WHAT DOES HEALTHY EATING MEAN?

WHAT DOES HEALTHY EATING MEAN?

Healthy eating, is a subject that is talked about and lots of people associate healthy eating in different ways, but what does it mean?

The NHS UK website indicates that

Healthy eating means eating a wide variety of foods in the right proportions and consuming the right amount of food and drink to achieve and maintain a healthy body. weight.

https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/

This message is a good one.  I do think though that you should eat more than 5 pieces of fruits and vegetables per day and to cut out consuming lots of dairy products and wheat/gluten from your diet. 

The Nutrition.org website indicates that

A healthy diet should provide us with the right amount of energy (calories or kilojoules), from foods and drinks to maintain energy balance. Energy balance is where the calories taken in from the diet are equal to the calories used by the body. We need these calories to carry out everyday tasks such as walking and moving about, but also for all the functions of the body we may not even think about. Processes like breathing, pumping blood around the body and thinking also require calories. 

https://www.nutrition.org.uk/healthyliving/healthydiet/healthybalanceddiet.html

It is true that calories in your diet play a role in giving you the energy you need throughout the day but not all calories are the same and it is important to pay attention to which foods you are eating to get those calories. 

There can be conflicting advice, lots of diet crazes around or nutritional studies carried out. 

Too much information can be misleading and confusing with information overload. 

So here are some simple facts you can follow to avoid a lot of confusion.  These can help to make a difference to your health and wellbeing and how you look and feel inside and out. 

KEEP IT SIMPLE AND CHOOSE FRESH

keep it simple and eat mainly fresh food.  This means food that will go off within a few days or so, either in the fridge or stored elsewhere.  Eat only unprocessed foods, cook your food in a way that will preserve as many nutrients as possible.  Eat foods that are in season.  This way, they will taste better and will be cheaper.  This will give you a variety of foods to choose from and this is how it should be to always eat foods in season.

You can find a download of a list of foods in each season here – http://www.greenerscotland.org/eating-greener/in-season-food-calendar

HEALTH FOODS ARE NOT ALWAYS HEALTHY

The food industry thrives on fads and food trends, and it often sells food products using very clever marketing.  There are various rules and regulations in place to try to limit what can be written on food packaging.  Many foods are sold with packaging to attract your attention, they could contain many health claims and presented in very attractive ways.  Though inside, what you find is a product that is not at all a healthy food.

Be more aware of packaged foods.  If you can be wary of a packaged food and one to pay lots of attention to before you buy it, then this is a great start.  Whether or not the packaging claims that it is healthy or natural or good for you, has added vitamins or other nutritional benefits or that it is low in calories.  These claims do not actually make it a healthy food to eat.

Healthy food is fresh and alive and anything in a package tends to have a very long shelf life. The logistics of dealing with products that have a long shelf life is easier and more practical for big shops like supermarkets – but it does often mean that the products are full of preservatives and may contain many other artificial ingredients too.  So, please read the label and understand what is actually in the product.  If it needs to have a label, it is often a sign that it is no longer very natural.

BE WARY OF SUBSTITUTES

A vegetarian diet can be very healthy and good for you and suits some people really well.  But by replacing  farmed, organic and good quality meat or chicken for packaged vegetable burgers or processed vegetarian sausages is not always a good solution.  By replacing meat with a vegetable alternative, you would need to take a look at what is available and what it contains for it to be a good option.

Some meat substitute products can be heavily processed and rarely contain any good ingredients at all.  They might also contain soy products which are not very good for your health and can have a big impact on your health and weight.

If you want to eat a diet lower in animal protein or without any animal protein, eat only really high quality animal protein and replace any animal protein with organic vegetables, healthy and unprocessed vegetarian sources of protein and lots of healthy fats from ingredients such as avocado, nuts and seeds, olive oil etc.  Do make sure to get enough vegetarian proteins with minimal processed alternatives.  Try to add in more natural and fresh ingredients and make your own burgers to taste delicious. 

SUMMARY

Ok so let’s sum up what healthy eating looks like.

  • Healthy eating is eating a wide variety of foods to provide you with enough energy throughout the day.
  • Keep it simple and fresh
  • Health Foods are not always healthy
  • Be aware of food substitutes

Ideally, we should eat more like our grandparents used to eat – no fad diets, just real food, eaten seasonally from a sustainable source, in the right quantities.

A better way is a natural and balanced diet.  Focus on filling your fridge with natural and fresh food and eat three balanced meals every day – a bit of protein, some healthy fat and some fresh carbohydrate ideally in the shape of vegetables and fruit and you can be quite sure to fill your body with what it needs.

Always focus on quality over quantity as the quality of your ingredients can make a big difference, rather than adding exotic ingredients or expensive supplements.  Unless these are recommended from a specialist you trust.  Supplements do have their place, just not any supplement and at any cost.

We can often make things more complicated for ourselves (I know that I did) but really, when it comes to eating a healthy diet, by keeping it simple is usually better.

SELF CARE – WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU?

SELF CARE - WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU?

SELF CARE

What does self care mean to you?

Self care means – taking care of your personal hygiene, eating well, getting enough sleep, getting some exercise, making time for social activities and paying attention to your thoughts and feelings

A women’s life can get busy and it can be easy to stop focusing on your health and wellbeing because of that. 

Women are nurturers by nature and everyone turns to us for care, love attention, advice, affection etc. 

Do you find that you don’t seem to have enough time to focus on you and your needs because you are so busy focusing on other people’s needs and wants?

Sometimes it can feel overwhelming, especially if you have a family member that is ill or you are going through a life crisis such as divorce or separation.  Maybe your children are going through a hard time.  A lot of women may have their grown up children come to live back with them because something has happened in their life.

It’s time to take a step back and see where you can change your priorities so that you can free up more time for your self care.  What is your day to day life like at the moment and how can you change that to free up more time for you. 

Self care is important because if you are not looking after your health and wellbeing, you will be no good to anybody else.

“Put your mask on first before helping others”

When you are giving yourself more self care, you will feel happier about yourself and a happier you equals a happier life and outlook on life.  This will benefit your family and friends because they will pick up on you being a happier person to be around. 

Here are a few tips to help bring more self care into your life:

Buy a journal or planner and a nice pen and get everything out on paper.  This is a great way to offload everything in your head and begin to plan out how you can switch and change up your life to bring in more self care.

Are your family helping you around the house to free up more time for you?  If not, have a meeting with family to work out a schedule and let them know that they have to help around the house too and that you need more free time.  They have to take some responsibility for clearing the plates after dinner, washing the dishes, tidying up and helping with cooking and food shopping.  They don’t get a free ride, they live in the house too and need to be taking some responsibility of how a house runs, there is no magic fairy that does the cleaning and the washing! 

Have a schedule every week and put it on display for everyone to see what their job is and also what everyone is doing every day socially and put down your time out to exercise and do things you love to do.

Get more in touch with your spiritual side.  What are the things you are passionate about and that light you up?  Pay more attention to grounding and being in the present and stop your racing mind thinking about the next thing you need to be doing or putting too much focus on the next day or the next week.  When you slow down and take in the day you will also be paying more attention to how you are feeling today and start to pay more attention to what your body needs and wants.  When you pay more attention to what your body is telling you, you can focus on better health and wellbeing.  Have you been ignoring the signs to eat better, drink more water or get more sleep?

When was the last time you stopped to pay attention to your surroundings, the smells, nature, your house, your family etc? 

When you can be more fully present in your day, you will start to notice more of these things so you can stop to take it all in.  What are the smells around you, is your house as tidy as you would like, looking at the flowers, looking at the trees and the colours all around you.  This can really make a difference in reducing stress and lifting your mood. 

Get outside in nature especially away from road noise.  Be among the trees and the birds singing.  Look at all the beauty of nature.  

Here is a link to the website called chipperbirds.com.  They have written a blog about how birdsong can help with relaxing, stress and anxiety.  I love birds and bird song, do you?  

Essential oils can help to calm you and relax you.  Young Living Essential Oils are the purest and Grade A therapeutic oils.  Your sense of smell is the most powerful of the senses and can trigger memories.  I love lavender, which is a multi use oil and can help to transport happy hormones into the brain.  Bergamot is another good oil to enhance mood and uplift you.  There are so many different oils to choose from, these are just a few that I have mentioned here. 

Drink some green tea to help uplift your energy.  It contains polyphenols to help boost your energy. 

Look at ways to change your diet to help you feel healthier and have more energy.  Start small even if it is just drinking more water throughout the day.  Start to swap out some things in your cupboard for healthier versions. 

What is your relationship with food, is food feeding your emotions and you are reaching for unhealthy options?  Journal about your relationship with food and do your own research into how your eating habits are impacting your life.  If you are emotional eating, this will really help you to find your why.  I am not talking about denying yourself foods that you like, it is just so you can set boundaries around food and to heal your emotions so that you are better equipped to have more self control around food and to let go of the power that food has on you.  Take your time and be kind to yourself.  Take a few small steps every day and build on the changes. 

Book in some exercise every week and stick to a schedule.  Challenge yourself and set some goals to keep you motivated.  Don’t compare yourself to others, you are you and women are all shapes and sizes, there is no one size to fit all.  You are unique in your own special way.  You will feel so much better with yourself and have more confidence.  Think about how good your joints will feel, how clear your mind will be and be able to maintain your weight much more effectively.  Build on muscle tone.  You don’t have to have a “six pack” or have bulging muscles to have muscle tone and strength.  Keep focused on your consistency and enjoy the process. 

Do some stretching, yoga or pilates.  These type of exercise are very beneficial to help with balance and strength.  Sometimes we forget to stretch and this is so important to keep your ligaments and your muscles healthy.  If you work at a computer every day, doing some simple neck and shoulder stretches during the day can help with stiffness. 

When was the last time you treated yourself?  It doesn’t have to be expensive, it could be a new book or reading a book, getting outside in nature, going for a walk.  A treat doesn’t have to include money, do anything that makes you happy and helps you relax. 

Choose your thoughts wisely.  Are you self sabotaging with your thoughts?  This can leave you feeling drained, sad with a lack of motivation and have an impact on everyone around you.  You can also be betraying your own self worth. 

How are you feeling?  Don’t forget to pick up on your feelings and don’t ignore your feelings.  They are telling you something.  Ask yourself some questions around what you are feeling.  Are you tired, lonely, anxious, fatigued, unhappy etc. 

You could set yourself a morning ritual so that you can set the tone for the day and make the most out of your day.  Here are a few things you could include in your daily ritual.

Check in with yourself and give yourself some love.

Think of 3 things to be grateful for today.

Say an affirmation such as “I am pain free and totally in sync with life”.

Here are a few more tips from the Tiny Buddha website for the body, mind and soul:

TINY BUDDHA

Here is a TedX talk from Andy Puddicombe about mindfulness.

ANDY PUDDICOMBE

Here are 15 inspiring quotes from the Relax Like A Boss website to inspire you 

RELAX LIKE A BOSS

Download my Self Care Tracker for more help to make changes HERE

IS GLUTEN FREE AND WHEAT FREE THE SAME?

IS GLUTEN FREE AND WHEAT FREE THE SAME?

A gluten free and wheat free diet is being talked about more and more right now.

A lot of women are finding that they are more gluten and wheat sensitive and experiencing some digestive discomfort when eating wheat or gluten.

The reason for this is because hormone levels are going up and down and it affects digestion, stomach acid and bile flow.  This is because the body is under a bit of stress trying to keep up with hormone levels changing. 

Do you know if gluten and wheat free are the same?

Are you a bit confused about what gluten or wheat free means?

I am going to explain the difference between the two so it is a bit easier for you to understand. 

Are you struggling with some gluten intolerance because it is causing you some digestion discomfort?  You will probably want to buy products that are gluten free.

But what about wheat?  If you buy products that say “wheat free” they are not necessarily free from gluten as well.  Also, if you buy gluten free products, it does not mean they are wheat free. 

Gluten can also be found in other grains, not just wheat, such as barley, rye and spelt so you need to avoid all foods containing these. 

 

If you have a wheat allergy, this means that you are allergic to wheat and all the wheat proteins such as albumin, globulin, gliadin and gluten.  If you eat foods containing wheat, it will trigger a reaction in your body and you have to be careful when buying products to make sure they are manufactured in a wheat free factory so there is no cross contamination.  Also if you eat out in a restaurant, you have to ask the restaurant how they prepare their food and if they use a separate area and separate utensils, cookware etc, to prepare wheat free meals. 

If you are gluten intolerant, this means that your body will react to any food you eat containing gluten.  This is often the case with people with digestive diseases such as celiac, colitis or crohns. 

If you are allergic to the protein in wheat, you can buy products that are wheat free.

If you want to avoid gluten, choose gluten free, not just wheat free. 

Here are a few food items to look out for in the supermarket containing wheat and gluten (there may be more):-

Most baked items such as biscuits, cakes, bread, cupcakes, bread and breadcrumbs

Breakfast cereals

Health Bars

Couscous

Spelt

Rye

Barley

Packets of dry pasta or fresh from the fridge

Beer

Hydrolyzed vegetable protein

Bottled or packet sauces

Dips

Ketchups

A lot of processed meat

Dairy products

Gravy mixes

Packet sauces

Stock cubes

You also need to look out for toiletries that may contain what too. 

SOURCES OF GLUTEN ARE:-

Wheat

Rye

Barley

Oats – They don’t contain gluten, but they can be cross contaminated when manufactured in a factory that is not wheat free so be careful that it states on the packet that they are in fact gluten free.

There is a lot of food selections available now that are wheat and gluten free but not all of these foods are good to eat.  So, just by following a wheat and gluten free diet may not be healthy at all, so you need to be careful what you buy! 

If wheat and gluten free alternatives to breads, wraps, crackers etc, contain rice or corn flour, then these are not healthy to buy and contain cheap flours that can cause inflammation in the body which you want to avoid.  These products can also contain bad fats and artificial ingredients.  So don’t buy them!

You want to look out for good quality flour such as ground almonds, coconut flour, buckwheat flour, for example.  These may be more expensive to buy but are much better quality products and will also contain healthy fat such as coconut oil.  You can always cook your own too, which would be much better and healthier all round. 

A wheat and gluten free alternative grain would be quinoa or buckwheat. 

If you are only allergic to wheat, then it will be less restrictive but I would recommend everyone avoid all wheat containing foods as they can cause a lot of digestion problems long term in your body, which can lead to inflammation and inflammatory diseases.  It could also be stopping you from losing fat around your body.

RECIPES

Here are some recipes you can make that are gluten and wheat free.

CHAI TEA FRUIT LOAF

This is a lovely fruit bread from the One Green Planet website

SERVES 20 SLICES

INGREDIENTS

240ml/1 cup of cold chai tea

330g/1 2/3 cups dried fruit

210g/1 3/4 cups buckwheat flour

2 chia eggs (1 tbsp ground seed mixed with 3 tbsp water)

6 tablespoons coconut sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon allspice

INSTRUCTIONS

Soak the dried fruit in the cold tea for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.

In a bowl mix together the buckwheat flour, coconut sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice

Add the “eggs” and mix until combined.  Add the dried fruit mixture and then transfer to a prepared loaf tin.  Bake in a 350°F/175C for 40-50 minutes until golden brown.

Allow to cool slightly before removing from the tin

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-recipe/chai-tea-fruit-loaf

CHOCOLATE CAKE USING SWEET POTATO

This recipe uses some starch from sweet potatoes, carrots or beetroot.  I can highly recommend the beetroot to make this recipe.  The recipe is from Bettinas Kitchen website. 

INGREDIENTS

2 big sweet potatoes OR 2 big carrots or 2-3 Beetroots (pre boiled or steamed until very soft)

(Save some boiling liquid for blending)

12 dates (pre soaked)

1 tsp. of baking powder

1 cup (120 grams) of buckwheat flour

1/2 cup (60 grams) of almond flour

4-5 tbs. of cacao powder.

1/2 cup (120 grams) of Raw honey or maple syrup

Vanilla pod

Pinch of salt

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat your oven on 180°C.  Put pre-boiled vegetables and the rest of the ingredients in a blender and mix well together.  If you have trouble blending add some of the veggie liquid to get a thick smooth cake batter.  If you are using a cake tin then pre grease with some coconut oil or if you are using a silicone mould that usually won’t be needed.   Spread evenly and bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until you get a hard outer shell but inside is still nice and moist.  Let cake cool when it is done.  Top with some chocolate cream or eat as it is. 

https://www.bettinaskitchen.com/recipe/paulines-chocolate-cake

FROSTING

This frosting is from the Happy Pear website

INGREDIENTS

200g dark chocolate pellets

150ml boiling water

handful ice + water in other bowl

INSTRUCTIONS

Make up the frosting by pouring boiling water into a bowl with the chocolate pieces.  Mix until the chocolate has melted into the water.  Put some ice and some cold water into another bowl and place the bowl with the chocolate mixture on top and whisk until you get a stiff cream as it cools down with the ice underneath the bowl.  Frost the cake when it is cool.  Grate some more chocolate over the top.

GINGER LEMON SHORTBREAD

This is a great alternative recipe for a healthy shortbread biscuit from The Foodie Teen website.

MAKES 12 BISCUITS

INGREDIENTS

120g/1 cup ground almonds

60g/1/2 cup arrowroot starch

30g/1/4 cup buckwheat flour

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/8 tsp salt

100g/1/3 cup maple syrup or raw honey

76g/1/3 cup butter

zest of 1 lemon

1 tsp ground ginger

INSTRUCTIONS

Sift the flours into a bowl, then stir in the remaining ingredients and mix well to combine into a soft dough.  Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up.  Preheat the oven to 160C/325F.  Roll the dough to about 1/2 inch thick between two pieces of parchment paper, then cut into twelve equal rectangles. Use a fork to gently poke a holes in the tops of the cookies if you want to!  Carefully transfer the cookies to a lined baking tray, then bake for 15-17 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes

http://thefoodieteen.com/lemon-ginger-shortbread/

HERE ARE 2 WAYS YOU CAN INCLUDE HEMP SEEDS INTO YOUR LIFE

HERE ARE 2 WAYS YOU CAN INCLUDE HEMP SEEDS INTO YOUR LIFE

INCLUDE HEMP SEEDS IN YOUR DIET

Hemp seeds are super nutritious.

They contain a good balance of omega fats 3 and 6 with a 3:1 ratio. 

They are high in GLA (gamma linolenic acid). 

They are a complete protein containing 20 amino acids and the 9 essential amino acids.

They contain fibre to help cleanse the colon.

You can bake with them

Add them to smoothies

Add them to salads

Add them to chia pudding

Add them to porridge

Here is a great recipe using hemp seeds

SEED ENERGY BARS

This recipe is from the Paleo Hacks website here 

INGREDIENTS

60g/ ½ cup plant-based protein powder

100g/ ½ cup dates, pitted, soaked overnight

150g/ 1 cup raw almonds, soaked overnight

150g/1 cup raw Brazil nuts, soaked overnight

50g/ 1/3 cup pumpkins seeds

1 Tbsp chia seeds

1 Tbsp hemp seeds

1 tsp cup coconut oil, melted

1 Tbsp raw honey

Pinch of sea salt

Extra raw almonds and pumpkin seeds for topping

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350°F/175C.  Drain the water from the dates and nuts, and then place both in a blender with seeds, salt, honey and coconut oil. Process on high 2 minutes, then scrape down the sides, and process again.  

Add the protein powder and process another 1-2 minutes. Continue processing and scraping the sides until fully combined.

Prepare an 8×8 baking pan by laying parchment paper crisscross, allowing the ends to hang over the edges.

Transfer the batter to the baking pan. Spread into a smooth layer with a spatula.

Place a few extra raw almonds and pumpkin seeds on top, gently pressing them into the batter to set.  Bake for 18-20 minutes until the edges are brown.  Remove from the oven. Cool in the pan 30 minutes, then remove using sides of parchment paper.

Slice into 16 bars.

HEMP SEED OIL FOR YOUR SKIN

Hemp seeds can also be great for your skin too. 

REVERSE SKIN AGING

The content of omega 3 and omega 6 help to restore skin elasticity.

Hemp seed oil will reach the deep layers and so can reset the production of collagen in the skin to help keep wrinkles at bay.

SKIN MOISTURISER

Hemp oil can help to keep your skin healthy from pollution.  Apply some at night to lock in moisture and prevent your skin from drying out.

SKIN CLEANSER

Hemp oil can be used as a cleanser, especially if you have acne because the oil will not clog the pores. 

It will help to remove excess oil from your skin.  You can mix it with some other oils such as tea tree oil. 

It is also anti inflammatory, to soothe problem skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis or dermatitis. 

 

SUGAR, HONEY, AGAVE – WHICH SWEETENERS ARE THE HEALTHIEST?

SUGAR, HONEY, AGAVE - WHICH SWEETENERS ARE THE HEALTHIEST?

Refined sugar is not really a good choice of sweetener.

Why is that?

Refined sugar can deplete your body of nutrients

Refined sugar can cause blood sugar levels to spike up and down very quickly

Refined sugar can contribute to weight gain

Refined sugar can contribute to diabetes

Refined sugar can contribute to age related diseases

There are so many kinds of sugar available.  The well known ones are:-

Granulated white sugar

Raw cane sugar

Brown sugar

 

There is no difference between white and brown sugar.  The brown sugar is coloured with dark sugar syrups.  

Raw sugar has more benefit because it is not refined and has more molasses than white sugar. 

These sugars are called sucrose and they get broken down into glucose and fructose in the body.

You don’t have to give up all sugar for good.  We do need sugar for fuel. 

When you think about how much sugar you eat every day, I bet you don’t realise just how much. 

Many people say that they don’t eat sugar but it is hiding in lots of foods in the supermarket such as snacks, desserts, drinks, cereals, gravy, sauces etc.  A lot of packaged food contains sugar.  Are you looking at the ingredients list of everything you buy to find out if it contains sugar?  I highly encourage you to check your ingredients labels. 

So what exactly would be a good choice of sweetener?

HERE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVOURITE SWEETENERS THAT I EAT REGULARLY 

RAW HONEY

Raw honey is a delicious way to add sweetness to your diet.  It is half fructose and half glucose.  It is a good sweetener for a diabetic in small amounts too as the liver will process it slowly and you will get a slow release of sugar into your blood. 

Look out for the raw honey and not the processed kind.  You can tell if honey is raw and not overly processed by putting a bit onto your finger and if it doesn’t run off, then its good honey to eat. 

Raw honey has enzymes, vitamins and phytonutrients that come from the flower nectar.

Go here to read about the nutrition value in honey

 

COCONUT SUGAR

Coconut sugar is made from the sap of coconut trees which is heated to dry.  Coconut sugar has a low glycaemic level and can be used to replace refined sugar when cooking or baking. 

It is mostly sucrose and it has some nutrients such as magnesium, potassium, and a prebiotic fibre called inulin.

DATES/DATE SYRUP

There are a few variety of dates, medjool or neglet nour dates.  They are excellent to bake with.  You can blend them into smoothies to add sweetness too.  You can make a syrup from them or you can buy date syrup. 

Dates contain lots of nutrients such as calcium, sulfur, iron, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, copper, selenium, zinc and magnesium.  They are a good source of energy, sugar, and fibre.  They also contain vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamin A and vitamin K.

FOR A SWEET AND HEALTHY TREAT, TRY THESE ENERGY BARS

CHOCOLATE ENERGY BARS

recipe from Paleo Hacks website 

INGREDIENTS

100G/½ cup dates, pitted and soaked in water

65G/1/3 cup dried apricots OR dates

40G/1/4 cup raw almonds

75G/½ cup raw cashews

40G/1/3 cup pumpkin seeds

3 TBSP raw cacao powder

1 TBSP raw cacao nibs

Pinch of sea salt

40G/¼ cup dark chocolate

INSTRUCTIONS

In a food processor or blender, add cashews and pumpkin seeds. Pulse several times until finely chopped.  Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Add the cacao powder and cacao nibs. Set aside.  

To the food processor, add the pre-soaked dates and apricots. Add 2 tablespoons water and process on high until a paste forms.  Transfer the date-apricot mixture to the bowl and combine the ingredients. The ingredients should be sticky and slightly crumbly.  Transfer the batter into a meatloaf pan with parchment paper and smooth into an even layer. Press firmly into the sides and bottom of the pan.  Add the almonds on top, pressing them into the mixture.  Place the pan in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours to set. 

Once set, melt the dark chocolate in a bowl over simmering water and drizzle over the bars.

 

THIS HORMONE CAN HAVE A MASSIVE IMPACT ON YOUR HORMONE BALANCE

THIS HORMONE CAN HAVE A MASSIVE IMPACT ON YOUR HORMONE BALANCE

In modern day life, you are exposed to lots of sensory lights such as lights in your home, fluorescent lights in the work place, blue light from televisions, mobiles, ipads, laptops etc.

We are living in an environment with more toxins than ever before, there are lots of demands placed on us day in day out in the home and at work and your stress levels are higher than ever. 

There seems to be a bombardment of life, noise, work etc that’s never ending.  When do you find the time to relax and unwind anymore!

SYMPATHETIC SYSTEM

You have a sympathetic system which is your “fight or flight” part of your nervous system.  When this system is triggered, your body thinks you are in danger and you need to get away from that danger. 

This is your “stress mode” which has just been switched on. 

When stress mode is switched on, you will have some of these symptoms:-

You will feel more tense

Your heart rate goes up

Your pupils dilate

Your muscles contract

Your saliva production reduces

Your digestion is impaired and doesn’t work very well

More glycogen is converted to glucose and released into your bloodstream

Your immune system can also be lowered over time if your stress levels stay high

It is important that this stress mode is switched on and off again periodically during day to day stress which everyone experiences such as being late or getting a project finished on time at work.  This is classed as a normal kind of stress and your body can handle this type of stress without it having a long term effect on your health and hormone health. 

It is when stress levels are increased and you are constantly running round all over the place without catching your breath or taking a break, that the problems can start to occur. 

PARA SYMPATHETIC SYSTEM

You also have a parasympathetic system which is the ‘rest and digest’ part of your nervous system.

When this system is activated, you will be feeling:-

Relaxed and calm as your heart rate drops

You can digest your food as digestive enzymes are released and you can get rid of toxins correctly

The parasympathetic system is responsible for controlling homeostasis which means the balance and maintenance of the body’s systems.  This goes on to maintain long term health, improve digestion and conserve energy.   It restores the body to a state of calm and allows it to relax and repair. 

Both parts of your nervous system are important, but if overstimulation occurs of your sympathetic nervous system, then cortisol will be increased. 

If cortisol is increased for a long period of time, you can start to feel:-

Irritable

Have food cravings

Want to eat more

Not be able to sleep well

Feel fatigued

Increase your body fat

Low levels of immunity so you can get sick more often,

Your risk of heart disease or stroke increases

Your bone density decreases

You age quicker and your skin ages quicker

You lose muscle tone and strength

Your hormones will go out of balance

Over time, with the increased cortisol levels, it starts to affect your DHEA levels. 

DHEA is your calming hormone so now you will feel more hyper and alert.  Your body will hold onto your belly fat and decrease your growth hormone production. 

Your body is now in survival mode not growth mode.

This is why it is so important to learn to relax at some part of your day every day.  You can help your body to relax and reduce stress by taking some time out for yourself every day by doing something that you know will relax you.  It can be different for lots of people, you could have a mineral salt bath, read a book, take a 30 minute walk, deep breathing, meditation etc.

I certainly recommend practicing deep breathing and doing this a few times during the day to check in with your stress levels. 

Sit quietly and close your eyes if you can.  Breathe in for a count of 7 deep in your belly (or however long you can do), hold it and then release for a count of 7.  Try to do 10 to 15 rounds of this deep breathing a few times during your day.  You could set an alarm on your phone to do this. 

It is so important to do this and I can’t emphasize it enough that everyone should be making it a normal part of their day to relax more and reduce stress as much as possible.

Don’t suffer with the symptoms of perimenopause and menopause!

Do you want to know how to have healthy hormones and reduce symptoms such as weight gain, anxiety, depression, insomnia or hot flashes?

My Healthy Hormone Course contains 4 videos plus free bonuses:-

Why are you having symptoms

Meal choices to balance out your hormones, sleep better, have more mental clarity, lots of energy, feel calm and happier

Herbs, Teas and Supplements that can help with hormone balance

What the 4 key areas are to focus on to keep your hormones balanced

Find out more information here – https://www.healthylifestyleover40.com/healthyhormonescourse/

Come and join my Facebook Group.  This is a safe place to chat with other women going through perimenopause and menopause.  I am in the group most days offering help and advice, doing live video, posting recipes etc.  I would love to meet you and get to know you.  Join here – https://www.facebook.com/groups/PerimenopauseHeaven/

 

WHAT IS COLLAGEN POWDER AND HOW CAN IT HELP YOU WITH AGING?

WHAT IS COLLAGEN POWDER AND HOW CAN IT HELP WITH AGING?

As you get older, your collagen is reduced and you begin to see wrinkles in your skin, your joints may start to ache.  The ability to fight disease is reduced and you get tired faster.

One of the main reasons this is happening is because your body stops making as much collagen as you age.

Collagen is a protein, but it is more than just a protein.  It is found in every part of your body including your muscles, bones, skin and hair. 

WHEN YOUR PRODUCTION OF COLLAGEN SLOWS DOWN, THE FOLLOWING CAN OCCUR:- 

Your skin loses its elasticity

Your ligaments are more stiff

Your stomach lining loses some of its function

Your hair and nails grow more slowly and lose their strength and shine

Collagen is made up of amino acids and collagen is what holds everything together in our bodies where it is supposed to be.  Your body can make amino acids from protein in your diet.  This process can slow down if you are ill or you have a lot of stress in your life.

Collagen is 30% of the protein in our body and 70% of the protein in our skin.

You can supplement your collagen supply by eating more in your diet.  You can do this by eating collagen powder.

Collagen has always been part of the human diet and you can get it from eating animals.  The majority of the collagen comes from the bones, the skin, and the ligaments.  These parts can be used to make foods and supplements that are rich in collagen..

To get the collagen, you can make some bone, broth which is rich in collagen.  It does take a little time to make bone broth because you have to simmer the bones for a number of hours to release all the collagen they contain.  It does make a delicious soup if you add more vegetables to the broth. 

COLLAGEN POWDER

Collagen powder is just as good as the bone broth and it comes in powder form.  There are two types, collagen peptides and collagen protein. 

COLLAGEN PEPTIDES IS HYDROLYZED GELATIN  

Gelatin is what is produced when collagen is heated. The collagen peptides are easy to digest and you can mix it into drinks, smoothies etc.

COLLAGEN PROTEIN IS GELATIN POWDER

It is the purest form of collagen.  It will gel up when it is mixed with liquids.  It is ideal for baking and cooking.  This one may be harder for some people to digest.

SUPPLEMENTING WITH COLLAGEN POWDER HAS MANY BENEFITS:- 

It can cut down on wrinkles, and give the skin more elasticity

Your skin, hair and nails will grow better

It improves bone and joint health

It may improve hormone production.

It can help coat the digestive tract, and so help towards healing a leaky gut

It could help your body to make more collagen of its own

There are different brands to choose from so have a look for the ones that have been produced using collagen from grass fed or pasture raised animals so there is no chance of it containing antibiotics and hormones.

I do like the Gelatin by Great Lakes and you can buy it from Amazo

 

HOW CAN POMEGRANATES HELP WITH MENOPAUSE?

HOW CAN POMEGRANATES HELP WITH MENOPAUSE?

The deep red, sweet juice of the pomegranate has been clinically studied to increase the health and vitality of our blood.

Pomegranates are known to be of help for fertility due to them resembling human ovaries.  They not only look like ovaries, they produce the same hormones, estrogen and testosterone.  This is good news in the treatment of menopause.

Article about the identification of estrone in pomegranate seeds

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0031942200861336

Our cells layer that make up connective tissue found inside and outside our body is called epithelial tissue.  It is flat and packed together and it is this epithelia that has a likeness for the pomegranate seeds inside the pomegranate and it can benefit our epithelia tissue. 

There has been a 3 year study on the effects of drinking pomegranate juice with people who had atherosclerosis.  After 3 months of drinking pomegranate juice of around 225ml daily, it was noted that the plaque build up in the arteries was reduced by 13%. 

Just imagine if you are a regular drinker of pomegranate juice and the huge health benefits you can achieve. 

POMEGRANATE FOR MENOPAUSE RELIEF

Pomegranates can be compared to look like an ovary.  If you look at an opened pomegranate you can see the likeness of an ovary and its eggs.  Pomegranates can provide the same estrogens as your ovary, which are estradial, estrone and estriol. 

BONE LOSS REVERSED

There was a study with rats who had their ovaries removed in a study in 2004 in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology.  The rats suffered accelerated bone loss but when they were fed pomegranate extract and seeds for 2 weeks, their bone mineral loss reverted to normal rates.

Here is a link to the study.

http://bit.ly/2rhyLrJ

MOOD IMPROVEMENT

The same Japanese researchers in the 2004 study also found that when rats were given pomegranate extract, it lowered depression levels.  This resulted in them wondering if this could be effective for women with depression. 

HEART HEALTH

The rate of death from heart disease in women after menopause is higher than death from breast cancer.  The research about pomegranates does seem promising to help women overcome heart disease after menopause.   Pomegranates are also high in antioxidants which can help prevent LDL cholesterol from oxidising and leading to heart disease. 

BLOOD CLOTTING

One study in the Journal of Medicinal Foods showed that pomegranate juice slows down platelet aggregation and thins blood, preventing clotting.

IMPROVES CORONARY HEART DISEASE

Several different studies have found that cardiovascular health is improved with the use of pomegranate juice since it reduces plaque, increases nitric oxide, and may prevent plaque from building in the arteries in some patients.

A study in 2007 showed that drinking around 225ml of pomegranate juice daily for 3 months increased oxygen flow to the heart muscle in patients at risk of heart disease. 

BREAST CANCER

Laboratory studies have shown that the anthocyanidins, flavonoids, and oils found in pomegranates could help prevent breast tumours from developing.

Foods that contain phyto estrogens such as the pomegranate, do not increase the risk of breast cancer.  They act as a natural adaptogen which can increase your levels of estrogen when the body is low.  They can also block the stronger estrogens when levels are too high. 

In 2011, a study in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry compared the pomegranate extract to drugs such as Tamoxifen and Estradiol.  The researchers suggested that pomegranate extract may prevent estrogen dependant breast cancers.

Here is the study about Tamoxifen

http://bit.ly/2mFMS4t

HOW DO POMEGRANATES WORK THEIR MAGIC?

Around a 225ml glass of pomegranate juice contains about 40% of the RDA of vitamin C, and also is rich in vitamins A and E and folic acid.

Pomegranates contain antioxidants known as phytochemicals which can protect your cells in the body.  The juice of a pomegranate was found to contain high levels of antioxidants than most other fruit juices such as cranberry or blueberry and even more than red wine or green tea. 

I have always known that pomegranates were good for heart health but from doing more research I have found them to also benefit women during menopause.  So why not include some into your diet today either by drinking the juice or eating the seeds.

SOURCES:

http://bit.ly/2DIttIk

BERGAMOT ESSENTIAL OIL FOR HORMONE BALANCING

BERGAMOT ESSENTIAL OIL IS GREAT FOR HORMONE BALANCING

Essential oils are often overlooked as part of a healthy lifestyle. I have started to include these in my day to day life as part of a healthy lifestyle over the age of 40.
 
Young Living Bergamot Essential Oil is an excellent oil for hormone balancing.
 
Bergamot is a citrus fruit and the oil is made by cold pressing the rind of the fruit. It is used to flavour Earl Grey tea.
 
Bergamot is high in polyphenolic compounds (antioxidants)
 
It is the only citrus fruit to contain melitidin and brutieridin which has been proven to have anti cholesterol effects similar to statin drugs.
 
Bergamot essential oil is great to be used for a lot of the symptoms of perimenopause and menopause. 
 
 

HOW TO USE ESSENTIAL OILS

You can inhale them by rubbing some of the oil into the palm of your hand, hold your hands over your mouth and nose and breathe in. You can also apply the oils to your pulse points or the back of your neck. You can diffuse the oils in a diffuser which I love to do. You can also use for a massage by diluting the oils in fractioned coconut oil or other carrier oils such as almond oil. They can also be added to a hot bath.
 
HERE ARE SOME OF THE BENEFITS:-
 
HORMONE BALANCING
 
Bergamot essential oil can help with balancing your hormone levels and also blood sugar levels. Drinking earl grey tea can also have a good effect on hormone balancing because it contains Bergamot.
 
HEADACHE RELIEF
 
Bergamot essential oil can help promote nerve sensitivity so could provide some relief from headaches or joint pain. Apply a few drops to your forehead and behind your ear for headaches or you could diffuse the essential oil for relief.
 
AS AN ANTI DEPRESSANT
 
Bergamot oil contains limonene and alpha pinene which can have a stimulating effect. It can lift up your mood and give you an energy boost. It works by releasing the feel good hormones and also helps with digestion too to improve appetite and give you more energy.
 
FOR ANXIETY
 
The flavonoids in the essential oil can act on the glands to stimulate the production of neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine. The oil can help to you to relax.
 
SLEEP AID
 
Bergamot essential oil can help you to relax before bed so you get more sleep.
 
FOR CONCENTRATION
 
Bergamot essential oil can help with concentration as it helps to give you more clarity.
 
GOOD DIGESTION
 
Bergamot oil is good for digestion as it can help to promote the secretion of digestive enzymes and also bile flow so you can absorb the nutrients from the food you are eating. Rub some of the oil onto your stomach area.
 
You can also ingest Young Living Bergamot essential oil to help if you have some constipation or digestion discomfort. It is important that your digestion keeps moving everything out and you are moving your bowels daily.
 
I love to use Young Living Essential Oils because I have found them to be the best quality and they are therapeutic grade.  This means that you can ingest them.
 
How do you use Essential Oils and do you have a favourite one?
 

THE JOURNEY INTO MENOPAUSE – THE PSYCHOLOGICAL AFFECTS OF MENOPAUSE

THE JOURNEY INTO MENOPAUSE AND THE PSYCHOLOGICAL AFFECTS OF MENOPAUSE

When you think about menopause, what do you think? 

Most women cringe at the thought of Menopause and think its all about:

  • Old age
  • Lots of unpleasant symptoms
  • Wrinkles
  • Weight gain
  • Feeling unattractive
  • Loss of libido
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Just to name a few of the symptoms. 

Then you perhaps begin to feel gloomy about it all and anxious about what is going to happen to you!

It can be a bit scary when you read all about the health problems associated with Menopause.  Are you are wondering if you are at risk and asking the question of how you will age yourself?

Then there is BHRT and HRT to think about and what’s all that about?  Will it work for you, can you safely take it, is it worth it?

So there’s a lot to think about and a lot to worry about, a lot of the worry that you are doing is unnecessary worry and you can end up getting yourself in a right state and the hot flashes start before they have even started, if you see what I mean!

Let’s take a moment to look at what is really happening in your journey as a woman into the transition from perimenopause into menopause.

There are different stages that a woman can go through as she grows up.  As you go into your early 20’s you are full of energy and excitement of growing up.  Thinking about what you want to happen in your life:-

  • Do you want to get married?
  • Have children?
  • What car do you want to own?
  • What career do you want?

……and many other things that you would like to achieve. 

This is a time of creation. 

Your body is designed to alter its energy as the years go by.  Menopause is a time of reflection as your body begins to slow down and you stop being fertile and stop having periods. 

If you honour this time of menopause, you can create some time to listen to what’s inside of you.  You want to experience life in a different way.  Draw upon your inner wisdom at this time so you can get in touch with how you are feeling. 

It’s a difficult time for some women when children have grown up and have left the nest.  This may have left you feeling a bit lost and lonely, and asking a few questions about what is going to happen now for you. 

You could be asking the question about lots of things in your life such as:-

  • Is your job giving you the fulfilment and happiness you want?
  • Is your relationship with your partner giving you what you want?
  • What haven’t you accomplished yet in your life?
  • What changes do you want to make?
  • How can you live your life in a way you want and to take control of your health as you age?

Menopause is a wonderful time to focus on your own needs and wants.  What really re-balances you and nourishes you, physically and emotionally?

What are your solutions for a smooth transition into menopause?

There is a phrase that I love which is – “TO MATURE MEANS TO RIPEN”.

Menopause can be the best part of your life.

Your attitude will affect how you experience menopause:-

Women who are happy with their lives, experience fewer problems at menopause.

A negative attitude about menopause is associated with more symptoms of menopause.

Your body image pays a huge role in how you go through menopause.

Lower self esteem and a negative body image is associated with more severe menopause symptoms.

The degree of stress at menopause is different for every woman, but it is not due to how your symptoms are, its due to your attitude.

Your coping skills greatly affect your menopause.

Use this time for greater confidence and wisdom.

Do you want to learn something new – a study course, go back to college?

What comes first – your attitude or your symptoms?

So just to recap what we have talked about:-

Menopause can be an awakening to the rest of your life

It can be an amazing time

In your  40’s and beyond:-

  • You have more confidence with yourself
  • You know what makes you happy
  • You know what makes you sad
  • You care less what other people think about you
  • You live life to the full every day

Use this time to start a journal of your journey into menopause, make a note of your thoughts, feelings and emotions.  If you are unsure of your next step, ask for help from the universe.  Ask questions such as – what can I do to be happy?  The answers will come in time, just be patient. 

Are you wanting more help and guidance, someone who knows what you are going through?  I can help, I would love to get to know you.  I offer a free 30 minute chat.  Go to my website to book in a call with me. 

https://www.healthylifestyleover40.com/contact-us/