I choose not to skip breakfast! Keeping your blood sugar level stable is the easiest way to prevent type 2 diabetes (which runs in my family) and keep brain function at optimal levels.
Did you know that your brain can’t function without glucose? That’s why when you’re hungry your body tells you to have high energy foods. It’s a defence mechanism, a quick band aid solution to your lack of energy. What your body is actually asking for is complex carbohydrates (Low GI foods) that can be broken down and digested into glucose molecules for the brain to use as energy.
Low GI foods such as brown rice, brown bread and grains are the best option for a hungry brain. They keep your blood sugar stable too!
I also reach for some protein in the morning to give my muscles the energy to tackle the day. Protein helps your body feel fuller for longer! The reason your body needs protein is because proteins are made up of amino acids, the building blocks of life. Your muscles, enzymes, cells, everything in your body needs that precious protein.
There are some myths currently floating around that could be harmful to the environment so I’m here to help with some mythbusting facts.
If I recycle my plastic waste I’m not harming the environment.
Fact: Many types of plastic cannot be recycled. Additionally, if non-recyclable items contaminate a bunch of recyclable products all of the recyclable items will be sent to a landfill.
This is why I can’t stress enough that COFFEE CUPS SHOULD NEVER BE PLACED IN A RECYCLING BIN.
Coffee cups are in no way recyclable. If these non-recyclable products contaminate the products being sent recycling, all of that recycling goes straight to the tip.
What you can do: Reduce use of all plastics. Bring your own coffee cup on your coffee run. Use canvas tote bags for all of your shopping and produce. Stop buying plastic toothbrushes (go for bamboo). Take advantage of this code for 15% off all purchases at Sand Cloud: VICK_Y15. Sandcloud.com has a selection of glass water bottles, metal straws and environmentally friendly organic sunscreen (packaged in a tin instead of plastic). You can feel really good about saving the planet with your next session of retail therapy.
Plastic pollution in the ocean isn’t harming humans.
Fact: Leaching of chemicals from plastics into our waterways not only affects our water but our food too. Large pieces of plastic break down into smaller pieces called microplastics. These microplastics are mistaken as food by sea creatures and are frequently ingested. The smaller fish that consume these plastics are consumed by larger fish until it gets to the top of the food chain, you and me! Do you really want to be eating food that is potentially contaminated with harmful chemicals?
Ocean plastic pollution mainly originates from dumping rubbish in the ocean
Fact: Plastics from all over the land can end up in the ocean, no matter where it was dumped. Most of the plastics that are now in the ocean originated from every day items that you and I use frequently – bags, bottles, caps, food containers. If we begin limiting the use of plastic in our lives we can make an impact on the reduction of plastic in the ocean.
Share your plastic reduction tips in the comments. My latest effort in waste reduction involves the use of beeswax food wraps and reusable ziplock bags to store my lunches for work! What’s yours?
Do you have a slow, sluggish metabolism impacting on your overall health?
Thankfully there are a few ways you can increase your metabolic rate.
Your metabolic rate is the number of calories you burn in a given amount of time, also known as calorie expenditure. The faster your metabolism, the more calories your body needs to function. So, how can we speed it up?
1. Strength train
The effect of exercise itself will increase your metabolism but if you also combine this with strength training exercises it will lead to the growth of muscle mass. The amount of muscle you have is directly associated with your metabolic rate. More muscle equals a higher resting metabolism, that is, metabolic rate when the body is at rest. Muscle loss is often associated with older age or a calorie-reduced diet. It’s important to continue promoting the growth of muscle mass so you are able to increase your resting metabolism which will significantly allow your body to burn more calories.
2. Move your body
Those very basic day to day activities such as standing up regularly, doing household chores, taking the stairs instead of the elevator or even fidgeting all count as getting your body moving! This particular boost in metabolic rate is known as non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT). In severely obese individuals, NEAT can account for a considerable portion of the daily calorie expenditure. Although the recommendation of moderate intensity physical exercise is 30 minutes per day, even light activities like walking around or your household work will boost your metabolism which is going to give you an advantage in the long run.
3. Do high intensity workouts
One of the most effective forms of exercise is high-intensity interval training (also known as HIIT). HIIT is a form of interval training which incorporates short bursts of workouts at intervals of often little rest in between. The positive effects of HIIT on your metabolism remain long after the workout is complete.
Try this HIIT workout and let us know how you go!
200m sprint (run or row)
20 kettlebell swings
15 box jumps
10 push press
30 seconds rest
Repeat 4 times
4. Eat protein
Eating sufficient amounts of protein is essential if you want to maintain or build your muscle mass. There are also many other health benefits of eating protein in your daily food consumption. All food leads to a temporary increase in metabolic rate however, this effect is much stronger after eating protein than after eating fats or carbs. Protein actually increases metabolic rate by 20–30% verses carbs and fat which only increases it by 3–10%.
5. Drink green tea
The benefits of consuming green tea are well known. Not only does it contain antioxidants aplenty and various nutrients it also boosts metabolism quite effectively. Studies have found that the consumption of green tea is associated with weight loss, especially around the belly. There are polyphenolic compounds called catechins present in green tea which stimulate fat oxidation and boost energy expenditure. This effect is even stronger when combined with exercise.
If you don’t enjoy the taste of green tea, or want to give your body a real boost, I recommend Tegreen capsules which contain the equivalent of 6 cups of green tea in one capsule. You gain all of the beneficial properties of green tea without burning your mouth on a cup of steaming hot tea.
I love receiving feedback because it’s so valuable! Here are some Tegreen (plus exercise) Before and After shots.
Note that belly fat is reduced by using Tegreen in conjunction with exercise as the boost in metabolism from the tea assists with extra expenditure of calories during exercise.
Comment below or send me an email at email@example.com to find out more information about supplementation with green tea and to place an order for Tegreen. Mention this post for 15% off all TeGreen supplement purchases.
The simplest way to ensure your meal seems adequately healthy is to note the colours on your plate (I’m looking at you beige and brown, bangers and mash). Or in your bowl (I’m not talking about a bowl of M&Ms!).
The colour of your food (also, not Skittles) can give you useful insight into which vitamins and nutrients are present in your fruits and vegetables. This is because the pigments that give the food their colour happen to reflect different wavelengths of light back at your eyes, which is how our eyes detect colour!
Red coloured foods contain lycopene (a carotenoid with a bright red pigment) and vitamin C which are both potent antioxidants that can provide protection against oxidants throughout our digestive system and in our lungs. Vitamin C and lycopene are able to enhance our immune system and protect us from cancer. Some lycopene-rich fruits to feast on are watermelon, tomato, dragonfruit (my favourite fruit!) and pomegranate.
Just a handful of strawberries per day could keep gut inflammation away
Yellow and orange
More carotenoids but this time they’re yellow and orange. The carotenoids in yellow and orange fruits (and green kiwi fruit) include beta-carotene which is converted to Vitamin A in our body. There is also lutein which is great for eye health, zeaxanthin (also for eyes) and cryptoxanthin. These antioxidants also work on boosting our immune system which is always a good thing. Especially since it’s our immune system which is our first line of defence against cellular mutations. Those mutations can end up as cancer if they aren’t caught in time! Orange foods to choose include fruits like oranges, mangoes, pawpaw, passionfruit and kiwi fruit.
Some of the antioxidants present in green foods are glucosinolates and isothiocyanates, which contain cancer–fighting compounds. Also present are lutein and zeaxanthin which are great for eye health. Green fruits and vegetables also contain plenty of other phytonutrients to help keep your brain healthy. Feast on asparagus, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, kale, Chinese greens, rocket (AKA arugula which is just so fun to say) and watercress. I always try to make sure I have some green poking out on my plate. Throw some side salad on your plate of steak and mash!
Blue foods contain anthocyanins, along with the ever abundant lutein and zeaxanthin. Again, these antioxidants protect cells against cancer-forming compounds and prevent brain disease through neuronal degeneration. Have a snack on blueberries and dark cherries — blueberries are more than just delicious! They contain more age-defying and disease-fighting antioxidants than any other vegetables or fruits.
Purple fruits are packed with flavonoids such as resveratrol. Flavonoids are the best for immune health, healthy blood vessels, stabilising blood pressure and can also have vision and cognitive benefits. Purple foods you ask? Try handfuls of red grapes, blackberries and mulberries. RED WINE is also full of resveratrol which is why a glass of red wine a day is so good for you! Just remember to limit it to just the one glass. Keep your liver happy.
Other than receiving nutrients from these foods there are other benefits to be had when enjoying fruit and vegetables.
“The sedentary lifestyle and dietary habits of many people in [the USA]—high-sugar, high-animal-fat, but low-fiber diets—may promote colonic inflammation and increase the risk of IBD,” state the authors of the study.
Decreased inflammation of the digestive system through the use of fruits like strawberries would have a huge positive impact on patients suffering from Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). IBD is chronic inflammation of parts or all of the digestive tract.
Inflammation in the gut has huge impacts on us all, not just IBD patients, so look after your health because you’re worth it.
Discover some fresh seasonal fruits and veggies at your local greengrocer this week!
If you’ve never heard of matcha, or you’ve heard it popping up everywhere lately and have no idea what it is, it’s a powdered form of green tea leaves. The leaves are of high quality and you’re obtaining the benefits of drinking the powdered tea leaves instead of discarding them in preference for the tea-infused water alone.
There’s a reason that the benefits of drinking green tea are so widely known and celebrated. It’s because those benefits are felt throughout the world!
Personally, I adore a cup of green tea to beat my afternoon slump when I’m falling asleep at my desk or I need a little pick me up. I’m quite sensitive to caffeine so a coffee is too intense for me if I have it after the morning.
If you’re wondering how this wonder drink can help you out here are some of the ways it helps others.
Although many people use green tea in meditation practices there is also a scientific reason why it’s a relaxing substance. Green tea can produce a calming effect thanks to the amino acid L-Theanine, which makes you feel relaxed without making you drowsy.
Improve concentration and memory
Green tea increases the production of dopamine and serotonin throughout the body. These are the hormones which boost your mood, you become more focused and your memory is ready to work at its best.
Oxidants are all around us. UV radiation and environmental pollution are the most frequently encountered oxidants. To combat these oxidants you’ll need some antioxidants. Antioxidants, called polyphenols, can provide protection against heart disease and some forms of cancer, improve blood sugar regulation, reduce blood pressure and provide anti-ageing benefits.
It sounds like a magical elixir but green tea is also known to boost metabolism reduce bloating. There’s nothing like avoiding the inevitable bloated feeling after enjoying a cup of green tea.
Boost energy levels
Sure caffeine is great and it’s present in green tea but it’s the nutrients in green tea that are the hero here. The right kind of nutrients that lead to that slow burn energy to help you get through the day.
Help flush your system of toxins by downing a cup of green tea. The properties of the tea will get to work on improving your insides.
In the family of flavonoids, Catechins found in green tea help lower LDL cholesterol, which decreases your blood pressure and reduces your risk of stroke.
As always, remember to consume everything in moderation. Avoid drinking matcha while pregnant, don’t drink green tea more than water and very likely be fine.
And if you don’t enjoy the flavour of green tea consider taking green tea supplements! Reply below if you’re interested in a super special secret 10% off green tea supplement offer. Worldwide shipping is available so get in touch!
Caloric restriction has been touted as the best way to achieve a longer lifespan. Diets that involve calorie restriction include the CR (Calorie Restriction) diet, 5:2 diet and intermittent fasting.
Recent scientific publications and articles have outlined the way a diet that involves some form of fasting can benefit the human body.
A quote from one of the articles concludes with:
Longevity in humans is still an unpredictable by-product of our myriad variations in individual biology, behavior and circumstance. The objective, according to researchers, is merely to make the healthy portion of our lives last longer.
So although caloric restriction is only one small part of the bigger picture for your total individual health over the span of your lifetime it is a potential change you can make in your life.
Some tips for trying out a caloric restrictive diet:
Limit alcohol consumption as we often forget that alcohol contains a lot of empty, nutritionless calories. This is true for all types of alcohol!
Meals that contain a higher percentage of protein will make you feel more full. Carbs are great as fillers but protein is best for those lower calorie “fasting days”.
Utilise those free calorie counting apps such as S Health which is compatible with Samsung devices or My Fitness Pal which is great for iPhone users.
Meal replacement products are often formulated to be high in protein and will help you feel full without going over your calorie limit.
If you’re interested in trying out some metabolism boosting supplements and meal replacement shakes that will assist in a calorie restrictive diet please comment below or contact me for more information!