Everyday Hormones That We Experience Every Day

Hormones are signals that tell the organs in your body that it’s time to perform a particular action. For example, when to sleep, when to digest food, when to increase your heart rate and when to feel happy.

Notable hormones for your health throughout each day:

Insulin/Glucagon – Work together to regulate blood sugar concentration.

Leptin/ghrelin – regulate hunger signals. Leptin suppresses hunger signals and makes us feel full. This hormone is controlled by our circadian rhythm (daily cycle) so make sure you’re getting a decent 7 – 9 hours of sleep a night, otherwise your hunger signals will be out of whack. Ghrelin is the hormone that makes us feel hungry. Ghrelin levels increase before a meal to signal when our body requires more food then decrease after we eat so that we no longer feel that hungry feeling in our gut.

Endorphins – You may have heard that exercise brings on a rush of endorphins. This hormone is a natural pain killer and sedative which means it reduces anxiety too. And bonus, it signals your brain to increase serotonin too so you feel happy and calm.

Dopamine – Reward systems in the brain are controlled by dopamine. Repeated rewards lead to reinforcement of the behaviour which lead to the reward, for example when you train an animal with treats you reinforce a particular behaviour because the animal will continue to expect a reward each time. The same goes in our human brain. In this way, dopamine indirectly controls our behaviour and helps us to learn how to relate to the world around us.

Serotonin – Sometimes serotonin is called the happiness hormone because it is known to stabilise mood and make you feel happy. Serotonin is involved in many areas of our physical health including sleep regulation, appetite, communication between brain cells and improved memory and cognition. People with low levels of serotonin can be prescribed anti-depressants that involve keeping serotonin levels stable in the brain.

All of these hormone levels fluctuate throughout each day to keep your body functioning. Knowledge is power, the more you know about the hormones that create signals in the body, the more understanding you have of your own personal health.

Stay safe!

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Nutritious Delicious Fungi

Mushrooms are the meat of the vegetarian world. But they are neither meat nor vegetable. They are classified as fungi because of a few specific characteristics, for example, the cell walls are made of a material called chitin. This is why mushrooms are more nutritious when cooked because those chitin cell walls are too tough for us to digest to reach the goodness inside.

Fun fact: The mushroom part that pops out of the ground is actually the fruiting body of the fungus. You’re picking the fruit!

Types of mushrooms that you can eat:

Make sure you only eat mushrooms that have been picked by a professional. There are many mushrooms that contain toxins that they use to protect themselves from being eaten since they can’t run away from predators. Sometimes these poisonous mushrooms look very similar to safe mushrooms, which can prove fatal if you eat them. There have been recent reports of families being poisoned after they picked mushrooms in Australia that look almost exactly like the safe mushrooms from other countries. It is vital that you don’t go and harvest your own mushrooms without the proper knowledge.

There are so many types of good eating mushrooms all around the world. They all have different flavours so I encourage you to explore the exotic mushrooms at your grocery store. Some really delicious mushrooms you may have heard of are:

Enoki or enokitake

Shimeji

Shitake

Oyster mushroom

Vitamins, minerals and other benefits of eating cooked mushrooms:

Vitamins B1, B2, B12, C, D, E, folate,

Trace minerals such as potassium,

Amino acids,

Low calorie source of fibre and protein,

Antioxidants, especially when grilled or microwaved.

Best ways to cook mushrooms:

Grill or microwave mushrooms to get the most nutritional value out of them. These methods leave the antioxidant activity in tact (Source). You can also fry, boil or bake mushrooms to enjoy the beneficial vitamins and minerals.

Fun fact: The largest organism in the world is a fungus that spans a few km across in a forest in Oregon, USA.

What are your favourite ways to prepare mushrooms? Do you stuff them? Fry them with butter and garlic? Those are my favourite ways to enjoy mushrooms.

Instantly soothe insect bites

Mosquito season is upon us! Did you know only female mosquitoes bite? The males just eat nectar and other plant juices. The female needs to feed on blood for iron and protein to produce eggs.

If you’ve been bitten by a female mosquito looking for nutrients for her eggs, simply apply a dab of lavender oil directly to the bite. The oil stops the itching immediately. It’s my lifesaver during the warm months! I’m quite visible to biting insects so I combat the bites with essential oils. đź‘Ť

Order using this link: http://nskn.co/haV5ju

A little goes a long way. One bottle will be plenty for you to enjoy.

There are many ways to enjoy lavender oil.

  • You can massage it into your scalp to promote healthy hair growth.
  • Massage a few drops of lavender and peppermint oil it into your temples when you have a headache for instant relief.
  • Breathe in a whiff of lavender oil before bed to encourage relaxation into sleep.

How do you do lavender?

Unbreakable Fire always in my heart

Good news!

I’ve just registered the domain http://www.thefullcupwellness.com so this website is officially ready to go.

Now you might be wondering why the name change?

For those of you late to the party, this blog was called Unbreakable Fire until this week.

This week I have re-branded as The Full Cup Wellness. I hope you like it!

The Full Cup is a warm and comfortable place to share the best and worst of life.

I believe that knowledge is power against ignorance, ignorance begets hate and fear.

I hope to combat ignorance and share information on stigmatised topics as well as sharing uplifting and helpful information that can contribute to total health and wellness.

Wellness from the inside, out means looking at health as a whole.

Mental health, physical health, emotional intelligence and all that’s in between.

Come with me and let’s get those cups full.

Five ways to increase your metabolism

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

5 burpees

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 fullcupwellness1@gmail.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.

Be prepared with knowledge – Strokes

Australian National Stroke Week is this week so let’s have a spotlight on stroke awareness.

National Stroke Week is the Stroke Foundation’s annual awareness campaign. National Stroke Week runs from 3-10 September. It is an annual event which aims to raise the awareness of stroke within the community and encourage Australians to take action to prevent stroke. Throughout the week, all Australians are encouraged to:

• Be aware of what stroke is, how to recognise a stroke and what to do

• Live healthy to reduce the risk of stroke

• Get a regular health check

What is a stroke?

A stroke happens when blood supply to the brain is interrupted. Blood is carried to the brain by blood vessels called arteries. Blood contains oxygen and important nutrients for your brain cells. Blood may be interrupted or stop moving through an artery, because the artery is blocked (ischaemic stroke) or bursts (haemorrhagic stroke). When brain cells do not get enough oxygen or nutrients, they die at a rapid rate.

More than 80% of strokes can be prevented

How do you know if someone is having a stroke? Think F.A.S.T.

F: Face. Check their face. Has their mouth drooped?

A: Arms. Can they lift both arms?

S: Speech. Is their speech slurred? Do they understand you?

T: Time is critical. If you see any of these signs call 000 straight away.

A stroke is always a medical emergency. The longer a stroke remains untreated, the greater the chance of stroke-related brain damage.

For more information on stroke make sure you contact the Stroke Foundation. If you or someone you know has experience a stroke, this foundation are a fantastic source of information, and can refer you on to specialised programs for support, treatment and prevention. Go to strokefoundation.com.au.

Stroke is one of Australia’s biggest killers and a leading cause of disability

Reduce your risk

There are some stroke risk factors that you cannot do anything about, such as older age, family history, being male or already having a prior stroke. But for most Australians, you can reduce your risk and help prevent stroke by taking some simple steps:

Make time for a health check for stroke risk factors

Know your blood pressure and keep it down. You can control your blood pressure by changing your diet and lifestyle, particularly through regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight. The lower your blood pressure, the lower your risk of stroke. Your doctor can help you to regularly check your blood pressure or ask our friendly staff to check for you today.

Our bodies need a hormone called insulin to turn sugar from our food into energy. If you have type 2 diabetes, your body becomes resistant to insulin and it does not make enough insulin to keep up. This means your body has difficulty absorbing the sugars from food. If you have diabetes it is important to keep your blood sugars within a recommended range. Consult with your doctor or diabetes educator about management of your blood sugar level. Irregular pulse or irregular heartbeat is known as atrial fibrillation, or AF. To find out if you have atrial fibrillation, a doctor or nurse will check your pulse. If it feels irregular, they may refer you for more tests. If you experience symptoms such as palpitations, faintness, breathlessness or weakness, it is important to see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

Did you know stroke kills more women than breast cancer and more men than prostate cancer?

Take charge of your own health and live a healthy lifestyle

Keep active. Being inactive can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes, overweight and obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Over half of Australian adults do not do the recommended amount of physical activity. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most (preferably all) days of the week.

Eat healthy. Healthy eating is important for reducing your risk of stroke. Obesity, being overweight or having too much body fat can also be a contribution and affects a number of risk factors. Your diet should contain vegetables, fruit and grain, lean meats, poultry and fish, reduced fat milk and yoghurt. Substitute sweets for nuts or fresh fruit and steer clear from sugary drinks.

Quit smoking. Smoking doubles your risk of stroke. Within a month after a person stops smoking, blood pressure returns to its normal range. The risk of heart attack and stroke starts to drop immediately after a person stops using tobacco products, and can drop by as much as half after one year. After fifteen years your risk of stroke and heart attack is almost the same as that of a person who has never smoked.

Reduce alcohol consumption. Drinking large amounts of alcohol increases your risk of stroke through increased blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, obesity and irregular heartbeat. Drink no more than two standard alcoholic drinks on any day to reduce harm from alcohol-related disease or injury.

 

The key to longevity

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!