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Obsessive Society – Health, Weight Loss, Diets….

We are obsessed with healthy eating, dieting, weight loss. But do we actually eat/live healthy? Looking at the rising obesity and diseases (such as cancer, heart diseases, diabetes) rates worldwide, we definitely do not eat/live healthy! Majority of us do talk a “good game” (or procrastinate to the next more “convenient day” or always find an excuse not to do it, pulled through!) but when it actually comes to eating/living/being healthy/doing it, fail! Why? What is holding some of us back or off? Why many of us struggle with loosing weight, keeping the weight off (!), being healthy, active and ultimately happy?

Lately I get to hear very often when people look at my food and say: ‘oh that looks very healthy?’ ‘You are eating very healthy!’ ‘Oh that looks delicious’. ‘Oh that is so colourful and appetising!’ ‘Oh I wish I would have time to do my own lunches, make home-cooked meals’…..

Well for me it is natural and essential, as we all call it “healthy” eating. That is what makes me, ME. A Human Being! And to be totally honest with you, I am starting to hate this phrase “healthy eating”!

And why do I eat such “shockingly” healthy foods? Because I don’t eat and want crap which is full of sugar (artificial or not. I won’t go into the detailed science with you here), bad fats, preservatives, artificial colours/flavours and other ingredients which I cannot even pronounce. Just think, if you cannot pronounce a certain ingredient how on earth does your body deal with it? Stores as fat, messes with your neurotransmitters, hormones and and and….

I came across something very interesting the other day. “If you are reading ingredient lists on products, then you don’t eat clean/lean/natural and (ok I say it here), healthy”. It is bloody true! Absolutely, if you are in the supermarket and read label after label then you are avoiding the real food! The food which is good for you, your body, mind, and and and! And you are in the wrong aisle! (Ok enough of rant).

On some occasions I get asked: ‘Don’t you treat yourself? Have some of the yummy cakes in the kitchen’. I just wonder – why? And that is what I really don’t get! Why do I want to “treat” my body and mind with high sugar, bad fats, crap food, empty calories?! A treat for me is a nice bowl of fresh berries (you can even have a spoon of full fat crème or Greek yogurt if you like), big fresh steak of tuna or piece of nice dark chocolate (at least 70%)! That is what a treat is – and should be! Treat, that actually gives your body good nutrients, cleansing your body from free radicals, oxidation stress, nourish your mind, gives you positive energy (emphasis on POSITIVE). Not crap, highly processed food! Please….

And then people say: ‘oh that is so difficult to resist those cakes, chocolate, biscuits, sweets in the kitchen’. Really? I don’t have a problem with that. Why? Just read the ingredients list and research each ingredient (good old google will help you with that). Find out more information and then think about it (digest the information you just read). Do you really want to have it in your body? Probably not (I hope so though otherwise I really don’t understand the world anymore).

The emphasis here is on natural, real, fresh food! We are designed to move, we are designed to eat whole food, real food.

And just an end note: I am proud to say that I haven’t been to McDonald’s (or similar establishments) in 15 Years! And I am not going to change it! I am shocked to see a queue in the Drive Through every time I pass a McDonald’s. Shocked! Seeing all the families with their kids stuffing their face with who knows what is in the “foods”!

Happy & natural eating!

Irina

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Posted by on 23 May, 2013 in Health & Wellbeing

 

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Abdominal (core) strength training aids portion size control?

Something the two of us have been discussing today is the effect that having a well-trained and strong ‘core’ (specifically the abdominal wall) could have on the function of the digestive organs, and whether this effect could help in controlling portion size of the food we eat…?

Irina has been particularly good at developing a serious core strength over recent months, using many different exercising techniques (which we will be blogging about separately soon). Recently she has been noticing that she feels full from eating less food than previously was the case. I have also noticed that my portion sizes in general are smaller now than they were several years ago, as my fitness levels have increased.
So perhaps there is some link?

From researching online I can’t find a huge amount specifically on this subject.

Some things I’ve found relating to health benefits of abdominal strength training (by no means an exhaustive list!):

  • It improves overall stability;
  • Promotes good posture
  • Can reduce back pain / weakness
  • Improves breathing under increased effort
  • Improves athletic performance
  • Added protection of internal organs
  • Improves digestive function

These last two we find of great interest for this discussion… Read the rest of this entry »

 
 

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New Years resolutions don’t work!

Happy New Year to you all! Hope 2013 will bring you health, excitement, adventures, fun, laughs (loads) and anything you wish and are working hard on.

It is New Year and many, many of us set New Years resolutions. Put a list together (either written or mentally) things we want to improve, achieve, get rid of, become better etc. The majority are probably loss weight, become fitter, start running, eat healthier, reduce alcohol consumption… You get the picture. So we are all set and ready to attack. We are so excited, motivated, full of energy, running to the shop and buy things we never though of buying (we don’t even know if we need it, how to use or what this thing does and if the claims are true), joining gym… We can visualise our goal, we know what we have to do. Until…..
Let me tell you the truth – New Years Resolutions don’t work! Boom! I know we don’t like to hear it or acknowledge that fact. But that is the truth. And why? Because they won’t last long, we get tired and bored, we get frustrated, we lose motivation, then the time issue, other commitments, other excuses, bad weather and and and. So after only few weeks we get somehow deflated, realise that it is harder than it seemed at the beginning. So what is the solution?

1. Don’t set New Years resolutions. It is good to have a starting point and 1st January seems like a good date to start something new (or get rid off) but somehow this particular date seems to be associated with a lot of pressure, from society. Start any day, any time. Start now!

2. Do it in stages. Step-by-step. Change, say two things first. For example, start walking more and eat more fruit and veg a day instead of bread or drink more water instead of soda/coke. See how it goes for few weeks, how you feel (and your family), once you got confident and comfortable, then change a few more of your habits. And so on. Be experimental with ingredients, recipes. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on 3 January, 2013 in Health & Wellbeing

 

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Other names for Sugar

Next time you do your food shopping look at the label on the products you usually buy. Watch out for sugar which some food manufacturer “hide” under different names for it. Those are:

Sugar – obvious
Sucrose – yeah can recognise
Glucose – sounds familiar
Fructose – somehow known
Corn Syrup – oh this one very bad! Cheap and vastly available.
Honey – natural but some manufacturer use corn syrup to make up bigger portions.
Molasses – probably not used that often
Sorbitol – alcohol sugar
Mannitol – alcohol sugar
Brown sugar – is what is says
Dextrose – also known as a corn sugar (ah naughty)
Levulose – aka fructose
Invert Sugar – mixture of glucose and fructose
Fruit juice concentrate – ….

The last one is shocking – Fruit juice concentrate! I only have to think on the isle in the supermarket we usually do our weekly shoping which contains drinks made of Fruit juice concentrate!!!! I am shaking my head in disbelieve…
Don’t be blind! Check before you buy!

You are welcome.

Irina

 
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Posted by on 17 December, 2012 in Health & Wellbeing

 

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Is Healthy Eating a luxury?

We get to hear it all the time – healthy eating is unaffordable, complicated and takes too much time and effort. But perhaps all these are “easy” excuses?!

In my opinion, Healthy Eating doesn’t necessarily mean Organic food, from farmers/market or health shops only. It is easy to achieve by shopping at the local supermarket and even if you are on a budget. Expensive doesn’t automatically mean healthy! There are easy steps to follow when shopping at the big supermarkets (and not to fall for the big marketing foods). But lets start from the beginning…….

A few days ago I read an interesting comment from a Psychology professor at University of Oxford. He states that we can accomplish a healthy eating plan/life style by buying a few basic ingredients like eggs, chicken, potatoes, milk, apples, bananas, cabbage, onions, garlic, beans (even baked beans) and other fruit/vegetables which are in season….. The list could be huge and those are very basic, simple ingredients which are easily accessible and affordable, and can make up healthy meals/snacks. That made me think…. what steps do we need to take? How and when? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on 1 December, 2012 in Health & Wellbeing, Recipes & Nutrition

 

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Beetroot Risotto

Carrying on the Beetroot theme… I made a beetroot risotto tonight. I love making risotto’s, and have got it down to a fine art nowadays. A good friend of mine suggested using beetroot in risotto after my beetroot post yesterday, so here it is for you to try out. It worked a treat and was delicious. Excellent pre-race fuel I think! As usual my recipe is for two people, so you might want to adjust the amounts accordingly…

Ingredients:

2 x raw beetroots, shredded into thin strips
1 x celery stick, diced
Half a diced onion
1 or 2 x crushed garlic cloves (depends on how punchy you like it)
1 x small glass of nice red wine Read the rest of this entry »

 

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