Candida – What it is, what are the symptoms and how do we tackle it

What is it?

Candida is the most common yeast infection found in the mouth, intestinal tract and vagina

It is a fungus that aids in nutrient absorption and digestion when it is found in proper levels in the body. When candida overproduces and is left unchecked it can break down the walls of the intestinal lining and penetrate in to the bloodstream.

Now it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that this could have massive detrimental effects on your health and fat loss efforts.

Typical candida symptoms are:

  • Skin and nail fungal infections
  • feeling constantly tired and worn down
  • suffering from constant fatigue or fibromyalgia
  • digestive issues (bloating, constipation, diarrhoea)
  • autoimmune diseases
  • difficulty concentrating (brain fog)
  • irritability, mood swings, anxiety or depression
  • vaginal infections, urinary tract infections, rectal itching or vaginal itching
  • severe seasonal allergies or itchy ears

If the immune system is functioning optimally candida is rarely serious however if the immune system isn’t functioning properly the problem can spread to other areas of the body such as the blood and membranes around the heart and brain.

You have to think also that when overproduced candida breaks down the intestinal lining and enters the bloodstream. This unfortunately releases by-product toxins and other toxins from your system which will eventually cause leaky gut syndrome.

Now we run the risk of your body natural pH balance being upset which can cause candida to grow out of control, which creates a systemic problem. What is then required is for you body to start creating healthy bacteria and get back to a properly functioning immune system in order for the body to fight off this stubborn infection.

What can cause Candida infections?

  • high refined carbohydrate and sugar diet
  • consuming a lot of alcohol
  • taking oral contraceptives
  • a diet high in beneficial fermented foods
  • high stress lifestyle
  • Cancer treatments
  • taking too many antibiotics

Where do you start in killing off candida?

Firstly i would also recommend getting it tested via a blood test. The next step would determine whether you have gone for a blood test or not. Regardless of whether you have or haven’t gone for a blood test I would personally try a Candida cleanse for a week followed by a candida diet and supplementation protocol until symptoms start to improve massively.

Candida Cleanse

1-2 days – liquids only

  • vegetable broth from onions, garlic, celery, kale, sea salt and water
  • You need to make sure you drink plenty of water to rid of all the toxins circulating your body

3-7 days – Raw Salads

  • Eliminate grains, grains, sugars, starches and alcohol
  • Drink plenty of water again and eat fresh vegetables that have been steamed

Day 8 until symptoms dramatically improve

  • Still eliminate stage, alcohol and refined carbohydrates as these are contributing to the growth of candida in your body
  • Still stay on the fresh vegetables including carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale and asparagus
  • Add unsweetened cranberry juice
  • Add some dairy in to your diet

Supplementation + foods to include

  • Include coconut oil with meals and in to drinks as it can help fight candida due to its antimicrobial properties
  • Milk Thistle can help cleanse your liver from the prescription medicines you have been taking, environmental pollution, heavy metals as well as the remains
  • Apple cider Vinegar is a natural cleansing agent and can help kill and get rid of excess yeast in the body
  • Leafy greens can help alkalise the body which helps fight against the acidic nature of the candida growth. Greens contain high amounts of magnesium which is a natural detoxifier for the body, vitamin C which helps build the immune system, chlorophyll to cleanse the body and various B vitamins which help energise the body and iron to give your body the support it needs.
  • Flaxseeds and chia seeds contain something called Polyphenols which help support growth of probiotics in the gut and thus may help eliminate candida growth in the body.
  • Spices such as tumeric and cinnamon contain a act component called curcumin that has been shown to completely inhibit the growth of candida.
  • Organic meat containing healthy fats and a good source of protein is so important as factory farmed meats could actually feed the candida.

Like I said earlier in the post your first port of call would be a blood test to determine whether candida is rife with your body however if you decide not to go the blood test route I would recommend performing the nutritional protocol above or at the very least start including some of the foods and supplements recommended above.

Should my child be weight training?

Weight training for youngsters is a popular topic within our industry and the myths going around this topic are endless. If I was a parent the question i would want to know is:

‘can my child weight train?’

For those parents out there that have a little superstar in the making for whatever sport they participate in the 2nd question I would want to know is:

‘Will resistance training improve my child’s performance for their given sport?’

For both of the above questions the answer is a resounding YES, and hopefully this blog post will go about explaining why and dispelling all the myths you hear about children and weight training.

So here is the first big myth and question that all you parents are wanting to know:

Does resistance training expose children and adolescences to potential injury?

The funny thing is all the research that has shown increase in strength, endurance and power in children or adolescences came with no increase in injury potential.

So why has this myth developed?

In 1983, the American Academy of paediatrics produced a mission statement that still has has a negative impact on children and resistance training to this day. Much of it was down to injuries to the epiphysis and musculoskeletal system maturity. The epiphysis is the rounded end of a long bone at its joint. Basically because of this they concluded that resistance training shouldn’t be performed until the individual has reached full maturity.

This position statement above is why you would constantly hear the below:

Sorry your child cannot weight train in this gym until they are 16!!!!!

Weight training stunts your child’s growth!!!!

Weight training is unhealthy for your child until they fully mature!!!!

The simple truth is your child can weight train from whatever age you wish. The key is to make sure your child is properly supervised by a qualified professional who understands the body.

Some research has found that in boys aged 13 or below and girls aged 12 or below that there can be a clear increased level of strength and strength-endurance as a result of resistance training. With regards to increased muscle mass that cant be ruled out however a greater degree of hypertrophy (increased muscle mass) is found towards late adolescence potentially due to changes in hormonal and maturation that supports growth.

One thing weight training has been shown to improve among children is the neurological system. If their neural mechanisms improve so will the child’s strength and rate of force development. I have found also that it sets them apart from others when it comes to the weight room when adolescence has finished. This is because their motor patterns have already been grooved during childhood with all the lifts they and their team mates and competitors will be performing.

One thing that always needs to be considered is the maturation of the child. All children develop and grow at different rates therefore making their start point and progression with regards to resistance training slightly different even if they are the same age.

So whats the next set for you and your child?

The next for you would be to find your child a local facility the teaches your child what we called ‘fundametal movement patterns. Teaching them these patterns from an early age enhances their physical literacy and gives the child confidence in movement patterns that they will be mimicking when playing sport.

These movement patterns help enhance fitness and sport specific components such as balance, twisting, turning, walking, running, hopping, jumping. Once these movement skills have been executed to a satisfactory standard they can then be progressed to the next stage.

Below I have included some of the movements i commonly use with children. Some of them mimic and animal so to keep their adherence at a high level we play the animal game with them. The ‘GORILLA’ mimics a deadlift out a squat, the ‘GRASSHOPPER’ is great for hip, thoracic mobility and shoulders stabilisation, the ‘CROCODILE’ is brilliant for abdominal strength, shoulder stabilisation and again hip mobility. The ‘LIZARD’ teaches lateral movement patterns as well as improving hip mobility. ‘CRUSHING THE CAN’ is great for teaching the overhead squat which is great for improving whole body strength across the whole kinetic chain.

The Gorilla and Grasshopper movements

The Crocodile, lizard and Crushing the can exercise


These movements are great for teaching children the fundamentals while also making it fun for them by playing the ‘animal’ game. From here under proper supervision they will be ready to be progressed on to the next stage which may or may not involve some external load.


To summarise research has come a long way on the last 35 years and there is resounding formal and informal research to suggest that performed correctly resistance training is only going to improve your child’s development and sporting performance.

Talking training: Dropping your EGO to achieve better gains!

Have you ever wondered why the guy who doesn’t lift as much as you in the gym see’s better results?

Forget nutrition and other lifestyle factors for the purpose of this post and think more about the WAY YOU PERFORM AN EXERCISE.

Too often we get caught up in our own ego’s when we are at the gym and put way too much weight on the bar and pay little attention to the area we are actually looking to develop.

When you start a lift what is your intent?

How are you looking to target that specific muscle?

What cues are you going to give yourself to make sure you get the most out of the exercise?

There are a lot of factors that go in to hitting a certain muscle area maximally.

A keen area for most males is the chest. Its the most targeted area probably on the gym floor yet so many struggle to see improvements in the area.

Why is this?

My opinion is that exercises for the chest (and other areas) are performed so poorly causing muscles such as the anterior deltoid to be the most dominant muscle in the exercise.

For me my chest is a weak area therefore i have had to strip the weight back massively to help isolate the chest and reduce anterior deltoid activation. I can tell you now that stripping the weight down and thinking more about how I perform each exercise fatigues the area so much quicker and as a result I am starting to see changes.

So if you have read this post and want to see changes in weak areas which you have been hammering for too long with no luck, DROP THE WEIGHT AND DROP THE EGO!!!!!!!

Talking Supplements: Melatonin

Melatonin is a neurohormone secreted by the pineal gland that helps regulate sleep. It is the reason why people tell you not to go to sleep watching TV or with any electrical devices as it appears to be sensitive to light therapy. And therefore the primary reason why people use melatonin is to normalise sleep patterns.

If you are a frequent flyer and suffer with jet lag, or work shift patterns or just general long and unsociable hours I would strongly recommend you trying Melatonin if you want to keep improving your fat loss + muscle building efforts as well as being productive throughout the day.

I would recommend taking 1 tablet 30-45 minutes before bed and you should find that you are falling in to a much deeper sleep.

There is no magic pill or quick fix on your fat loss journey

Unfortunately I am the bearer of bad news!!!! However its about time that somebody told you the truth rather than letting these FAD diet companies feed you with a load of BS, telling you that this one pill or shake is the solution to re-starting your fat loss efforts, when in fact all it is, is an attempt to sell you their product and in the process make millions when in reality there is a much healthier way of going about things.

When starting your fat loss journey you have to be prepared to get out your comfort zone when you train and also you have to be prepared to make sacrifices.

As we all know this isn’t easy. Supplement and diet companies know this and as a result promise to give you a quick fix through their magic fat loss supplement, pill or diet.

Half the time its a load of BS and in truth all they are doing is putting you on a calorie deficit diet which you may lose weight on but in turn a S#*T load of muscle.

What ever happened to giving people nutrient dense foods and actually giving people the calories they need instead of constantly restricting them of nutrients, making them feel like shit daily which will eventually turn to them to the refined crap thats so abundant in our society.

The truth is that you just need to get your head down when you train and be prepared to do physically, mentally and nutritionally what yours family, mates and other peers won’t .

It takes a lot of physical and psychological preparation to get the physique you want from the off-set and consistently throughout but if you want your goal bad enough you will get there

If your head isn’t ready its no issue, you just aren’t ready to start your fat loss journey yet but stick with it because from experience there will come a time when you are ready physically and mentally and then thats where you make the most of the opportunity.

Talking food: Sirloin steak with eggs for Breakfast

Two things I absolutely love in the morning is a good steak and eggs. Steak and eggs ensure a good source off protein and fat in the morning which is absolutely vital in programming your body to burn as much fat as possible for the day ahead.

As a rule each Omega 3 rich chicken egg you have consumes roughly 6g of fat and 6g of Protein.

A 150g Sirloin steak roughly contains 30g of Protein and 19g of Fat.

Add in some greens on that plate as well as cooking the steak in coconut oil and you should be full of energy for the day ahead.

Staying off the day with a high fat meal sets ur by up (programmes it) to burn fat as a fuel for the rest of the day so staying away from the cereals and eating awesome meals like this is the way to go.

Pauls top 5 foods for increased fat loss

There are a lot of top foods out there however I have narrowed down 5 foods that I would encourage you to start adding in to your nutritional plan straight away.


Kale – This food is packed with nutrients as well as helping clear toxins from the body which in turn is putting you in a more alkaline state (perfect for fat loss). It also helps suppress appetite

Avocado – Mono-saturate which helps improve improve cell membrane and fat burning hormone integrity. You are also less likely to store fat and in turn speed up your metabolism



Wild Salmon – Lets get this right from the start. The salmon you eat must be wild for you to get the full benefits from it. Wild salmon feed on something called Krill which gives it, its omega 3 properties, NOT pellets like you see and hear in the salmon farms. Wild salmon is packed in omega 3 which helps balance your 3,6+9 ratio’s. The omega also helps increase insulin sensitivity which is imperative for fat loss.



Coconut Oil – As cooking oils go this is imperative for you to use with your meals, especially in the morning. Coconut oil is packed full of Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT’s) which your body preferentially uses for energy.


Cinnamon – This great spice is not only great tasting but it also helps shuttle circulating glucose into cell membranes quicker meaning insulin hangs around the blood stream less frequently.


Eating less just doesn’t cut it long-term

Its very rare that someone comes to me and I have to reduce their calorie intake. In fact the opposite is true. Most of the time I have to gradually increase what they eat on a daily basis.

Not giving your body the fuel it requires on a daily basis can have huge health consequences for the short and long term and generally starts a domino effect of problems which take time to reverse and change for the better.

I prime example would be what happens when you try a FAD diet.

1. first of all you are calorie restricted which means you lose shit loads of weight in the first fews weeks

2. Secondly you start to plateau. This is mainly because the body has now readjusted its BMR (number of calories your require to survive) in order to meet with its new calorie intake and therefore has learnt to be more efficient and store energy for when it needs it. (By the way being more efficient in relation to this point isn’t a good thing).

3. After 8-10 weeks or so you stop the FAD diet and go back to eating how you used to. The likely hood is that you are now eating more calories than when you were on your FAD diet and because your Basal metabolic rate has lowered to a much lower calorie intake all additional calories you are now taking are surplus to requirement and store as fat and get this you actually become heavier than when you first started the FAD diet!!!!

After a few weeks or months you look to start the next FAD diet and the process starts again. All in all you become an internal mess and you are just making results harder to come by.

This type of person who Yo Yo’s from diet to diet are then ironically after the quickest results which just won’t happen because you need to make yourself healthier before changes start to occur.

When anyone comes to see me and they call something a diet I get worried. Calling something a diet has a definitive beginning and at some point a definitive end. There should be no end. It should be a way of life.

If you are eating plenty to start with then you should find results easier to come by than someone who hasn’t been eating enough for the last 1-20 years of their life.

If you have been eating on a very low calorie diet for the past X number of years be realistic and don’t expect results to happen straight away. Start by gradually increasing what you eat week by week. This should in time make you so much healthier and then you just may be in a position to see some great body composition changes.

Do you lift weights or stimulate the muscle?

Do you lift weights or stimulate the muscle?


I should maybe re-phrase the question:




How many times do we see it when we go in to our local gym the big man shouting at himself and chest pumping his mate before he is about to 45 degree leg press all the weight discs in the gym leaving you just a bar and a set of dumbbells to workout with.


He lifts the weight off the rack and begins to descend the weight about the quarter of the way down before driving it up viscously for 10-12 reps. He then makes the biggest noise as he racks the weight up, jumps out of the seat and hi-fives his mate because he has a new PB.

leg press

Now lets just assume for argument sake this guys goal is to create muscle.


When it comes to creating muscle mass for the body and at certain areas of the body there are various areas to explore however for the purposes of this blog I just want to explore exercises and how people execute and perform them.


There is always one stand out question I want to ask each individual and client of mine so they can start to understand why and therefore get a better appreciation of the exercises they perform day in day out.



chest press

Now when it comes to ‘lifting the weight’ on any exercise for me that straightaway says ‘get the weight from position A to B as quick as possible’. For example a power lifter getting the bar in a bench press from his/her chest to full arm extension as quick as possible. That is his/her goal and they have accomplished it.


When it comes to stimulating the muscle (growth) however it is a whole different ball game. You don’t just have to get the weight from A to B. You have to do it in a fashion, which is the most INEFFICENT for the body!!! That’s right INEFFICIENT not EFFICIENT. Efficient is what the power lifter has to do in order to be able to lift more weight. Muscle mass isn’t based on the amount of weight you lift but how you lift that weight.


Now on the surface these two statements look the same however using the guy on the leg press as an example would you class what he is doing as making that exercise as inefficient for him as possible?


Is he going through adequate range in order to stimulate the muscle maximally and therefore create adaptation?

Is he bringing other muscles in to play which is affecting his ability to contract the quadriceps?

Is he consciously thinking about contracting the muscle fibres of the quadriceps?

Is he creating enough tension to help recruit a higher amount of muscle fibres?

Does he have the ability to do all the above?

How could we make that exercise more INEFFICENT?


So what variables could we change straight away to make this exercise more INEFFICIENT for him so we are able to help him recruit more muscle fibres of the quadriceps and therefore increase the chances of them increasing in size.


  1. The first thing I would look at would be is he able to adequately contract the target muscle doing simple body weight movements?


It sounds stupid but your ability to contract and isolate musculature you want to target can be the difference between no growth and massive growth potential.


  1. Secondly the aspect of the lift that would stand out would be the range of the movement.


It is pretty obvious there is more range to be had from him in order to make the exercise more inefficient. Also is he coming up to full extension (giving the quadriceps muscle a break) or is he maintaining a slight bend in the knee at the top of the movement and therefore creating more tension through the quadriceps?


  1. Thirdly off the back of range would be is he bringing other muscles in to play because he is not able to control the increased range down with the same weight and therefore is he affecting his ability to isolate the quadriceps.


If he were unable to control the weight with the increased range, which I would say is likely the next step, would be to drop his ego and then the weight until he is able to control every centimeter of the exercise for the given range.


From dropping the weight that should require less involvement from antagonistic muscles and therefore more isolation on the quadriceps.


  1. What is his intent?


Is he placing all of his attention and focus on contracting the quadriceps? Is he thinking about ways to make the exercise more inefficient?


If you goal is to create muscle mass start to think about ways you can make exercises you perform more inefficient for you and the muscle part targeted. Play around with the variables (tempo, grip etc) but ultimately get your though process away from lifting as much weight on the bar as possible and more towards stimulating the muscle as much as possible.