Name: Lindsay Benson

Age: 26

Name of Blog: LeanBeanNutrition 

  • BSc Sport & Exercise Science 
  • Current 4th year Student Nutrition and Dietetics (Graduate June 2016) 

Published Literature:
  • The effect of omega-3 fatty acid (n-3 FA) supplementation on eccentric exercise in trained male athletes.

Sporting Background:
  • Age 7-21 National Swimmer
  • Age 25 Bodybuilding Body Fitness UKBFF British Finalist
  • Age 26 Crossfit Athlete. 

Blog Achievements:
  • UK National Blog Award 2015 
  • Cosmopolitan Nominated Blog 2015

What is the aim of your blog?

Mission Statement for LeanBean: Our bodies are not prepared for today’s evolutionary feast and sloth processes.  Today and tomorrows society is a place where food is abundant and that eating purely for hunger is a rarity rather than a given. Seductive advertisement, ready meals, large portion sizes and confusion around food labels are at the forefront for blame, whilst we add to the burden by sitting at desks, long working hours, sitting watching TV for endless hours, sat a computer screens until out eyes are square or even sat behind the steering wheel instead of a 10 minute walk. We gain weight by putting in more calories that we burn.

We are faced with an environment full of food a very different story to our hunter gather ancestors. We have altered our drive to eat mechanisms so that they are now in overdrive and don’t stop even when we are full. Small subtle changes to our lifestyle could be enough to help control our weight and tip the balance in our favour. A healthy balance balanced diet, with regular exercise will help boost our mood, reduce stress improve our nutritional status and help reduce the risk of developing long term problems such as heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and cancer.

Knowledge is therefore power. With knowledge we can eat to promote health in a healthy and sustainable (yet enjoyable) manor. There are a lot of fake promises, quick fix, fad diets out there in the market, all of which focus on calorie deficits (eating less) to lose weight, rather than lifestyle changes which are the ultimate mode to maintain a healthy weight.

At LeanBeanNutrition, I hope to empower (and inspire) you with the knowledge to adapt a healthy diet, to make food colourful, nutrient dense and most importantly mouth wateringly delicious. Healthy food is far from boring.

What does an average week consist of for LeanBean?

My typical day consists of waking at 7am and then going to work until 5pm. After work i go to CrossFit from 6-8pm, the rest of my evening is spent at home relaxing.

How does the CherryActive product range help you?

They are natural sporting performance enhancers. Coming from a sport science and nutrition background the ideal around natural products benefiting sporting performance is always intriguing. There is a vast amount of literature on the sporting benefits of beetroot juice pre-workout and cherry juice post-workout. Being a food blogger and a beetroot addict, it was the beetroot juice that initially attracted LeanBean to this brand and I now incorporate it into my personal nutrition plan. 

Beetroot juice contains high levels of nitrates. The body transforms nitrates into nitrites, and then into nitric oxide. Nitric oxide can potentially benefit an athlete in two ways; 1) Firstly nitric oxide is a vasodilator meaning that it causes blood vessels to dilate, allowing a greater volume of oxygenated blood to pass through them 2) Secondly it is potentially seen to increase the efficiency of mitochondria (key respiratory cell) more efficient and lowering the oxygen cost of a workout, Simply put it, it suggests you may be able to create the same energy while consuming less oxygen, creating a higher oxygen supply and in terms of sporting performance this combination is outstanding. The press and media have recently suggested that nitrates and nitrates are potentially dangerous (with regards to cured meats like bacon and cancer fears) and we should limit our consumption. Nitrates and nitrites can combine with meat proteins to form compounds known as nitrosamines, it is this compound that has been shown to be potentially carinogenic. More research is indeed needed around the health benefits and risks of nitrates and nitrites. With regards to sporting performance beetroot juice contains nitrate and not nitrite and there is no meat protein within the product that could lead to the formation of nitrosamines. 

Highlight of career?

In terms of CrossFit, it’s only just beginning. I started CrossFit in the summer 2015, coming from a swimming background and competing as a bodybuilder (one random bucket list item ticked off last summer), I am now completed addicted. I am currently not putting any pressure on myself to compete at this stage; I’m still learning the gymnastics side to the sport. But in time.... yes! It’s a sport that is so easy to become addicted too; the gruelling workouts, the strength training, the social and community aspects.  

Do you have any hero’s or people you look up to?

A lot of people inspire me, motivate me and teach me new skills and tricks. I am a massive fan of EFFORT, you may have natural talent and walk around like the big dog, those people don't inspire me. It’s those who stay committed, train for hours, work on those weaknesses and never give up. Real true effort is what inspires me.

What are your future goals?

To compete as an individual in CrossFit and to enter more powerlifting competitions (the strength side of CrossFit is what I enjoy most) 

How do you relax away from you fitness/blogging?

Hard question to answer. I love my job, I love fitness and I love science, all three I am massively passionate about so they are my relaxation. 

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