Luckily we've uncovered 5 of the healthiest ingredients that you probably haven't used yet!
WHAT IS THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET?
Thanks to dense coastlines and rich soils, the islands caressing the Mediterranean Sea serve up diets full of nuts, veggies and legumes, and olive oils. Traditionally a peasant-style diet, it’s largely plant-based, with little meat, and next to no hyper-processed foods. However, it is relatively high in fat – meaning if the Mediterranean diet is as healthy as research shows, fat is not the enemy commonly thought of in Western diets.
If you’ve ever set a big goal, you know that your excitement and enthusiasm are high and you can’t wait to get started. But over time, motivation naturally starts to decrease and day-to-day life becomes a distraction. But that’s no reason not to set goals in the first place. You just have to change your strategy.
The endorphin rush that comes with a workout, the accomplishment in improving strength or dropping a few kilos is hard to beat. It is motivating and inspiring and is often the driving force that keeps us going back for more.
For most, this healthy habit is something that enhances our quality of life, but for a subset of the population it becomes more sinister.
Eating carbs increases the level of tryptophan in your blood, which the body converts into serotonin – a sleep-inducing brain chemical that slows nerve impulses and promotes calm. While more research is needed, sleep researchers generally agree that including a carbohydrate, particularly slow-burning carbs (beans, pasta, quinoa, sweet potato) to your evening meal will help you sleep more soundly.
1. Fresh Fruit
Bananas: an excellent source of energy, Vitamin B6, potassium and fiber.
Apples: a great source of fiber, Vitamin C and help regulate blood sugar. They’re very satisfying, making them a perfect afternoon snack.
Blueberries: Blueberries are packed with Vitamin K, Manganese, Fiber and Vitamin C, and their antioxidant count is high.
Vitamin A is a potent antioxidant necessary for collagen and keratin production – a type of protein responsible for skin strength and smooth, plump appearance (not quite the same as what you find in fancy skin creams. Be sure to include lots of sweet potato, carrots, dark leafy greens, pumpkin, capsicum, mangoes and broccoli in your diet.
Eat Fresh Foods
While manufacturers are getting better at reducing the sodium levels in foods, you should still read the labels. Fresh foods like fruits, vegetables, wholegrains, unsalted nuts and fresh lean meats are naturally low in sodium and should make up the majority of your diet.
The stomach, which contains hydrochloric acid, will help in the proper digestion of food. The problem lies when the LES either does not close all the way or it opens too often that produces acid to your stomach and move up into your esophagus.
My general compromise for a person without these conditions is: 1 good quality coffee per day. What do I mean by good quality coffee? Coffee made by running water through ground coffee beans with an espresso machine, plunger etc. Instant coffee is not OK as it is high in a chemical called acrylamide which has been shown to cause nerve damage and some research suggests that it is carcinogenic (cancer causing).
Whether you want to strip body fat, or build lean muscle, eating red meat helps by keeping you fuller for longer and curbing hunger cravings.
A powerful source of energy and nutrients – such as vitamin B2, iron and zinc, red meat also helps the functioning of bones and muscles. When selecting your meat look out for fresh, lean cuts which have a vibrant red color, and opt for grass-fed beef, which has higher levels of omega-3 fats.
Enjoy red meat twice a week, and chicken, fish or vegetable sources of protein on other days.
1. Willpower is a mind-body response
You may have heard the mantra ‘tell your mind what to do and your body will follow.’ It seems logical that willpower works simply through your mindset, however, it’s actually a full-blown mind-body response. This mind-body response triggers a ‘pause and plan’ effect, which puts your body into a calmer state, unlike the adrenaline rush of stress, which depletes your willpower reserves and leads to poor decision making. The result is the difference between reaching for that chocolate bar or taking a deep breath and making a cup of tea instead.
When we are stressed, or experience stress there are changes in the brain and in the whole body. We experience the ‘stress response’ or ‘fight-flight’ response. When we are in danger or feel threatened our body gets ready and geared up to face up to it in the best possible way to survive. Our heart rate increases, muscles become tense, stress hormones are released and flood into the nervous system, fats and sugars release to create instant energy, the digestive system shuts down to save energy and the area of the brain which is used for clear decision making shuts down.
Here are some examples:
Playing with your kids and grand children
As we get older, many of us complain of stiff joints, immobility and tight muscles - not to mention just a lack of general cardiovascular fitness. All of these things create a barrier when it comes to carrying out our daily chores and activities, but we get by. We adapt, we figure out ways of making things easier. We take the elevator instead of the stairs, we park closer to the supermarket and we store things where they’re easily accessible.
Alcohol may help you fall asleep quickly, but the quality of your sleep may not be so good. Those who drink close to bedtime don’t get enough rapid eye movement (REM) sleep where important processes of dreaming and restoration occur. This lack of sleep impairs muscle recovery and reduces energy, meaning your workouts the next day will suffer.
Modern wheat has been subjected to selective breeding over thousands of years, stripping it of many nutrients, but untouched ancient grains boast a far richer nutritional profile. Higher in protein and lower in gluten, they’re an excellent source of dietary fiber, which not only give you a “full” feeling, but are necessary for digestive health.
KNOW YOUR RISK?
Women of all ages should take heart disease seriously. Those under the age of 65, and especially those with a family history of heart disease, need to pay close attention to the risk factors. Smoking is another contributing risk for heart disease more so in women than in men, so either quit or don’t start this unhealthy habit.
To Burn Calories- Standing
According to studies standing at a desk increases calorie burn by 20 percent compared to sitting. Why? When we sit, our muscles are not engaged, our digestive system slows and blood circulation is gradual. So if you find yourself chained to the desk most of the time, stand up every 20 minutes and go to the printer, get a drink of water, take a stretch or pace while talking on the phone.