How To Muscle Up The Healthy Way

I featured on this blog post from Nutrifix. The post is all about how to build muscle the healthy way.

How To Muscle Up The Healthy Way | Ryan Carter | My Healthy

Go from skinny to super strong the clever way like Ryan Carter, AKA one of the nerdiest nutritionists on Instagram.

Putting on muscle isn’t easy, but it isn’t always healthy either. It’s a given that doing things to the extreme is rarely a good thing, and steroids are only an option if you’re ok with mood swings and shrunken private parts (which no one ever should be!)

Ryan Carter – king of meal prep, abstainer from protein shakes and slave to absolutely no fads – gained almost 50kg in six years in a safe, scientific and sustainable way. Which basically means eating real food. Sounds easy, right? Well, it is, sort of…

Beware some pretty geeky tips coming up! We can all learn something from this sports nutritionist (and therapist to-be), who put on the pounds without making protein supplements a regular feature on the menu. Just avocado cacao brownies – scroll down for more on those!

And now you won’t have to read all the textbooks yourself.

My Healthy Food Confessions

When I want some comfort food, I eat at… Blacklock in Soho. They never disappoint when I’m on the hunt for a quality steak. Plus Mondays are half price!

After the gym, I eat… real food rather than a shake as 90% of them are full of garbage. Plus, it’s a myth that you need to consume food immediately after training. In fact, waiting until an hour after is better, and gives me time to cook or prep something good for me!

Something like wild salmon with avocado and some veg, or turkey, sweet potato and veg, are standard choices for me.

If I’m caught out on the go, I’ll head to Farmstand in Covent Garden, who make food I can trust. But I’m completely flexible and can adapt to any menu.

When it’s 2am, I eat… nothing! You won’t catch me out of bed at that time. And if I was awake, I wouldn’t be eating because I try to keep a circadian fasting window (which means eating nothing for at least 12 hours).

We are now bombarded by the media telling us to eat protein every three hours or have six meals a day… But circadian fasting is nothing new and not a fad: Humans have been doing it for hundreds of years!

When I want to detox, I eat… definitely not a detox juice or smoothie.


Nutrifix’s Quick Fire Questions

The most surprising things in my fridge is… lamb’s hearts! I am a big fan of offal.

The ingredient I couldn’t live without is… avocado. It contains the whole spectrum of macronutrients (protein, carbs and fat) as well as lots of great micronutrients (vitamins and minerals).

My inspiration is… everyone in my close circle of friends who inspire me every day. The
people you surround yourself with is very important – energy is contagious!

The first thing I do in the morning is… spend a few minutes thinking of what I feel grateful for.

One hour ago you would have found me… in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber in Mayfair, breathing in 15-19% more oxygen than we are doing now. It’s one of the biohacks I do.

I treat myself by… eating dark chocolate or buying a prime cut from the butchers instead of the cheaper option.

If I were to sum up my fitness journey in 3 words they would be… “make it happen.”

One thing everyone should try is… meditation. It really is powerful stuff but there are so many different varieties out there and you’ll have to find what works for you. My favourite is Gong, give it a go!



The last meal I took a sneaky snap of was… an avocado cacao brownie.

ryan carter

Follow Ryan

For hundreds of meal prepping ideas and more nutritional nuggets (but no chicken ones, sorry!) than you could ever dream of, follow Ryan on Instagram: @livevitae.

You’ll join a 77k strong following who all (well, mostly!) know the nutritional difference between wild and farmed salmon and the benefits of chicken liver!

Personalised Nutrition At Your Fingertips

Ryan knows exactly what’s in the food he’s eating, but we’re not all that good. If you don’t know your RDAs (or even know that that stands for recommended daily allowances) like your back of your hand, try our app to find meals personalised to your nutritional needs.

More Fitness Inspo

Find out how much grit you need to get as fit as an Ironman triathlete like Elly Blackwell or hear what the founder of London’s #1 all-girl PT crew has to say about… partying in Ibiza!


Link to original article –

Cold Water Therapy

I featured on this blog post from CPress. The post is all about cold therapy check it out below.

Cold Water Therapy

How much would we have to pay you to jump into a freezing cold lake or ice bath? Our guess is that for most of you, especially as now the weather has cooled off, the answer to that question is a hell of a lot.

The topic of this week’s blog post is Cold Water Therapy, a topic very close to some members of the CPRESS team’s hearts, and as you know we like to write about things that drive us but that provide you, dear reader, with some really useful information. We’ve spoken to health and wellness coach, Ryan Carter, about his personal experience with Cold Water Therapy (check out the Q&A at the end of this post), but first, let’s dive into some of the science:

So, let’s get down to it. The first thing we want to talk about, as it was World Mental Health day last week, is how cold water immersion has the ability to boost our happiness. A 2007 research study found that cold water can help treat depression symptoms and if used regularly can be more beneficial than medications. The reason for this is that cold water triggers the production of mood-boosting neurotransmitters, like dopamine, which make us feel happy and upbeat. Even if you’ve never done seriously cold water you must have at least once jumped into a pool or the ocean and been shocked by the cold? That feeling of exhilaration is ten times better with cold water immersion; if you thought exercise was good for producing endorphins, join us on one of our trips to Hampstead Ponds in the lead up to Christmas and feel the difference! And if you simply don’t think you can do it, see it as an exercise in improving mental toughness; challenging yourself to achieve a goal that you didn’t think you could reach.

It’s well known that you burn more calories when you’re cold because your body works harder to warm you up, and it’s one of the reasons that Cryotherapy has become so popular (and so expensive). Cold water immersion is free, you can do it at home in your shower if you like, and given that routine cold water immersion has been shown to boost the body’s overall metabolic rate by 16%, that’s a pretty useful contribution to your overall weight loss goals.

It also improves cardiovascular circulation. Sounds a bit dull to be honest, lots of things on the market claim to improve our circulation and as a consequence it’s a phrase that we tend to glaze over. However, improving circulation is one of the single most beneficial things you can do for your health. Imagine the cells inside your body housing the tiny mitochondria which convert nutrients and oxygen to ATP, for ease let’s just say ATP = energy. Increased circulation means increased blood flow to our cells, which in turn means better energy, better heart health, increased ability to concentrate and better immune function, amongst other things.

It improves lymphatic circulation too. We’ve extolled the benefits of dry brushing before for stimulating the lymphatic system, but cold water certainly has a place here too. They lymph system is a network of vessels that run throughout the body, helping take away waste, bacteria and microbes from your cells – essentially helping the body to detoxify. The more sedentary a life we lead the less the lymphatic system functions optimally as it’s regulated by muscle contraction. Cold water, however, causes your lymph vessels to contract, forcing your lymphatic system to pump lymph fluids throughout your body, flushing the waste out of the area. The knock on effect from this is that the immune system’s white blood cells rise up to attack and destroy any unwanted substance contained within the lymph fluid.

If this isn’t enough to convince you we’ve chatted to Ryan Carter, health and wellness coach, on his personal experience with Cold Water Therapy:

Why do you go out of your way to get cold?

I don’t particularly go out of my way to get cold, it’s just one of my day to day habits: whether this be not turning on the heating, removing a layer of clothing or by wearing sandals. I’ve got a bath and a shower so if I want to I can use those, or pop to Hampstead Ponds or the serpentine for a swim.

How do you incorporate cold water therapy into your everyday life?

Sometimes on my days off I go to a sauna and then do some cold water therapy afterwards. I don’t do cold water therapy after training as it blunts the adaptative response.If I lived by the sea I’d be in the sea a LOT. Or just save yourself some money and turn the heating off!

Can you give us city dwellers that work long hours and stressful jobs any easy tips to start introducing some element of cold water therapy into our lives?

Just start small, don’t do anything crazy. Use your wash basin with cold ice water and dunk your head in for a few minutes, or incorporate it into your shower at the end, start with 30 seconds and build up from there.

What can you say to those people out there to whom the concept of diving into some frigid water is just unthinkably awful to cajole them into giving it a go?

It’s a matter of the way you think. You’ve got to embrace the uncomfortable. If you think about the best life experiences you’ve had they’ve probably come from a place or uncertainty or fear; you’ve got to break through some mental barriers and the euphoria you get from it is so worth it. It’s amazing.


So, who wants to come swimming?!

Find Ryan @livevitae on Instagram and via his website

Link to the original article

Live Vitae featuring on Zestology podcast at London Cryo

Live Vitae featuring on Zestology podcast at London Cryo #189

You can listen to me on Tony Wrighton, zestology podcast were we record it live whilst having cryotherapy, in central London. Below I have done a basic guide to why I use cold therapy, particularly cryotherapy which is supported by relevant studies.

Tony, is a good friend who I ’ve known for a number of years. We discuss my journey and progression about where I am today, my favourite health hacks, the benefits of cryotherapy / cold therapy and my experience with my continuously growing social media platform.

Click here to listen:

The experience

Maria of London Cryo kindly invited both Tony and me to use her facilities. The experience was a lot of fun and a great first experience of Cryotherapy in a UK facility as I’ve only ever previously had this therapy in Los Angeles, US. The reaction and experience felt by my body and mind after the session gave me a sense of euphoria which I loved. This sensation was stimulated by the rush of the blood in the systemic circulation.It also improved circulation alongside nutrient delivery and removal and increased anti-inflammatory hormones norepinephrine by 2-3 fold and reduction in cortisol (1). For these reasons, cryotherapy has a lot of health benefits discussed below.

Cold therapy is a great daily habit which I include in my life as I believe that it enhances me both mentally and physically. Cold therapy is simple and you can start at home with a cold face bath and later progress to cold showers, cryotherapy or jumping into a cold lake or

What is cryotherapy?

Cryotherapy is performed in a special sealed container with inbuilt cooling -usually gases. Your full body or partial body (head out at London Cryo as temperatures reach below -110c – 140c) are exposed to temperatures for a maximum duration of 3 minutes.

The idea behind cryotherapy is the ability to reduce the temperature of the tissue.
Cold exposure activates the autonomic nervous system which coincides with an increase in blood pressure, norepinephrine and heart rate variability (2).
This happens as the blood vessels are constricted in the chamber through the intense cold. Once the session has finished, there is a great rush of blood and an increase in anti-inflammatory proteins within the body.
Clinical studies also support that cryotherapy may relieve pain, inflammation and improve physical recovery (3).

Why use Cryotherapy?

With therapy such as Cold or cryotherapy is completed the rush of endorphins which follow after such a mentally and physically challenging therapy is completed is immense and exhilarating.
For this reason, it stimulates your neurotransmitters, boosts your ‘happy’ hormones and therefore a natural form of antidepressant.

It also provides a natural hormetic effect increasing the body’s ability to reduce muscular inflammation.

Cryotherapy is probably the safest version or next step to take when embarking on cold therapy training. It allows a safe, supervised and controllable environment unlike swimming in wild rivers or seas.

When was cryotherapy invented?

The first whole-body cryotherapy was built in Japan. It was later brought to Europe in the 1980s Originally the experiment with cold and cryotherapy was by a Japanese medical doctor himself seeking treatment for rheumatoid arthritis.

What is the best time of day to use?

I personally prefer to have cold therapy exposure in the morning and most definitely away from bedtime as it can boost your body energy and make you feel prepared for the day ahead.

I tend to avoid it after training as this may blunt the beneficial inflammatory adaptations from exercise which is what we want and biochemical need. I would keep a 6-hour gap if I was to use it on the same day.

The benefits of Cryotherapy?

Reduces inflammation – being an anti-inflammatory. (4)
Improved recovery from exercise especially in periods of overreaching (5).
Improves blood circulation and lymphatic circulation
Reduces pain (6).
Reduces oxidative stress in high doses (7).
Improves the immune system with an increase in white blood cell count (7).
Reduces cortisol and increases testosterone (3).
Increases mental resilience and clarity (N=1)

How much is Cryotherapy?

Cryotherapy can range from $30 per visit or $50+ monthly memberships in the US. London Cryo offers a single treatment at £90 and has discounted packages available.
Cryo London has kindly offered a 30% discount for you to try.
Please quote – when booking.

To note:
The benefits or side effects may differ from person to person.
A healthy lifestyle which incorporates whole food, physical exercise, good sleep hygiene and other key considerations should be always paramount before additional options like cryotherapy.
Always seek advice if you have any health or medical conditions speak to your Doctor, GP or health care provider before visiting a cryotherapy clinic. London cryo has a medical health and safety check before every new client or treatment is given.

1. Leppäluoto J, Westerlund T, Huttunen P, Oksa J, Smolander J, Dugué B et al. Effects of long‐term whole‐body cold exposures on plasma concentrations of ACTH, beta‐endorphin, cortisol, catecholamines and cytokines in healthy females. Scandinavian Journal of Clinical and Laboratory Investigation. 2008;68(2):145-153.

2. Zalewski P, Bitner A, Słomko J, Szrajda J, Klawe J, Tafil-Klawe M et al. Whole-body cryostimulation increases parasympathetic outflow and decreases core body temperature. Journal of Thermal Biology. 2014;45:75-80.

3. Lombardi G, Ziemann E, Banfi G. Whole-Body Cryotherapy in Athletes: From Therapy to Stimulation. An Updated Review of the Literature. Frontiers in Physiology. 2017;8.

4. Mila-Kierzenkowska C, Jurecka A, Woźniak A, Szpinda M, Augustyńska B, Woźniak B. The Effect of Submaximal Exercise Preceded by Single Whole-Body Cryotherapy on the Markers of Oxidative Stress and Inflammation in Blood of Volleyball Players. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity. 2013;2013:1-10.

5. SCHAAL K, LE MEUR Y, LOUIS J, FILLIARD J, HELLARD P, CASAZZA G et al. Whole-Body Cryostimulation Limits Overreaching in Elite Synchronized Swimmers. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 2015;47(7):1416-1425.

6. Giemza C, Matczak-Giemza M, Ostrowska B, Bieć E, Doliński M. Effect of cryotherapy on the lumbar spine in elderly men with back pain. The Aging Male. 2013;17(3):183-188.

7. Lubkowska A, Szygula Z, Klimek A, Torii M. Do sessions of cryostimulation have influence on white blood cell count, level of IL6 and total oxidative and antioxidative status in healthy men?. European Journal of Applied Physiology. 2009;109(1):67-72.

Make yourself glow

Eat food which makes you glow from the inside out ❤️ for me that’s unadulterated real food 🍅🥑🥚 + loving myself inside and out. It’s also been a while since I graced my face on the page 😜

There is not a one size fits all approach for optimal health. What works for me, may not work for you. We all have different tastes, preferences, values and requirements. My biggest advice is get in tune with your body and listen to its small hints and needs.

The foods we consume have a huge impact on our mental health not just physical health. I had my own mental health issue with an eating disorder and being 55 kg and i celebrate each day how far I have come and where I am going on my journey.

I started my day off this late morning around 10am with scrambled duck eggs, sourdough wheat free toast, mashed avocado, roasted tomatoes, selection of sprouts, parsley and sauteed spinach in extra virgin olive oil.
Some call label this intermittent fasting low carb Paleo Keto etc, I just call it just doing me 🙂
Ryan ✌🏻❤️