Shaping UP!

S h a p i n g u p
Get up and glow – fun, food, fitness: how our tv presenters rate –
By Bronwen Gora

Body and Soul Section, The Sunday Telegraph, February 3,2002.
© Sunday Telegraph. Reproduced by Permission
They look good, but how fit and healthy are our TV presenters? Bronwen Gora asked our experts to put Tony, Karina, Paul and Erika to the test.

Our experts
– Dr Clare Collins, lecturer in nutrition and dietetics at the University of Newcastle
– Donna Jones, body+soulpersonal trainer
– Stephen Wayne-Smith, wholistic practitioner, who runs Zen Living Natural Health Clinic in Sydney

Paul Mercurio

– What he eats: “For breakfast, I have half a grapefruit, two cups of coffee and two pieces of toast – either sourdough or schinkenbrot – with jam. I put butter on my toast, never margarine – we all know it’s black grease with colouring through it. For lunch, I make a fantastic soup of spring onions, tomato, celery, capsicum, chicken stock and beans. But some days I’ll have a pie, instead. I don’t snack, but if I do, it’s an apple or yoghurt or dried apricots and almonds. At about 6pm, I’ll have a beer,
a nice Margaret River goat’s cheese or King Island blue cheese on water crackers. Dinner is grilled lean meat with salad or a roast or pasta or risotto. We don’t eat dessert.”

– Clare says: “All the vegetables and lean meats in Paul’s diet are great. He should increase his intake of low-fat dairy to guard against bone loss as he ages. If there is a family history of heart disease, his saturated-fat intake could be a problem. Margarine is better for you than butter, but you can use fresh avocado, instead.”
– How he stays fit: “I don’t have a terrific regime, because I’m so busy. I walk every now and then, and I try to have a pedal on my stationary bike. If I’m really good it’s six days a week, but when things are crazy it’s a couple of times a week. When I’m really focused, I’ll do weights six days a week – but it’s been a while since I did that.”

– Donna says: “His exercise routine is too sporadic. He needs a plan so he can still exercise when his life gets busy. Paul should do at least two weight-training sessions and three 30-minute cardio sessions every week. Use the indoor bike for convenience and when things are busy do weights or body-resistance exercises at home, such as push-ups, chin-ups, lunges and sit-ups. He should also include stretching.

chilling out
– How he relaxes: “I play with the kids [Elise, 12, Emily, 10, and Erin, five]. I read books, play games. And my wife and I sit
in the spa and talk while the kids are eating their dinner. That’s just glorious.”

– Stephen says: “Most of Paul’s chill-out time takes place in the company of his family. This is great, but we all need quiet time on our own to fully round off a healthy lifestyle. Incorporating yoga, massage and meditation into his regime will keep him in touch with his spiritual side and keep him in harmony, despite his hectic lifestyle.”

Karina Brown

– What she eats: “Anything and everything – unbelievable amounts. If I’ve been eating a lot of bad food, then I won’t eat it for a while. I love healthy, fresh food. As I’m getting older, I’ve realised you can’t have chocolate cake every night of the week. When
I wake up, I have lemon squeezed into a glass of water and a bowl of muesli with yoghurt, or fruit and yoghurt. For lunch, I’ll have something like a tuna or salmon and salad wrap. And for dinner, I’ll have pasta, Thai or grilled swordfish and salad. Sometimes I finish with chocolate cake. I snack constantly, mainly on nuts, sultanas, rice cakes and Vita-Weets with Promite.”

– Clare says: “Karina is a grazer and needs to be aware that lots of snacks increase the chances of teeth decay. It’s great that she’s able to eat in response to her appetite – many people have lost that ability. She need not feel guilty about the occasional piece of cake. Denying yourself the foods you really enjoy only makes you binge on them later. Her meal selections are great and her snacks are fine. But she could include more fruit. She should also aim for three serves per day of fat-reduced dairy foods.”

– How she stays fit: “I love yoga, which I do once a week. I swim a kilometre or do a three-kilometre beach walk at least twice a week. When I was younger, I played heaps of tennis and used to coach kids, so I try to play tennis as much as time permits.”

– Donna says: “Karina has a balanced, healthy lifestyle and exercise routine. She gives herself permission to eat anything and everything, so she has a healthy approach to eating and body image. The variety of exercise she gets is great. She should try to maintain at least three cardio sessions of swimming or beach walking per week. Moving up to beach jogging would improve her fitness levels. She needs to include resistance training into her workout. Maybe she could do some tricep dips, push-ups, step-ups, squats and lunges on her walks.”

chilling out
– How she relaxes: “Yoga again. I find exercise relaxing. Playing with my dog is also relaxing – I do that every day. But my favourite thing is to have a massage – that’s a necessity.”

– Stephen says: “Karina’s program is excellent, as it includes yoga and massage. Her yoga sessions allow her to control any stress that may arise. I’d suggest she plays tennis more regularly, as this will give her the positive benefits of social interaction with friends.”

Erika Haynatz

– What she eats: “I eat a carbohydrate-loaded brekky of porridge and fruit. Lunch is usually a tuna salad, and dinner is typically a stir-fry vegie dish with chicken or tofu. This lasts until Friday, then it’s all over – I have trucker’s breakfasts, spaghetti bolognaise, counter meals, pizza, licorice all-sorts.”

– Clare says: “Great diet during the week, but the weekend’s a blowout. Have a big salad with the meals and grab some fruit, fresh or dried. Find time for a skim milkshake or yoghurt. That way, Erika won’t have that `back to square one’ feeling every Monday.
“All four presenters are short-changing themselves on calcium. If you really can’t stand fat-reduced dairy products, consider taking a calcium supplement. Talk to your GP about getting your bone density checked.”

– How she stays fit: “I go to the gym five times a week for an hour each time, but I spend only 20 minutes exercising, either on the steppers or the stationary bike. Most of the time, I’m talking. And I go on the occasional yoga binge, going three or four times a week.”

– Donna says: “Erika should include at least two resistance workouts in her gym routine. She should also try to build her cardio levels by working out at a higher intensity or increasing the duration of her cardio workouts. She might want to try a boxing or circuit class. The yoga is great for strength, flexibility and relaxation.”

chilling out
– How she relaxes: “Chill time is always with my partner or friends and involves meals, music, movies, shopping and loads of lounging.”

– Stephen says: “Erika also chills out in the company of others, which is great, but it leaves a void in her spiritual growth. She should try meditation or massages and allow time to connect with her soul and its direction in this life. Other options are Tai Chi and creative therapies, such as art therapy and dance therapy.”

Toby Allen

– What he eats: “I have no routine with my eating. I love sushi and Thai food, but nothing beats an ice-cream. I start the day with a skim caffe latt? For lunch, it’s usually a sandwich or foccacia. For dinner, it’s Thai takeaway or home stir-fries. For snacks, I love rice crackers – but if I see a piece of caramel slice, I find it hard to go past.”

– Clare says: “Toby needs to keep a closer check on his eating. He should start the day with breakfast cereal and milk. Toast, fruit and yoghurt would also be fine. People who eat breakfast concentrate better at work. Toby probably runs short on complex carbohydrates and therefore will lack energy some days. He should aim for at least two serves of fruit and five serves or salad or vegies per day, and at least six serves of carbohydrates [bread, cereal, rice or pasta]. Toby should also eat more fat-reduced dairy products.”

– How he stays fit: “Running on the beach for a couple of kilometres and going to the gym. I mix cardio with weights to keep toned. I do that a couple of times a week and I always stretch before and after. I walk the dogs for 45 minutes a couple of times a day.”

– Donna says: “Toby has a great balance of cardio, resistance and flexibility. He could challenge himself by increasing his weight load or repetitions and by trying to run further or faster.”

chilling out
– How he relaxes: “I get massages occasionally, but I’m now getting into scuba diving. I find it really relaxing.”

– Stephen says: “Toby mixes time alone with group activities, which is fine. However, he should also do some yoga, meditation or Tai Chi to connect with his spiritual side.”

Body + Soul tv, Thursday, 8pm, Channel 9

Copyright © 2001[Zenliving Natural Health].