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Cutting down on your use of plastic

Cutting down on your use of plastic is all over the media at the moment, particularly because it’s bad for the environment and damages wildlife.  But cutting down on plastic can also help you to eat more healthily!  Here are some ideas for cutting down on plastic, and how it helps you to stay healthier.  Perhaps a resolution for the new year? Buy loose, whole fruit and vegetables. By choosing loose fruit and vegetables, you can see how ripe it they are and by prepping the food yourself means they retain more nutrients than ready prepared foods. Make your own ready meals ahead. It’s all too easy to grab a ready meal when you’ve had a busy day. Remember the calories on a ready meal only have to be accurate within 25%, which is a huge variant.  You don’t really … Continue reading

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Practical steps to de-stressing

As we hit the holiday season, it’s very easy to feel stress with everything that has to be achieved in a short amount of time.  Here are some helpful ways to combat stress… Set New Habits that lower stressful situation Talk your worries over with someone you trust Set realistic goals and don’t be too hard on yourself Try to be a problem solver rather than finding the obstacles on your path Learn to say NO! Prioritise relaxation for you – ensure you have built in some time for you into your busy routine Have some fun – it’s one of the best forms of stress relief that there is Get Into Fitness Mode to lower stress Exercise at least three times a week Ditch the grueling workouts, and try and take it down a notch if you are feeling … Continue reading

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Worry Work

Is your To Do List always filled with things like – birthday cards, phoning a friend, looking at holidays, preparing for Christmas?  These small jobs can soon mount up and leave you feeling overwhelmed, and you end up worrying about everyday jobs and coping with everything extra on your list. Here are some helpful ways to tackle the workload without worrying too much. Write things down. Keep an up to date list of what you have to do and gain satisfaction from everything that you strike off that list.  Instead of feeling down about all that you have to do, concentrate on what you have achieved. Delegation! We can be very bad at asking for help.  Look at your list – are there some things that your partner or children can do?  If so, go on ask them, if you … Continue reading

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What’s your waistline like?

Do you have some extra fat on your waistline that could do with melting away?  Here are some great reasons why decreasing your waist is good for you. Heart Disease; you are more likely to suffer from heart disease if you have excess fat around your stomach. Type 2 Diabetes is much more prevalent in those with larger waistlines. You can be up to 3 times more likely to develop diabetes if your waist is over 35 inches for women and 40 inches for men. Blood pressure; losing inches from your waist can help to lower your blood pressure and avoid the need for medication. Living Longer; you are more likely to live longer if your waist is kept trim. Lower muscle mass, and higher belly fat can lead to metabolic disorders and early death. Sleep; you will sleep better … Continue reading

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What are your sleep patterns like?

Sleep has the biggest influence over our health and wellbeing.  It’s more important than exercise, income and friends.  We spend one third of our life asleep and we tend to take it for granted rather than spending any time making sure it’s the best sleep we can get. There are four stages of sleep and we spend around 90 minutes in each stage; we wake between each cycle whether we are aware of it or not. Stage One – Drowsiness and falling asleep. Ask yourself, ‘do you fall asleep within 20 minutes?’  To fall asleep easily we rely on our brain to switch off from wakefulness and activate our sleep centres.  If you are overly active before bed, it can affect how easily you fall asleep. Deep, regular breathing can help. Making a list of all that needs to be … Continue reading

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The link between diet and sleep …

You will always feel better and more energized after a good night’s sleep.  Consistently poor sleep will drag you down, and you will feel low and lethargic.  Poor sleep can raise our risk of Type 2 Diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and lead to diminishing mood and higher levels of stress. Tiredness can also reduce the hormone levels of leptin (an appetite suppressant) and increase the level of ghrelin (which stimulates our desire to eat). Eating regularly and at regular times during the day will help our sleep patterns. Foods to Help You Sleep: Milky drinks, both dairy and alternatives, such as almond milk, are associated with helping you to sleep. Brazil nuts have the richest source of the mineral selenium, which scientists have found will help sleep. Eating more fibre is associated with a deeper and better night’s sleep. Foods such … Continue reading

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Are you suffering from insomnia?

The definition of insomnia is a prolonged inability to sleep, whereas sleeplessness is defined as a period of time when someone desires sleep but does not get it. Insomnia is one of the most common sleep complaints affecting up to 40% of adults.  It’s most commonly caused by a stressful event or by prolonged periods of stress. A technique called Bootzin’s which may help with insomnia: Don’t sleep anywhere except the bedroom. If you don’t fall asleep within 20 minutes, get out of bed and do something else. Return to bed once you feel sleepy, and if you don’t fall asleep within 20 minutes, repeat getting out of bed and doing something else. Set your alarm to wake you at the same time each day irrelevant of how much sleep you get. Getting a better bedtime routine will also help: … Continue reading

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Dealing with ‘Hangry’!

  We’ve all heard of the saying – being ‘Hangry”. This is where being hungry can lead you to being short tempered and grumpy. If you are someone who suffers from this condition, here’s a guide to why this happens and how to deal with it. As your body digests your last meal, the nutrients pass to your bloodstream, and from there they are distributed to your body and organs. As time passes after your last meal, your blood glucose level will drop. With some people this drop will send a message to your brain that this is a ‘life-threatening’ situation. It can lead to a drop in your concentration level and short temperedness. Often the body can increase your adrenaline and cortisol hormones, increasing your stress levels, and making you grumpy. There are some physiological factors involved in being … Continue reading

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Beat digital and screen overload

The use of digital screens among adults and children is very high.  Some adults use screens all day and then come home and watch TV or spend time on their phone all evening too.  Children are coming home from school and going straight on screens and are often staying on the screens for the much of the evening.  The effects of overexposure to screens can be detrimental to our health – here’s how it can affect us, and a few ideas of how to get off the screens… Mental well-being. Over use of social media sites can be linked to anxiety and depression.  This may be down to the comparison and feelings of inadequacy when comparing yourself to perceived lives of others. Sleep disturbances. Your sleep can be affected by a smartphone or tablet.  The blue light emitted can interfere … Continue reading

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Consistency in your health and wellness journey

Being consistent is one of the most important things we can learn in our health and nutrition journey.  It’s not about eating and doing the same things day in and day out.  Rather, it’s about the effort and thought that you put into those activities that counts. Make time for food preparation. Whether it’s first thing in the morning or last thing at night, think about what you are going to eat for the coming day and prepare as much as you can.  This will reduce your stress levels during the day and ensure that you eat well rather than on the run. Hydration! It’s all too easy to forget to get your optimum water intake for the day.  Try a bottle with the times of the day measured on the bottle, or there are apps to remind you to … Continue reading

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