Part Two Why Should You Eat Super Foods

Hope you enjoyed reading my first blog about super foods and the amazing health benefits. Here is part two why should you eat super foods.

Dark Chocolate

Yes you really can eat chocolate!!! This treat is packed with heart protective antioxidants, as well as bone supporting minerals magnesium, manganese, copper, zinc and phosphorus. Chocolate also contains phenylethylamine, which triggers the release of endorphins to boost mood and motivation. Eat a few squares a day to reap the benefits, that doesn’t mean a full block.

Walnuts

Are you feeling stressed? Munch on a handful of walnuts – studies show that the omega-3 fatty acid alpha linolenic acid helps your body handle stress more effectively and lower blood pressure. Walnuts provide protein, fibre, omega-3 and folate so they are an excellent little nut.

Beans And Pulses

Beans and lentils are a good source of iron and folate, which are needed for the production of healthy red blood cells and are particularly important for menstruating women, who are at increased risk of iron deficiency. They are also packed with antioxidants, fibre, protein and slow-release carbohydrates, making them a great source of energy. As an added bonus they are a good source of magnesium which is an essential mineral for energy production and preventing muscle cramps after exercise.

Avocado

Avocado’s are high in fat, but this type of fat can assist in getting you a flat stomach. They are a rich source of healthy monounsaturated fats which have been known to help disperse fat around your middle. Avocados also contain potassium, magnesium, folate, protein and cholesterol lowering plant sterols.

Flaxseed

Flaxseeds are a rich source of fibre, add one or two heaped dessert spoons of milled flaxseeds to your daily diet because this is an excellent way to ease PMS and acne. They also contain omega-3 fatty acid.

Broccoli

Broccoli is rich in plant compounds known as indoles and isothiocyanates, which have cancer fighting properties and help to eliminate excess oestrogens from the body, which are linked to some forms of cancer. Broccoli is also a PMS fighting food because it contains folate which boosts mood and calcium which helps with cramps and is so diuretic, so can help reduce bloating. It also contains vitamins A and C and iron. Aim to have two to three servings a week.

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Milk

A glass of semi-skimmed milk may be the solution if you suffer from PMS and stress. It is a good source of calcium and vitamin D, which together can help ease premenstrual symptoms. Milk is a source of tryptophan, which the body converts into the sleep hormone melatonin. You could try a cup of warm milk if you are prone to sleepless nights.

Bananas

I personally don’t like bananas, but if you are in need of a boost they are packed with nutrients that can help soothe and lift your mood, and are a natural source of tryptophan, which the body converts into the mood boosting neurotransmitter serotonin. Bananas are also rich in carbohydrates, making them ideal for when you crave comfort foods and they are a brilliant source of vitamin B6, which can help boost energy levels.

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Turmeric

This spice contains the anti-inflammatory ingredient curcumin, which can help ease muscles after a workout. Curcumin has been shown to protect against some cancers. You can add a tablespoon of turmeric to curries, soups an stews.

Eggs

Eggs are packed with protein therefore making them more satisfying than carbs and can promote lean muscle. They are great to have as a snack if you are feeling hungry. Also great to have for breakfast.

As you can see it isn’t that hard to include these foods in your diet and like I said in my last blog, you don’t have to include them all at one. It is worth a go if it can improve your health and how you feel. Hope you have enjoyed reading part two why should you eat super foods.

Karen x

How To Make Chickpea Power Salad

Looking for ideas for a different salad, then try the chickpea power Salad.

Chickpeas are a great source of energy and full of vitamins and minerals.

This recipe serves 2 people.

Ingredients

1 yellow pepper
1 can of drained chickpeas
Lettuce leaves of your choice
6 cherry tomatoes
1 clove of crushed garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp of balsamic vinegar

Method

Divide the lettuce leaves between two bowls.

Chop the tomatoes and divide between the two bowls.

Divide the chickpeas between the two bowls.

Chop the pepper and split between the bowls.

In a jar with a lid pour in the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and crushed garlic.

Give the jar a good shake so all the ingredients mix together and share between the bowls.

You may also like to try this Easy To Make Energy Balls or Flatbread Pizzas With Chickpea and Basil Pesto

Serve and enjoy.

This is super fast to make, therefore is great to take for your lunch or a quick and easy tea.

Hope you enjoy it if you give it a try.

Karen x

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What Happens When You Don’t Eat Correctly

Eating is something we do naturally and do every day probably without thinking.

Firstly digestion begins in your mouth.

If you do not chew your food properly or eat too fast it will affect your body’s mechanism which tells you when to stop eating.

This can result in you eating too much and impact on your digestive system.

The extra quantity of food will put stress on the system and the speed you eat creates more problems for your digestive system.

Your taste buds will be overwhelmed and therefore the correct messages won’t be sent to the brain to prepare the right digestive juices to breakdown the particular food.

You might also fine this helpful. How To Stop Feeling So Tired

In conclusion stop and think when you sit down for a meal, don’t rush and chew you food slowly. I know this can be hard if you are busy working from home and sometimes feel that you can’t take a break from work.

Taking a break from your desk will help you to feel better and your body will thank you for it.

Have a good day.

Karen x

How To Stop Feeling So Tired

Feeling tired can be a common problem for many people, I think even more so at the moment.

What could be making you feel so tired?

There are some diet and lifestyle changes you can make to help, but it is always best to checked out by your GP to rule out any medical conditions.

Start your day well

Start your day with breakfast, I know some people don’t feel like eating first thing in the morning, but it is important to give your body the energy it requires to face the day. You don’t have to make a full English breakfast, it can be a simple bowl of porridge, a smoothie, make your own granola or eggs on toast are just a few ideas.

Are You Giving Your Body Enough Fibre?

If you are not having enough fibre it can cause constipation which can make you feel really sluggish. Fibre helps to regulate the amount of glucose in your blood, keeping your energy levels up and helping your ability to concentrate and learn. Make sure you eat plenty of vegetables, fruit, pulses, nuts, seeds and wholegrains.

Make Sure You Are Eating Enough Iron-Rich Foods

If your body is lacking in iron, your body won’t have enough red cells to carry oxygen round your body and this can make you feel tired and listless. It could eventually lead to anaemia. The best sources of iron include liver, lean red meat, egg yolks, canned fish, fortified cereals, nuts, seeds, dark leafy greens, pulses and dried fruits such as prunes, apricots and figs.

It Isn’t Just What You Eat What You Drink Is Very Important Too

Water is essential to energize you. Aim to drink 2 litres of water a day. Avoid sugary drinks as they have high GI which will give you a burst of energy followed by a slump. Also think about what you are drinking at night as having caffeine or alcohol can impact your sleep, which will affect how you feel the following day.

Vitamins And Minerals

If you eat a healthy balanced diet then you should be getting enough vitamins and minerals. If you are not sure do a food diary for a week and look at all the foods you are putting into your body. Also think before you eat and ask yourself how will I feel after I have eaten it. Try to ensure your diet includes foods containing Zinc, phosphorus, potassium and some of the B vitamins as these all play an important part in making and releasing energy. Magnesium can help you to sleep better so that is another important one to consider.

Are You Exercising?

This can be hard when you don’t have any energy. Exercising in a morning is a natural energizer and will set you up for the day. This can also help you to sleep better at night. I try to do either yoga or hula hooping in the morning. Going for a walk in the first thing is an excellent way to start your day. If you don’t have time in a morning, just try to ensure that you don’t do it too late in the evening as this again can impact sleep.

Hope this helps to give you more energy and feel less tired.

Karen x

Why Should You Exercise?

If you are not a person who really enjoys exercise then it can be hard to motivate yourself to do it.

Exercise has been shown to increase self-esteem. When we feel good about ourselves it encourages us to take care of our health and wellbeing and support us in our efforts to change. Try to make some form of exercise a priority and make time for it, because it is vital for your health and it will improve your mental outlook, mood and self-esteem.

Exercise is a fantastic stress buster and just a moderate increase in your level of exercise can leave you feeling calmer and in control. Whenever you feel stressed or anxious, take a long, brisk walk and see if you feel better afterwards. Exercise discharges the stress hormone such as cortisol, that accumulates due to chronic stress. Exercise increases the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain and stimulates the release of mood-lifting endorphins that relieve pain – a natural opium known as the runners high. These changes in the brain chemistry make us feel euphoric and exhilarated.

It has been shown in several studies that exercise can be as effective as antidepressants or traditional psychotherapy in elevating mood.

The more intensely you exercise, the more of these chemicals you produce, helping you to feel better and better.

If you haven’t exercised for a while then build up slowly, don’t try to do too much at once. If you are recovering from illness build up slowly and don’t over do it. I had Covid in April and im still not back at the fitness level I was before. I have to build it up slowly because if I do too much it will massively impact how I feel the next day and can result in me taking a step backwards.

Below is some of the amazing benefits of exercise:

Maintains weight loss over the long term

Increases resting metabolic rate

Improves strength and stamina

Improves muscle tone

Improves joint flexibility and suppleness

Strengthens back muscles and eases pain

Strengthens heart muscle

Improves lung function

Improves digestion

Helps reduce food cravings and regulates appetite

Slows down the body’s ageing process and helps you look better

Reduces stress and anxiety

Improves mental clarity

Elevates mood

Increases self-esteem and self confidence

Increases energy and reduces fatigue

Increases the production of endorphins, helping you to feel calm

Helps you sleep better

Reduces the risk of heart disease

Lowers blood pressure

Reduces the risk of mature onset diabetes

Improves your insulin/blood glucose mechanism

Reduces cholesterol to healthy levels

It feels good

My main exercises at the moment are yoga and walking.

Yesterday I had a little robin on my walk with me.

Due to the situation we are all in at the moment it is definitely worth trying to do some exercise to improve how you feel.

Go for a walk and enjoy your day.

Are You Struggling To Lose Weight?

The first step on the path to losing weight is to recognise that what works for someone else may not suit you. Becoming stressed out about sticking to a punishing diet because some celebrity endorses it is not going to get you anywhere, not at least because feeling ravenous, light-headed and grouchy seriously affects your ability to cope with the demands of a busy life. I know I get really grumpy if I am hungry and have not eaten enough.

Stressed out busy people tend to turn to food and drink as their main source of relaxation at the end of a frantic day. I think most people are guilty of this including myself. If you are trying to lose weight try to build a more life affirming activity into your evenings such as mediating, yoga, exercise, reading or phone a friend for a chat. The more you make your life well rounded the less you will want to take solace in food. The best thing you can do for your body and mind is to exercise. I find putting headphones on while exercising helps as you can totally switch off to anything else going on around you or doing yoga as you have to concentrate and switch off to other things because if you don’t you will lose your balance!!

Rather than becoming fixated on achieving a particular weight, the crucial thing is to stay positive by envisioning your body looking slimmer and healthier. How you feel in yourself is far more important than how much you weigh. Be realistic your body is likely to be an apple or a pear shape and although you can become a slimmer apple or pear you will probably never be able to switch. Record your dimensions this allows you to focus on your change in shape, which is what a lot of us care about. How your clothes feel are they becoming loser? I judge off my clothes a lot of the time.

Some people use diet pills and appetite suppressants to help lose weight, yes they can help you lose weight initially, but they are not a long term solution and they can be damaging to your health. People who lose weight very quickly, tend to put it back on and more once they stop the pills. Yo-yo dieting is certainly not good for you. One of the easiest and best ways I find to start with is to do a food diary, but you must be completely honest or you are just cheating yourself. Many people are shocked by how much they are actually eating. It means writing down every snack and every drink. It can be as simple as that for you to understand why you are not losing weight. People snack when they are bored, learn to recognise the different signs are you actually hungry?

Chew your food slowly and concentrate on its flavours and textures it will also increase your sense of satiety, unlike shovelling down a sandwich while you are on the phone at work, so choose something you will enjoy eating and take the time to savour it. Losing weight takes time there is no quick fix, it is a life change. Set your yourself small achievable goals. Don’t start wanting to lose 5 stone as it will feel like it is impossible break it down and choose rewards when you reach a goal, preferably not a huge meal. Aim to lose half a stone at first.

Remember the body recognises thirst and hunger as similar sensations. Before you grab something to eat have a drink of water and wait 20 minutes to see if you still feel hungry. This will also help you stop overeating.

Focus on what you want to achieve and don’t give up if you have a set back. If you have a bad day with food tomorrow is a new day.

You can achieve want you want!!

Karen x