At age 13, Jay Bradley created his own workout routines and lifted weights with his older brother in their family garage. At age 17, he moved from Thunder Bay to Toronto, where he launched his career as a personal trainer and model, working in Canada, Asia and Europe. Fast forward 20 years, at age 37, Bradley sold his home and all his belongings, and moved to New York. Moving to New York ultimately led to Bradley working and living in Los Angeles.
Now, with nearly 46 years of experience in health and wellness, the Los Angeles-based aging, wellness and lifestyle coach recently published LIVE LOOK FEEL, a 12-week guide to living longer, looking younger and feeling better.
Joining FAJO from his L.A. home, Bradley shares tips for detoxing, getting a flatter stomach and staying motivated.
Healthy food choices for a flatter stomach
Bradley suggests four foods to help achieve a flatter stomach.
Number one is fermented food, as it promotes a “healthy gut”. This includes kimchi, kefir and sauerkraut.
Number two is healthy fat. It seems ironic, but Bradley explains that people need to eat healthy fat to lose fat. Foods with healthy fats include avocado, coconut, seeds, wild caught fish and olive oil.
Number three is raw food. Bradley says, “I’m a big believer in trying to do at least 30 per cent raw foods. So, a smoothie a day with a lot of greens.”
Number four is psyllium husk.
Bradley suggests only two foods to avoid: dairy because it can cause bloating and too much meat protein (no more than three palm-sized portions daily) as it can compact your digestive system.
Five steps for a healthier autumn
For those whose goals include full body wellness, Bradley suggests a step-by-step program in his book, but gave FAJO a quick five-step breakdown to help our readers get started. Remember to always check with your doctor before making any serious lifestyle changes.
Listen and tune into your body. You can do this by starting a morning practice that could include meditation or journaling for 20 minutes a day. A morning practice is a time to “reflect and get serious about your health and wellness.”
Set a goal. “Weight loss and energy are the main ones, but not everyone’s [goal],” says Bradley. Be sure to decide what goals you want to achieve before you start.
Pay attention to what you are eating and start eating more healthy fats. A great way to do this is by food journaling.
Take supplements. If your goal is to lose fat then Bradley suggests two supplements: green tea extract and chromium because, “it is a mineral many of us are deficient in, and helps to regulate our blood sugar.”
Finally, exercise. According to Bradley, the number one health and anti-aging tip is H.I.I.T., which stands for High-Intensity Interval Training. He explains, “When I was trained as a fitness trainer, we learned to do 45 minutes to an hour of cardio five times a week, and who the heck has time for that? So now, it’s amazing, we only need to do this high-intensity training two to three days a week and it’s only 20 minutes!”
One H.I.I.T exercise Bradley always recommends, and he writes about in his book, is Sprint 8. It can be done on the elliptical machine or the bike. You warm up gradually, then increase your machine’s resistance and sprint for 30 seconds, reduce resistance and cool down for 90 seconds and repeat until you have sprinted a total of eight times. Including a warm up and cool down the exercise takes just under 20 minutes. “People worry they will lose too much weight doing cardio, but with this it actually builds muscle, helps to burn fat and it’s a great detox,” explains Bradley.
The number one mistake
When people go to extremes, it becomes nearly impossible to remain focused on and committed to their health and fitness program. Bradley says that people who have the attitude of, “Okay, I’m going to go on a week fast, not eat anything and lose 30 pounds,” are making, what he considers to be, the number one mistake because nothing extreme can be maintained.
He explains, “Often, I go so far as not having my clients count calories or pay too much attention and yes, I do talk about food journaling and paying attention, but if you get too detailed, too disciplined, it’s really impossible to maintain.“
Chocolate banana pudding
Here is a Jay Bradley-approved healthy treat for those sweet cravings!
1 ripe avocado
1 ripe red banana
A pinch of Himalayan pink salt
3 tablespoons of maple syrup
4 tablespoons of unsweetened coco powder
3 tablespoons of coconut oil
Blend all ingredients in a food processor and chill. For added flavour, layer the pudding with fresh strawberries.