Seven tips to help you deal with lack of sleep

Posted by Rita Texeira on 19 March 2014
Seven tips to help you deal with lack of sleep

We’ve all experienced the ghastly effects of lack of sleep, the infamous red, puffy eyes, excessive yawning, the inability to think clearly or concentrate, irritability and a debilitating exhaustion that stops you from functioning properly.

While your sleep deprivation may be the result of a new baby, sick or fussy children, work deadlines, stress, medication, a big night or just a period of unexplained insomnia, one thing is sure, we all need to learn how to cope with it, hide the signs of it and where possible avoid it.

To help you, here are seven tips to help you deal with and treat lack of sleep so you are feeling more rested, relaxed and refreshed.

1. Eat well and regularly

When you don't get much sleep you can wake feeling ill and eating is often the last thing on my mind. But after a long fast overnight it's important to have a good breakfast and eat regularly throughout the day to maintain your energy levels. It's also a good idea to keep your meals light, often big heavy meals will leave you feeling more tired.

2. Watch your caffeine and sugar intake

When you're feeling tired normally the first thing you crave is sugar and caffeine. But while it can give you the "pick me up" you're looking for its effects are temporary and the crash that comes when it wears off can leave you feeling worse.

Instead try eating foods that are low GI as this will provide more constant energy levels as opposed to the highs then lows that come from caffeine and sugar. When you feel like you need a “pick me up” try an apple too. It has been said that the natural sugars in an apple can wake you up just as well as coffee and the energy burst will last longer.

3. Do some gentle exercise

According to research physical activity increases levels of the mood-boosting brain chemical serotonin, which decreases anxiety and can even help you sleep better.

So while exhaustion can leave you feeling lethargic and not wanting to do anything, pushing yourself to do some light exercise like taking a short brisk walk around the block or through the park or shops can help you feel a lot better.

4. Have an energy drink

A natural energy drink that is. If you find you’re getting tired in the afternoon and need a little “pick-me-up” instead of reaching for a coffee or chocolate bar try this natural energiser.

Take one litre of purified water and mix in:

  • 3 teaspoons of Vitamin C
  • 40mls of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 20mls of freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 40mls of Apple Cider Vinegar

This simple drink activates your krebs cycle and will give you the burst of energy you need, naturally.

5. Use the “jet lag protocol”

Joey Hayes, one of Australia’s leading strength and conditioning experts, has developed a “jet lag protocol” in order to minimise the effects of jet lag, though it also beneficial in dealing with sleep deprivation.

He suggests setting your alarm clock at sunrise on three consecutive mornings. When the alarm goes off sit up in bed. While staring blankly, shine a flash light in your eyes for 30 seconds (not an LED light as these will damage your retina, just a simple torch) and then get up – do not go back to sleep. At noon go for a walk for twenty minutes without sunglasses and go to bed no later than 11.00pm. Also avoid eating 2 hours prior to bed.

This simple process has been proven to stimulate your brain, resets your body clock, regulates the hormone cortisol and induces natural sleeping patterns.

6. Try herbal remedies

Herbals can deliver fantastic results and what’s more they are personalised for your own individual situation. To minimise stress and help you sleep we recommend a mix of Withania, B5, B6 and a high, good quality dose of magnesium to help calm, relax and de-stress you.

Want to find out more about other beneficial herbals? Feel free to give us a call on 1300 744 123.

7. Take time to rest and unwind

Make sure you build in time to unwind in the evening and get an early night. While it can be tempting to stay up especially if you have a mountain of work to get through or to catch up on tasks around your home, it's important you get your rest. There is no treatment or trick that will ever beat the real thing!

If it is out of your control though, due to kids not settling, then ask for help. Share the load with your partner, a friend or colleague (if work related) so you can have a break and get some sleep. You won’t function effectively without your rest so let yourself have it whenever the opportunity presents itself.

How do you deal with lack of sleep?

Posted in:WellbeingTirednessHealth  

Healthy Habits to Take into the New Year

Posted by Rita Texeira on 23 January 2014
Healthy Habits to Take into the New Year

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  

A quick test to determine your thyroid health

Posted by Rita Texeira on 17 December 2013
A quick test to determine your thyroid health

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.

  1. Place a digital thermometer by your bed before going to sleep at night
  2. 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
  3. Do not get up out of bed until you have completed the test
  4. Read and record the temperature and date
  5. 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.

Posted in:ThyroidWellbeingHealth  

Five ways to eat healthy this holiday season

Posted by Rita Texeira on 17 December 2013
Five ways to eat healthy this holiday season

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  

The Paleo Diet: What our caveman ancestors can teach us about health and wellbeing

Posted by Rita Texeira on 29 November 2013
The Paleo Diet: What our caveman ancestors can teach us about health and wellbeing

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 loss

Often 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  

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