A New Years Note for you
We all start the New Year determined to create new, better habits, to create a new better us. The tricky bit is following through to the new YOU.
Does this happen to you? You wake up on the 1st January brimming with resolve. You decide to create new habits: eating right, exercising more, saving money. And you do it… for a few weeks.
Here are five changes for success in your health that are easy to achieve. I find once you take the easy steps in the right direction, the more difficult ones also become easy to achieve. You can make that first few weeks of resolve last as a long term change in your health.
As well as my tips, I have included below a €30 Gift Voucher for you to use against the purchase of any Food Intolerance or Food Detective Test on my website www.marycarmodynutrition.ie before the end of January.
See what happens when you make these 10 small changes to your lifestyle!
Improve your digestion by eating more fresh vegetables, fruit, seeds, nuts and fish in your diet.
Chewing your foods and eating slowly and mindfully makes all the difference as eating while stressed/on the go shuts down your digestion. Many foods such as fruit and vegetables contain enzymes that help food be digested but this only happens if food is eaten raw or lightly cooked. Having a good digestion affects your state of mind and also determines your longevity. Think of how awful you feel when you are bloated or have cramps in your tummy or even have a tummy bug.
Manage your blood sugar by eating every two and a half to three hours.
To balance your blood sugar, eat fewer fast-release foods (sweets, cakes and biscuits) and more slow-release foods (fresh fruit and vegetables, wholegrain carbohydrates). You also need to graze rather than gorge. Eat breakfast, lunch and supper – and introduce mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks. This provides your body with an even supply of fuel.
You could also add a daily spoonful of cinnamon to your porridge or smoothie as this may slow down digestion in the stomach and help with any sugar cravings.
Sharpen your mind
Eat more omega 3 rich foods (nuts, seeds, avocados, oily fish including salmon and mackerel) to feed your brain with “good fats”. Thirty years ago ‘fat’ was a demon: high in calories, bad for your heart and the cause of weight gain and has fuelled an epidemic of omega-3 deficiency. Today we know that Omega-3 fats are essential for good health, acting as natural painkillers and more potent antidepressants than conventional drugs.
It is also important to manage our homocysteine levels as high levels are not good for us and a LOW homocysteine score means a LOW risk of strokes, heart attacks, pregnancy problems, memory decline, depression, mental illness, osteoporosis and many other health issues. (See report here at https://www.patrickholford.com/advice/how-to- lower-your- homocysteine-level).
Cut down on the amount of meat you eat
Recent research published in BMC Nutrition has indicated that meat could be responsible for the worldwide spread of obesity. Researchers from the University of Adelaide studied obesity in 170 countries and found that sugar contributes to 50% of the spread of obesity while meat is claimed to behind the other 50%. Apparently, we get enough energy in our diets from fat and carbohydrates, while meat creates a surplus in terms of calories. I am not keen on too much meat in the diet – I would recommend you also explore plant-based sources of protein like tofu, quinoa, nuts, seeds, chickpeas, kidney beans and lentils in your diet. I recommend that my clients eat red meat at a maximum of 2 days a week. Include more beans and fish in your diet and always know your sources of foods.
WATER IS such a vital nutrient
Aim to have at least 6-8 glasses a day – more if you live in a hot climate. Remember, if you only drink when you’re thirsty, your body is already in a state of dehydration. Not drinking enough makes you tired and dries out your skin and your joints. It gives you headaches and reduces mental ability. It’s also a major cause of constipation. Hunger is often confused with thirst, so when you’re hungry, drink a glass of water. Your body retains more water if you drink little and often. It retains less if drunk with sugary drinks, or tea or coffee.
Try having a glass when you get up in the morning and with each meal and with your tea/coffees or if you are having an alcoholic drink and always carry a bottle of water with you when you are out and about.
Manage your stress levels.
This is very important to your overall health and even more important than any diet. Look at what it is that is stressing you out and write it down. Work out a plan/get help with this from a psychotherapist/ therapist/ doctor to help you fulfil this goal for 2017. You could look at doing a mindfulness course or learning TM( Transcendental Meditation), yoga, tai chi or downloading the free app called “Headspace” on your phone to help you manage stress.
Do your exercise
One of the myths about exercise is that you have to put in a lot of effort to reap any benefit. In fact, simply increasing your activity by just jogging, cycling, or swimming for 15 minutes a day or taking a 30 minute fast walking each day is associated with cutting your risk of premature death by about 20 per cent ! 3-4 hours of exercise a week is what is recommended which is very little when you look at how many hours are in a week. Incorporate exercise into your daily schedule by walking the children to and from school, or turning household chores into an aerobic work-out. Get a pedometer and monitor your daily steps for a week. Aim for 4,000 steps in the first week and 6,000 in the second week (this could be 3 miles).
Cut down on coffee and give up smoking if still do smoke.
Note how I said cut down on coffee rather than cut out as too much caffeine has been researched to have negative effects on our health. Replace your coffee with drinking more water to try herbal teas such as the fabulous array of Pukka teas available now in your supermarkets and health shops which cater for all tastes.
INCREASE your intake of antioxidants
The entire process of ageing, from your first wrinkle to worsening eyesight, depends on oxidation. Put simply, we make energy by combusting carbohydrate with oxygen. The net result is our own exhaust fumes called oxidants. This is the stuff that rusts metal and, ultimately, rusts us.
Bruce Ames, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of California, and one of the world’s leading experts on anti-ageing, was among the first scientists to propose that an optimal intake of antioxidant nutrients is the key to living a long and healthy life. You will get lots of antioxidants in your diet from fruits and vegetables in particular the berries and dark green vegetables. We encourage you to eat a rainbow of fruit and vegetables as generally, where you find the most colour and flavour, you will also find the highest antioxidant levels. Aim for five to ten servings daily of a range of fruit and vegetables to keep your intake high and source from your local markets or good supermarket.
The good news is that dark chocolate is also rich in antioxidant flavonoids too but try and resource a bar that has very little sugar in it too – Patrick Holford has a new one here which is good GLTY® Organic Chocolate with Cherry, Almond and Chia. It’s only 4% sugar and totally delicious.
FIND YOUR PURPOSE
Having a sense of purpose in your life is very important to your health and your sense of purpose changes throughout life. For example, taking care of your family may give you your feeling of purpose or doing some charity/volunteering work. Many people find their purpose through work that feels important meaningful. For most of us, being of service to others works, either by supporting causes that we feel passionate about or simply helping people we meet. And don’t forget your own self-development – the purpose of becoming the best you can be.
FOOD INTOLERANCE TESTING
Food allergies are relatively rare with only about 2% of the adult population being affected. Food Intolerance is very common.
Food intolerance is often confused with a food allergy. Mary can help you find out if you have a food intolerance and discover what it is. Food intolerance is a condition with a wide range of symptoms including: including gut symptoms, bloating, migraines, low mood, weight gain, fatigue and skin problems.
I am delighted to offer you a 30 Euro gift card to use on my website towards the purchase of any Food Intolerance Test before the end of January.
Click here to see what tests are available.
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