A Busy Girl’s Guide To Staying Healthy

A full schedule can really push your diet and exercise routine to the bottom of the list. But it doesn’t have to be that way. With a little discipline, you can combine a healthy lifestyle with a busy one. Here’s how:

1. Set an alarm
Getting up early is highly praised habit of healthy and happy people. Don’t wake up with only enough time to put on your clothes and brush your teeth before you’re out the door. Use your mornings efficiently to prepare for the rest of the day. Think of all the things you can achieve with an extra hour in the morning! Exercise, prepare your lunch, or just sit and read to clear your mind before the day ahead.

RELATED: Are we sitting ourselves to death?

2. Eat a good breakfast
I know you have heard this before, but eating a large, healthy breakfast really is the best way to start your day. It kickstarts your metabolism and gives you the energy to make it through the morning until lunch. Optimize your breakfast by eating carbs and low GI foods.

3. Choose lunch carefully
While it’s often healthier and certainly more economical to pack your own lunch, we understand that busy girls don’t always have the time for this. Therefore, when it comes to lunch, try selecting the healthiest option. Don’t go for the burrito today – eat a sandwich instead. Swap those noodles for some sushi or get the turkey sub instead of meatballs! Whatever you do – stay away from the fast food!

4. You only need 30 minutes of exercise a day
I really envy those people who love exercise (come on, do you really?), but most of us struggle to find the motivation. Just remember that doing something is better than nothing, and it only takes 30 minutes to get a decent workout. Walk, run, skip, stretch, do pilates – just do something! A great way to sneak some exercise into the daily grind is simply to walk. Walk to the train station or bus stop instead of driving, don’t get a cab two blocks, don’t eat lunch at the closest cafeteria – try the one five minutes down the road. Especially those of you working at a desk – use those breaks to stretch your legs and get your blood pumping.

5. Download a meditation app
A healthy mind is key to your wellbeing. You only need five or ten minutes to sit-down, relax and center yourself, and it could turn your whole day around. Try these on for size.

6.  Prepare
Take an hour or two out of your weekend to cut up vegetables to snack on  during the week. Make a meal plan and do your grocery shopping. Cook a large soup, curry or pasta dish that will provide leftovers for a few more meals. Incorporating healthy-eating into a busy schedule is all about using your time efficiently!

7. Swap coffee for herbal tea
Even the best of us sometimes need a coffee in the morning. But for those of you having more than one or two every day – make one of those a green tea. Herbal teas are full of antioxidants that cleanse your body, and will also keep you more hydrated than coffee.

September 19, 2014

Top Tips for Kick Starting your Summer Detox

Summertime spells holiday, fun, fabulous food and sometimes too much of the things we shouldn’t be filling up on. Delicious treats like yummy (sugar-laden) pavlova; an extra wine or two; a second helping of ham and some tasty Christmas panettone are often too tempting to avoid. It’s OK to indulge here and there, but in excess these temptations are known inflammatory foods that can wreak havoc on our bodies.

The result of days (or weeks) of overindulgence can place strain on your digestive system which  can result in an undesirable blend of side effects including brain fog, bloating, lack of energy, headaches and general aches and pains amongst others.

In addition to the abundance of delicious food and beverages that are playing havoc with our system, we can often find ourselves dealing with lingering stress – an overflow from a busy year that may have felt like an exhausting session on the treadmill for 12 months straight. This often leads to fatigue and other symptoms that are the result of a body and mind struggling to cope.

It’s only when we find ourselves run-down that we realise it’s time for a change. To prevent the onset of these symptoms or to treat those we are experiencing, nutritionist and dietician Belinda Reynolds shares her best tips for cleansing our system and getting our health back on track.

Love your liver
The liver is the body’s chief cleansing organ, while the skin, intestines and kidneys play a secondary, yet very important, role. The liver’s job is to process toxins that have entered the blood, and transform them into water-soluble molecules that are removed from the body. The liver needs a helping hand so by reducing your intake of alcohol and inflammatory foods you can take the pressure off and improve this process. Liver cleansing pathways are  supported by a variety of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients found in foods like garlic, onions, brazil nuts, fruits and vegetables, wholegrains, brown rice and quinoa. Plus, amino acids from protein in foods such as sardines, nuts, legumes and natural yoghurt are useful also.

It is important for the liver to have the right nutrients in order for the blood cleansing processes to run effectively and efficiently. Your healthcare practitioner can also recommend supplements to support this cleanse.

Get outdoors
Exercise stimulates the lymphatic system which helps fluid balance and improves the transport of impurities for ultimate removal from the body. Try exercising at least 30 minutes each day, and mix it up by walking to work, joining a yoga class, taking your goggles to the beach for a swim or taking the stairs when you can.

Pack some protein
Protein helps to metabolise toxins and will improve the cleansing process. Whole brown rice protein is a leading choice among healthcare professionals as it is gluten, dairy and soy-free; three protein sources that some people have difficulty digesting, and that other individuals may be sensitive to.

BioCeuticals Aminoplex Cleanse is a practitioner-only supplement that contains a high quality rice protein made from organic sprouted wholegrain brown rice. It’s advised to ask your health practitioner for guidance regarding your personalised cleanse program. Tip: Add 2 scoops to your smoothie.

Revisit your diet
Make it a New Year’s resolution to reduce the sugar content in your diet. Focus on removing processed foods with added sugar and/or refined grains (e.g. white bread, pasta and rice), and fruit juices that are concentrated sources of fruit sugar (fructose) and devoid of essential fibre. Consuming whole fruits in moderation is still OK as they provide fibre, less sugar per gram, plus many health-promoting nutrients. So stay clear of sweets, cordials, soft drinks and juices and those oh-so-delicious desserts that provide short term pleasure, but long term harm to our health goals.

Liquid your way
It is important to drink at least two litres of water per day to stay hydrated and to help flush out the toxins in your body. Top up your liquids with caffeine-free herbal teas and fresh vegetable juices. These beverages are great to nourish your body and also help to maintain a healthy digestive system.

Invisible toxins
The environment we live in is laden with toxins that affect our natural body functions. During your cleanse, try to live as ‘clean’ an existence as possible avoiding hairspray; cosmetics which contain parabens and phthalates; synthetic fragrances (use natural essential oils); pesticides (found on our fruit and veggies unless you buy organic from your local market); household cleaning agents (unless you use eco-friendly brands). Convert to BPA-free plastic containers, or use glass, or better still, eat fresh food on a day to day basis, at least during this time.

The more you reduce your exposure to inflammatory agents as well as environmental toxins during your cleansing program, the better chance you have of a reduced toxic burden on your body. The outcome will have you feeling energetic, happy and light in being. Enjoy!

Remember to speak to your healthcare practitioner for more information about cleansing.

Are you starting a summer cleanse?

December 27, 2013

How to Keep the Weight Off in Summer

When we think summer, we think lighter eating and doing more exercise than winter, but actually, it’s very easy for the weight to creep on during the warmer months. Holiday parties, after-work cocktails, indulgent get-togethers…the calories add up quickly.

To top it off, SumoSalad have conducted their annual lunchtime survey and found that a shocking 70% of Australians eat an unhealthy lunch 4-5 times a week!

Dietician Georgina Moore and health and fitness coach Amelia Burton share their best tips to stay healthy and trim in summer.

Stay fuller for longer
To keep you feeling fuller for longer, choose foods that are high in protein, such as tofu, salmon, eggs and lean beef. Adding foods that are low GI into your diet such as vegetables and legumes, will also keep you satisfied throughout the day.

10-minute workouts
Did you know three 10-minute workouts are just as effective as a 30-minute workout? Try these simple exercise tips at lunchtime, or even at your desk. 10 squats, 10 push-ups and 10 tricep dips – repeat four times non-stop.

End the 3pm sugar binge
To help maintain blood sugar levels, avoiding the large spikes and troughs that lead to 3pm sugar binges, snack on foods that have a low glycemic index, such as unsalted mixed nuts, hummus or low-fat yoghurt.

Tone first, cardio after
To improve fat burning, always try to do the toning component of your workout before your cardiovascular workout. Therefore, push-ups before you run.

Veggie load-up
Load up with veggies – veggies provide a whole host of nutrients and fibre without being energy dense.

Become a morning person
Try to get up a little earlier for a morning workout. Blood sugar levels are lower in the morning, which helps burn body fat. Getting up early will also jump-start your metabolism and set you up for the rest of the day.

Keep up your lean protein
Eating chicken, salmon, turkey and Greek yoghurt after a workout will help build your muscles as they are more receptive to the effects of protein.

Avoid unwanted weight gain
To avoid unwanted weight gain and foods that have empty calories with no nutritional benefits, opt for foods that are low in fat (especially saturated fat) and low in salt.

How do you stay trim and healthy in summer?

November 13, 2013

Calories Count: Biggest Loser Alison Sweeney’s Diet Tips

The host of America’s The Biggest Loser, Alison Sweeney, is dishing out her best diet secrets picked up over six years of hosting the hit weight-loss show.

“The most important tip I have for people is not to jump on the bandwagon of a fad diet or some sort of extreme version of weight loss or nutrition because you end up feeling like committed to something where you’re depriving yourself or you’re eating only certain types of foods,” Sweeney, 36, told Fox News.

“And that’s not good for your either.”

After struggling with her weight for most of the 1990s while starring in Days of our Lives, Sweeney went on to reinvent herself as a diet and fitness expert after taking on hosting duties of The Biggest Loser in 2007.

“If you stick to a diet that’s more well-balanced, finding the right nutrients that you’re supposed to have in your daily diet and just eating better portions, and sort of balancing that out the way, you know, that’s healthy you can do that your whole life.”

The mother-of-two explained that the calorie counting really is the best way to lose weight – and keep it off.

“Calories are a really good barometer of it but calories aren’t the enemy either. I mean you’re supposed to have a certain amount of calories.

“There’s a certain amount of good kinds of sugar that you do need to have in your diet so that’s not necessarily the enemy either.’

And her number one weight loss motivation tip? The results are really up to you.

‘”You can’t lose weight for other people and as much as you would love to that’s true in reverse,” she shared.

“You may love your daughter, your spouse, your parent; you cannot help them lose weight.  You can’t do it for them.  You have to want to do it for yourself and you have to do it for yourself.”

She said when she finally set realistic goals and stopped comparing herself to others, success came her way.

Do you think calorie counting is the best way to lose weight?

September 18, 2013