Suck It Up Or Change…

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It’s not every day you get to publish a book and share your thoughts about how we get stuck in life and the need to get unstuck before we completely ruin our health.

Today, however, I had some of my thoughts on the topic published on Amazon and it’s available right now for £0.99!

Grab a copy & share your thoughts, experiences and of course, thank you for your support!

suckituporchange

Be Your Best You, Living Your Best Life…

YvonneB

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Get High on Good Food!

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Having just finished a fantastic online course ‘Happiness and Pretty blonde eating chocolate, isolated on white backgroundliving a Fulfilling Life’ with the Indian School of Business I have been looking at all the ways we can enhance the amount of happiness in our lives from the inside out.

And would you believe it, some of that happy stuff can be found on a plate near you! If you want to raise your happiness levels here are a few foods that will help you on your way:

Walnuts & Flax Seeds – These are loaded with alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).  Get the right amount of ALA in your diet to keep good levels of the brain chemicals, dopamine (responsible for increasing feelings of joy) and serotonin (hinders anger & aggression). [In research from the Nurses’ Health Study, women who had the most ALA in their diets were less likely to be depressed]

Clams – They are packed with vitamin B12 and B12 is needed to make… dopamine and serotonin; our two good get high friends! Other seafood will do the same if clams aren’t your thing. Try trout or salmon. [In a study depressed people who had low levels of B12 (and were taking antidepressants) felt much better 3 months after adding a B12 supplement]

Radishes – Now I’ve got to be honest, these are not a ‘few of my favourite things’ (thank you Julie Andrews) however they can lift your mood by stimulating the release of dopamine and norepinephrine (also called noradrenaline). See footnote.

Oysters – back to the sea for these slippery little delicacies. They are one of the richest sources of zinc. Zinc is found in cells throughout the body. It is needed for the body’s defensive system to properly work and when your body is working optimally you feel better… simples! [In a 2013 randomized clinical trial involving 44 people with depression, those who were given a 25 mg zinc supplement along with an antidepressant enjoyed improved moods over the 12-week study period, more so than those just given an antidepressant]

Yoghurt – if like me you have a love of dairy products you’ll be glad to see this on the happy list. Live & active cultured dairy products enhance your levels of probiotic bacteria (the healthy kind in your gut). Because your brain and gut communicate with each other via the vagus nerve (the tenth pair of cranial nerves, supplying the heart, lungs, upper digestive tract, and other organs of the chest and abdomen) it is possible that the good bacteria sends a ‘let’s chill out’ message. [A UCLA study found that women who ate probiotic yogurt twice a day reacted less stressfully when shown pictures of angry and frightened faces]

Shiitake Mushrooms – Contains high selenium and magnesium providing an uplifting effect on your mood. See footnote.

Dark chocolate – yes, saving the tastiest for last on what could be an endless list! Dear chocoholics know that the darker the chocolate the better. It is loaded with chemicals such as polyphenols that can boost your mood, but don’t over do it! [One polyphenol actually mimics marijuana’s mood-boosting effects.). In a 2013 study, Australian researchers reported that volunteers who chugged the biggest dose of a dark-chocolate drink laced with zero, 250, or 500 mg of polyphenols, also got a shot of calm and contentment]

Had I continued researching I am certain the list would have gone on and on but I think this is a decent start. So, if you want to get happy, apart from choosing to be, you can also aid it from the inside out by upping your intake of happy foods.

Get high on good food! And if you have any other happy food tips and contributions post them here to help others get happy…

One Life, Live It Well,

YvonneB

The function of norepinephrine is to mobilize the brain and body for action. In the brain norepinephrine increases arousal and alertness, promotes vigilance, enhances formation and retrieval of memory, and focuses attention

Selenium is a trace mineral. The body only needs it in small amounts. Selenium helps the body with: Making special proteins, called antioxidant enzymes, which play a role in preventing cell damage.

Magnesium helps to maintain normal nerve and muscle function, supports a healthy immune system, keeps the heart beat steady, and helps bones remain strong. It also helps regulate blood glucose levels and aid in the production of energy and protein

Other sources:

https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002414.htm

http://www.prevention.com/food/food-remedies/foods-proven-boost-mood-and-happiness – Research and studies quoted

Eat To Sleep…

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What most people wouldn’t do for a good night’s sleep!Dine Well

As a pretty solid sleeper myself I really empathize with people who struggle to sleep because on the rare occasion I have had what I would describe as sleep deprivation I have been moody, unfocused and in need of sugar fixes (or at least that’s what I told myself!)

So, how does poor sleep affect your eating habits?

It’s likely to increase your food intakeOn the rare occasion I have struggled to sleep eating has been a favourite way to pass the time. And a study carried out by the Mayo Clinic in 2012 found that those individuals who didn’t get enough sleep consumed approximately 549 calories more per day.

Late night snacks could become your normHere’s the thing, when you are losing sleep you are likely to feel more tired. If you feel more tired you’ll probably want to exercise less and eat more. Late night snacks might become a habit you don’t want so think before you eat.

The types of food you crave are unlikely to be good quality – Never having lost sleep have I thought ‘I’ll just go and get me a salad’. No, not a chance! Chocolate, crisps and all things sweet (loaded with calories & fat) tend to be the food of choice. Read ‘How sleep deprivation makes us want to eat fat

Poor quality food equates to poor nourishment – Ultimately adding up the results above also means you are likely to deprive your body of the food types it needs to repair, recover and function well.

Okay, that’s all a bit doom and gloom so lets think about what can be done to aid sleep. Here are some fab food tips taken from ‘Foods that help you sleep’ slideshow that could help:

Walnuts are a good source of tryptophan. It is a sleep-enhancing amino acid that helps make serotonin and melatonin, the hormone that sets your sleep-wake cycles. Also walnuts contain their own source of melatonin, which may help you fall asleep faster.

Cheese and crackers – one of my favourites! Calcium helps the brain use the tryptophan found in dairy to manufacture sleep-triggering melatonin.

Lettuce – it contains lactucarium, which has sedative property and affects the brain in a similar way to opium (yikes; is that a good thing??!)

Fish high in vitamin B6 – required by your body to make melatonin and serotonin (pistachios & raw garlic are also great sources of B6).

White rice – it has a high glycemic index (a number associated with a particular type of food that indicates the food’s effect on a person’s blood sugar level), so eating it will cut the time it takes you to fall asleep, according to an Australian study.

Chamomile Tea – According to researchers, chamomile tea is associated with an increase of glycine, a chemical that relaxes nerves and muscles and acts like a mild sedative.

Honey – A spoonful before bed (or with chamomile tea) could give you a more restful sleep. Key takeaway here; eat better food to aid sleep in the first instance and should you have a poor night’s sleep be aware of what you are eating.

Don’t let bad habits set in… Eat to sleep.

One health, live it well!

YvonneB

Growing Healthy

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Hands up, I have neglected my blog for some time. Now usually this GrowingHealthywould demand some serious telling off of self however I have been on a growth spurt, what I lovingly call ‘Growing Healthy’!

With my student hat firmly in place I have taken some time away from writing to:

  • Become an Advanced Weight Loss Practitioner
  • Complete several nutrition courses
  • Complete an Effective Leadership through Emotional Intelligence course

Oh, and to write another book ‘Feeling Fab At 50’ (because I will be in 2015!)

Learning is such a game changer. Just when you think you know enough about a topic to do it justice, boom, you turn a few more pages and suddenly realise how much more growing you can do… I love it!

Whilst enriching my mind (and in turn enriching my life) I wanted to share one of my favourite finds in the world of nutrition; the top ten superfoods!

A superfood is, by definition, a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being. And if you’d like to grab a list to remind yourself or to share with someone who would benefit from the knowledge just click on SUPERFOODS and access your copy.

And my top tip for wellbeing

‘If you want to get truly fit get truly healthy’

Growing Healthy J

YvonneB