healthy lifestyle

Hydration - Quick Tips

Hydration.jpg

Did you know that on average, Americans drink a little more than four glasses a day!! By not hydrating yourself adequately you can affect your workout, your weight — even your brainpower. Here are just a few quick tips to help you hydrate!

1. Make drinking water a daily habit

2. Feeling thirsty or experiencing dry mouth, flushed skin, fatigue, or head-ache can all be signs of dehydration. Hydrate the body with some water before reaching for panadol

3. Plain water too boring, try adding fresh lemon or lime juice or a handful of berries.

4. To increase your fluid intake, enjoy a few pieces of fruit a day, as well as some
homemade vegetable soup. For example 1 cup cooked sliced zucchini  contains 6 oz of water!!

5. If you find you get to the end of day without finishing your water bottle set a timer as a reminder to drink a glass of water every hour or so!

And remember you don't need to guzzle a gallon of H2O during your exercise session, simply drink to satisfy your thirst and you'll take in what you need.

Calories - The Basics

Calories FB.png

Before I leave you to delve into this blog I’d like add that I am not here to tell you or condone calorie counting, as it can become very destructive and turn into a obsession rather than listening to your body! I am providing you with a brief understanding on what a calorie is and how tracking your intake can make a impact on your health, both positively and negatively.

tapemeasure.jpg

To lose weight, you need to eat fewer calories than you burn. In theory, this sounds simple. However learning and understanding how to manage your intake of food can prove to be a tricky task! As we are constantly bombarded with information whether it be from friends, TV, magazines or social networks about calories it can makes it hard to know what’s right and what’s wrong!

Firstly, what is a calorie?
A calorie is a measure of energy. In science, it's defined as the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of 1 kilogram of water by 1 degree Celsius. We use calories that we eat and drink for essential functions such as breathing and thinking, as well as day-to-day activities such as walking, talking and eating! Excess intake of calories causes what you eat to be stored as fat therefore consistently eating more than you burn will cause weight gain overtime.

The United States government states that the average man needs 2,700 kcal per day and the average woman needs 2,200 kcal per day.

Keep in mind not everybody needs the same number of calories each day! People have different metabolisms that burn energy at different rates, and some people have more active lifestyles than others.

The recommended intake of calories per day depends on several factors, including:
• overall general health
• physical activity demands
• sex
• weight
• height
• body shape

Your body needs calories to survive! Without energy the cells within your body would begin to die, the function of your heart and lungs would stop and your organs would not be able to carry out the basic processes needed for living!

Now, not all calories are equal! The number of calories in food tell us how much potential energy the contain but not only calories that are important, the substance from which the calories is taken from is vital! These so called “empty” calories are those that provide energy but very little nutritional value. The elements of food that provide empty calories contain next to no dietary fiber, amino acids, antioxidants, minerals or vitamins! Empty calories can be made up of solid fats and added sugars. Solid fats are either naturally found in foods or can be added when foods are processed. Added sugars are sugars and syrups that are added then food or beverages are processed!

e-book Page13a -COVER copy.png

• Cakes, cookies, pastries, and donuts (contain both solid fat and added sugars)
• Sodas, energy drinks, sports drinks, and fruit drinks (contain added sugars)
• Cheese (contains solid fat)
• Pizza (contains solid fat)
• Ice cream (contains both solid fat and added sugars)
• Sausages, hot dogs, bacon, and ribs (contain solid fat)

The foods and beverages above are the main sources of empty calories but many can be found in no solid fat or added sugar products such as low-fat yogurt, no fat cheese or sugar free soft drink.

Choosing unsweetened applesauce or extra lean ground beef, can help keep your intake of added sugars and solid fats low but remember a small amount of empty calories is okay and won’t kill you! It is important to limit empty calories to the amount that fits your calorie and nutrient needs.

01-Nutrients-Even-Nutritionists-Dont-Get-Enough-Of-1024x683.jpg

The main thing I would like you to take away from this blog is to ensure your diet is filled with whole, nutrient dense foods which will help you limit your intake of empty calorie foods!

Ditch counting calories and ....
• Opt for nutrient-dense options that our great-grandparents would recognise as food
• Go for a wide variety of in-season produce and ingredients
• Cook, which really is the key to it all
• Cut out processed foods
• Focus on regaining our natural appetite and cutting the cravings

Apple Cider Vinegar.. Yes, No, Maybe?

Apple-Cider-vinegar-ACV.jpg

What is all the fuss about you may ask? Yes Apple Cider Vinegar is a great addition to a salad dressing but is it really a health miracle?

It is touted as a natural health cure, with a number of suggested health benefits such as weight loss, improved heart health & even treats dandruff. Although some of these health claims have potential, with small studies to back them up. Others, however, have little to no evidence of their validity.

Yes some small studies show encouraging results for apple cider vinegar's weight loss benefits. Though it may help with weight loss and health conditions, apple cider vinegar should NOT take place as a soul weight loss method!

Evidence-based weight loss plans encourage people to:
- Cut back or avoid processed foods and added sugars
- Focus on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats
- Exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week

Apple cider vinegar is good to include but definitely NOT an essential! If you are keen to try start adding 1 - 2  tablespoons to a glass of water to enjoy in the morning upon waking!

 

 

Nothing but avocados!

avocado-fruit-berry.jpg

Nothing beats a perfectly ripe avocado with a squeeze of lemon, pinch of chilli flakes and a touch of Himalayan salt! Avocados are a true super hero! Not only are they are great source of vitamins C, E, K and B-6 but they are also full of healthy fats that help in keeping you full and satisfied so you don’t crave sugary foods! Eating healthy fats supports skin health, enhances the absorption of vitamins and minerals! This is way it is so important to include healthy fats into your diet! If you want to learn more about healthy fats check out my blog post HERE!

Beat the 3pm Slump

We are know that feeling too well! You’ve smashed out your workout for the day, ate a nourishing, healthy breakfast and lunch but as soon as the clock strikes 3pm all you feel is something naughty like chocolate or chips! Hands up if this is you!

To help you beat the 3pm monster, here is a few snack ideas that you can either keep in your desk draw, your hand bag or at home in the cupboard! Just somewhere you can reach easily when those munchies hit!

Bliss Balls
Bliss balls is definitely the go-to snack for all you sweet tooths as they will not only kick your cravings but will give that extra burst of energy for the afternoon. Just beware of store bought ones that they aren’t packed with added sugar and it’s all natural! Here is one of my favourite bliss ball recipes!

Bliss Balls.jpg

RAW SALTED CARAMEL BALLS
Makes 18 Balls
Ingredients:
- 1 cup cashews
- ½ cup dessicated coconut (without preservatives)
- 1 scoop of quality protein powder of your choice (pea, rice or whey)
- 15-16 Medjool dates
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup or rice malt syrup
- 2 tablespoons raw pepitas
- 2 tablespoons water
- Pinch of salt
- Extra coconut for rolling

Instructions:
1. Blend cashews first in a food processor until in chunk-form
2. Add all other ingredients and blend until formed
3. Pour extra coconut into a bowl or on a plate
4. Roll mixture into small balls and coat in the bowl of desiccated coconut
5. Freeze to set and enjoy
6. These balls will last in your freezer for 2 weeks and are equally delicious if stored in the fridge, once set.

Hummus & Veggies
You truly can’t go wrong with a bit of hummus and veggie sticks! Super simple to prepare and can easily be placed Tupperware container to keep at work or in your handbag for on the go!

Berries & Yogurt.jpg

Yogurt & Berries
Natural yogurt or greek topped with berries is a perfect low-GI snack! Low-GI snacks are slowly digested and absorbed which provides more stable blood sugar levels and will help you maintain healthy energy levels! As well as the above benefits this delicious snack will also give you a hit of antioxidants and good bacteria plus it helps satisfy your sweet tooth!

Trail Mix
Trail mixes are a super easy and healthy snack as it provides protein, healthy fats and fibre to keep you satisfied until dinner! This snack also contains zinc, magnesium, calcium and vitamin E!! You can create your trail mix with raw mixed nuts and seeds (think almonds, Brazil nuts, walnuts, sunflower and pepitas seeds, along with some dried fruit (such as goji berries, prunes, raisins or dates).

Don’t forget you can receive 50% OFF My New Year Bundle for the month of January! All you need to do is subscribe to my newsletter to receive the discount code! Subscribe HERE!

Let's Reset

Do you feel like your body’s natural systems are a little off balance? Whether it’s from stress, too much caffeine, or diet irregularities. The good news is, there are simple changes you can make to reset your body and get it back to 100% so you can feel amazing.

Regardless of how healthy you eat and how much exercise you get in, there are ways we need to reset mentally and emotionally to help optimize our health. It can be really frustrating if you feel sluggish and tired even if you’re following a healthy lifestyle, so here are some helpful tips to help you reset your body!
 

Tip 1: Drink enough water!

Yes I know this is an obvious tip but dehydration can sneak up on you in the most inconspicuous ways! Even when we don’t sweat as much like in the summer, our bodies still need water. Aim to drink 3 Litres of water a day. Try starting your day with hot water and lemon, this will help fire up your digestion and detoxification process.

Berries.jpg

Tip 2: Increase your intake of
anti-inflammatory foods!

Eat more natural, unrefined foods that won’t inflame your gut. They also support everything from a balanced micro-biome and strong bones to helping fight cancer.  Anti-inflammatory foods include tomatoes, green leafy vegetables (kale, spinach etc.), nuts (almonds and walnuts), fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, tuna..) and fruit (strawberries, blueberries..).
 

Tip 3: Limit your coffee intake

Too much coffee can lead to the jitters, poor sleep, and a roller coaster in your energy. Yes, coffee has some great health benefits too, but just like anything when consumed too much it may cause an increase in stress hormones and poor sleep. If you need a pick me up in the afternoon, try a cup of herbal tea, or even a brisk walk outside.

Sophia McDermott Drysdale meditation.jpg

Tip 4: De-Stress

Do something that de-stresses you every day like going for a walk, taking a yoga class, setting aside time to meditate, listen to music, cook, call or catch up with your loved ones etc. Resetting isn’t just about the physical, it’s mental/emotional and so important we take time to prioritise what makes us joyful and happy at the end of the day!
 

 

 

Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric White Fish (Serves 2)

diseases-depression-turmeric-THS.jpg

INGREDIENTS
1 tbsp grated fresh or dried ginger
1 tbsp fresh or dried turmeric, grated
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp tamari soy sauce
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of ground black pepper
2 x 200g white fish fillets
1 lime
1 bunch coriander – leaves and stalk
1/4 cup coconut water or water

METHOD
1. Combine ginger, turmeric, garlic, tamari, lime juice and olive oil into a bowl.
2. Fold in the finely chopped coriander root.
3. Spoon paste over the fish fillet and massage well on both sides.
4. Heat a pan over a medium heat and add the fish fillet.
5. Pour in 1/4 cup of water or coconut water then place on the lid and reduce the heat.
6. Braise on a low to medium heat for eight minutes
7. Serve with your choice of salad or vegetables & Enjoy!

101: Cooking with Fats & Oils

oleos-omega-6.jpg

My recent Article for Whole Life Challenge breaks down all you need to know about Cooking with Coconut Oil! Cooking with fats and oils can be really confusing and hard to understand so throughout my article I go into detail about how oils change when you heat them, their smoke points and what is healthy and not so healthy. I also talk about the level of refinement and how this process produces trans fats which are lethal.

To read more of the articles I have written for Whole Life Challenge, click Here!

Sleepy Brain = Sleepy Body

You might not believe it now but being short on sleep can really affect your weight! Yes I know we all live such busy lives and sometime you need to make sacrifices to complete all your jobs but this is something that should become a priority!!

 Do you find yourself reaching for a large latte or two to get you through the day?! Or have you been tempted to skip a workout because you're too tired and get take away for dinner? Well this can not only explain the reason why are you are struggling to lose weight but may cause you to be less motivated to get moving! 

Ensuring you get enough shut-eye is as important to your health, well-being and your weight as are diet and exercise! Achieving less than seven hours of sleep per night can reduce and undo some of benefits from weight loss. As when you have a “sleepy” brain it ultimately sets your brain up to make poor decisions, therefore dulling the activity into the brain's frontal lobe that is in charge of decision-making and impulse control! (TIP: Don’t do your weekly grocery shopping on little sleep!!)

Other than the effect on your brain function, insufficient sleep can affect your levels of insulin. Insulin regulates the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and protein by promoting the absorption of, especially, glucose from the blood into fat, liver and skeletal muscle cells. So when insulin is functional well, the fat cells remove fatty acids and lipids from your bloodstream and prevent storage. BUT if you consistently don’t allow yourself enough sleep you will become more insulin resistant eventually leading to excess insulin which ends up as stored fat in all the wrong places!!

 Enough of the fact and onto some tips to help you ensure you get at least 7 hours of sleep!

sleep-hygiene.jpg
  • Shutdown your computer, mobile, and TV at least an hour before you head to bed
  • Keep your bedroom for only sleep and sex! Think relaxation and release, rather than work or entertainment. So try and avoid having a desk or computer in your room, save that for the office or kitchen bench!
  • Create a bedtime ritual. Instead, take a warm bath, meditate, or read.
  • Stick to a schedule, waking up and winding down out at the same times every day, even on weekends.
  • Watch what and when you eat. Avoid eating heavy meals and alcohol close to bedtime.  And steer clear of soda, tea, coffee, and chocolate after 2 p.m. (Keep in mind this is different for everyone!)
  • Ensure your room is dark as darkness cues your body to release the natural sleep hormone melatonin, while light suppresses it!

These tips are pretty basic but trust me they you will see the results!