HEALTH . WELLNESS . NUTRITION . FITNESS

PRE WINTER BOOST

24 March 2016

If you’re already grappling for cold & flu remedies it’s already too late! Don’t wait to get sick before you look after yourself!

Winter is upon us. OK that’s a lie, its only just Autumn but it’s a lot cooler than it has been and there is a definite change in the air. The mornings are darker, the alarms are louder and everyone ‘s immune systems seem to have packed up until September.

If you don’t have time to be sick this winter, the best thing you can do is be prepared BEFORE flu season starts. Otherwise you will spend all winter trying to catch your tail with a snotty nose.

TOP FLU FIGHTING HABITS

HYDRATE. It is so important to get at least 2L of water a day minimum anyway, but even more so when you’re under the weather or trying to prevent sickness. Water assists the body’s natural detoxifying process, increases energy and most importantly- boosts the immune system.

– LIQUID GOLD. As well as drinking plain water, load up on nutrient dense warm liquids like my morning tonic, homemade vege soups & immune boosting herbal teas.

– PROBIOTIC. Get yourself onto a good probiotic like this one from Changing Habits that will assist with digestion, PH levels and strengthen the immune system. Personally I take probiotics all year round because gut health is SO important.

– SLEEP. A rested body is a healthy body. Read my top 10 habits for a better nights sleep here.

– DIET. This really is the most important point in my opinion. If you aren’t eating a well-balanced diet then you are causing your body internal stress. If your body is under stress, your immune system is weakened. If your immune system is weakened, you are more susceptible to illness. If you’re more susceptible to illness in a season full of germs, YOU’RE GOING TO GET SICK. See the cycle? Cut back on the booze, avoid highly processed products and reduce mucus forming foods like dairy and sugar.

– PORTION CONTROL. This works both ways and winter either causes people to over eat with comfort foods, or just skip meals altogether. Overeating should be avoided for obvious reasons however it’s also important to get enough of the good stuff! I hear about this a lot with clients especially in winter. They come home tired and freezing from their work commute and all they feel like doing is having a hot shower and heading straight to bed without dinner. Then they wake up lethargic, headachy and feeling average all day and exhausted for no reason by the afternoon. Though you may feel like hibernating, it’s as important as ever to get enough energy and nutrients into your body during flu season. Without the adequate fuel, your body cannot function to its optimum level and you are more susceptible to illness.

 

And yes, sometimes getting sick is inevitable, but being sick multiple times a year is absolutely not supposed to be the norm! Our bodies are far stronger than we give them credit for. We just have to look after them!

 

{Image source: www.stylerange.com}

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Morning Tonic

9 March 2016

I know, it sounds hideously Miranda Kerr-esque and you’ve probably heard it a million times before- HOWEVER! Warm lemon water does have its benefits.

Along with my #banthebottle resolution for 2016, I have also committed to incorporating this morning tonic into my AM routine. And this time I mean actually doing it, not just reading about it.

Warm water alone is actually wonderful for our bodies, especially first thing in the morning. The warming temperature is much kinder to our intestines opposed to a cold shock of chilled liquid first thing as we wake up. Warm water assists with constipation, blood circulation and can help alleviate menstrual pain and headaches by relaxing the abdominal muscles and reducing inflammation.

When you add lemon to the warm water, you are adding vital electrolytes in the form of potassium, calcium and magnesium while also alkalising your body’s PH levels (yes even though lemons are acidic- go figure). Lemons also provide great antioxidants for the skin and are loaded with Vitamin C to boost your immune system.

As well as a slice of lemon I also add a tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV). ACV has been touted as a “super fluid” that can assist with everything from hair and skin health, lowering your cholesterol and fighting diabetes by improving insulin sensitivity. I am convinced that ACV has changed my complexion. I cant really describe it but it just seems clearer and more fresh at the end of the day. Whatever the reason, i’m loving it sick!

Combined together- warm water, lemon & AVC provide one pretty kick ass tonic to start your day. To save time I freeze lemon pieces with AVC in ice trays then just pop one in a glass of hot water in the morning. Mess free and a big time saver!

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#BANTHEBOTTLE

12 February 2016

Alrighty, how does everyone feel about paying 1000 times more than the cost of something? No one? So how is it that we are happy to pay $3 or more for something that we can get for free? Convenience? Hadn’t really thought about it? Don’t care?

Well you should care.

Australians spend over $500 million on bottled water every year. To get that water to you in its perfectly packaged little bottle, it needs to be pumped out of the ground, packaged, transported and chilled. This creates over 60,000 tons of greenhouse gases every year in Australia alone. All that manufacturing and transport also requires over 460,000 barrels of oil. Did you also know that it takes about seven litres of water and one litre of oil to produce just one litre of bottled water? Those stats are astronomical and quite ridiculous when you think about it. When Aussies were first introduced to bottled water in the 80’s everyone thought it was a joke. No one is going to pay for something we already get for free! Well joke is on us because we spend HALF A BILLION DOLLARS on bottled water every year!

Fun fact- the WHO (Wold Health Organisation) estimate that it would cost $10 billion a year to provide clean water and sanitation to the 40% of the world who don’t have access to this everyday necessity. Australia’s half a billion spent on bottled water is a bit off that total, but a little insane when we have access to clean, sanitised water FOR FREE. Just a little food for thought (drink for thought?).

The cost of manufacture & transport is one thing, but what about the health implications of using dangerous plastics?

Most people have heard of BPA (Bisphenol-A), an industrial chemical used to make common plastics and resins found in an alarming amount of food and beauty storange containers. Think baby bottles, toys, plastic containers, microwaveable storage and WATER BOTTLES. Studies have shown that BPA can dramatically alter oestrogen levels and cause a range of hormonal problems in both men and women. BPA has been linked to fertility issues, cancer, brain development in foetuses, hormonal imbalances and even behavioural problems in young children.

Manufacturers have tried to overcome the BPA issue by creating BPA free products, but unfortunately there is another dodgy brother in the family called BPS (Bisphenol-S) which has been found to be just as harmful as BPA.

I know it’s all quite a lot to take in, considering how much plastic we come into contact with every single day. That is why I have stared #banthebottle for my 2016 resolution. By committing to never purchasing bottled water, I am taking a baby step forward in reducing harmful chemicals that could enter my system, and also helping the environment. It’s unrealistic to try and think we can avoid plastics completely, but a little awareness and pro-activeness can go a long way. Take San Fransisco! They have just become the first city in the world to ban plastic bottles and plastic shopping bags COMPLETELY! I love that city for a number of reasons but a big one is its environmental awareness. GO SF!

My vision for #banthebottle isn’t about plastic world domination. Just be aware of your surroundings, what you put into your body and give these tips a go;

  • Choose glass or stainless steel wherever possible (water bottles/storage containers/baby bottles).
  • NEVER heat up your food in plastic containers (ESPECIALLY in the microwave).
  • Always travel with a reusable water bottle so you don’t get caught out and feel the need to purchase bottled water.
  • Be aware of thin disposable containers that are designed to use ONCE. Think Chinese takeaway containers etc. Use only once and absolutely do not reheat food in these.
  • Start small and take baby steps. Storage containers can be expensive so just replace one a month or as they break/get lost in the school yard.
  • Think about other unnecessary plastic culprits like take away coffee cups. My friend Alyse from AAAD Nutrition, wrote a fabulous article about this just this week. You can read it here.

 

 

Remember doing something is better than doing nothing! Good luck & make sure to spread the #banthebottle message!

 

 

References

Kingston, h. (2012). Bottled Water – Cool Australia. [online] Cool Australia. Available at: http://www.coolaustralia.org/bottled-water-secondary/ [Accessed 12 Feb. 2016].

Toyama, Y., Suzuki-Toyota, F., Maekawa, M., Ito, C. and Toshimori, K. (2004). Adverse effects of bisphenol A to spermiogenesis in mice and rats. Archives of Histology and Cytology, 67(4), pp.373-381.

World Health Organisation, (2012). Global costs and benefits of drinking-water supply and sanitation interventions to reach the MDG target and universal coverage. Geneva Switzerland.

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