Revamped blog from the author and illustrator of Sid Smart – the children’s book about health and nutrition.

A drawing of a silly man lifting weights and doing dangerous and stupid techniques in gym.
Don’t try this…

People do all sorts of strange things in a gym; most of the time they are just harmless so will not give them top results, but sometimes they are dangerous.  I have been exercising regularly in a gym for over 20 years and I have seen a large array of things going on… Keep your eyes peeled and you will see things like super-quick movements with a tiny range of motion and perhaps, even people balancing on a Swiss ball whilst trying to squat with weights.  All of these strange sights led me to my number one piece of gym advice that I used to give to all of my clients when I was a personal trainer: NEVER copy people at the gym.

In Sid Smart, children can learn how to make healthy lifestyle choices.  In the first book, Sid Smart – Eating, Sid teaches children about the importance of healthy, nutritious and balanced food choices.

Available now from amazon.co.uk and amazon.com.

A gym tip from the author and illustrator of Sid Smart – the children’s book about health and nutrition.

A cartoon of a man sitting on an exercise bike reading a newspaper. The caption says you get out what you put in. Art by the author and illustrator of Sid Smart - the children's book about health and nutrition.
You get out what you put in.

I always have a little chuckle to myself when I see people enter the gym with a newspaper.  Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t train at the correct level whilst reading.  I’m not saying you have to always ‘beast’ yourself but even if you are doing low-intensity fat burning on an exercise bike, you should be monitoring your heart-rate or speed…  Training in the right zone is important and that takes concentration.

Also, multi-tasking is not very mindful.  I believe in focusing on one thing at a time so I do it to the best of my ability.

Sid Smart – Eating, the children’s book about health and nutrition is available now from amazon.co.uk and amazon.com.

Super sweet potato! Sid Smart – the children’s book about health and nutrition.

A cartoon stood next to a sweet potato dressed as superman. Sid Smart the children's book about health and nutrition.
Super sweet potato

Sweet potato is one of my favourite super foods.  They are tasty, versatile and packed with vitamins that have an array of health benefits.  They count towards your five a day, contain more than 70% of our reference intake for vitamin C and contain potassium, thiamine and manganese.

Enjoy them as a jacket potato with your favourite filling, cut them into chips or mash them up to have with your roast dinner.

Sid Smart – Eating is a picture book, suitable for all children from 3 years old and up.

Sid Smart – Eating, the children’s book about health and nutrition is available now from amazon.co.uk and amazon.com.

A gym tip from the author and illustrator of Sid Smart – the children’s book about health and nutrition.

A cartoon of a woman lifting weights and a man on a treadmill. Lifting weights burns fat. Art by the author and illustrator of Sid Smart - the children's book about health and nutrition.
Weight lifting is good!

Weight lifting can boost your chances of reaching your fat burning goals! Some people believe it may be even better than cardiovascular exercise for reducing that waistline. Weight lifting obviously builds muscle and an increased muscle mass will increase your resting metabolism.  Additionally, the ‘after-burn‘ (an increase in calories burnt post-exercise) is reported to be higher after weight training when compared to cardiovascular exercise.

So, if you are trying to burn fat, why not add more strength training to your regime?*

For my fat burning goals, I have seen the following strength exercise regimes work well:

  • Power-lifting techniques
  • Circuit training
  • Super-sets

*Always seek advice from a fitness professional before embarking on a new exercise regime.

Manga style art from the author and illustrator of Sid Smart – the children’s book about health and nutrition.

A manga style digital art drawing of a woman doing the eagle style form from the kung-fu martial art. Art from the author and illustrator of Sid Smart - the children's book about health and nutrition.
Eagle style

Here is manga style art of a woman doing a Kung Fu form.  I love the gracefulness that martial arts both require and harness in it’s practitioners.  The ultimate form of dedication, self-discipline and self-control.

Sid Smart – Eating, the children’s book about health and nutrition is available now from amazon.co.uk and amazon.com.

Sid says, “Carbs are NOT the enemy.”

A cartoon drawing of Sid Smart the star of the children's book about health and nutrition. Sid is measuring his waste with a tape measure and looks pleased.
Everything in moderation

There is a fad that has been going around for a while now about cutting carbs.  It all started way back when the Atkins Diet became the go-to diet but I think some people have got the wrong end of the stick.

Carbs are our main source of energy and if you follow a healthy, active lifestyle, you need them.  You simply cannot sustain a decent exercise regime if you are cutting carbs completely.  Now there are good carbs (low in the glycemic index) and bad carbs (high in the glycemic index).  Good carbs release energy slowly and bad carbs release energy quickly.  If you eat high glycemic index carbs, you will have spikes in blood sugar levels that will lead to a sugar crash (feeling tired and possibly shaky). However, if you eat carbs lower on the glycemic index you will have a more steady sustained energy level.  Also, if you eat a lot of sugars and do not burn off those calories… you guessed it, your body will store them as fat.

The main thing to think with carbs is ‘moderation‘.  If you eat significantly more calories than your metabolic rate, you will put weight on.  If you eat slightly less calories than your metabolic rate, you will lose weight.  If you eat the same amount of calories as your metabolic rate, you will maintain weight.

I had it myself a few months ago.  Back in April I had a routine health check and they took my body fat percentage.  As a fitness fanatic, I was displeased with a slightly high body fat percentage (still well within my range). So, me being me, I took action.  After a few slight tweaks to my diet, I lost 2% body fat gradually over two months and I have sat at my new level, quite content.  As you will notice I didn’t do anything ridiculous so I didn’t lose an unhealthy amount too quickly as that can be bad for you. All I did was cut sugars and reduce (not completely exclude) my carbohydrate intake on non-training days.  On training days, I don’t cut carbs at all.  In fact, if my carbs are low on training days, I find I’m breathless quicker, weaker and often feel sick during my training session.  Oh, and don’t forget the headaches.

So, this is the message that works for me: EVERYTHING IN MODERATION.

Lower glycemic index carbohydrates:

  • Whole grain breads
  • Whole grain cereals
  • Oatmeal, oat bran, muesli
  • Sweet potato
  • Corn
  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Most fruits
  • Non-starchy vegetables

Higher glycemic index carbohydrates:

  • White bread
  • Sugary cereals
  • Short-grain white rice
  • Sweets
  • Chocolate
  • Sugary cakes
  • Basically food with a high sugar content (look at the carbohydrates of which sugars section of the nutritional information).

Sid Smart – Eating, the children’s book about health and nutrition is available now from amazon.co.uk and amazon.com.

My children’s book about health and nutrition is available now for children 3 years and up…

Sid, the star of the children's book Sid Smart, sleeps after reading his book about health and nutrition. 3D art illusion. Pencil and digital art.
Sid Smart is a great bedtime story

The first children’s book in my new series – Sid Smart – is available now on Amazon.  It is available as a paperback or eBook.

In Sid Smart – Eating, follow Sid through a normal school day and see how the food choices he makes affects his day. What will he eat? Will he have a good day? Will he have the energy to learn? Find out if Sid is smart when it comes to healthy food choices…

Using my knowledge gained through obtaining high-level qualifications in nutrition and fitness, I have created my first series of books – Sid Smart.  With charming illustrations and relatable storylines, Sid Smart will take children on a journey which will teach them how to make healthy lifestyle choices.

Sid Smart – Eating is a picture book, suitable for all children from 3 years old and up.

Sid Smart – Eating, the children’s book about health and nutrition is available now from amazon.co.uk and amazon.com.

 

 

Digital art by the author and illustrator of Sid Smart – the children’s book about health and nutrition.

Another piece of art created on my digital art tablet.  I like the look of concept art and graphic novels, particularly when they are done digitally.  For all you digital artists out there, you know it’s all about adding layers, being patient and being meticulous.  Practice makes perfect! See more of my digital art on my website’s new ‘artwork’ page.

Sid Smart – Eating, the children’s book about health and nutrition is available now from amazon.co.uk and amazon.com.

A martial arts lady punches the screen. Digital art from the creator of Sid Smart the children's book about health and nutrition.
Punch