sitting down all day and looking down at our phones!

An example day in the food diary of Melanie Sykes

 Morning:

Turmeric latte with non-dairy milk

Burgen Soya & Linseed toast with bananas, blueberries, chia seeds and nut butter

Lunch:

Grilled fish with salad or vegetables

Dinner:

Seafood linguine (the kids love this!)

Sweet treat:

Dark chocolate