Sweet prediction for 2013

It seems we may all have been hoodwinked.

We all understood that eating healthily would give us better lives.

But somehow we fixated on eliminating fats from our diet when we really needed to be giving some attention to the effects of sugar.

According to the Lovestrong health site:

Both carbohydrates and fats, though often cited as unhealthy dietary components, are macronutrients that play a vital role in maintaining your overall health. Added sugar, on the other hand, doesn’t provide much of a benefit to the body.

What does all this mean for 2013?

I think we can expect more sugar alternatives to come onto the market, so watch this space…
One such alternative already appearing is Sukrin – a natural sweetener developed in Norway from erytritol, a sugar alcohol fermented the from glucose found in pears, melons and mushrooms.
Most importantly: Sukrin has zero calroies and zero GI (ie. it doesn’t affect blood sugar – important for diabetics and dieters). And it can be used in baking too.
sukrin
A delightful sugar alternative from Norway

Sukrin is in fact only 75% as sweet as sugar, it has not artificial sacharin taste and is totally safe for sonsumption. But what I really like about this product is the diversity of products available from Sukrin…

In addition to normal white Sukrin crystals, you can also get Sukrin + which is mixed with Stevia to give  a taste twice as sweet as sugar! (In other words you only have to use half as much.)
Also there is an icing sugar version called Sukrin Melis – very useful indeed… But,  my personal favourite is Sukrin Gold, wich is composed of several natural sweeteners to make a brown caramel flavoured sugar at less than 1 calorie per teaspoon. Perfect for coffee!

Win the De-Stress Diet book

The De-Stress DietMost of us want to be slim, cool, calm and collected.

But any time I try a diet I tend to be irritable, hungry and frustrated.

Clear links have been made between stress and weight gain (most of us call it comfort eating). This year a new diet book has been released that takes account of life’s stresses and still helps us lose weight.

Written by Charlotte Watts and Anna Magee (and published from Hay House), The De-Stress Diet is designed to help you feel calm, explore what suits your body and discover how to live as nature intended (as much as you possibly can in this modern world).

For your chance to win this book send me an email with your name and address, and I will announce the winner in the next newsletter (competition closes 26th july 2012, UK addresses only).

Ways to cut your cholesterol

It’s not easy to know if you have high cholesterol. So, particularly if your family has a history of heart disease, it is wise to check your cholesterol levels with your doctor.

There are things you can do to reduce the risk of developing bad cholesterol levels.

Cut the bad fats
Foods with saturated fats, hydrogenated fats, and cholesterol (such as animal products, fried foods, and baked snacks) can raise cholesterol

Consider a more vegetarian diet
Vegetarian meals reap the rewards of avoiding animal fats and increasing fibre and other cholesterol-stabilising nutrients (see Lecisun below)

Slim down
Aim for a healthy body weight to avoid problems with blood lipids and other heart disease risk factors

Get fit
Use a regular programme of aerobic exercise to maintain optimal blood lipid levels and lower heart disease risk

Kick the habit
Maintain healthy HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels and low heart disease risk by avoiding cigarette smoke

Protect with anti-oxidants
Daily vitamin C and vitamin E help to protect the LDL (“bad”) cholesterol from damage that can increase heart disease risk

Take Lecisun
Lecisun comes from the same makers as Lecigran, a soya food supplement for those seeking to maintain normal cholesterol levels. Lecisun offers the same benefits but comes from non-genetically modified sunflowers.

Both these products contain the ingredient lecithin. Popularly described as a fat buster, lecithin is technically a natural “phospholipid” which consists of fatty acids and a phosphate group linked to choline and inositol.

As a product Lecisun actually offers more phosphatidyl choline per serving than its soya based counterpart. It is also a rich source of linoleic acid which also plays a vital role in helping maintain normal cholesterol levels.

Cod liver oil makes a come back

There was a time when cod liver oil was feared by children the world over. Forced to gulp down horrid spoonfuls of the vile tasting liquid, they would do anything to avoid it, and all in the name of health.

Healthy oils for body and mind
Healthy oils for body and mind

But life has changed a lot since then. Most importantly it was realised that the Omega Fats in fish oil are excellent for strengthening the brain and heart and decreasing blood pressure. Add to this the benefit of being able to swallow doses in small capsules (thus helping with the taste) and children everywhere began to breathe a smile of relief.

Now Seven Seas are taking the revolution one step further combining a range of healthy oils, vitamins and minerals renowned for their beneficial properties. They’ve got some snazzy names too:

Radiant You
– Fish Oil blended with Biotin and Zinc for healthy hair, skin and nails.
Perfect Harmony
– Fish Oil with Primrose and Starflower Oils for hormonal balance.
Healthy Heart
– Fish Oil with Garlic and Vitamin B1 for the cardiovascular system.
Energetic You
– Fish Oil with B vitamins and CoQ10 for daily health and vitality.
Immune Defence
– Fish Oil with Vitamin C and Zinc keeps you fighting fit.
Flexible You
– Fish Oil with Calcium and Vitamins D & K for healthy bones, muscles and joints.
Active Mind
– Fish Oil blended with Ginkgo and Zinc for mental performance.

With advances like these, once tormented children can say hello to a daily dose of health without fear.

Fruit juice should always be healthy juice so be selective about what you drink

If you want to know the truth about fruit juice, some juices are better than others. Many use poor quality fruit which won’t provide all the health benefits you expect and don’t taste like they should either.

Sunraysia sets its standards higher: nothing but juice from the best quality fruits, packed with real healthy benefits and tasting delicious. It’s made them a household name the world over.

Sunraysia drinks are designed to bless your body
Sunraysia drinks are designed to bless your body

As juice makers, Sunraysia are especially keen that you not only drink something tasty, but something that helps you feel happy. That’s how their blend of fruits and botanical extracts and sometimes vitamins too, are designed to bless you.

They don’t add any preservatives, artificial colours or artificial flavours – keeping it 100% natural so your body feels loved.

That’s the philosophy that goes into their Wellbeing Drink combining apple, cherry and beetroot to boost your immune system. It’s also why they make a Prune Juice naturally rich in anti oxidants, or carrot juice rich in beta carotene, and tomato juice rich in lycopene.

Sunraysia’s Pear, Apple & Vanilla Drink is designed to be soothing. Their Orange, Mango & Passion Fruit Drink contains ginseng and guarana to give you energy. And their Beetroot & Evesse apple juice promises betaine, to help maintain a healthy heart, and polyphenols to help improve blood circulation.

Heard of krill oil or red yeast rice? They may just bless your heart

If you didn’t know it’s British Heart Month. We don’t often think about protecting our heart but heart disease is the number one killer in the UK.

It’s important to consider your diet, have a good level of fitness, and keep an eye on your blood pressure. The British Heart Foundation is an excellent first point of reference for facts and advice.

There are also some interesting new supplements that have come onto the market.

The first is Red Yeast Rice. This contains a naturally forming statin found in fermented rice. As a food it is used for red colouring in Peking Duck but it has also been used in Chinese medicine for centuries.

Following a successfully study published in the American Journal of Cardiology, it has been concluded that red yeast is very useful for lowering cholesterol, but  it only may help according to the NHS.

It sits here on my desk as a product called Rice Pure in capsule form and the description says “May help maintain healthy cholesterol levels.”

The other item is Krill Oil. The description here says “A potent source of Omega 3”.

In fact it’s 48 times richer in Omega 3 than regular fish oil and it has a sustainable source to boot. It’s taken from shellfish in the clear waters of the Antarctic.

Omega 3 has been found to help lower cholesterol and blood pressure and improve heart health overall, so Krill Oil looks  like a promising product. I’ve also heard that you don’t get the same smelly breath and after-taste effect as from fish oil which is a definite plus.

How to get rid of that slugish feeling

How to overcome constipation, a toxic colon and diarrhoea once and for all.My husband has a stressful job.  He’s the sales manager of an ever growing company.  The expectation to exceed the target (let alone meet it) for that month is always there. Now don’t get me wrong, he enjoys it immensely. He works with a fantastic bunch of people who all pull their weight. No one slacks.  But the pressure and therefore the stress is still there.Why do I tell you this? Well let’s just say stress affects your body in many different ways. For my Husband, Ben, it affects his stomach and digestive system. Which leads me onto my point.

Book Cover
I’ve been reading this book – How to overcome constipation, a toxic colon and diarrhoea once and for all, written by Peter Jackson and I’ve got 10 copies to give away to those that need a little extra help.   Now by the title you would think it was all about, well, poo. But it’s not. Well it is, but its not.

Read on and see how this book has changed my husbands life.

Right from the very moment you put something in your mouth it will affect your bowls in many different ways depending on a very small yet extremely important fact.

How long do you chew your food?

In this day and age we are very busy.  Much of the food we eat is ‘on the go’ so that’s bad for us… and even if it is home made, if we don’t chew enough then its still causing our body stress.

The point of chewing our food is not only to break it down so we can swallow it comfortably, but to get our saliva into the food.  Our saliva is packed with enzymes that help break down the carbohydrates for absorption. It is actually recommended that you chew your food until it has turned to liquid! (meal times have just got longer!)

Next, it travels down to the stomach where the breaking down really begins.  Now if you haven’t chewed your food until it is liquid then your stomach is going to have to break down the lumps. If the food is the ‘Wrong type of food’ (I will get on to that later) then your stomach acids (gastric acid) will find it impossible to dissolve the bonds between the food molecules properly causing your body more stress. Obviously some things take a lot longer to break down and therefore sit in your stomach for several hours before being moved on to the small intestines.

After the stomach comes the small intestine and it is said that 80% of the nutrient absorption takes place in the small intestine. So this is an important place.

If the food you have eaten is either the wrong type of food or hasn’t been broken down enough whilst chewing or by your stomach acids then this can be where the trouble really begins.  Your intestines produce a mucus to help lubricate the digestive tract making it easier for the unwanted food to slip through the colon. HOWEVER if the walls of your colon are coated with unwanted waste from previous attempts of digestion then your gonna get into some trouble!

One of the main points of your colon is to absorb water from the waste on its way through. However if it cant come in contact with it as the walls of your colon are coated then you will end up with what is known as diarrhoea. And this will continue until you start to look after your inners a little more and think about what you are eating.

What should I eat? Wrong foods, right foods.

Well we all know that plenty of fibre is good for us. (especially those that are having a little trouble in the ‘passing’ area) but did you all know there are 2 different types of fibre?  I certainly didn’t until I read this book.

  • Insoluble Fibre
  • Soluble Fibre

Bran FlakesWhat’s  the difference?

>Well, in a nut shell, insoluble fibre will push things through your system but in a fairly rough manor.  For example, you may eat, say bran flakes (made from wheat bran) and they will go through you fairly quickly but in fact they are what’s known as roughage. As they travel through they will have a scratching affect which could make any sensitive situation worse.

Muesli

Soluble fibre… now that’s a different story.  Found in many fresh vegetables, beans, pulses, whole grains and fruit.  A great source of soluble fibre is oats.  When oats travel through your system, instead of having a scratching affect, they have a cleansing affect.  This means that they clean your colon on the way through, keeping the walls free from anything that is clinging where it shouldn’t be, making the process a lot more comfortable

‘Bad Foods’

Things containing wheat, gluten, dairy, or red meat and sweet things.

What can I eat???

The point isn’t that you need to get rid of all these things completely, but that you need to know just how much of something you are having.  Wheat for example manages to sneak into so many things nower days it’s almost unbelievable! and dairy is not far off either. Our bodies aren’t made to handle the amount of wheat and dairy that many of us consume.

Dairy- People believe that you need to have dairy to make sure you get enough calcium, but actually calcium and magnesium are a double act, so without one the other wont work.  you can get a lot of what you need for calcium and other minerals from the following

  • Sardines
  • Almonds
  • Watercress
  • Parsley
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Quinoa
  • Walnuts
  • Salmon
  • Eggs
  • Brown Rice
  • Chicken
  • Kelp
  • Molasses

And if your still in doubt then you can always take a calcium & magnesium supplement.

Meat –  Now if you are a meat eater then this bit is going to be a little hard for you to swallow.  It is recommended that you do not have red meat and pork more than once a month!  Both meats are linked to higher risks of colon cancer so from this point alone you should really consider how much you have.  It is actually recommended to have at least 2 days that are completely meat and fish free to give your body time to fully cleanse itself.

Back to my husband.  I have made a few subtle changes to his diet over the past few months.  First I started with his breakfast.  He was eating bran flakes.  Now he eats oat based muesli. This is obvious.  I have swapped the insoluble fibre with a soluble one.  Not only that, but it also has nuts and dried fruit in it.  This is definitely a much better start to the day.

Once he had got used to that I changed his lunch.  He was having a standard white bread sandwich every day, with some fruit and sometimes a piece of cake! Now he has a wheat free pasta dish with vegetables followed by fruit… (and I get the feeling he manages to sneak the odd cake now and again) but the main thing is that the wheat from the bread has gone, and so has the cheese.

Tea times… now this is a slightly harder one to tackle.  He is a meat lover. However if you fill the plate with veg and keep reminding them to chew until its liquid then by the time it gets to seconds (in other words getting more meat) they are actually feeling full from dinner and having learnt a little self control he no longer gets more meat.  Its a step in the right direction.

We are not perfect, but we certainly have learnt a lot form this book and there are still more areas we can tackle.  One thing Peter Jackson’s book does remind us of is that you change one thing at a time… that way its not so overwhelming.  As a testimony to the small changes, Ben would say he’s felling a lot better on the inside already 😉

If you live in the UK and would like to be entered in to the hat to have one of the 10 copies I’m giving away then simply send us an email with the subject A toxic Colon plus your name and you will be put in the hat!

All the best

Laura