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Posts Tagged ‘health’

Why Five a Day?

March 28, 2013 Leave a comment

OK! So in the UK we’re told we need to eat 5 fruit and veg a day. It’s a bit simplistic admittedly but it points the general population in the right direction and gets them in the mindset that they need to be eating fresh food and a healthier diet.

5 a day really, in my opinion should be the minimum. In the US they say 9 a day! Doesn’t have the same ring to it, for us, at least, since 5 has been drilled into us since the NHS started a health campaign with the cancer charities way back in 1991.

Anyone reading my blog will be interested in health anyway so I don’t need to bang on about the numerous health benefits to fruit and veg – the vitamins, minerals, digestive benefits, slow release carbs, non processed foods etc etc etc. You know all that.

But what I will point out is – be varied with your choices. Each plant has a different make up and composition so keep it varied, opt for different varieties, try new recipes and ways of eating them, get creative.

 

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Brits eat most fruit and veg in Europe!

March 27, 2013 2 comments
English: veggies

English: veggies (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

It’s not often that, as a nation, us Brits top the healthy eating polls! But it seems we’re much better than our European counterparts at eating our recommended 5 a day fruit and veg

 

One in five of us is eating the RDA – it’s not great, let’s be honest, so it’s even more suprising it’s the highest intake in Europe, where the average is fewer than one in 10.

 

But it’s not all great news, the consumption is lower in lower income groups, and while adults seem to be good at eating healthily we’re not encouraging our children to do the same, consumption is down for them too.

 

So come on, substitute sweets for fruit, swap a sandwich for soup, swap crisps for baked fruit pieces – it’s yummy, healthy and cheap!

 

 

 

 

A glass of wine tonight will undo your good work

February 22, 2013 Leave a comment
Bottle and glass of Malbec wine from Mendoza A...

Bottle and glass of Malbec wine from Mendoza Argentina (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After saying that I realise I’m now not your favourite person.

But first let me reassure you, as I write this, I am enjoying a lovely glass of red wine. But I’m fully aware of the amount of calories I’m consuming and the fact that it’s sugar base will affect my carb intake for the day.

On a Friday evening, when all you want to do is get to the bottom of that bottle of Sauvignon Blanc to forget the stresses of the working week the last thing we are worried about is the calories, they don’t really count do they? You deserve it don’t you?

You may well deserve a drink, but those calories DO count. And if you ignore them they WILL undo all your hard work in the gym and healthy eating for the last week.

The average glass of red wine will contain 170cals, but let’s be honest, at home, you’re not pouring ‘bar’ measures!

170cals will take you 30mins or walking, 10 mins on the Cross Trainer (flat out) and about half an hour of resistance training to burn off.

And of course, you were just going to have one glass of wine tonight, right!!!

Go on, work out how long you’ll need to spend working out tomorrow to burn off what you intend to drink tonight – Work it Out!

Now, are you going to feel like working out for that long tomorrow? Probably not. So where will those calories end up? Yes, they’re carbs so those little rascals will get converted and stored as fat. Probably replacing the very fat you’ve been successfully burning off Monday – Thursday!

So, by all means, relax on the sofa tonight with your partner, share a bottle of wine as you chat through your week and your plans for the weekend ahead. But remember, you’ll pay for it, either in the gym, or on your hips!

 

 

Tax CRAP food

February 18, 2013 Leave a comment
Junk food copy

Junk food copy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the UK, doctors today have launched a campaign calling on the Government to tax junk food, and ban adverts for junk food before the watershed (9pm on TV). FINALLY!

But, only if taxation is lifted on healthy foods.

People on a budget have to reach for processed junk food to feed their families, right? wrong! They choose to! possibly because it’s easier, they’re addicted to the sugar, salt and additives, don’t know how to cook, or simply won’t cook. Whatever the reason, it’s not price. How do I know this? Because it’s a fact that healthy food is cheaper already.

Yes, you have to go to the supermarket more than once a week because, hey, it’s not packed full of preservatives so that banana won’t last 10 days like a packet of crisps will.

So, I’m all for it. Tax the hell out of the junk food, but also, offer people cheaper healthier food as a double incentive. Throw into that decent health education and cookery at school, training sessions and taster courses for young parents and free cooking recipes in supermarkets (many are already doing this in store and online).

I should point out this is the same government which introduced tax on healthy goods, supplements and protein shakes etc, so they’re nothing if not a bit confused!

But it is about time people started to take responsibility for their own lifestyle choices. I’m sorry, this is going to sound harsh. But if you’re fat it’s because you choose to be. Somewhere along the line you’ve realised you’re fat and killing yourself but you’ve not done anything about it. And you’re fat because you eat junk, or too much food in general, and don’t exercise at all. Sure there are health issues to consider, mostly caused by the fact you’re already fat, but you have taken the conscious decision to be unhealthy and stay unhealthy. So, if you won’t help yourself to live better and live longer it looks like the State will have to try and force you.

If there was a petition to sign I’d be linking to it right now.

The best health tracker app around

January 12, 2013 2 comments

OK! We’re all on it, the January health kick.

Watching calories and fat content, working out more and promising ourselves this year, it’ll be different, this time you’ll stick with it, this year you’ll get that six pack.

So, if you are serious about it this time, get serious and download this app from the App store, MyNetDiary

It’s completely free, and no I’m not on commission. I use it.

It’s a great of keeping a food diary and it’s database has pretty much every brand and food you can imagine. All with protein / carb / fat content and all the other nutrients too.

It tells you what your daily allowance is given your weight loss goals.

It calculates how many calories you’ve burnt in exercise, which means you have more to consume that day

It analyses your diet to tell you how to improve – too little, too much, too much cholesterol, too little fibre or iron

It tracks your weight loss

It does pretty much everything for you, apart from lose the weight.

Check it out, download it, use it, and watch yourself get healthy.

Then come back and thank me for introducing it to your life!

It’s also online here, but I find the app FAR more useful http://www.mynetdiary.com

 

How not to pile on the festive pounds

December 21, 2012 Leave a comment

Let’s not kid ourselves. The next few weeks we are all going to eat and drink to excess. And even the most healthy of us will be hardpressed not to put on a few pounds in weight, and forget about our gym memberships until January 1.

But, just because it’s Christmas you don’t have to throw all your healthy eating habits out of the window. Don’t just surrender to the inevitable, because it doesn’t have to be inevitable.

Don’t stop exercising

If you’re away from your usual town and gym, or your gym is shut for the week there are other things you can do. Head out for a run, do toning exercises at home on the beach or in the park. There are Park Runs all over the country which meet every Saturday morning, and some will still by running. Check out their website http://www.parkrun.co.uk . You don’t have to sit on the sofa all day do you! And you’ll feel better for it. Plus, if you’re family are driving you mental it’s the perfect excuse to get out of the house!

I’m heading home to Brighton, so I’m away from my gym in Newcastle for 10 days. But I’ve checked out my local Yoga studio, http://www.yogahaven.co.uk and they’re running classes pretty much everyday except Christmas Day and Boxing Day so I’ve booked myself in for a few Hot Yoga sessions – 30degree heat and yoga, the perfect detox session that makes your body and your mind feel incredible.

Don’t stuff your face

OK! So yes the roast potatos and stuffing look incredible, that Christmas pud and brandy butter is pretty much irrsistable and just about everything on the table could be covered in butter. But you don’t have to succumb. Now, before you all go, but it’s Christmas! Sure, it’s Christmas, but that fat will be on your arse for months. So, if you want to embrace your lardy flabby self then carry on and eat to your hearts content.

But if you actually value the effort you put into your body for the other 51 weeks of the year then temper yourself a bit and exercise your right to have some willpower and say no. And the only people who will say “oh go on” will be those who wish they’d said no 10 years ago and are now carrying their holiday weight from the last decade around the stomach every single day.

Remember – Christmas dinner is essentially meat and vegetables. So have that. Just that, no stuffing, no roast potatoes, no butter. Just stay healthy.

You can do it!

 

Pre-Christmas detox

December 17, 2012 Leave a comment

OK, so I may have been reaching for the chocs a bit too much recently. I need to get down to my fighting weight before Christmas so this week is very focused on weight-loss.

LOADS of cardio at the gym, and I mean hardcore cardio – sweaty HIIT to really get the blood pumping and the fat melting.

AND a very restricted diet.

Day 1 – fruit only

Day 2 – vegetables only

Day 3 – fruit and vegetables only

Day 4 – vegetables and chicken only

Day 5 – bananas, vegetables and chicken only

Day 6 – eggs, vegetables and chicken only

Day 7 – PALEO

So, starting tomorrow, here I go!