13 Apr 2019
Let's talk 'Diets'
Diet….how I hate that word. Restrictions in calories and food choices are something which I personally don’t agree with, nor do I feel it necessary. However, as much as the word pains me, there’s no denying that diets remain a huge part of the health and wellness industry, particularly amongst us females (although how healthy many of them are actually healthy is questionable in my opinion).
I agree that finding an eating plan which works for you is key to keep motivation. However, the common story I hear is that people stop their diet plan and end up re-gaining weight – many actually gaining more than they lost!
The bottom line is that nothing beats healthy eating. A BALANCE of key nutrients – Carbohydrates, Fats and Proteins – a range of food choices to help you both physically and mentally. Let’s take carbohydrates for example. The primary source of energy for our body and its daily functions, yet so many I speak to fear that eating carbohydrates will encourage weight gain. FACT: Eating too much of anything will cause weight gain if you are not burning the surplus calories.
‘Oh, but I lost 3lb this week but cutting carbohydrates from my diet.’ …. And there’s no denying that weight loss will occur as a result, but this is not due to a loss in body fat, it is purely due to a loss of water as a result of carbohydrates being eliminated from your diet.
‘But I can have as much pasta as I want’…. Wow, sounds great. But how does this educate you on portion size and control? Maybe, just maybe, there’s a reason why people gain weight when they come ‘off the plan’?
‘But avocado is a sin!’ ….. Hmmmm, more of a sin that you're not eating avocado (‘good fats’). Did you know we NEED good fats in order to eliminate fat from our body? (as well as other benefits of this key nutrient).
My personal opinion is that we shouldn’t follow a ‘diet lead’ culture, and from my experience, we shouldn’t need too. Don’t get me wrong, to get results there is a certain amount of change and sacrifice required, but food is there to be enjoyed – and can be enjoyed without affecting our health or weight in a negative way.
So, forget the diets and restrictions; instead, educate yourself to a healthy and enjoyable long-term lifestyle. Remember, it’s all about the balance!
03 Apr 2019
Because your'e worth it!
It’s true what they say, healthy body, healthy mind but how many of us actually take time to look after our mental health? Yes, we exercise regularly or eat healthy, but wellness is about so much more.
Consider self-care for example. Some self-care tasks are so obvious that you may not even realise the positive impact they can have on your mental wellbeing. However, its these simple tasks we tend to put at the bottom of our list of priorities and this shouldn’t be the case.
How can self-care benefit us?
When we are at our best both physically and mentally, we are able to cope with so much more. Simple things such as a relaxing bath or massage can have several benefits.
Relaxing can trigger the ‘relaxation response’. The opposite of the fight or flight hormone, the relaxation response has a positive effect on our heart rate, blood pressure and stress levels, returning us to a natural hormonal state. The lower your levels of stress, the more effective and efficient your body is at working, including your immune system.
Taking time out to concentrate on YOU is an ideal opportunity to remind you that you’re needs are also important. Looking after your body can make you feel good about yourself, contributing to your overall wellbeing keeping at bay feelings of unhappiness and low self-esteem.
So whether it’s a case of getting more sleep, cooking healthy meals, taking a bath or even getting a new haircut, escaping stressful reality and taking a mental and emotional holiday can refresh and recharge us in more ways than you think.
So, what next?
Like you plan meetings at work, or activities for the children, don’t forget to block out time in your diary for YOU – even if its just to take a relaxing bath, you and your body deserve it.
Your body is the only place you have to live, so make sure you look after it.
28 Mar 2019
The Solution is at your Fingertips
As a busy mum, its never easy finding the time to concentrate on your health and wellness.
We regularly face a number of challenges which seem impossible to overcome - childcare, finances….. and dont forget good old self confidence!
So how can we combat these obstacles to find:
- Something FREE
- Something CONVENIENT and FLEXIBLE which can work around YOU
- Something with NO COMMITMENT
- Somewhere you can BUILD CONFIDENCE in your abilities before stepping into a crowded class or busy fitness centre
Believe it of not, the solution is right at your fingertips. Say Hello to ...
Its nothing new, but an avenue we often overlook when it comes to health and wellness.
There’s a vast number of channels offering FREE fitness videos and weights exercises which can be used within the comfort of our own home. YouTube workouts you can switch on when the baby is sleeping, or videos you can turn to on days when time is limited. These are workouts which wont break the bank, classes where membership is not a necessecity.
Don’t be afraid to explore the web and find a channel which offers you content which makes you WANT to workout. Don’t know where to start? Simply ask GOOGLE.
We have some amazing technology available to us, so make the most the opportunities out there and start planning your workouts for the week.
Who needs the gym when you can workout in the comfort of your own home? Or better still, invite the girls around for a workout after the school run?
20 Mar 2019
A Balanced Diet
I’m a firm believer in ‘a little bit of what you fancy does you good’. Too many restrictions and you set yourself up for failure. After all, how many of us want something more when we are told we can’t have it?
There are a number of benefits of a healthy balanced diet, not least for weight management, but also for our mental health, but what does a ‘balanced diet’ mean?A healthy balanced diet means eating a wide variety of foods in the right proportions - consuming the right amount of food and drink to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight and ensure out body can perform its everyday functions and work to full capacity.
Think of your body as a car, put in the right oil and fuel and you’ll get maximum performance.Unfortunately, society has many of us confused with the numerous fad diets which claim to help us achieve our goals.If you do not have any specific dietary requirements as a result of medication conditions, then this
blog will give you some simple healthy eating advice to get you started.
Check out the Eat Well guide. This shows the following:
- Aim for 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables a day
- Have some dairy or dairy alternatives (eg: soya drinks)
- Base meals on starchy foods like potatoes, bread, rice or pasta
- Eat some beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other protein
- Choose unsaturated oils and spreads, eaten in small amounts
- Drink plenty of fluids
A healthy balanced diet doesn’t mean foods and drinks high in fat, salt and sugar are ‘banned’, it just means consume these in small quantities, so don’t be afraid to treat yourself every now and again.
Try to choose a variety of different foods from the 5 main food groups. This will ensure you get a balance in the nutrients you need for your body to function at its best.
Most people in the UK eat and drink too many calories, too much fat, sugar and salt, and not enoughfruit, vegetables, oily fish or fibre. The Eat Well Guide will see that you keep the balance right and keep towards a healthy lifestyle.
Remember, no food is a bad food, food is there to be enjoyed!
09 Mar 2019
No More Excuses
Being a mum is full of endless responsibilities, chuck every-day life into the mix and its beyond comprehension. With a health and wellness regime in place we can sleep better, reduce stress, lose weight, but the chances of that happening in our already hectic schedule feels impossible.
A report by Edison Research found that 47% of mums exercise less than 3 days per week, whilst 15% do not exercise at all!
Despite what we think, to squeeze a workout into our routine is far from impossible, it’s just a case of overcoming excuses and finding a solution to the problem.
Excuse 1. Too Tired
Let’s face it, us mums are pretty much tired 24 hours a day, right? However, did you know that exercise has been proven to actually increase energy levels that can last for hours. It doesn’t have to be an intense gym workout. Why not try a short, invigorating workout - take a brisk walk around the block, put on some music and dance with your kids or do some Yoga poses. You’ll be surprised how good you can feel.
Don’t get me wrong, there are days when we need to listen to our body and rest, or choose a lighter workout such as a gentle stretch. Just make sure you are making the right choice and not using tiredness as an excuse.
Excuse 2. No Time
Don’t feel that anything less than a 60 min workout is necessary. In fact, just one minute of intense exercise can have the same health benefits as a 45-minute sweat session!
What you need to change is your mindset. Choose to make your workouts a priority by finding ways to fit them in.
Maybe its waking up 30 minutes before your kids, adding your workout to your calendar and making it an appointment so nothing else takes precedence. What about using your lunch break to get active and go for a walk?
Start by keeping goals small goals – goals which are realistic and will therefore make you feel great when you accomplish them. like a 10-minute walk every day, or two, 25-minute workouts a week and then feel good about your accomplishments.
Excuse 3. No Money
You don’t need to be a member of a gym or have a personal trainer to get results – there are plenty of fitness programmes which are affordable, or even free! You can work out in your own home or take advantage of the great outdoors. Check out YouTube – you’ll find some fab videos for inspiration.
Excuse 4. No Childcare
Don’t let your children be an excuse. Some gyms and exercise facilities offer affordable childcare, and it is becoming increasingly popular for instructors to offer ‘child-friendly’ classes. Check our your local area and see what is on offer. Alternatively, why not share babysitting with another mum? After all, we all struggle with the same issues.
Excuse 5. Feeling Guilty
You’ll find many of us mums spend a lot of time feeling guilty about what we did or didn’t do and we spend far too much time worrying about everyone else. How often do you think about what YOU want or need? Never feel guilty about having time to yourself. With so many benefits of exercise, that ME time is a must to ensure you feel happier, less stressed and better able to cope with everyday chores. With better mental and physical health, you’ll be a better mother as a result.
So next time you think of an excuse, think of a way to overcome it. Remember, you and your family deserve it.