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Heal Your Body

I have battled for many years with my weight and self-image, and over the years I have jumped around trying all different types of eating styles and methods looking for ways to get my body to respond to how I wanted it to.

What I have learnt is that I have had a love-hate relationship with food, and in actual fact, it wasn't about food at all, but about the way I was feeling about myself. Instead of loving my body and nourishing it, I would feed it a lot of negative talk and self-doubt which would manifest as stress, and therefore would not enable my body to work optimally.

More recently, and especially the past few months, I have tried to release all the negativity towards food and weight and so I wanted to share with you some of my tricks.

1) Don't beat yourself up for what you ate yesterday

No one eats perfectly... including me!! And really, what is the definition of perfect??? Take each meal as an opportunity to nourish your body and feed it with love. It's not serving your body to think about what you may not have eaten correctly and this will not assist you to reach your goals.

2) Practice mindful eating

Sit, chew and breathe with food! Try to remove any distractions, T.V's, phones, computers, iPads etc.... The more we use our senses and appreciate the food that we eat, the more our brain will be signalled that it's satisfied and therefore, we will be less likely to overeat.

3) Enjoy your food

Don't turn an enjoyable experience into a stressful one! Do not allow the negative thoughts of "I should not be eating this" or "I'm a failure and have no control over what I eat." This will increase the amount of stress your body will be experiencing, which in turn will increase your cortisol and potential fat storage.

4) Replace negative thoughts with positive affirmations

Affirmations have a really powerful effect that can change your beliefs, behaviours and actions. They can help improve your relationship with food.

5) Stop comparing!

With social media these days we are surrounded by photos of beautiful women and perfect bodies but what you don't know is all the potential photoshopping that is happening in the background to create the image that you have seen.

Also remember, your body and nutritional needs are different from your friends, your sister and even your mother!! What works for one person may not necessarily work for you. Focus your energy on learning to understand your body and what works for you!

6) Are you hungry, or is there something emotional going on?

Learning to identify your hunger signs as compared to eating to satisfy your emotional needs can have a huge impact on your relationship with food.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself to identify the differences:

Did you skip a meal or ‘forget to eat’?

What did I eat in my last meal and how long ago was it?

Do you use food as a reward mechanism?

What is going on for me right now?

Always stop and identify what it could be and if you realise that you are not actually hungry, then do something else that is pleasurable.

Go for a walk, massage, hot bath, manicure, watch your favourite TV show with a cuppa, read a book or have a chat with your bestie!

Remember, we only have ONE body. Feed it with the nutrients, love and care it deserves.

Treasure it, love it and it will love you back.

Newsletter 22 – How to Stop Night-Time Cravings

How often do we say to ourselves, “I’ve been so good all day” and then night-time comes and all that hard work goes out the window? Then the next day you start the cycle again, you are ‘good’ during the day and then night-time comes and you can’t stop eating, even after having a really big meal.

This pattern tends to be known as the sumo-wrestler diet because if you eat late at night (and just before bed), your body will store all those extra calories as fat instead of processing them and burning them.

In order to be able to put a stop to this pattern we need to understand WHY this is happening. WHY are we craving more food, more junk food or really just anything unhealthy? More often than not, the root cause of this problem is an imbalance in our appetite regulating hormones. These hormones each have their own triggers and therefore if we can understand how to balance them, then the cravings for sweet, junk food late at night will be eliminated.

The four main hormones are:

  • Insulin – the main hormone our body produces to regulate blood sugar. When your insulin spikes then crashes after eating sugar and flour or junk, it makes you hungrier.
  • Leptin – this is the hormone that tells our brains when we are full and to STOP eating. When you eat a lot of processed foods, sugar and refined flour, Leptin does not work as well.
  • Grehlin – this is the hormone that tells us when we ARE hungry.
  • Peptide YY – this is a hormone in our intestine that tells us when we are FULL.

We do also need to consider the hormone, Cortisol, which is our stress hormone. When you are stressed, your Cortisol level goes up, and when that happens, you get hungrier and your blood sugar and insulin levels rise.

Being able to balance these hormones and keep them in check will enable you to reduce those cravings and the night-time snacking that comes with it.

Here are 6 simple steps you can follow to take control of your cravings:

1. Eat breakfast – eating a protein rich breakfast is the KEY to stop your night-time cravings. Now, you may wake up in the mornings full from the late night snacking so it’s important that you break that cycle. This helps to keep your blood sugar levels balanced all day.
2. Don’t drink your calories – consuming high sugar drinks (soft drinks, juices, flavoured milks, energy drinks) spikes your insulin levels and increases your cravings for more sugary foods.
3. Eat regularly – eating your breakfast, lunch and dinner at regular times allows your hormones to remain balanced.
4. Have good quality protein and sources of fat with each meal – these foods are known to satisfy you and keep your blood sugar levels balanced.
5. Take some time out – stress increases our cravings, which results in us overeating and putting on weight. Learning to reduce your stress will help you manage your weight.
6. Prioritise sleep – depriving yourself of sleep drives the hunger hormone, Ghrelin, up and the full hormone, Peptide, down therefore you will end up eating more sugary foods to give you the energy you are lacking.

So remember that in order to put night-time binging behind you, you have to take the steps to stop the cycle and to create different pathways within your body in order for you to be able to keep that blood sugar level in check!

Newsletter 21 – Spring Clean Your Health

The flowers are starting to bloom, the mornings aren’t so dark, and the evenings are longer and lighter…. Warmer weather has finally arrived and it’s time to get that SPRING back into your step.

We all know the saying “it’s time to do a spring clean” and this is usually associated with cleaning and de-cluttering our houses, but why don’t you think outside the box and include your heath and wellness in your spring clean??

Surely there are habits that we have developed over the colder, darker months that need to be kicked to the curb. Its time to stop feeling sluggish and lethargic and get those energy levels back.

Here are 3 simple tips on how you can start spring-cleaning your body.

1. Eat seasonal produce – fruits and vegetables taste there best when they are eaten during the times that they should be harvested. Our bodies crave different foods at different times of the year depending on their water content and their ability to heat or cool our bodies.
Vegetables in season – avocado, artichokes, cauliflower, celery, asparagus, spinach, radishes, purples sprouting broccoli, rocket, salad leaves, peas, leeks, spring onions, spring cabbage,
Fruit in season – banana, grapefruit, blood oranges, honeydew, rhubarb, mandarin, mango and apricots.

2. Get moving – during the winter months many of us turn to hibernation and lose the enthusiasm and motivation to exercise. There is no doubt that exercise helps us with cardiovascular fitness and losing weight, but it has so many additional benefits too. With the weather starting to warm up, there is no better time than now to get back into that rhythm and even take your exercise outdoors. Meet a friend for a walk, join an outdoor boot camp or even enjoy a game of tennis with your kids. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you are moving.

3. Clear out your mind – the strain we put on our bodies by being stressed is significantly understated. It affects the way we eat and sleep, our ability to concentrate and our mood. Adopting stress management strategies into your daily routine is a fantastic way to start removing all that ‘junk’ that is clogging up our minds. Now this doesn’t mean that you have to start meditating for 1 hour a day, it can be by introducing simple techniques such as doing 5 minutes of deep breathing on the way to or from work, carrying a little journal with you so that you can write down what you are feeling during a moment of stress or even something as simple as remembering to smile and planting seeds of positivity.

Newsletter 20 – The Power of One

Generally speaking once we have made a decision to do something, whether to start exercising or change the way we eat, we adopt the “all or nothing” mentality. We go from sitting on the couch eating take out almost every night to exercising 4-5 times per week and restricting what we eat to only 1200 calories a day. Wow, what an extreme change! No wonder it is not sustainable for long periods of time. This is where the Power of One will become your saviour.

I went to a conference not long ago and was listening to the head of Small Business from St George Bank speaking. He introduced me to the concept of the Power of One through his speech, and although he was talking about it in financial and business terms, I immediately thought, “This is going to be a brilliant concept to use in my coaching”.

The best thing someone can do for themselves is make the decision that they need to focus on their health and well-being and make the necessary changes. However, this can be extremely overwhelming for many, especially when there are potentially so many things that need to change. The four most common questions from someone just starting out usually are:

"Where do I begin?"
"What do I need to change?"
"What is most important?"
"How am I going to do it all?"

My recommendation is to pick ONE, that’s right, only one behaviour that you want to change and focus on that. It may be something as small as only having one teaspoon of sugar in your coffee instead of two, it may be having breakfast a couple of days a week instead of skipping breakfast, it may even be just saying no to an after dinner snack. Start with the one thing you are most motivated to change and do this consistently. You will feel very satisfied by changing this behaviour and it will give you confidence to build on the one change into other changes you can make and become the person you can become.

Even though you may think that these changes are small and insignificant, they are actually big steps, because they are those few times that you are changing the behaviour you have recognised needs change. This creates a domino effect, giving you the power to spark a chain reaction of changed habits that builds new behaviours upon changed behaviours that will naturally lead to the next successful changed behaviour. This is something that you need to recognise as a step in the right direction, a step in the direction of reaching you goal.

So the next time you are overwhelmed with all the changes you want to make in your life, take a moment to reflect, break it down and focus on ONE thing that you can change. This is the way that you will make permanent, life-long changes. This is the “Power of ONE!”

Newsletter 19 – Are You Getting Enough Sleep?

Let’s not underestimate the effect a lack of sleep has on us. Apart from feeling exhausted, lacking energy, being moody, having low tolerance and having difficulty concentrating, you probably notice that on the days that you are feeling like this, your cravings for sugar and carbs are almost uncontrollable. You will eat just about anything to give you that spike in sugar and energy you are so depleted of.

The research is clear: Lack of sleep, or poor sleep, stops your metabolism working efficiently. When this happens your cravings increase, which makes you eat more, increasing your weight and risk of developing chronic diseases. Getting enough sleep, and sleeping well, are essential for our health!

The optimal amount of sleep for an adult is between 7-9 hours each night. Now I know the first thing that will come to mind for a majority of you is the thought: I am a mum (or dad) with young children so how am I supposed to do that??? Let’s not forget that I am a mum of 2 young boys (10 and 8) too and I am very lucky that they do not disturb me during the night. However, there is plenty that needs to be done for them at the start and end of the day, which means that I definitely don’t have the luxury of staying in bed until mid-morning. But the one thing I make sure that I do religiously, in order for me to be able to function and do everything that needs to be done, is that I endeavour to climb into bed each night between 9:30 and 9:45 with the aim to have the lights off at 10:00/10:15.

There are many ways that we can assist our bodies in achieving our optimal sleep so I thought I would share some of those tips with you. Please keep in mind that you will have to be patient, because an improvement in your sleep pattern will not happen overnight, it may take a few weeks or months, but these strategies will eventually shift your sleep patterns.

1. Go to bed and wake up at the same time to create regular rhythms of sleep.

2. Create total darkness and quiet in the bedroom.

3. Avoid caffeine – although you feel as though you need this to keep you awake during the day, this may end up making your sleep worse at night.

4. Avoid alcohol – it helps you get to sleep but causes interruptions in your sleep and therefore leads to poor-quality sleep.

5. Do not eat within 2-3 hours of going to bed – going to bed on a full stomach can lead to poor-quality sleep.

6. Don’t exercise vigorously after dinner – this tends to excite the body and makes it more difficult for you to get to sleep.

7. Turn off IT technology 1 hour before bed – being stimulated right up until we go to sleep makes it difficult for our brains to switch off and therefore get a restful nights sleep.

8. Take a hot salt / aromatherapy bath – raising your body temperature before bed helps to induce sleep.

9. Stretch before bed as this helps to relax our bodies and makes it easier for us to fall asleep.

10. Practice relaxation breathing or meditation before sleep - this helps to relax the brain, allowing you to fall asleep more easily and have a restful sleep.

11. Before going to bed write down the things that are causing you anxiety and make plans for what you need to do the next day to reduce your worry. This will free up your mind, allowing you to have a deeper and more restful sleep.

12. Get 20 minutes of exposure to sunlight during the day – the light from the sun triggers your brain to release specific chemicals and hormones such as melatonin that are vital to healthy sleep, mood and ageing.

Remember, the key is to get both enough sleep as well as good quality sleep every night. Everything else will fall into place as a result. Your mood will improve, your energy will improve, your ability to concentrate will improve, but your sugar and carb cravings will reduce! You will feel more level throughout the day and you will find it much easier to cope with your work and family.

Newsletter 18 – Dealing With Fussy Eaters

I am sure majority of you have had an encounter with the ‘Fusser Eater’, which has left you feeling frustrated, upset and stressed. Whether it is breakfast, lunch or dinner, you have taken the time out of your day to prepare a delicious and nutritious meal which you know will give your kids all the nutrients and energy they need, yet you are left feeling heart broken and frustrated when they reject this meal even to the point of not even trying it! You start to think, “what is the point” and “why do I bother”. Each mealtime becomes stressful and less enjoyable for you and your children.

Children learn by testing the boundaries of acceptable behaviour. They can be very strong willed when it comes to making decisions about food (to eat or not to eat, and what to eat). It’s all part of their social, intellectual and emotional development.

With our time being so precious and valuable, if your children aren’t going to even take the time to try the food that you are preparing, you start to offer them less nutritious options such as sugar laden cereal for breakfast, packaged foods for lunch and then fast food take away options for dinner because you know that it will get eaten. However without realising it, the food that we give our children can have a significant impact on their mood, energy and even ability to concentrate. Our children’s lives are so busy with their full days of school, extra-curricular activities after school and then social events and sporting games on the weekend, we need to fuel them correctly to be able to handle it all.

1. Model behaviour – Encourage healthy eating in your children by eating this way yourself. Children tend to mimic what we do, so if they see their parents eating vegetables such as broccoli and pumpkin with their meal, they will be more inclined to give that food a go. Where possible, share your meal.

2. Be sneaky – If your children do not eat a range of vegetables, pureeing soups or adding grated veggies to dishes such as Bolognese sauce, meatballs, burgers or casseroles are a great way to incorporate more vegetables into their meals. Smoothies are also a good way to incorporate different fruits and vegetables. Make a smoothie that turns out to be the colour that your child loves.

3. Encourage taste testing – Have 2 plates of food. Plate 1 has the food you know that your children are going to enjoy eating and Plate 2 has three different foods cut up into very small pieces that you would like them to try. The child takes alternating mouthfuls from each plate. If there is a food on Plate 2 that is too horrible for your child to contemplate, then there is always another option for them on that plate.

4. Take a relaxed approach – Setting expectations too high at mealtimes usually creates a more stressful experience for all. Make meal times a happy social occasion. Try not to worry about the spilt drink on the floor, or the food falling off the plate. Instead praise your child for trying new foods.

5. Make the food look attractive, make the plate colourful and cut the food into different shapes and sizes.

6. Avoid unhealthy foods – it’s very tempting to offer your child food treats just so she ‘eats something’. But if you offer fatty, sugary or salty snacks as substitutes, your child might start refusing healthier foods – after all, they’ll know there are tastier options!

7. Give your child some independence with their food – Get your child involved in preparing meals. They will feel proud and more inclined to try something that they have made. You can also try letting your child making choices within a range of healthier food options.

8. Ignore unwanted behaviour - If a child refuses to eat (or constantly spits out their food, or carries on with any bad behaviour) and receives attention for it, the end result is that they will continue to use the unwanted behaviour to get more attention. So, in these instances sometimes the best thing you can do is to ignore it.

9. Set regular meal times – On average a child needs to eat every 2.5-3 hours, so if they graze throughout the day and eat within 2-2.5 hours of a meal, it will take the edge off their hunger and they may be less likely to eat at mealtime. If they don’t eat at a particular meal time, take the plate away and make them wait until the next meal or snack time rather then allowing them to continue coming back and grazing off the plate.

10. Don’t give up – Fussy eaters can wear you down, but on average it takes 10 times for a child to try a particular food and get positive reinforcement.

So if you are dealing with a fussy eater, I hope you will find it comforting to know that you are not the only one that is experiencing these battles and keep in mind that it’s just a stage and IT WILL PASS!​

Newsletter 17 – Some Truths about Dairy

As a female, I have always been told that it is extremely important for me to eat 2-3 serves of dairy a day in order to prevent getting Osteoporosis in the future. Osteoporosis is a medical condition in which the bones become brittle and fragile from loss of tissue, typically as a result of either hormonal changes or deficiency of calcium or vitamin D.

However, when I had a bone density scan done a few years ago and it showed signs of thinning in the bones of my lower back, I was completely taken aback since dairy had always been an integral part of my diet, along with resistance-based exercises (another good preventative measure to take).

I immediately started asking myself why this was happening if I was doing all the ‘right’ things to prevent Osteoporosis, so I started to do research into the effects of dairy and I was shocked by some of the findings. I want to share these findings with you.

Dairy is comprised of 87% Casein. There are many studies that have strongly and consistently linked Casein with the development of cancer. Casein requires the enzyme lactase to break it down properly, and with more people becoming lactose intolerant, this results in the Casein coagulating in the stomach making it difficult for your body to digest. It ends up fermenting and can potentially lead to toxicity. Casein is actually such a strong binder that it has been used as an ingredient in some wood glues!!

Further to this, dairy is one of the most mucus-forming foods there is. Excessive mucus can begin to harden and build up along the walls of your intestines, adding to a build up of sludge, which slows down the food passing through the intestinal tract and therefore potentially leading to increased inflammation and toxicity in your blood.

There is some Casein present in human milk (20%-45%), which we are obviously encouraged to breastfeed our children at birth, but the level of Casein found in cow’s milk is 300% higher, to help the calves develop much larger bones. This is why there is the theory that we shouldn’t drink the milk of other species.

Looking at the relationship of dairy and calcium, cow’s milk does in fact have a lot of calcium in it, but much of the calcium in cow’s milk is not easily absorbed by the body. There is a lot of phosphorus in dairy products, which binds to the calcium in your digestive tract and makes most of the calcium impossible to absorb. The body actually absorbs the calcium found in dark, leafy green vegetables, sea vegetables, nuts and seeds far more easily.

There is also a strong relationship between dairy and increased acidity in the body. Consuming large amounts of dairy increases the acidic load in the body, and in order for the body to overcome this and attempt to neutralise the acidity, calcium is extracted from your bones, as it is an alkalising mineral.

So after doing all this research, I came to the conclusion that it was probably better for my health to completely eliminate dairy from my diet and get my RDI of calcium from the other sources as described above.

Fast-forward a couple of years, and a follow up bone density scan has shown that my previous bone thinning has been rectified. I thank this to the ongoing resistance-based exercises I do, removing dairy from diet and also including Vitamin D supplements in my daily routine.

Newsletter 16 – How to Burn Fat Efficiently

Most people think that if you lose weight then you are losing fat. But in actual fact, this may not be accurate. Naturally there will be some fat loss when the numbers on those scales go down, however this can also represent a loss of fluids and muscle mass.

Burning fat efficiently is not only the best way for you to achieve your desired figure but it also reduces the risks involved in you developing long term chronic disease.

Here are SIX of the top ways you can burn more fat efficiently...

1) Eat more fats

In order to burn fat, you have to eat fat. Wait, what? How does that work?

The body requires energy to keep its metabolism functioning properly. This energy is sourced from the nutrients we eat, namely carbohydrates, protein and fat. Fat packs in twice as much energy as the other two, so if you don’t have fat in your diet, you won’t have enough fuel to burn those calories. Also, in order to burn “old” fat from those stubborn places such as your buttocks, thighs and stomach, “new” fat is required as part of the process.

Here is another reason to have fat in your diet: Fat isn’t easy to digest, therefore it sticks around and keeps you feeling fuller for longer, which means it reduces those urges to raid the fridge.

Fat also assists in a process to increase muscle size, which as you read on you will understand that this assists in fat burning too.

Now this doesn’t mean running off to your local burger or pizza joint! The fat I am referring to is your good, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats not your bad and ugly saturated and trans fats. You can get your fat burning fats from olive oil, avocado, almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds and salmon, just to name a few.

2) Lift weights

A common misconception is that bodybuilders are the only people who should strive to gain muscle mass. However, increasing muscle mass can benefit everyone’s health and appearance.

When talking about metabolism, muscle mass is the “engine” of the calorie-burning machine. Strength training increases your muscle mass, which results in a more efficient engine, which leads to burning more calories and thus leads to weight loss. The more muscle you have, the easier it is to maintain your weight and as a bonus, the more calories you burn whilst at rest.

3) Say no to sugar

Eating sugar is like flipping on a switch to tell your body to store fat. And sugar is everywhere, not just in lollies, sodas and desserts but it’s also hidden in refined carbohydrates like breads, pasta, rice and even milk. Your body will quickly digest and absorb these sugars as glucose. However, when we have eaten too many of these ‘sugar laden’ foods our body has too much glucose circulating and therefore it gets stored as fat to be used as energy at another time. So, the more sugar you consume at the one time, the greater the rise in blood glucose, and consequently insulin, so the longer you stay in fat storage mode.

4) Do HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)

This type of training is extremely efficient, especially when you are time poor. It involves alternating between short bursts of intense exercise and fixed periods of less intense exercise or even complete rest (eg; cycles of sprinting for 30 sec and then walking for 60 sec). You can get an unbelievable workout done in 8-10 minutes.

This form of intense exercise not only burns more calories during the session than a standard workout, but it also kicks your metabolism into overdrive. This kick-start allows your body to continue to burn fat and calories for 24 hours after you have completed the exercise.

5) Sleep more / balance hormones

Not having enough sleep can disrupt our metabolism and hormone balance, resulting in weight gain. This is caused by our night hormones, Ghrelin and Leptin, and when these are out of balance our body has a difficult time in sending us the correct messages of when to stop eating, therefore resulting in weight gain.

Sleep deprivation can actually turn into a viscous cycle because when you are low on energy, you will naturally go for your comfort foods, but you then won’t have energy to exercise, resulting in a larger waist line and further sleep loss.

Most people need between 7 and 9 hours sleep per night in order for their metabolism to work efficiently.

6) Manage Stress

Stress triggers our brain-to-body connection which activates a series of hormones whenever we feel threatened. It causes your brain to release adrenaline, which taps into your stored energy so that you can either fight or flee. At the same time you get a surge of cortisol which tells your body to replenish that energy even though you haven’t used very many calories. This can make you hungry, very hungry. Your body will keep on pumping out this cortisol as long as the stress continues and this can result in over eating. You may also find it more difficult to keep to healthy eating habits or exercise routines.

Managing your stress is so important for you to be able to take control of your life, stick to a healthy eating plan and continue with your exercise routine.

So, in summary if you combine eating well, exercising efficiently and looking after yourself, your body will thank you for it and do what ultimately is your goal: BURN FAT

Newsletter 15 – Controlling Your Winter Cravings

Winter has come! It’s cold out there, the days are getting shorter and the seasonal blues have hit. Whatever the reason, when winter hits, cravings for comfort food increases.

We long for foods that will warm us up quickly and this message is usually played out as a craving for carbohydrate-rich foods. The sugars and starches in these foods provide the instant "heat" boost your body is longing for.

Unfortunately when we give in to those cravings for sugary, starchy foods, our blood sugar spikes and then just as quickly falls. As a result, it sets up a cycle that keeps the cravings in motion. We get hungrier quicker so we reach out for more carbohydrate-rich foods to satisfy that hunger.

Something else to consider is that with the days getting shorter, there are less daylight hours, which causes our bodies to have a lack of exposure to natural light. This is called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD leads to problems with the body’s biological clock as well as reducing our levels of serotonin, also known as the ‘happy’ drug. With lower levels of serotonin in our blood, we look to ‘self-medicate’ with those carbohydrate-rich foods that give us a serotonin rush. Furthermore, when it’s dark and gloomy, we tend to generally eat more and go for stews, mashed potatoes, pasta dishes – the dishes that make us feel warm and cozy.

If the first two symptoms weren’t already working against us, winter can also cut into the amount of physical activity we do. Not only do shorter days and colder weather reduce our outdoor time, but also our motivation to exercise reduces. Exercise helps increase serotonin levels, so if we are not exercising, our appetite increases to increase the serotonin levels, which ultimately means we’re eating more and moving less - and that’s a disaster plan for weight gain.

Studies have shown that the population on average puts on between 4 – 8kg during the winter months and although having a heartier appetite for a few months of the year is not the end of the world, it can become detrimental when it happens year in year out. However with a little bit of planning, we can keep can take control and keep our life and appetite in harmony.

Here are some suggestions on how you can do this:

  1. Eat a healthy snack in between meals – try some nut butter on apple slices, rice crackers with avocado and sliced tomato, veggie sticks and hummus dip. Healthy snacking will fuel your body's heat mechanism, helping keep you warmer.
  2. Make a winter activity plan for your exercise regime. Set yourself some realistic goals about the number of times you can exercise and schedule those in as appointments in your diary.
  3. Create lower calorie alternatives to the food you are craving. For example, top your shepherd’s pie with pumpkin and sweet potato mash, make an almond flour dough for your pizza bases or make cauliflower rice to have with your curries.
  4. Get a daily dose of light. Make the effort to spend at least 10 minutes outdoors in sunlight everyday.
  5. Keep the temptation of sweet treats out of the house. As they say out of sight, out of mind.

I hope that these tips can help you beat those winter cravings, and keep you on track for your ‘summer body’! Remember, warmer weather is potentially only three months away!

Newsletter 14 – Why Am I So Tired All The Time

Are you finding it hard to get moving in the morning even after a full night’s sleep? Do you need two cups of coffee before you start to feel ‘awake’? Do you lack energy in the afternoon? Are you less tolerant of others, get easily frustrated or have trouble concentrating?

If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, then you could potentially be suffering from Adrenal Fatigue. Adrenal Fatigue is a collection of signs and symptoms (known as a syndrome) that results in the adrenal glands functioning below their necessary level. It is most commonly associated with periods of prolonged stress, however it can also occur after acute or chronic chest infections or respiratory infections such as influenza, bronchitis and pneumonia. With winter having just arrived, this is something we need to be very mindful of.

Every case of Adrenal Fatigue will present differently, however there are many common symptoms:

  • Difficulty getting up each morning, even after a long sleep;
  • High levels of fatigue during the day;
  • Inability to handle stress;
  • Cravings for salty foods;
  • High energy levels in the evening;
  • A weakened immune system;
  • Asthma;
  • Dark circles under the eyes;
  • Extreme tiredness an hour after exercise;
  • Joint pain;
  • Low blood sugar;
  • Weight gain;
  • Numbness in your fingers / Poor circulation;
  • Frequent urination.

Despite all this gloom and doom, Adrenal Fatigue is a condition that is easily treatable. The food you eat is your first line of defence. Create an adrenal-supportive nutritional plan whereby firstly you avoid the foods that make your Adrenal Fatigue worse and secondly you actively eat the foods that will aid your recovery. This means consuming nutritious whole foods and avoiding foods that you have sensitivities or intolerances to or foods that will increase inflammation within yourself.

In addition to food, addressing the state of your mind and body plays an enormous role in the road to recovery. We need to address the underlying cause of stress in our lives. Just as our mental state can cause illness, improving our emotional wellbeing can reverse this condition.

Ways to restore your emotional and physical health include:

- Doing the right type of exercise;
- Meditation and deep breathing;
- Reviewing your lifestyle, including family, relationships, work and spirituality.

So although Adrenal Fatigue may not be a commonly diagnosed syndrome within the medical world, this newsletter explains that someone that is suffering from it can have his or her life severely impacted by the condition. Making small changes within your food, mind and body can have a big impact on getting yourself back to a healthier and energised you!

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