For many of us a New Year brings a renewed lease on life, the opportunity to make lasting changes and a swell of motivation to see it through. Though knowing that keeping resolutions can be fleeting, I thought I would share with you seven healthy habits instead, habits that you can take into this new year to make 2014 your healthiest and fittest year yet.
1. Stop Dieting
You can cross this one off your New Year Resolution list right now. One of the best decisions you can make this year is to stop dieting. Diets are temporary, and because you give up so much when you diet, you think about food all the time. Then when you stop dieting you overeat to make up for what you missed. This year break the cycle.
2. Eat healthy
Healthy eating on the other hand is not temporary, it means making changes you can live with and enjoy for the rest of your life. Not only is healthy eating more satisfying, it will help you get the right balance of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients your body needs, control and prevent many health issues, give you plenty of energy and help you look and feel great.
3. Drink more
Water that is. Water is vital for our body’s health and wellness. As your brain is mostly water, drinking it helps you think, focus and concentrate better and be more alert. Water also flushes out toxins, improves your complexion, moisturises your skin, reduces headaches (that are often caused from dehydration), aids in digestion, prevents constipation, raises your metabolism and aids in weight loss – plus it’s free!
4. Get moving
Okay so this is one most of us struggle with, but regular exercise has incredible health benefits and who says being active can’t be fun? Make getting active this year more exciting by choosing interesting activities like swimming, surfing, snorkelling, rock climbing and hiking. Partner exercise with something you love to do so it is more enjoyable. For example if you like being by the water, why not go for a 30-minute walk, run or bike ride beside it or take up rowing or kayaking?
Getting your body moving will not only make you look younger, fitter and thinner and feel more confident, you’ll prevent many life-threatening conditions, improve your muscle strength and joint function, boost oxygen and nutrient supply to all the cells in your body, you’ll sleep better, be less stressed and it can even boost your sex life.
5. Sleep more
Lack of sleep can really affect the way our bodies function and our quality of life, so this year make sleep a priority. When you get a good night’s sleep you concentrate better, make better decisions, remember things clearly, you’re in a better mood, your metabolism speeds up, you look more vibrant, you’re less likely to get ill and it’s proven to help us live longer. Pretty good incentive to turn off the television or put down that book a little earlier to get some more shut eye don’t you think?
6. Just breathe
Breathing deeply can do wonders for your body and your mindset. Did you know the body releases 70% of its toxins through breathing? Breathing also releases tension, brings clarity, relieves pain and it can help you control your emotions. Often when we are stressed we hold our breath, causing us to not think as clearly or concentrate as well, so this year take regular breaks to practice breathing deeply, I promise you, you’ll be more alert and you’ll feel more equipped to cope with whatever life has in store.
7. Do more of what you love
They say laughter is the best medicine and it really is. Life is too short not to be happy and do things you love with those you love. This coming year give yourself permission to have more fun, find what makes you happy and do it and most of all remember to laugh - a lot!What healthy changes are you making this year? I’d love to hear them!
|Posted in:WellbeingNutritionHealthy EatingHealth|
It’s hard to believe that your thyroid, a small butterfly shaped gland in the front of your neck could be so important to your body. While we usually associate thyroid issues with weight loss or gain, there are so many other important body functions that can be affected when your thyroid is over or under-reactive.
Being an endocrine gland, your thyroid stores and produces hormones that affect the function of almost every organ in your body. Thyroid hormone (Triiodothyronine or T3) regulates your metabolism and is associated with changes in your mood, body weight and energy levels. The thyroid hormone also boosts the function of your heart, skeletal system and the workings of every cell.
Unfortunately thyroid conditions are becoming increasingly common in Australia. In fact some experts are saying that one in 20 people will experience some kind of thyroid dysfunction in their life with women 10 times more likely to have thyroid issues than men.
With our thyroid being so important to our overall wellbeing it's important we monitor it to ensure it is working effectively. To help you here is a quick test you can perform to help you determine your thyroid health.
Your basal temperature and thyroid health
Low thyroid function can cause weight gain, mood swings and excessive tiredness, it can also result in a low body temperature, making your resting, or ‘basal body temperature’ as it is termed, an easy way to test if your thyroid is functioning below what it should.
Your body works best within a very narrow temperature range. Enzymes, hormones, vitamins and minerals work best between 36.5°C -37.5°C. For this reason your basal body temperature readings should be between 36°C -37°C, 37°C being ideal.
How to test your basal temperature
Testing your basal temperature is a reliable and non-invasive test that can be performed in the comfort of your own bed. All you need is a good quality thermometer and to follow these five simple steps.
- Place a digital thermometer by your bed before going to sleep at night
- As soon as you wake up place the thermometer in your mouth. It is important to make as little movement as possible, lying and resting with your eyes closed is best
- Do not get up out of bed until you have completed the test
- Read and record the temperature and date
- Perform this test on at least five mornings, preferably at the same time of day
Menstruating women must avoid doing this test around the middle of their cycle as body temperature naturally rises at ovulation. Men and non-menstruating women can perform the test at any time.
If your temperature is lower than 36°C consistently it is best to discuss these findings with your health professional and naturopath Rita Teixeira to discuss other diagnostic methods and a treatment plan to restore your thyroid health. Call the Resolve Health and Wellness Centre today on 1300 744 123 to make an appointment.
Holiday season is in full swing and with delicious treats increasing and time to burn off extra calories decreasing, what you do and don’t eat over the Christmas and New Year period and the weeks leading up to them can have a major impact on your health – and waistline. To help you over this deliciously tempting time, here are five ways to eat healthy this holiday season.
1. Use smaller plates and serving utensils
It sounds so simplistic, but using a smaller plate like a salad plate for your main meal, a small bowl for desert and smaller utensils to serve with, you can help reduce the portion sizes of what you are eating. What looks like a normal portion size on a large plate or in a large bowl, can often be deceptively big.
2. Choose foods wisely
With loads of tempting treats around, it’s important to choose your foods wisely so you fill up more on good foods and leave the treats as just that – treats. Choose leafy green salads, vegetable dishes, and lean proteins, not only will these be better for you they will also leave you fuller for longer and help you to maintain consistent energy levels.
3. Trim back the trimmings
Go all out on the tree, but when it comes to accessorising your food, do it mindfully. Little extras like dressings, sauces, butter, cream, gravy and cheese can often add more to your waistline than your meal. That’s not to say avoid them altogether, just use them sparingly and where possible enjoy your food in its naturally cooked state.
4. Concentrate on your meal while you're eating it
Enjoy the taste and smell of your food, chew it well and savour each bite. Research shows that when we are distracted while we eat, we consume more than we normally would.
That’s not to say you can’t still enjoy meal time conversation, you may just want to take a pause from eating while you do it so you are aware of what you are eating and can take note of when you are feeling full. Not only could save yourself from consuming extra calories, you’ll prevent that full, sluggish, tired feeling that comes when you’ve eaten more than you should have.
5. Watch what you drink
Choosing what you drink can often be as important as what you eat in terms of calorie intake. Fruit juices can be full of sugar so consider making your own fresh fruit juices instead. Not only will they be better for you, some combinations of fruit and vegetables can have great health benefits and help you consume a wider range fruits and vegetables than you would normally eat.
When it comes to soft drinks try to avoid diet drinks including zero sugar options. These are filled with artificial flavours which in addition to not being good for us can also increase our appetite. As for alcohol, if you want to consume less calories stick to clear alcohols. While red wine has been shown to be a powerful anti-oxidant, it has also been found to increase sugar cravings.What is on the menu for Christmas at your place?
|Posted in:NutritionHealthy EatingDiet|
While we often refer to our early caveman ancestors as “simple”, their simplistic diet of eating only what they could hunt or gather had incredible health benefits that we, in our complex society could learn from.
Only eating foods that were readily available like fresh meats, fish, seafood, fresh fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and healthful oils like olive, coconut, avocado, macadamia, walnut and flaxseed, not processed foods and products from the agricultural era like dairy, grains or legumes, it's no wonder diseases and conditions like diabetes, cancer, heart disease and obesity didn’t exist.The Paleo diet or caveman diet as it's often called is about following their early example and eating wholesome, contemporary foods our hunter-gatherer ancestors would have thrived on during the Paleolithic era to improve our health and wellbeing.
So why should you give it a go? Here are just six of the benefits you can experience when you follow the Paleo diet.
1. Eliminate toxins and get all the vitamins and minerals you need
The Paleo diet consists of real, whole foods so you eliminate nasties like preservatives, hidden sugars, sodium, additives, colours and flavors. But not only do you exclude unnecessary toxins from your diet, you also consume more nutrients.
Vegetables, healthy fats, nuts, seeds, berries and fruit are all full of minerals and vitamins. Combine consuming more of these foods with avoiding irritating grains and legumes and you also improve your gut health and nutrient absorption levels. By eating a rainbow of foods you’ll get all of the nutrients and vitamins you need for your body to thrive.
2. Lose weight and sustain your weight lossOften just by removing processed foods and lowering carbohydrates you can experience weight loss, but that is only the beginning.
The types of foods you consume on the Paleo diet are those that are proven to boost your metabolism and immune system as well as help your body burn more fat. Combine this with living an active lifestyle and you will not only lose weight, you’ll keep it off.
3. Eliminate or reduce allergies
Because you are minimising or avoiding many of the foods that are considered central allergens (foods that appear regularly in your diet on a daily basis that your body has an intolerance to) like dairy products and grains, you can find that your allergy symptoms are greatly reduced or eliminated altogether.
4. Reduce bloating and improve digestion
Sugar, processed foods and unhealthy fats can cause inflammation in our intestinal tracts and make us feel sluggish as we have trouble digesting them.
The Paleo diet provides lots of fiber, single ingredient foods that are easy to digest and a small intake of sodium which can help decrease bloating. This along with adequate water intake will reduce your bloating and digestive issues.
5. Reduce inflammation and increase system function
Healthy fats are essential in maintaining healthy arteries, brain function, healthy skin, as well as decreasing systemic inflammation and reducing the risk of diabetes and even cancer.
On the Paleo diet you get healthy saturated fat from grass fed meat, poultry, seafood, butter and coconuts. You also get plenty of monounsaturated fat and a small amount of polyunsaturated fats from olive oil, nuts and seeds, a healthy ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 fatty acids and no trans fats.
6. Look and feel great
When you start rewarding your body with healthy, clean food, your body will reward you too. You will you look and feel great – often better than you ever have before. But not only that, your taste buds will actually come to life. You’ll find that food has even more flavour, tastes even better and can be an even greater pleasure than before.So what do you think is it worth a try? If you would like some more information on the Paleo diet of if you have any questions you’d like answered, please feel free to comment below or contact us on 1300 744 123.
|Posted in:Paleo DietNutrition|
Five tips to help you beat hayfever symptoms
Continual sneezing, a runny or stuffy red nose, itchy ears and throat, hayfever is enough to make your eyes water isn't it? But the good news is that you don't have to suffer through spring and autumn cursing nature, there are steps you can take to ease your hayfever suffering.
With this in mind, here are five tips to help you beat your hayfever symptoms and put spring back in your step.
1. Determine what is triggering your AllergyThe first way to gain control over your hayfever is to find out what is triggering your allergy. To do this you need to monitor when you experience your symptoms.
If your symptoms are worse in spring, it could be caused by tree or grass pollen. If it is worse in autumn, it could be an allergy to weed pollen. If you find it's flaring when the weather is warm it could even be a reaction to fungi and mould spores. If you aren't sure, contact your naturopath or physician to help diagnose your allergy.2. Avoid certain foods
Often the hayfever symptoms you are feeling are a secondary allergy and they're presenting because of an underlying allergy or intolerance to certain food you eat on a daily basis. These central allergens as they are often called include foods like dairy products, wheat and wheat products, food additives, coffee, chocolate, citrus fruits, corn, eggs, oats, nuts, gluten, yeast and glucose.
Because our bodies are so busy trying to fight central allergens, when another allergen like pollen comes into contact with us our bodies can't deal with it and it causes an allergic reaction. This is why most people find their hayfever dramatically reduces or goes completely when they eliminate the foods they are reacting to from their diet.
3. ProbioticsAllergies are caused when your immune system over-reacts to substances like pollens that shouldn't normally cause you a reaction. Seeing the substance as a threat, your body mounts a strong immune defense against it and it causes an allergic reaction.
With the majority of your immune system located in your gut, probiotics can be a great way to bring balance back to your over-reactive immune system by restoring the good bacteria that is often compromised.4. Anti-histamines and steroid sprays
While they don't provide a long-lasting cure, antihistamines and steroid sprays can help to supress your allergy symptoms and provide temporary relief when it gets too much.5. Allergy-proof your home
There are a number of ways you can limit the amount of allergens inside your house including:Take steps to prevent mould and mildew in your kitchen and bathrooms
Remove unnecessary carpets or have them cleaned regularly
Remove dust collecting items like throw pillows and blankets
Wash clothes regularly and put them away quickly
Keep pets outside
Keep windows closed when pollen and mould counts are high
Use special allergy-free pillows and bedding
By following these tips you will be able to minimise your hayfever symptoms and have them present less often. The key to a long-lasting cure though requires comprehensive identification of your allergic reaction and treatment of the underlying causes.
At Resolve Health and Wellness take a proactive approach to finding what is out of balance in your body and, using a range of natural therapies to treat it, put you back in balance.
Stop letting your allergies run your life, call us today on (07) 5525 2211 or contact us via emailclick here
|Posted in:Allergies - Hayfever|