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Sunday, 31 August 2014

You really ARE what you eat

Forget sunbathing, munching just two extra portions of fruit and veg a day gives you a more attractive skin glow than a suntan.

  • Eating plenty of fruit and vegetables gives skin a golden 'carotenoid' glow.
  • Majority of people rated this yellow glow more attractive than a suntan.
  • Carotenoids are important for our immune and reproductive systems.
  • Scientists suggest 'carotenoid' glow signals health to potential mates.

You might be lamenting your fading tan as summer becomes a distant memory. But fear not - all you need to do is reach for a carrot or two.
Scientists now say that eating more fruit and vegetables really does lead to a golden skin glow, which signals good health to potential mates and increases your attractiveness.
High levels of red and yellow pigments in vegetables give the skin a yellow glow, whereas tanning in the sun makes the skin go brown.

This is because skin can become coloured either through a process called 'cartenoid colorisation', eating a diet rich in fruit and vegetables, or through a process called 'melanin colorisation', where the skin becomes tanned by the sun. 
Wanting to explore the importance of skin colour in facial attractiveness, the British scientists asked 60 volunteers to rate how attractive they found faces digitally enhanced to show pigmentation caused by ‘carotenoid coloration’ from eating fruit and vegetables, or ‘melanin coloration’ caused by tanning in the sun.

Golden glow: Scientists digitally enhanced images to show the effects of high cartenoid coloration- the golden glow achieved from eating a diet rich in fruit and vegetables (pictured top right)- compared with low cartenoid coloration (pictured top left). This was rated more attractive than images enhanced to show high melanin coloration from the sun (pictured bottom right) compared to low melanin coloration (pictured bottom left)

In the study, published in The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, more than three quarters of respondents (76 per cent) said the yellow glow from eating lots of brightly coloured vegetables was more attractive than the brown glow achieved through a sun tan. 
Carotenoids are antioxidants that help soak up damaging compounds produced by the stresses of everyday living, and are important for our immune and reproductive systems.
So researchers suggest that the golden skin from fruit and vegetables sends a signal of general health to potential mates and increases attractiveness.


  • Sweet potatoes
  • Melons 
  • Carrots
  • Tomato juice
  • Pumpkin
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli 
The study's co-author Dr Carol Lefevre, from of the Centre for Decision Research, at Leeds University, told MailOnline the research clearly exposes ‘the importance of carotenoid coloration as a cue to current health and attractiveness'. 
'It may be pivotal in mate choices,' she added. 
The research follows on from a previous study which found that eating two extra portions of fruit and vegetables a day led to a noticeable change in skin colour in just six weeks.
Scientists at St Andrews University tracked changes in the diet of 35 students over a 6 week period, measuring natural changes in their diet and skin colour.
Those individuals that improved their diet over the six weeks showed an increase in the desired golden skin tone, while the colour reduced in those whose diet had slipped.
Lead researcher Dr Ross Whitehead, Research Fellow at the School of Medicine at the University of St Andrews said he was surprised how even small improvements in diet produced results.
He said: ‘People who eat more fruit and vegetables have a ‘golden’ skin tone that looks healthy and attractive. Our latest research finds that even small improvements in diet produces visible benefits to skin colour. We were very surprised by how quick the changes were.


Friday, 29 August 2014

Vitamin C Miracle

Vitamin C is found in fruits, vegetables and herbs. It should be consumed daily for best benefit.

Vitamin C helps support the immune system and has been shown to reduce the duration of a cold. It also contributes to iron absorption and energy metabolism.

It also helps with collagen formation (great as you get older!) and protects cells from oxidative stress.

It helps protect the eyes which are rich in vitamin C, especially the lens and retina. The nervous system function also benefits from it.

Vitamin C helps to protect your brain cells and can help support a high IQ.

What are you waiting for????

Natural Health Magazine

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

10 Minute High Intensity Workout for Fat Burning

                                       Have a bottle of water to hand and pause if you need to.

Monday, 25 August 2014

4 Tips to Firm and Tone Your Legs

Do these quick, simple exercises on a daily basis and it can help to tone and firm your legs, thighs and buttocks......without too much effort!

  • When you're getting in or out of a chair without depending on the arms for help.Let your thigh muscles contract to help lower and raise your body. Keep your back straight.
  • Climb stairs two at a time, keep your back straight and don't rely on the handrail.
  • When bending to reach anything low down, bend your knees deeply. Straighten up without leaning forward or holding onto anything for assistance.
  • When sitting down, press your lower back into the chair, then press your legs together tightly as if they were one. Hold for as long as you can. 

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Tone a Double Chin

This exercise can help tone up a double chin. Do daily for best results, then maintain 3-4 times a week once toned.

Sitting upright in a chair, tilt your head back to look up at the ceiling. Keep your lips closed and relaxed.

Keeping in this position, pucker your lips together as if you are going to kiss someone. Stretch to kiss like your trying to kiss the ceiling.

Keep your lips puckered while counting to 15 to yourself. Relax and bring your head back to normal.

Repeat five times.

The Eye Gym

This quick exercise can help to strengthen the eye muscles if done daily.

Hold your thumb 6 inches away from your nose.

Focus on it and breathe slowly and relax.

Next look at an object 10 ft away, continue with deep breathing.

Repeat 20 times a day.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

7 Reasons You Feel Tired All The Time

1/ You’re dehydrated

Without adequate fluid intake, blood pressure drops, slowing delivery of oxygen to the brain, which can leave you feeling flat out. The amount of fluid needed depends on the individual, but you should aim to go to the toilet at least three times a day. Between six and eight glasses of water-based drinks – including tea and coffee – a day are recommended.

2/ Your thyroid

Hypothyroidism is when your thyroid, a gland that produces hormones to control sleepiness and hunger, is underactive. It’s a common cause of over-sleeping, but hard to pinpoint without a doctor. If you’re feeling sluggish but getting plenty of sleep, book an appointment with your doctor. A simple blood test can detect a gland gone bad.

3/ Alcohol

More than half of us reach for a glass of vino between three to four times a week to relax after a hectic day. While alcohol relaxes you initially, it can compromise your sleep quality – even if you are get the recommended 7-8 hours. The chemicals in alcohol disrupt your sleep cycle, preventing you from entering deep sleep. Step away from the Chardonnay.

4/ You have sleep apnea

The disorder affects 3-7% of the population. Sufferers wake up because they stop breathing anywhere from five times to hundreds of times an hour. Sounds scarier than it us but you’ll sleep for longer because your sleep quality is compromised. The catch: you don’t remember waking up, so it’s hard to tell if you’re suffering. Snoring, being overweight, and waking up with a headache – caused by a nocturnal lack of oxygen - are all symptoms of sleep apnea. Speak to your doctor if they sound familiar.

5/ Napping

A siesta can take the edge off an afternoon slump, but the duration of your downtime is crucial. It has been clinically proven that taking a nap for up to 30 minutes is revitalising, but any longer than that and you’ll end up in a REM cycle for an hour. Waking mid-cycle can leave you feeling groggy so if you want to nap for longer, have one lasting 90 minutes.

6/ Your mood

Many depressed people aren’t just down in the dumps - they’re sleepy, too. But here’s the deal: depression doesn’t necessarily make you sleep more, it just makes getting out of bed in the a.m. tougher, which could lead to excess sleep. So if you’re finding yourself lacking the energy to face the hours ahead of you or dreading the day, head to your GP to get checked for this very common disease.

7/ Mineral deficiency

Magnesium plays a vital role in maintaining blood glucose levels, muscle health and concentration so a lack of it can leave you feeling lethargic. Magnesium is found in leafy vegetables and nuts, but a supplement can help too


Tuesday, 19 August 2014

4 Tips to Beat the Bloat

Flights booked and bikini packed? Don't let a puffy pouch ruin your holiday with these top tips that are so easy, you can even do them on the beach. Simple!

1/ Eat more fibre

‘The build-up of waste materials in the colon can cause serious bloating,’ says Lamb. To get things moving along smoothly (and get rid of a swollen tummy), she recommends upping your fibre intake.
Not serving All Bran at your hotel? Don’t fret. Other good sources of fibre include fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and lentils. Can't handle veggies? Rolled oats, linseeds, ripe fruits and non-starchy vegetables (like carrots, celery, bok choy and lettuce) may be easier to tolerate if vegetables tend to make you swell up like a beach ball, Lamb advises.
Need an extra boost? Try a psyllium husk fibre supplement to help support healthy bowel movements.

2/ Say no to sugar

You already know that sugar is bad, right? Not only will it give you crazy mood swings and add pounds to your waistline, but it can also cause - yep, you guessed it - bloating.
'Simple sugars and refined carbohydrates can cause more gas by preferred pathogenic bacteria fermentation and encourage the growth of fungi like candida.' In other words, stuffing your face with sugar is like buying a one-way ticket to bloat city. Yuck.
'Avoid processed products such as white pasta, breads and baked goods,' she says. No churros for you, then.

3/ Pop a probiotic

According to Lamb, bloating is frequently caused by an imbalance of gut microflora.
‘Probiotics have been shown in studies to rebalance the gut flora, support the efficient digestion of food and regular healthy bowel movements.’ Lamb recommends taking a multi-strain probiotic every day, or you could try one of these foods naturally high in probiotics. Gut-terly fabulous!

4/ Relax

‘Stress is known to reduce the levels of beneficial bacteria in the gut and can occur in many ways such as a busy lifestyle or lack of sleep,’ says Lamb. Yikes!
She recommends including some form of relaxation into your daily routine like reading a book, doing some yoga, meditating or enjoying a steaming hot bath with lavender oil. We recommend booking another beach holiday, stat!


Sunday, 17 August 2014

Fridge Tricks To Keep You Slim

Where you place items in your fridge is proven to have a direct effect on what you eat each

time you open it. 

According to a study by Cornell University, we are 2.7 times more likely to pick up foods

placed in our eye-line and less likely to reach for those in an inconvenient location. 

So next time you unload the shopping, place all the healthy nibbles to the front and push all

your naughty treats to the back. Out of sight, out of mind.

Watch out for red foods

Taste isn't the only factor that draws us to treats, colour also plays a part in what attracts us

 to certain foods. The Journal of Sensory Studies found a busy fridge full of less healthy

 items with bright attractive packaging is likely to distract us from the earthier tones of natural


Red and yellow were pinpointed as particular triggers (the garish McDonalds colour theme

suddenly makes sense) as it signals ripeness, sweetness and calories. 

So, next time you're in the supermarket stock up on bright attention-grabbing healthy snacks

 such as strawberries, peppers and pineapple.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Self-help advice for managing menopausal symptoms

Medication may not be necessary if you've reached the menopause and don't have severe symptoms.
Many women are able to ease their menopausal symptomsby making simple changes to their lifestyle and diet.
It can be easy to put on weight during the menopause because your muscle mass will decrease, which means your body may need less calories.
Therefore, eating a healthy, balanced diet and exercising regularly will help you avoid putting on extra weight.


During the menopause, the amount of calcium in your bones will decrease due to a fall in oestrogen. Women who aren't using hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which contains oestrogen, are particularly at risk.
A balanced diet, including all the food groups, will help keep your bones healthy. Eating plenty of fruit and vegetables and a small amount of dairy, such as low-fat milk and yoghurt, will provide a good supply of calcium.
Other healthy eating tips to ensure good bone and heart health before, during and after the menopause include:
The British Dietetic Association (BDA)  has produced a food fact sheet (PDF, 531kb) that provides more information and advice about eating healthily during the menopause.


As well as eating a healthy diet, regular exercise also plays a crucial part in ensuring you remain healthy both during and after the menopause.
Maintaining muscle mass and bone strength are two key areas for menopausal women. This means your exercise programme should include aerobic activities, such aswalking, running, cycling and swimming, as well as strength and flexibility exercises.
Aim to do at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week. Read more about the physical activity guidelines for adults.
If you have osteoporosis (brittle bones), it may be recommended that you avoid high impact activities. This is because of the increased risk of falling and fracturing your bones. Your GP can give you more advice about the type of exercise that's suitable for you.
Read more about exercise and bone health.

Easing hot flushes and night sweats

Below is some advice that may help ease hot flushes and night sweats, as well as reducing sleep problems and mood changes.
To improve hot flushes and night sweats you should:
  • take regular exercise (see above)
  • wear light clothing
  • keep your bedroom cool at night
  • avoid potential triggers, such as spicy food, caffeine, smoking and alcohol
To reduce sleep problems, avoid exercising late in the day and go to bed at the same time every night. Read more about insomnia.
To improve mood swings, make sure you get plenty of rest, as well as getting regular exercise. Activities such asyoga and tai chi can help you relax.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Is Your Mood Due To Menopause? Symptoms of the menopause

The menopause can cause a wide range of physical and psychological symptoms.
The first symptom is usually a change in the pattern of your monthly periods.
The start of the menopause is known as the perimenopausal stage, during which you may have light or heavy periods (menorrhagia).
The frequency of your periods may also be affected. You may have one every two or three weeks, or you may not have one for months at a time.
Other menopausal symptoms include:
If you experience the menopause suddenly, rather than gradually, your symptoms may be worse.
Symptoms will usually last between two and five years before disappearing, although they can last longer. Vaginal symptoms, such as dryness, can sometimes persist and get worse with age.

Hot flushes and night sweats

A hot flush is a sudden feeling of heat in your upper body. It can start in your face, neck or chest, before spreading upwards and downwards.
The skin on your face, neck and chest may become red and patchy, and you may start to sweat. You may also feel a change in your heart rate. It may become very rapid, or it may be irregular and stronger than usual (palpitations).
Hot flushes that occur at night are called night sweats. Most hot flushes only last a few minutes, and they're most common in the first year after your final period.

Sleep problems

Many menopausal women have trouble sleeping because of night sweats. Sleep disturbances may also occur, as a result of anxiety.
You may find that a lack of sleep makes you irritable and that you have problems with your short-term memory and ability to concentrate.

Vaginal symptoms

During the lead up to the menopause, you may experience vaginal dryness, itching or discomfort. This can make sex difficult or painful (dyspareunia). These symptoms combined are known as vaginal atrophy.
About a third of women experience vaginal atrophy shortly after the menopause, with slightly more women having them later on. In some cases, vaginal atrophy can last for more than 10 years after your final period.
If you have vaginal symptoms, it's likely they will continue or get worse unless they are treated.

Urinary symptoms

During the menopause, you're more likely to have recurring lower UTIs, such as cystitis. You may also feel an urgent and frequent need to go to the toilet.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

4 Foods That Help Relieve Stress and Shrink Your Waistline

When you're stressed, you may start to hear the siren call of ice cream, French fries, and potato chips. But tempting as it may be to reach for these foods, there are better choices that will actually help relieve anxiety—and won't have a detrimental effect on your waistline. Here, Keri Gans, M.S., R.D., author of The Small Change Diet, shares her four go-to edible stress busters.

Avocados are packed with B vitamins (proven stress-relievers), as well as monounsaturated fats and fiber, both of which help keep you full, says Gans. She recommends whipping up some homemade guacamole (but sticking to the suggested two-tablespoon serving size) and eating it with black bean chips. Alternatively, you could also just take half the fruit, add a squeeze of lime on top, and eat it with a spoon. Since avocado's so creamy, it can actually satisfy ice cream cravings, says Gans.

Chocolate Milk
In the mood for something sweet? Go for this childhood favorite. "Chocolate milk has potassium, which helps relieve muscle spasms if you're dealing with physical stressors," says Gans. Just make sure to stick with the low-fat version.

This fiber-packed food will keep you full and give you an instant lift to overcome stress. "Oatmeal helps with the production of serotonin, which is the feel-good chemical in our bodies," says Gans. Use nonfat milk to make it (you'll get extra protein and calcium), and mix in almond butter for added fiber and protein.

Low-calorie fruit is a great, healthful way to get your sugar fix. Raspberries in particular are full of stress-busting antioxidants and immune system-boosting vitamin C. If you want a more substantial snack or breakfast, Gans suggests tossing the fruit in nonfat or low-fat Greek yogurt.


Thursday, 7 August 2014

The Simple Thing You Can Do In The Morning To Lose Weight. It doesn't even involve exercise!

"Rise and shine" isn't just something you should say in the morning to drag yourself out of bed. According to a new study from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, published in the journal PLOS ONE, actually doing it—i.e., getting up and catching a couple quick rays—may help you lose weight.

Researchers asked 54 participants, average age 30, to wear a wrist monitor that tracked their exposure to morning light for seven days straight. They also had them keep food diaries to record their caloric intake. As it turns out, the people who got more morning light had lower BMIs than those who got less—and that was regardless of their age, how active they were, and what they ate.

So, why exactly do people who soak in more morning rays weigh less? There are two possible reasons: First, exposing yourself to light early in the morning as opposed to later in the day synchronizes your internal body clock, which means that you're more likely to have a natural and steady sleep schedule. In turn, that steady sleep schedule helps your metabolism run more efficiently, which, as you know, can lead to weight loss.
The second reason that morning light may help you slim down plays off of the first. By nature, morning light is much stronger than afternoon or evening light. That's because there's a higher amount of blue light in the morning—and blue light is the kind that has the strongest effect on your circadian rhythm, say researchers.

You only need to get as little as 20-30 minutes of morning sunlight between 8 a.m. and noon for the sun to work its magic. Or, if you're not a morning worker outer, try simply waking up a little earlier and enjoying your coffee outside with the sun shining down on your face. Not exactly hard advice to follow!


Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Lose Your Belly with Just Two Exercise Moves

A couple of month's ago, Men's Health asked Alwyn Cosgrove, C.S.C.S.—one of the world's top trainers—to create a cutting-edge fat loss program for Men's Health. And, of course, he obliged. But a curious thing: One of the workouts in the plan featured just two exercises.
That's right: When asked to create a super-effective, calorie-torching routine, Cosgrove gave us a workout that had readers do only a dumbbell swing and a squat thrust. This confused some folks, who wondered, "How can you lose fat with just two exercises?"
Cosgrove's response: "Running is just one exercise, but no one questions that when it comes to burning fat."
He makes a good point. And in fact, once you understand the philosophy behind Cosgrove's routine, you start to see why it works so well. But first, an explanation of the actual routine itself.
Here's how it works: You do 15 repetitions of the kettlebell swing (you can also use a dumbbell for this), followed immediately by 15 reps of the squat thrust. (See below for descriptions of both exercises.) Then, without resting, do another 14 reps of the swing and another 14 reps of the squat thrust. Continue this pattern until you complete only one rep of each exercise. This is called a countdown workout.

Sure, that's just two exercises, but do the math: If you complete the entire routine—from 15 down to one— you'll do 120 repetitions of each exercise. That's 240 repetitions. And these aren't just any exercises: They're movements that challenge your entire body.
They're also done at a fast pace. On average, it'll only take you about three seconds per rep. So you'll do those 240 reps in just 12 minutes or so. That'll light your muscles on fire and have you gasping for air (in a good way).

If you think that sounds too easy or too fast, I suggest you try it. You may find you can't even finish. But that's OK—you can just start with a lower number of reps, like eight, and work your way up as you improve your fitness. (In fact, I recommend this strategy.) If you want an even greater challenge, you can always take a breather and repeat the routine.
Remember: Whether you're running or lifting, your muscles require energy to help you move. And this workout forces more of your muscles into action than you'd ever use while jogging for the same duration. It'll also boost your metabolism for hours after your workout.

What's more, unlike jogging, these aren't joint-pounding exercises. So this is actually a "low-impact" workout that you can do at a high intensity, making it ideal for overweight folks. The best part: You can do the routine without even leaving your house since all you need is a single kettlebell or dumbbell.
An important note: This isn't a complete workout program, but it is a great routine that you can do almost anywhere, anytime. And it's a fantastic substitute for 15 minutes on the treadmill.
Kettlebell (or Dumbbell) Swing
Bend at your hips, and hold a kettlebell (or dumbbbell) with both hands at arm’s length in front of you. Now, rock back slightly and “hike” the kettlebell between your legs. Then squeeze your glutes, thrust your hips forward forcefully, and swing the weight to shoulder height. Allow momentum to swing the weight—you're not trying to actively lift it with your arms. Reverse the movement, so that you swing the kettlebell between your legs again. Make sure you don't round your lower back at any time; it should stay naturally arched when you bend at your hips. Continue to swing back and forth.

Squat Thrust
Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Bending at your hips and knees, squat down and lower your body until you can place your hands on the floor. Kick your legs backward—into a pushup position—and then immediately reverse the move and quickly stand up from the squat. That's one rep. To make the exercise even more challenging, you can jump up from the squat instead of simply standing up quickly. 


Monday, 4 August 2014

It's All In The Mind

Losing weight AND keeping it off can be tricky. How you talk to yourself can make a difference to  whether you actually lose any weight at all.
If you constantly use the words 'can't' e.g. no matter what I try I can't lose weight. You will programme your mind to believe you can't lose weight.
You need to believe in what you are doing and use positive words. Every time you find yourself using the word can't, stop and replace it with something more positive e.g I can lose weight.
It is not enough to use positive words, you must truly believe and see an image of you doing exactly what you want to achieve. Before you go to sleep and before you get up in a morning, see an image of yourself in your mind of exactly how you want to be.
Create a vivid image, for example, you could see yourself slim, with a toned stomach and thighs, wearing figure hugging clothes with a big happy grin on your face.
You MUST feel this image to. Imagine stepping into this image you have created in your mind and feel how good you would feel being slimmer. Really get the feeling of how it would make you feel knowing you have achieved your goal. Do this every day for as long as it takes for you to truly believe it is possible and you are so sure you can do it.
This can apply to anything in your life you want to change.
To help with my own personal goals in life, I have found a fantastic piece of software that helps to gently and safely programme my thoughts as I busily work away on my computer. Tiny positive messages flash up on my screen (I barely notice them) as I work.
You can read all about it and find out more for yourself HERE
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