Introducing the Friday Four!
No matter how much we want to improve our health and lose weight or how hard we try to make major changes to our diet overnight, life has a nasty habit of getting in the way! I believe that small changes reap big rewards so with that in mind, I am introducing the Friday Four. Each week, I will cover a different subject and provide you with a few tips that can be easily slotted into your diet and your day to day life and with luck, provide you with some stress-free strategies to get you and keep you on the road to better health and fat busting fabulousness!
HAVE YOU GOT THE BLUES?
January can be mood-alteringly gloomy! The weather is dark and gloomy, your bank balance is gloomily short of funds and every second person you meet is suffering from a gloom-inducing cold or chest infection so this week I am going to give you a few simple tips that may help you to look on the bright side of life!
Start your day with an iron-rich breakfast. This mineral is essential for making haemoglobin, the component in red blood cells that transports oxygen to body tissues and a common symptom of slight deficiency is mental and physical fatigue and low mood. Eggs are a great source but to ensure that the iron is properly absorbed, you need good levels of vitamin C so instead of cereals, have a couple of eggs, quickly scrambled on a slice of hot, buttered, chewy, dense toast and a large glass of fresh grapefruit or orange juice, watered down 50:50 with still or sparkling water.
Blood sugar swings lead to mood swings and mood swings lead to cravings for sugary and starchy snacks. Don’t risk it! Keep some licquorice sticks in your handbag, briefcase, glove compartment or desk drawer to get blood sugar back in balance fast when you feel a snack attack coming on. The natural products available in health stores contain some sweet additions to make it palatable as liquorice extract is very bitter but just a couple of small sticks should get you back on track and dampen the urge to hoover down a can of cola or a Snickers bar.
Omega 3 fatty acids play a vital role in brain health and mood regulation so make this the week you include oily fish in your diet at least 3 times, drizzle flax seed oil on your salads, steamed/stir fried vegetables, soups and stews, have a handful of fresh walnuts with a piece of fruit for a mid morning or mid afternoon snack and go online and order a supply of Krill Oil capsules. I favour O-Krill 3.
Vitamin D deficiency is now recognised as being a global issue and is associated with low mood and cognitive impairment. We make vitamin D (which is actually a hormone and not a vitamin) when our skin is exposed to bright daylight so try to get out in the fresh air for 20-30 minutes per day with as much skin exposed as you can handle at this time of the year between the hours of 11am and 3pm, make tinned salmon on oatcakes a snack of choice and make sure you have an eggy breakfast at least 3 times a week.