Sit for cognitive concentration, move for a conversation.

Hello 😊

How did you go with Pants on, pants off – stand up!?

How about trying this?

Sit for cognitive concentration, move for a conversation.

We have all heard that sitting for long periods of time is bad for our health. So bad that it has been compared to having the same impact on our health as smoking. From this ‘standing desks’ became very popular!

However, it is not sitting that is the problem – as standing has not fixed it. The problem is not moving.

 Why are sitting and standing so bad for us?

  • The impact on our bones is insidious.  It feels like our bodies are coping and then it seems like ‘all of a sudden’ they can’t.  It takes time for our bone density to drop so we call it “ageing”. It’s not really – it’s just repeating an activity for a long time before the impact shows itself….
    • As we age bone density and strong bones are vital.
  • Our muscles are 75% water.  The water needs to be moved around our body. When we are sitting or standing the water cannot move, having a significant impact on our lymphatic circulation.
    • As we age a strong immune system and good heart health are essential.
  • What’s scary is that they have found the same decay in astronauts as someone who sits down for long periods of time – loss of muscle, loss of bone and lack of blood flow. Astronauts come back from their mission and spend months building their bodies back up again.
    • As we age we must be like astronauts. If we sit or stand for long periods of time we need to build our bodies back up again.

I encourage you to find your inner astronaut and focus on strengthening your body.

If you want any help or guidance please just ask!

What nutritionists disagree on. 

Disagreement arises as there can be no option that suits everyone. Back to our car analogy. Not everyone wants cruise control, leather seats or a 2-seater car. This is where we must acknowledge our differences and tap into our intuition to decide what is best for our individual needs. Every single one of us is different. There can be no nutritional rule that is one size fits all. However, the destination is the same. We want to live healthy lives – filled with energy, vitality, sleep and most importantly we want that to last for as many decades as possible.

Fruit – no fruit, one piece a day, eating certain fruits, eating in abundance

It’s all about the fructose. How much natural sugar do you need?

Coffee – no coffee, one a day, four a day, not before bedtime.

Caffeine is a drug that gives us a lift. If that’s a craving or an addiction I would suggest that’s not a healthy option.

Chocolate – not as confusing as you may think.

General agreement is that the occasional small piece (30 to 60 grams) of dark chocolate is ok. Again, if you feel an out of control need for it – walk away!

Alcohol – the guidelines on alcohol are actually clear….we just don’t follow them.

How does it make you feel before you drink? During? Afterwards? A hangover is the body telling you something. Loud and clear it is saying TOO MUCH.

Meat – I’ve been a vegetarian since my teens so it’s something I feel quite passionate about. Even those that say we need to eat meat talk about portion sizes of 100 grams or less, organic or grain fed meat and cook to retain nutrients. On the other side (you knew it was coming!), meat production is responsible for most of our environmental and climate problems. Animals are treated in an incredibly cruel and inhuman way. Our antibiotic crisis is caused by our desire for meat. Most of the antibiotics made are for livestock. It’s a financial disaster if your livestock are sick. This then means that the animal flesh you are eating is packed full of antibiotics….. then when we are sick we have become immune to the effect of the antibiotics. General agreement is that we are heading for an antibiotic crisis that’s caused by consuming meat and our environment is suffering.

Gluten – hype or real?

Opinion varies greatly here. What is agreed on is that our grains are infested with chemicals. Roundup is sprayed on the weeds, which is then absorbed into the soil which the plant grows in. One of the nasty chemicals in Roundup is Glyphosate. This is a poison that is in the plants that we digest – not good! To add to this livestock are fed a high grain-based diet, which is then slaughtered, wrapped in plastic on Styrofoam trays, cooked and eaten – increasing our gluten and glyphosate intake.

I encourage you to try a gluten free or grain free diet. If you feel better that is a clear indication that your body prefers it.

Carbonated drinks – to sparkle or not to sparkle?

It all comes down to your gut health. If I’m out I will pick sparkling water over alcohol, juice, tap water….. I don’t go out very often 😬 Again base your consumption on how you feel. I know that after Soda stream bubbles I feel quite unwell – that’s an indication for me to avoid it.

Dairy – for decades we were told that dairy was necessary for bone health and we ate it in abundance for strong bones. Turns out that in Australia we have one of the highest amounts of dairy consumption and the lowest amounts of bone density. An alarming co-incidence…… Cows produce milk like humans do. It’s to fatten up their young and make them healthy. It’s packed full of nutrients for a healthy calf. Not only are we drinking that as adults, we have a lot of dairy in every meal – milk, butter, cheese, yoghurt, ice cream, cream….

By the way “we” doesn’t include me. My grandmother had a dairy farm when I was growing up. One day my mum hand milked a cow and gave me the cup to drink. It was warm and disgusting and was the last time I drank cow’s milk!

Butter and cream are packed full of fat. The experts all agree – fat is good for us, but too much fat will make us fat – clearly!

Cheese is curdled milk, packed with Casein which is an opiate. It’s addictive and can make you sleepy…

Coconut – took the health world by storm as the latest and greatest.  It is very high in saturated fat compared to other fats so use small amounts….. as a guide I feel very unwell if I use too much – it’s a good indicator!

Protein – for a long time we were fed (excuse the pun!) the belief that our protein must come from animal flesh. Animals don’t naturally have the protein we need in their flesh. They eat plants and build it which we then eat. It’s entirely possible to bypass the middle man (or cow, pig, chicken, fish) and eat the plants yourself, getting your protein direct from the source.

Despite all the guidelines I would suggest that you use your own intuition as a guideline. Be inquisitive, be curious. Question the beliefs you have around food – where did the belief come from?

It’s your body and we can no longer blindly assume that governments and corporations have our best interests at heart. Be a critical thinker! How does your body feel when you are eating? How does it feel afterwards? Do you feel good, positive, energetic, happy? Or do you feel heavy, sleepy, lethargic, sick, guilty?

Your body needs to love the food that you are eating not the quick fix euphoric high but a long-lasting feeling of wholeness and good health.

When it comes to food I have a high amount of discipline. I am not easily swayed to pick foods that do not fill my body with optimal nutrition. Stop rolling your eyes! I know that most reading this are now thinking I am boring and my food is limited and restrictive. For me it is quite the opposite. My freedom comes from my discipline. My discipline means I wake up every single morning feeling energised and excited about the day ahead – that s my freedom and I love it!

Remember, everything you do today impacts the life you lead tomorrow, so make your decisions count 😀

 

Nutrition still confusing?

Did you make it this far? Have you been following the agreed recommendations in my last post? Do you feel better?

If you follow the principles that everyone agrees on you will be healthier. What does that mean to you? Is it sleeping better? Having more energy to get through your day? Not having cravings and making food decisions you later regret? Having a body that you can look at the mirror and smile back at?

Back to the car analogy. If you follow what all nutritionists do agree on you have a car you can drive. As for all the additional extras there are a few things that a lot of ‘experts’ disagree on. Before following their advice, I ask myself a few questions first.

⁃              Ask yourself “What’s in it for them?”. If it’s someone suggesting, you should snack more often, and they work for a muesli bar company, chances are they want you to snack on their muesli bar.

⁃              Do they work for or are they sponsored by the food industry or a food corporation?  I was reading this article ages ago about ‘healthy eating’ and five out of ten of the suggestions were dairy based. Being curious like I am (plus I don’t drink milk and have had limited dairy for decades) I read the small print and then the very fine print. The article was written by the Dairy industry….

⁃              Do they say at any time to “eat in moderation”. That’s always a warning beacon for me. One person’s moderation is another person’s excess.  One glass of wine is plenty for me to be singing and dancing, for someone else it may be a nightly habit.  When the food is genuinely healthy and nutrient dense, moderation is not required. If you are paying attention your body will let you know that you have had enough.

⁃              Is their opinion the opposite of what you have heard before? Are they saying the food is healthy when someone else has said it’s not or the other way around? I always question this kind of contradiction. Beans and legumes, soy, eggs, potatoes have been in and out of favour for years. It’s kind of like red cars that are sometimes popular and sometimes not. More importantly ask yourself – how do I feel when I eat this? I know that if I don’t wash, rinse, soak and cook my legumes properly I don’t feel great.  A lot of nutritionists in the U.S. say to not eat soy products. If I lived in the States I wouldn’t eat soy either, as their GM foods don’t have to be labelled like they do in Australia.

⁃              How much scientific research is there? At university I did a major in Social Research Methods – this makes me deeply suspect of ‘research’! Check out how many participants there were, what year it was done, how long did it run for, who sponsored it, what age, gender, ethnicity?? Don’t even get me started on the placebo effect (thanks Dr Joe Dispenza). As humans we have a huge amount of instinct. Tap into that before blindly believing in the research – it’s more powerful than any study.

⁃              Read the small print. I love the trash magazines that scream headlines out like “Alcohol is healthy”, “Chocolate is good for you”. That headline is just to sell the magazine or get you to read the article. Have you found that you stop reading when you get to the conditions – select wine that is organic, red, 1 glass a night – as it doesn’t say what YOU want it to?

Question everything… I hear you say that it takes times to do that and you don’t have the time – do you??

Do you have time for illness, to be sick, to be terminally ill, for radiation, for chemotherapy, for a heart bypass, diabetes caused impotence, blindness or gangrene? Hospitals are for sick people. Let’s focus on prevention and health.

I certainly don’t want to be a drama queen…. however, a little time may literally save your life and the life of those around you….

Once we see ourselves as “old”….

Do you ever have those moments where you catch a glimpse of yourself in a mirror and wonder who that person is? My Dad, who is 72, always jokes that “some old bugger is staring back” at him. It’s because he doesn’t feel that he is “old”. He still feels young and energetic, youthful and vibrant. One of his ‘secrets’ is that he is always moving.  He rarely sits still, and I am super pleased that I take after him!

If you trained with me for long you know that I think the ageing process is given way too much focus. Once we see ourselves as old, we slow down and become old. Last year this fascination led me to study and I became a Functional Ageing Specialist via an institute in the States.

In June I went to a 3-day conference in Orlando which was all about Functional Ageing.  It was an awesome experience to be surrounded by people who are creating powerful change to the ageing population.

So much of our ageing process is about perception – how we view ourselves. Have you ever thought about how YOU view yourself? How often do you complain about feeling old or blame something on your age?

With huge population growth in the over 50’s, there is so much more research into slowing the ageing process down. It’s exciting and empowering.  There are so many things that you can do to not only create a long life, but to also create a long life that you are fully engaged in and enjoy every moment of.

I would love for you to join me and help create an ageing population that is active and living with passion.  Can you imagine such a world?

I would love to share what I have learnt with you. Some of it you may read – some you may not. If it helps to create a few new healthy habits, that in turn create longevity for you, then an IMPACT has happened!

If you have any questions or ideas I would love to hear from you.

 

Everyone has an opinion about nutrition. 

It’s a conversation I have often. It’s also a conversation that I hear often.

Good nutrition seems to have become very confusing and often contradictory. How has this happened?

I think that it is mostly due to literally every single person having an opinion! That opinion is based on our history, beliefs and values. We all eat, we have all eaten – in a way we are all nutritionists trying to navigate through mountains of information. Of course, I also have my own opinion! I have been interested and intrigued by food for many years.  It’s a conversation that excites me!  Hopefully with this knowledge I have picked up, I can sort through some of the confusion.

JUST LIKE A CAR

Think about nutrition like you think about your car.  There are heaps of different makes and models. Everyone likes something different, everyone has an opinion. Different vehicles suit our ever-changing lifestyle. However, all vehicles have some basics – wheels, an engine, seats, suspension……..

Food is kind of the same. The basics are there, if we can get that right we can then add the extras.  The problem with nutrition is that a test drive to know if it works for you or not can take months, years or even decades – certainly much longer than a cruise around the block!

CHANGE AS WE LEARN

Unlike a car, there is so much about the human body that we still do not understand.  As we learn more we also learn more about what we need. That’s evolution. That’s saying that we used to believe in following one set of guidelines and now we have learnt, grown and evolved, we need to follow another set of guidelines. What we need nutritionally isn’t set in stone. Our lives change and with that we must be open to changing the nutrients we need to function – or indeed to function at an optimum level.

THE FOOD INDUSTRY

The food industry is made up of corporations that will try and sell you their ‘healthy’ options because they will make money. Your decision impacts their profit, so they will do everything they can to ensure that you purchase their product. Food holds emotional power over our decisions. Food companies use this to sway our emotions to purchase their product. (The Kinder Surprise is a classic example of this. Who wouldn’t want to give their child one of those!) If a car dealer was this pushy we would never go back!

(On a side note please remember that the word corporation (as a body) comes from the word corporate, corpus and corpse. Not sure that it’s a good idea to get our nutrition from a dead body.)

AND THEN THERE IS SCIENCE

To add another layer to our nutritional and food decisions we have ‘Scientific Research’ – sometimes this can be enlightening and at other times be incredibly misleading. (Thanks, Ancel Keys.) Scientific research is expensive. Given that, it often needs government money or big corporations to fund it. So often we blindly follow both – thinking that they have our best interests at heart. Do they? Really? Or do they have their own interests at heart?

HABIT OR ADDICTION?

If I had a dollar for every time I heard something along the lines of “I just had to…..” or “I can’t wait to have…..” or “I couldn’t resist…..”

Often it’s a habit that’s lasted years or decades, often it’s an addiction – the food industry spends a lot of time and money finding that ‘bliss’ point which becomes highly addictive-  so the company can then continue to make money off your addiction  – “once you pop, you can’t stop”. Let the profits grow….

NUTRITION EXPERTS

Whilst it may not seem so, there are quite a few things that nutrition ‘experts’ agree on. Just to be very clear, I am not an ‘expert’… or am I? I eat every single day, have maintained the same body weight for over 30 years, I sleep well and have a mountain of energy for my day! The only serious illness I have had was pneumonia and I read – a lot! I like to read, listen and watch everything and anything I can about nutrition. I have been fascinated by nutrition for as long as I can remember. Therefore. I feel that even though I have no degree I am an ‘expert’.

FOOD LABELLING

Companies spend a lot of money getting the packaging right, to tempt consumers to purchase their product. You may be swayed by a colour, size, picture or words. So often we trust what we read and when it comes to food we need to question the words. When food is labelled as being “low” as in salt/sugar, fat make sure you know how much it is referring to. For years Nutri-Grain was advertised as the breakfast cereal for champions – in fact it has one of the highest sugar counts of any cereal. Champions don’t tend to start the day with a sugar hit.

Check out the nutritional information. The nasty ingredients are hidden by long words and numbers. If you don’t know what it is I would suggest you apply some curiosity and find out. Yes, that takes time. Remember that the company that made the product is hoping you won’t make the time. Their interest is in selling you their product for profit. Take some time and get curious before purchasing. Make your dollar count and make sure you are purchasing a product that will maintain or improve your health.

So, what does everyone agree on? (Including me….)

⁃              We are in a food, obesity, health crisis. That is clear to everyone. We are more over weight, have more serious health issues, have more ‘food’ available than ever before and it’s making us sick.

⁃              We are what we eat. This is not a new concept as it was first written in the 1860’s.

⁃              “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Hippocrates has been telling us this for a few years…. (431 BC)

⁃              Our thoughts are powerful. Negative thoughts create health issues and can cut 7 to 10 years off your life. Think healthy thoughts for a healthy body.

⁃              Sleep is the foundation for good health. Without regular, restorative sleep our bodies struggle to maintain optimal health.

⁃              The importance of gut health continues to grow. Without good gut health we have chronic inflammation. Look after your gut microbiome, the bacteria in your gut is key to good health. The root cause of many of our diseases is gut inflammation.

⁃              Our portion sizes are too big, we eat too much, too often.

⁃              Drink more water and less soft drink and sugary drinks.

⁃              Drink less alcohol. Remember before an injection the area is swabbed with alcohol to clean any bacteria…. see point above about gut health.

⁃              We need to drastically reduce the processed food we eat. The more processed it is the more it will harm your body. Everyone agrees that when you put it in your mouth it should resemble its origin. As a general tip the really processed food comes in a few layers of packaging.

⁃              If the food you are eating has a lot of numbers or long words that you can’t pronounce it is no longer food and is likely to be harmful to your health.

⁃              Eat slowly. We have become a world where it is normal to eat on the run, standing up, in front of the TV, in the car. Take time out to focus on the fuel you are putting in your body.

⁃              Eat more vegetables, that are fresh, seasonal and cooked in a way that keeps the nutrients in.

⁃              Eat whole grain products in small quantities. The low carb diet created significant nutritional change for many – mainly because our carbohydrate intake has blown out of control. Eat less processed carbs and small amounts of the good ones – rice, pasta etc. Check out the amounts of rice eaten in Asian countries and the amount of pasta the Italians eat – it’s much less than we have in Oz.

⁃              Food cannot tell time. We need to eat our main meal with time to digest it and create movement before sleeping.

⁃              We need to limit sugar – everyone agrees that sugar is not good for our bodies…. but many people are still so sugar addicted.

⁃              Eat foods that are nutrient rich. Our natural food sources are being depleted of vitamins and minerals that are incredibly important for our health and longevity.

⁃              Stop eating processed meat. It’s highly probable that it’s carcinogenic and that’s bad – carcinogenic is cancer. Stop for a moment and think about what is in that sliced chicken meat or hot dog. You know it’s not food that is going to be good for your body. Even the nutritional experts that say we should eat meat do not recommend processed meats.

⁃              Eat 3 meals a day – morning, noon and night. Breakfast, lunch and dinner meals have been around for centuries. If you are eating nutrient dense and the right portion size, then 3 meals will be enough. Nourish your body regularly throughout the day.

⁃              Snacking (if you need to) is having something small to eat that is packed with nutrients and not kilojoules.

⁃              Man made fats like Trans fats are bad for us. Eat lots of other fats – nuts, seeds, avocado. Are you still eating margarine? There is not a single shred of goodness in that spread – that’s agreed upon by everyone! Good fats will fill you up with good fuel. Bad fats won’t make you feel good – usually they are the ones that have had a lot of Human Intervention (H.I.). If you find fats confusing think about its source. If you compress and squeeze vegetables will the result be vegetable oil? It will be water right and not oil?

When it comes to nutrition we are all incredibly different, with different backgrounds, opinions, habits, cultures, addictions, finances…. the list goes on. There is no one size fits all when it comes to nutrition. However, there are foods and food habits that are good for our bodies and we know which ones they are. There is a LOT of agreement. If you can find your inner expert, you will come to the same above conclusions. Follow them and you will certainly be on the path to better health.

Pant’s on, pant’s off – stand up!

Last month I was very fortunate to be able to attend the Functional Aging Summit in Orlando.  It was one of the best experiences of my life! What we can do, what we can achieve as we age has no boundaries. It just takes a little bit of time, a little bit of effort and most importantly some focus and determination to remain active. From there the opportunities are infinite!

As a Personal Trainer I have been given the AWESOME opportunity to create a positive change in people’s lives – not just for now but for years and for decades to come.

One of my favourite tips came from a bloke called Stephen Jepson. His website is http://neverleavetheplayground.com/about-stephen-jepson/ Have to love that – Never Leave the Playground!

You may have already been doing this without thinking about it – time to think about it!

Pants on, pants off – stand up!

As you are getting dressed and undressed stay standing. None of this sitting down business. It’s great for your balance and co-ordination. If you find that you struggle, then take it back a notch. Lean against a wall and get dressed/undressed. You will get better at it – I promise!

It’s worth trying isn’t it?

If you have any questions just shout!

Please – protect yourself, protect your family and protect your FB friends. 

 

Please be security conscious when using FB.

Yesterday we had a ‘situation’. It was one of those times when one thing led to another which led to another. Thankfully there was no nasty outcome but there could have been….

Before bed we lock the door, close windows, lock the car, know where our keys and purse/wallet are – subconsciously we are making ourselves and our family safe.

FB is public – and the scope of the public is millions. It’s a game of numbers so there are going to be people who are trying to scam you. The obvious FB scam is your identity.

  • Regularly check your security settings.

FB changes all the time. It is constantly growing and evolving and with that our security may be compromised. Personally, I go in and check it out every other month and update my settings. There is always something that has changed, and then I change it back.  Go to the arrow on the top right of your screen and in the drop down box you will see Privacy Settings.

  • Be aware of the information you are broadcasting to the FB world.

We don’t tend to stand on street corners and call out our date of birth, the name of our first teacher/pet/car, our mums maiden name. These are all security questions used by other companies and institutions we do business with. Those posts that ask questions about your history were not designed by your friends to know more about you. That’s what coffee catch ups, and dinner nights are for. Those posts were designed by hackers – it’s a trap…..

  • Before accepting any friend request have a look at the profile.

How long have they been on FB? How many posts are there? How many friends do they have? How many mutual friends do they have?

A good hacker will use the name of one of your friends and may already have your friends on their friend list. No one sets up a new profile – EVER!

If someone came to your front door and looked like a friend but was dressed differently, walked differently, had a different voice you wouldn’t let them in, would you? Check out the profile and if it doesn’t look right delete the request.

  • Never give away your personal information via FB messenger.

Sounds pretty obvious but hackers are good at what they do and what they want to do is steal your identity. The will pretend to be your friend and have ways to get you to hand over details. Things like “Do you mind if I have a parcel dropped off at your place? I just need your Driver’s Licence number, so they can check.” Of course, you want to help your friend. Instead pick up the phone and call the person who is asking you.

  • We need to be vigilant.

Put together a security plan. Just like you do before you go to bed. Before long, it will become second nature. If you see something suspicious on a ‘friends’ FB profile or have a strange request let the real FB friend know. There is every chance someone is using their FB page. It’s the same scenario if you knew that there was someone inside your friend’s house. You wouldn’t walk on by. You would sound the alarm, make some noise, turn the lights on. Frighten the burglar off – they will run if they think they will be caught.

Please – protect yourself, protect your family and protect your FB friends.

 

Gaining knowledge….

Learning new skills and watching clients learn new skills is SO interesting! When we head out for a Road Route it becomes very clear how we all learn in different ways.   Everyone looks at the map in a different way  and everyone needs different ques to learn how to navigate themselves around.

There are 3 main types of learning. At training I try to combine the 3 ways to capture everyone’s different style of learning a new skill (or repeating a skill).

  1. Visual
  2. Auditory
  3. Kinaesthetic

Often, we are dominant in one form and use the other two to reinforce our new skill.  Until I did my PT course in 2002 I had never considered how I preferred to learn.  It was a massive game changer for me then and is something I am mindful of every single training session as I “teach” members new skills.

Having that AHA moment back in 2002 literally changed my life as I had spent 16 of the previous 32 years thinking I was dumb…. School had always been challenging for me. I studied hard and the results were average or below. Discovering that I was a visual learner changed everything.  As I studied the bones of the body I drew the bones out, used pins and made myself a huge skeleton. His name was “Bones” and he hung around on my door frames for months, so I could learn the bones of the body. I’m a visual learner – reading from a book, repeating the names, hearing the names did not work for me. I needed to SEE the bones.

When I describe Road Routes I tend to use visual and verbal cues and will use my hands and turn my body to describe the various corners and straights.  Members will pick up on the cues that are important to them and if in doubt will just follow someone else!

Of course, when it comes to learning and teaching, external factors come into play quite often as an outdoor trainer. Planes fly overhead, cars and motor bikes race by, lawns are moved, bins are emptied, wind, rain, sunsets, sunrises, cute dogs……They all become distractions.

Internal factors play a significant role on how clients learn. We have stressful days, illness, sleepless nights, issues with food, partners, kids, traffic, hydration…. the list is endless and impacts our ability to learn.

It’s said that knowledge is power. When it comes to knowing how you gain knowledge – well that’s super powerful!

 

 

 

More care, less plastic

I was 14 years old – it was 1984 – I asked mum if we could find another option and stop using plastic bags for grocery shopping. I haven’t used them since.

I don’t say this to gloat, pump my ego, or to make you feel bad – it’s just the way it has always been for me.  It’s so deeply ingrained in the way I think – to not only recycle and reuse but whenever possible, to not use in the first place. I always had a deep mistrust of recycling…..hmmmpf – with good reason it seems.

One thing I have never done is judge how the people around me use plastic.

I have always believed passionately that MY impact can make a difference.

However, now I think that it is time to please ask EVERYONE to find an option and not use single use plastic water bottles.

Please do not use them.

Ultimately, they are not kind to the environment, your health or your purse.

Approximately 22 BILLION plastic water bottles end up in landfill every single year. How do we even estimate how many end up in our precious lakes, rivers and oceans? They may be convenient to use but for the environment, the impact is forever…that’s not very convenient….

Reusing single use water bottles is not the answer. They are manufactured to be used once and once only. To use repeatedly is risking your health.

With regards to your health, water bottles used to be made with BPA. BPA was found to be linked with pretty much every human disease known! There is now another evil found in plastics which is called Phthalates. It makes plastic durable, transparent, flexible and ironically gives it longevity.  The impact on our health may be even more catastrophic than BPA…..

Another reason I have never used single use water bottles is I calculated the cost of a litre of water and just refused to pay that much for something I can get for free from the tap. Bottled water costs between $10 and $15 a litre – exorbitant!

Now you may be thinking that if bottled water was really that bad for our health than the manufacturers and the government wouldn’t allow it right? Well, I don’t think they actually care. It comes down to profit and winning the next election. When you look at sponsorships for many of our sporting competitions you will see that the companies that make single use water bottles are involved.  It’s big business and your health is just not that important to them.

At times it can seem overwhelming. At times I have thought that all my efforts have no impact. It only lasts a moment…..

We have a choice.

Every day we can get up and stand up for what we believe in OR we get up and give in.

When it comes to my health, when it comes to the environment, when it comes to YOUR health I am NEVER GIVING UP!

So, let’s work together here – together we CAN make a difference.

Be well, stay well.

Over the years I have talked to many members about how to feel better when they have a cold.

As a child, I suffered dreadfully with colds. These days I am rarely sick.

I use the following tips when I feel a cold coming on.

The best tip of all is to think “Be well, stay well.” I believe that you get more of what you focus on – so focus on being well.

Embrace the cold, embrace the Winter – there is nothing you can do about the seasonal cycle. Focus on what you can have an impact on and enjoy the seasonal changes.

The seasons will roll along and life will continue and before we know it Spring will be here.

You have a sore throat and can feel a cold coming!

Drink honey and lemon tea.

In a cup of boiling water add the juice of half a lemon and a heaped teaspoon of honey. This may sound like an old wives’ tale, but it’s been around a long time because it is simple and effective. The honey will help soothe your sore throat, while the lemon helps to clear up a blocked nose.

 Manuka Honey is both anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial.

Pick one that has at least 10 UMF (Unique Manuka Factor). It tastes delicious and instantly soothes the throat. Don’t be put off by the high price tag of a high UMF. A little bit goes a long way and a jar will last you a long time.

 Gargle with warm salty water and baking soda.

Gargling salt water helps to moisten the throat and fight infection, as salt is a natural antiseptic. Try adding a teaspoon of salt to a glass of warm water and stir to dissolve. You can add a little baking soda to help take the “zing” from the salt away.

 Stay warm.

It is important to stay warm during your illness, as a cold can leave you feeling weak and shivery. Wear plenty of layers during the day and cover up with extra blankets when sleeping or resting in bed or on the couch.

 Turn on a Nature Direct Breathe Easy.

Nature Direct’s Breathe Easy cleans the air by removing pollutants and allergens. It uses a completely plant based natural formula that will cleanse and purify the air helping you to breathe a little easier.  Shout out if you would like to try mine.

Drink up but stay off the coffee

Staying hydrated will reduce the effects of many symptoms such as headaches and sore throat, while also preventing dehydration. Hot teas and soups are a good way to increase your liquids whilst also helping to relieve sinus congestion. The caffeine in coffee will not help your cold symptoms. Have you noticed that when you are really sick the coffee craving disappears?

 Blow your nose only when it is necessary and use soft, good quality tissues and moisturiser.

Constantly and forcefully blowing your nose can lead to a build-up of pressure and trapped mucus in your sinuses, which may become infected. Blowing your nose helps rid the body of mucus helping you to decongest and it is certainly better then sniffling – especially for those around you! So be gentle – don’t force it.

 FESS is a fantastic nasal decongestant.

It’s non-medicated so can be used as often as you like.

An alternative which has become very popular in recent years is flushing out the sinuses with a Neti pot. The Neti pot contains a saline solution which is poured in one nostril and out the other. This thins the mucus in the nasal passages, allowing it to be flushed away. I have never been brave enough to use this but if I was ever seriously congested I would give it a go!

Essential oils such as peppermint, eucalyptus and tea tree oil can help clear the nasal passages and make breathing easier.

Add a couple of drops to a bowl of warm water and then soak a face cloth in the water, wring it out, then use it to cover your face and let it sit there for a couple of minutes while you inhale deeply.

Make up an oil with a good carrier oil and rub it on your chest and feet before bed.

Put a few drops in the bottom of the shower and inhale the steam.

Take some time off work – your health is worth it.

Your work colleagues will not thank you for sharing your germs.  When I give this advice I often hear that it is easier for me as I am self-employed. Well in a way it is. When I get tired I lay down for an hour or so and I feel much better afterwards. The reason I will head for a power nap as soon as I feel unwell is because I really cannot afford to be sick – as I’m self-employed in an owner-operated business!

I believe that a few hours of rest (or a luxurious day) prevents a few days or weeks of not being able to do my job.  It makes me much more productive and effective which has meant that I have been able to continue to run the business over many winters.

Get to bed early.

Your body needs all its resources to fight the cold virus so get to bed early and get as much sleep as possible. Try to keep your head raised while sleeping, as this will assist with the drainage of your nasal passages. If you do not give your body the rest it needs, you will continue to feel unwell.

Change your pillow case every day while you are feeling unwell.

One snotty night on your pillow case is enough.

 Usually a cold will go away within 3-7 days. If it is over 7 days, visit your Doctor.

Clinics are filled with sick people this time of year and there is very little that a Doctor can do for you. Of course, if symptoms persist…….

How often do you have a cold and just as you are feeling better you are sick again? Having a cold will compromise your immune system – so do everything you can to protect and support your immune system.

Take a Multi-Vitamin supplement.

Taking a supplement packed with essential vitamins and minerals is an easy way to boost your immune system. (If you are interested in trying the Youngevity power packed BTT then just shout!)

 Eat garlic.

Garlic helps to protect the immune system with antioxidant properties and helps maintain healthy blood circulation.

Zinc up.

I first started taking Zinc when I lived in the UK. Over there it is a very popular choice as it not only prevents colds but if you do end up with one you will probably recover sooner and experience less severe symptoms.

 Get lots of vitamin C.

Although the effectiveness of vitamin C in stopping colds is widely disputed, I certainly feel that it shortens the duration and severity. I tend to take a fairly large dose in a short period of time and I’m totally ok if it is a placebo!

 Echinacea – placebo or real?

Echinacea has also been widely disputed by experts although some studies claim that Echinacea can both decrease the likelihood of developing a cold, while also reducing the duration of a cold. The key is to take Echinacea as soon as you feel the first symptoms of a cold coming on. I have also found that a supplement derived from the bulb of the plant seems to be more effective. Blackmores do a liquid Echinacea – disgusting yet effective.

Olive Leaf Extract – one of my favourites

Pick a high-quality extract as the taste does improve with quality. Olive Leaf extract works so well because it is packed full of antioxidants and supports your immune system. It is ideal for sore throats and nasty chest coughs.

 Stop the spread of germs.

The reality is that when you are out in public it is entirely possible that the person next to you has sneezed into their hand and then touched something that you are about to touch. You then rub your eye and the cold virus is transferred – it’s that easy.

Sneezing into your elbow is a way to stop the spread of germs – even more effective if you have long sleeves…….eeeewwww!!! It sounds obvious but head to Southland and check out how many sick people there are out and about. How many do you think washed their hands after sneezing into them?

Throughout the germ season wash your hands often and wash them well with warm water and soap. Pay attention to this during all stages of a cold as the cold virus can easily be shared. Sharing is nice – sharing your cold is not so nice.

Stop the spread of germs.

The reality is that when you are out in public it is entirely possible that the person next to you has sneezed into their hand and then touched something that you are about to touch. You then rub your eye and the cold virus is transferred – it’s that easy.

You get more of what you focus on – so be well and stay well.