ARE YOU READY FOR 2018
With the ending of another year and a New Year to sink our teeth into, the phrase that often comes up repeatedly ‘New Year, New You’, gives us the notion that we can start again with new goals, aspirations, different mindset and new opportunities. We make New Year resolutions and set out new and exciting goals that we want to help guide us through the New Year for success, wellbeing and prosperity. However, we often forget about the challenges that life throws at us and ways that we can cope when it comes to finding the right balance and control in our lives, which, unfortunately lead us a stray and throw us off track along the way.
‘This year, I’m going to eat healthy’, ‘I want to lose weight’, ‘I want to get fit and healthy’… These are some of the things that we have said to ourselves as New Year resolutions or goals that we wish to achieve. But how can we kickstart our nutrition and lifestyle goals and find the right balance that will set us up for success?
TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR GOALS!
Let us help you
Firstly, consulting with a Nutritionist or Dietitian and working with them to help find what will work for you. Remember, one size does not necessary fit all here. This will help you cater specifically to your desired goal, whether that be weight loss/gain, healthy eating, resetting your eating habits, or chronic disease management to help improve quality of life and will set you up for long term sustainability with no yo-yo dieting.
Evaluate your current lifestyle
Secondly, look at your lifestyle factors, are you balancing your work appropriately with family/free time? This is important to help manage your stress levels and a big one if you are looking to lose weight. When we increase stress in daily lives it affects our sleep and can impact on any weight loss or muscle gain goals. Starting a new hobby, practicing mindful meditation or trying yoga and tai chi classes are great ways to help reduce stress.
Sleep is key
Lastly, regulate your sleep. It is important to ensure you are getting quality sleep, when we tap into our deepest sleep state we stimulate more growth hormone and this helps to build muscle, repair our bodies and help aid our weight loss goals. Reducing consumption of excessive stimulants such as alcohol, refined sugar, caffeine and Tabaco use can have positive influences on regulating your sleep patterns.
Easier said than done, right? The biggest tip that brings all of this together is consistency, perseverance and patience. It is important to acknowledge that there will be times when things get tough, and there will be times where you want to give in to old habits and disregard new eating or lifestyle habits, but with out any change there can never be progress and without progress there will be no results. Be the change you want to see in yourself and kickstart your nutrition and lifestyle changes today.
How much of your immune system lies in your gut flora? Healthy gut flora is essential for good overall health. Keeping a healthy gut flora and strong immune system means a diet rich in probiotics is strongly recommended. Kombucha, fermented foods such as yoghurt, kefir, sauerkraut and other fermented vegetables should be considered into the diet on a regular basis. Here are some probiotic foods that can be made yourself in a cost effective way to ensure a healthy gut flora. Kombucha is a delicious healing and detoxifying drink that you can buy from any health food shop or make yourself. It is cost effective and easy to make. Kombucha consists of tea and sugar. It is brewed with a culture called a scoby, this is the active bacteria that helps the fermentation process and protects from harmful bacteria whilst the Kombucha tea brews. You can purchase the scoby at health food shops or make your own by making the sweetened tea and adding a store bought kombucha as a starter, then allow to ferment for 7 to 14 days until a baby scoby has started to form.
From this process you can begin to brew your own kombucha by making sweet tea, I love using oolong tea as I find this creates a nice subtle flavour and table sugar. The sugar is what feeds the live bacteria and creates the lacto-fermentation process, and this is what helps the tea turn into kombucha. Once the sweet tea has been made and the starter tea from store bought or from your first brew has been made, place the scoby on top and seal tight, leave and let ferment for 7 days or longer for a stronger brew.
One glass per day of kombucha can offer a range of benefits such as:
- Increased energy levels
- Better digestion
- Prevention of diarrhoea and constipation-IBS symptoms
- Antibiotic properties
- Skin improvements
- A good alkaline balance
- Improved mood
- Liver detoxification and support
- Immune support
- Elimination of candida (yeast)
Fermenting vegetables, this is another cost effective and easy way to get the benefits of probiotics into the diet via fermenting your own vegetables. I love using cabbage, cauliflower, green beans and cucumber. By fermenting vegetables the nutrient value tends to be increased. Create a brine with water apple cider vinegar and salt, adding herbs such as dill and garlic is fantastic to add to the brine for more flavour and adds more nutritional value to the fermentation process. Place the vegetables into a jar and pack them in tight to allow no air to get into the ferment, add the brine and herbs and seal tight. Leave to ferment for 7 to 14 days until vegetables are softened. Serve as a side to a breakfast, lunch or a dinner.Probiotics encourage the growth of beneficial bacteria in your intestines, particularly those that produce lactic acid. Lactic acid is essential for healthy digestive action and for energy production by the liver. Acetic acid is an antiseptic and inhibitor of pathogenic bacteria and both can be found in Kombucha and fermented vegetables.
Here are some recipes and starter kits to follow.
Food & Nutrition Coach