This is a place for real people who are sick of the nonsense, fad diets, excluding entire food groups, perpetual dieting, seeing false images portrayed in the media, social media included, that make you feel inadequate. Those who are unsure of what to do in a society plagued with conflicting research and “bro science”, who are open to the “long way out” instead of quick fixes and want to learn about how food and exercise affect their bodies and lives.

It’s a place for those who are interested in a realistic way of eating for the long term. Those who want to enjoy what they love while still achieving their goals. People who need to heal from the inside out and be their own motivation with every small success they make.

It’s about leading a balanced, healthy, lifestyle that lasts forever. A love of food, activity and one’s self.

You can still lose weight, feel great and eat pizza.

Love food, don’t exclude, but above all love yourself and the rest will follow.

In these pages you will find delicious, healthy, balanced recipes that can be made by anyone, as well as a practical approach to exercise you will love. You will learn about basic nutrition and healthy choices you should be making. You will learn tips to apply to every day life, small changes that have huge impacts.

A little personal story about my own journey
Hi, my name is Jessica, an almost 30 year old South African expat living in Ornex, France and working out in Geneva, Switzerland. I am a REPS level 3 qualified personal trainer and a freelance writer.
Jessica Bailey Ackerman

My beloved kettlebell and I

When I moved to Doha (where I lived just before moving to France), I was in a job I hated, I had no support around me, I had moved to a VERY different country to what I was used to, so I did what I knew best, I partied, ate out, slept in and worked at a soul destroying desk job. Many people who move to Doha experience what has been dubbed “The Doha Stone”, they don’t know how to live healthy there, they don’t have access to the outdoors like they are used to, they don’t know where to shop and often fall into the trap of eating for convenience (usually from places that think white bread and mayonnaise is a healthy lunch), eating out and brunching on a Friday.
But I am here to tell you, you don’t have to take that route!!! It is not impossible to be healthy and active ANYWHERE, no matter your surroundings!!
                                                                                                                                                                             After gaining a lot of weight, specifically around my midsection, I felt lethargic, uncomfortable and miserable. It was in Summer 2013 on a holiday to California that I realised I needed to make a change. I found myself lost in my thoughts of self criticism, self hate and a feeling of being lost within myself (largely because I was surrounded by a padding of fat). I would see my reflection and want to run for the hills…if only running didn’t consist of actually exercising. I had hired a personal trainer in the months before, but that got me nowhere. This was no discredit to my trainer, but more to do with my space of mind. I was in a job I hated, I had no energy…no drive. This became more about self confidence than vanity. I was walking around in Spanx, desperately uncomfortable, trying to pull at my clothes to maximise as much fat coverage as I possibly could. In short, I was unhappy.
                                                                                                                                                                                 In this dire state of misery I realised that only ONE thing could help me; me.
I needed to make a change because I wanted to. A life change, not just a temporary diet.
What did I do?

When I got back to Doha in August 2013 I started the 14 day Metabolism Diet, which consisted of (not much) boiled eggs and spinach, lots of steak, carrots and general blandness. Needless to say, it didn’t work.

That’s when I got in touch with a friend, who had transformed her life and her body. She put together a healthy-eating plan and fitness regime for me for a 6 week challenge. It involved eating constantly, healthily and cleanly. Lots of lean protein was my modus operandi, good quality carbs and veg. I never went extreme, never deprived myself of anything, but in general stuck to being healthy. I worked out 5 days a week and started running on the treadmill. Over the course of the next few weeks, I started to lose cms…NOT kgs. I felt better, less lethargic and more positive. Once the 6 weeks were up I had lost over 50cms all over my body, and only about 1kg.

What next?

Now that my 6 weeks was up, I needed to keep going. I tried to stick to the same plan but found myself getting bored. I decided I needed to complete a set of challenges to keep myself motivated. I started looking at bodybuilding.com and began the 12 week Live Fit challenge by Jamie Eason .

I lost 17cms around my waist and went down to a reasonable diameter which is considered healthy, lowering my risk for heart disease.

Befre and After - 10 months

It is now more than a year since I started my life change. I have experimented with so many recipes as I am not one for bland food or eating just to survive. I love food, delicious food. I trawl Pinterest and try out their recipes and I would like to share successes with you. I travel a lot, so I am still trying to figure out how to keep on track when on holiday (getting there). I never thought I would be someone who went to a gym in a hotel (i’m one of THOSE people now).

Since changing my life and the way I view food and fitness, I decided to take my own education one step further and qualify myself as a personal trainer. The field of fitness is an ever developing one. I don’t know it all, but I know some of it, and I know what worked for me. All fitness professionals are constantly learning, which is what makes this industry so exciting.

I want to help you find a way to live a healthy existence and to be happy within your own skin.

This is for anyone looking to follow the same path I, and many other people like me, have chosen to follow.

Yours in health, fitness and for the love of good food

Jess x



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