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What Gets You Out Of Bed Project: The Story Behind

March has just begun and we are already excited. Spring is peeping its head around the corner, the days are getting longer and we finally start “What Gets You Out Of Bed”, which we’ve been working on since the end of last year. You know how it is though, birthdays, Christmas, New Year, new goals and […]

The Lowdown: Day 1 at Food Matters Live in London

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Did you know: one in five kids in the UK are overweight or obese by the time they start school? Did you know by the time they reach year 6 the number increases to Read more

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Could listening to Podcasts improve your wellbeing?

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Not Getting A Good Night Sleep? What To Do And Avoid!

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There are various possible reasons for not getting a good night sleep. From a bad pillow to noise outside your window and the list goes on.

Our founder & holistic nutritionist Daen tells you his top tips to get a good night sleep and what to avoid to get sweet dreams:

The obvious stuff first:

1. Get in to a sleep routine

Go to bed at the same time each night. Try and get into that routine to go to bed and get up at the same time in the morning too.

2. Your Surroundings matter

A dark, quiet and tidy bedroom will make a huge difference. It may seem obvious but preparing for a good night sleep is important. 

3. Consider putting your gadgets away

No screen time at least 1hr before bed. This includes TV, mobile phones, iPads/tablets and computers. Meditation helps a lot of people to calm dow so this could be something for you to look into.
Also, get some sunlight in the morning (without sunglasses) before 10:30am.

Nutrition & Fitness: The “I told you so”:

4. Coffee, there is a time limit I’m afraid

Avoid caffeine after midday if you can. A herbal tea, like camomile, may help you wind down after work rather than adding that extra caffeine to your body.

5. Fitness has an impact on your sleep

Regular exercise actually helps you in getting a good night sleep. However, it is recommended not to exercise later than 1hr before bedtime.

6. Your late heavy meal lets you down

The Spanish do it, yet it’s an easy and helpful one to avoid! a big, heavy meal too close to bedtime. Let’s just say that lasagna may not be your best option!

7. It’s getting serious now

Increase tryptophan-rich foods in your diet. Have a banana after dinner. Turkey is full of it and you can also find some in dairy (if you tolerate it) and walnuts.

 

Voila! I hope the above tips help and please get in touch if you have any questions. We would love to hear what has helped you and what you’re working on.

Daen x
Daen Heuston | Co-founder Vitality+Awesomeness and  Holistic Nutritionist & Wellbeing Personal Trainer at Nuffield Health Shoreditch, London.

 

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Your Healthy Start: Brekkie of Champs🏆

Feeling hungry by 10am? | Barely any energy left since 11am? | I’m so hungry, I could eat my workmate’s lunch! | My 15 min break is generally around 14:30 |  Is it 5pm yet? | What am I having for dinner tonight?

Above are many instances and feelings experienced because you have compromised on your breakfast in the morning. Sugary cereals or 2 apples for brekkie are certainly not going to cut it, I’m afraid!

In order for you to have a productive and efficient morning at work or on a day off, you need those nutrients that are going to give you and your family what you need to be at your best. Always ensure there’s an adequate amount of protein in your brekkie (or any meal for that matter). This will reduce the likelihood of you sneaking over to the bikkie tin mid-morning because you’re starvacious at 10am. We love eggs for breakfast. Plain and simple. And eggs are a fantastic source of protein, as well as omega-3, selenium, B vitamins, iodine, and vitamins A & D. If you can get them locally from a farm (or farmer’s market) where the chooks are free-range and preferably pasture-fed, then that’d be the best source. They’ll be super fresh and have the best nutritional profile. Otherwise, go organic or at least free-range. They’re also incredibly versatile so you’re less likely to get bored for breakfast. Here are a couple of our faves.


=> Find out what our nutritionist suggests for your food essentials



HEALTHY BREAKFAST: GREENS ON TOAST WITH AN EGG OR TWO

The greens can be baby spinach, kale, asparagus or whatever takes your fancy and you have on-hand. Kale and spinach are both ridiculously nutrient-dense and are key to the meal. Give your greens a bit of a wilt if you like (we do). And the eggs? Well, poach ’em, fry ’em, boil ’em, scramble ’em… mix it up!
As far as the toast goes, a nice gluten free loaf with a little something extra. Some seeds to boost the fibre, for instance. If you’re going to be eating bread, you might as well make the most of it. If you’re still eating gluten, I’d definitely recommend a good quality sourdough, possibly from your friendly neighbourhood artisan baker or farmer’s market. Sourdough is fermented slowly and is normally much better tolerated and digested by those with gluten sensitivity. Along with this, if you know who’s baked it, you can find out exactly what’s gone into each loaf (meaning there’s less chance of added ingredients you’ve never heard of).
Next, slice up some fresh tomato. Stack it all up, sprinkle on some turmeric, freshly ground black pepper and you’re hot to trot! Deeee-lish.

 

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Computer says "No"

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Annabelle’s story.

Having been through several years of studying nutrition, sometimes I forget that much of the knowledge I’ve gained isn’t necessarily obvious to Joe (or Jolene) Average (this is one of the main reasons we started vitalityawesomeness.com btw). I need to be reminded sometimes that people get their information from different sources, some of which are questionable. Read more

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The Low Fat Joke

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I’ll admit it: my sanity is in jeopardy. If I see one more advertisement with super fit beach bodies proclaiming the wonders of a product being “fat free”, I may have to be checked in to the nearest nuthouse.

The incessant message being shoved down the consumer’s throat of eating low-fat to trim down is, in a word, ridiculous. To put it bluntly, the science just doesn’t support this “logic”. Eating fat doesn’t necessarily make you fat. Having said that, if you chow down on a stick of butter wrapped in bacon three times a day, there’s a good chance you’ll stack on some extra kilos. But this isn’t purely because your “meals” have a high fat content. More than likely you’ll be consuming far more energy than your body needs and so you’ll store it away for a rainy day (in the form of body fat).

Some folks at Harvard University did a meta-analysis of studies involving 68 128 participants, which was published in The Lancet in December 2015. They found low-carb dietary interventions produced significantly better results than low-fat dietary interventions when it came to losing weight. Also, low-fat interventions were no more effective than other higher-fat interventions. In other words, if you decide to change your diet, cutting out fat isn’t the most effective way of losing weight. Those following a low-fat intervention did lose more weight than those who stuck to their normal diet. So, the decision to change was more important than whether the change was increasing or reducing fat. Confused?

Well, here are some reasons I believe going “fat free” or “low fat” is the wrong choice:

  • If they’ve removed the fat, what have they replaced it with?
    Fat tastes good. It also gives food a satisfying mouth-feel. So if the manufacturer removes the fat from a food, the taste goes along with it. Now our normally tasty food tastes like wet cardboard/an old boot; not a great plan for repeated sales. Hmmm… what else tastes good? Sugar! Let’s pump it so full of sugar the consumer’s head will spin. As long as we can put “fat free” on the front, that’s all that matters. That’s what consumers want (because we keep telling them that’s what they want). This process can be repeated replacing sugar with salt, artificial sweeteners, flavours etc. So make sure you check the label. No, not the front where the company is telling you what you want to hear, turn it over and check the ingredient list and the nutritional panel, where they’ve printed what they have to tell you. That’s where the truth comes out.PopSnarfsImage source 
  • We need fat for our bodies to work properly.
    Four of the vitamins we need are fat-soluble vitamins. These are A, D, E and K. To put things simply, if we don’t eat fat, we won’t be getting/absorbing these essential nutrients. Deficiencies in vitamins can lead to all sorts of health problems. Our brains are around 60% fat and they need certain types of fat to operate optimally. We’ve probably all heard of omega-3 and omega-6, right? These are types of fats, which collectively (along with omega-9) are called Essential Fatty Acids or EFAs. They are called essential because human bodies can’t make them and so we have to get them from our diet.
    In addition to this, all the cells in your body contain fatty acids. Every. Single. One. They form part of the cell membrane (the part that keeps the outside out and the inside in). So we need to choose the right kinds of fats to help keep our cells functioning correctly.
  • You’ll miss out on a whole host of healthy foods.
    Cutting out fat from your diet means missing out on amazing foods like avocado, olive oil, nuts and seeds, coconut oil and oily fish. Oh, and eggs. EGGS! I don’t know what I’d do without eggs! These are whole foods, which contain lots of healthy fats, as well as a range of other helpful nutrients. Whole foods should be a big focus for your diet. Generally, the closer a food is to how it’s found in nature, the better. By removing fat, you’re also restricting the variety of foods you can eat. This can lead to monotony and boredom. Variety is the spice of life! Cliché, I know, but it’s so true.

⇒ You may also like to read our article about Eggs and Cholesterol


So to sum up, the fact you eat fat isn’t what really matters. It’s most definitely the type of fats you choose to eat. If you’re going to eat a handful of natural nuts, smear or smash some avo on your toast or drizzle your salad with a bit of extra virgin olive oil, then I say “go for it!”. These whole foods have plenty of health benefits to coincide with the healthy fats they contain. On the other hand when choosing packaged foods in the supermarket, make sure you read the ingredient list on the back of the pack, check to see what’s behind the “low fat” message on the front and check for hidden sugars and nasties. Low fat isn’t always best, most of the time it’s just a joke.

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