Move Your Butt For Body and Mind

 

Move Your Butt for Body and Mind

 

 

 

Move Your Butt For Body and Mind.

Regular readers will know I hate exercise (find out more in the blog link).  It sounds so dull.  I prefer “activity”.

And I DO move my butt for the benefit of health – physical health and mental and emotional health.

I believe that you need to move your butt for overall health and happiness.  And exercising or activity, help hormone balance. Great for us girls.

So what ARE the actual benefits of activity or exercise?

 

Move Your Butt For Weight Management

Activity raises your metabolism. Aerobic activity like walking , jogging, swimming, cycling, dancing help us lose weight.  Especially interval training.

Weight training to build up or maintain muscle is also important.  Muscle is leaner than fat, so we look better.  Muscle also burns more energy that fat.

But you don’t have to become a body-building, Gym Bunny. There are lots of way to build activity into your daily life and some fun ways to start doing more.

Walking (hey what about Pokemon Go and Geocaching?). Gardening. Vigorous house work. Dancing.

You could even use free hand weights doing “step ups” on an exercise step watching your fave soap.

Or join the kids on the trampoline in the garden.

 

Move Your Butt To Spice Up Your (Sex) Life

Did you know that exercise or activity can boost your sex life? Heck, yeah.

Exercise keeps you healthy and gives you more energy.  Healthy and more energetic people tend to have more sexual energy.   Women who stay active, have an active sex life for longer.

Who knew?

Of course, exercise  supports better body confidence. In turn, that could boost your interest in sexy time.

 

Move Your Butt For A Better Brain

You’re reading and wondering how can exercise improve my brain, Kathy? Have you gone bonkers?

No. Physical activity can help your brain.   If you are active,your brain function is less likely to decline as you get older.   Studies have shown it’s the more active you are, not how hard you exercise.

So little and often.

And it can reduce our risk of dementia in our senior years.

 

Move Your Butt for Better Bones

Any impact exercise is good news for bones.  It builds up bone density.

Think aerobic exercises again like walking, dancing or jogging.

Building muscle also helps, so do some weight training.  It builds muscle and bones.

Core strength and flexibility exercises like yoga or tai chi support better bone health, because they too build muscles. They can also help improve balance and coordination.  Maybe that reduces the risk of falls and accidents?

 

Move Your Butt For A Healthy Heart

Get the old ticker pumping with aerobic exercises can lower bad cholesterol and raise the good cholesterol.

Active people are less likely to have high blood pressure, generally and better circulation.   Moving your butt help blood flow and help more toxins out.  Through sweating and the lymph system.

 

Move Your Butt To Beat Menopause Symptoms

Studies show that exercise helps reduce menopausal symptoms as we get to our late 40s and 50s. It helps with hot flushes and the nasty night sweats.

It also help with better body image.  It helps brain function so you might reduce or avoid any brain fog and memory issues.

 

Move Your Butt To Prevent and Alleviate Depression

Activity raises the feel-good chemicals in our brain called endorphins.

These boost our sense of wellbeing and help relieve pain. Yes, really. This can help lift mood and also help keep depression at bay.

 

Move Your Butt To Balance Hormones

Exercise helps balance hormones. FACT.

Do it for this reason, if no other.

It helps regulate your hormones in so many ways – stress hormones, metabolic hormones and more.

 

Move Your Butt To Boost Immunity

Here’s another great reason to build more activity into your days. Regular, moderate exercise raises white blood cells, which help insight infections.

So activity helps boost your immune system.

Begone you coughs and colds!

 

And my final words are these…

Reduce risk of major illness by up to 50% and lower your risk of early death by up to 30%.  Move.  Your. Butt.

 

Love, Kathy x

10 Signs Of Adrenal Fatigue And What To Do About It

10 Signs Of Adrenal Fatigue And What To Do About It.

10 Signs of Adrenal Fatigue and What To Do About It

 

10 Signs Of Adrenal Fatigue and What TO Do About It.

Hey lady, I recognise YOU.

Yes, YOU.

You’re the partner/mother/friend/worker/helper/student/carer/cook/cleaner/taxi driver/party-animal/hostess-with-the-mostess/*pile on MORE here*.

You’re busy. Super efficient. Zipping here and popping there. Always giving. Hardly ever complaining.

You ARE Superwomen…pants over the tights and everything.

And YOU are EXHAUSTED. STRESSED.

Too busy to look after yourself, huh?

It’s only a bit of weight gain.  Sure, it’s normal to be a bit forgetful once you’re in your 30s or more, right?  You’re not really a sugar-addict. 

You’re FINE (Fecked Up, Insecure, Neurotic and Emotional? )

Let’s just check that you’re not TOO stressed. Let’s take a look at your adrenal glands.

Let’s look for signs of adrenal fatigue.

 

A Lickedy-Spit UNBORING Biology Lesson

If you’ve been busy and stressed for a long time, your poor old bod has been flat out. Flat out producing hormones like cortisol (the stress hormone) and other “up” hormones.

Your poor adrenals have been flat out.  Two glands that look like squished apricots.  They sit on top of your kidneys.

Adrenals give out hormones that affect energy, blood chemistry and more.

Adrenals are also important to our reactions to stress.

Speeding up our heart rate. Raising blood pressure. Narrowing blood vessels. Boosting blood sugar.

ALL so that we can do the fight or flight thing.  If a Woolly Mammoth was going to eat us.  Mother Nature designed us so that we could be ready when danger was near.

 

Woolly Mammoths

BUT I’ve had similar feelings.  When I was responsible for millions of pounds, hundreds of people and important projects with looming deadlines.  A “danger” that never went away.

And when such dangers are constant, our bodies are in “fear” mode all the time.  Our hormones are haywire.  We risk adrenal fatigue.  Mine got zonked.

Constant stress causes high levels of the stress hormone cortisol too.  Cortisol helps balance blood sugar.  It regulates inflammation in the body. It’s important for how our cells and muscles work.

But you can have too much of a good thing.

High cortisol can lead to weight gain, forgetfulness, sugar cravings, dry skin and much more.  Sound familiar?

And over time, the delicate balance gets out of whack.

When adrenal hormones get out of whack, other hormones can get out of whack.  It can affect your cycle, fertility, thyroid function and much more.

So how do you know when you have adrenal fatigue?

 

10 Possible Signs Of Adrenal Fatigue

These are common signs and symptoms:-

 

  • Constant tiredness, especially after exercise (if you can be bothered).  Or even trying to get out of bed.
  • Low blood pressure.
  • Low metabolism and/or low thyroid.
  • Muscle weakness.
  • Low immune system and catching coughs, colds and ‘flu.
  • Irregular periods with sore/lumpy breasts.  Also lack of ovulation and difficulty falling pregnant. 
  • Allergies and/or asthma.
  • Depression. 
  • Trouble handling stress and coping with life. 
  • Dark patches, freckles and darkening of the skin. 

If you have any or all of the signs, see your Doctor. They will be able to help diagnose with tests.

But what can you do to help yourself?

Self Care For Adrenal Fatigue

AVOID LIKE A PLAGUE

  • More stress, obvs.
  • Stimulants – yes please quit the caffeine…coffee, tea, chocolate, caffeinated drinks. And cut back on the booze.
  • Sugar and refined carbs because they send your blood sugar, energy and moods on a rollercoaster.
  • Processed foods, non-organic meats and dairy – basically avoid chemicals, added hormones and GMO.

WHAT TO DO

  • Manage stress and busy-ness. Get support or help. Exercise. Meditate. Get creative. Grab “me time”. Do whatever it takes.
  • Get enough rest and sleep.  They are not the same thing.  BOTH are important.
  • Eat for nutrition. Plenty of veggies and fruits, good fats, good quality protein, complex carbs. And stay well hydrated.
  • Take the best quality multivitamin and mineral complex you can afford. You get what you pay for. See a nutritional therapist for specific advice to you.

 

Lovely lady, if ANY of this sounds like you, STOP. Right now. You’re not fine, you’re F.I.N.E

Speak with your Doctor for a diagnosis and start with some super self-care. Today.

Love, Kathy x

Happy Hormonal Christmas – A Woman’s Survival Guide

Happy Hormonal Christmas

Happy Hormonal Christmas – A Woman’s Survival Guide.

I have a confession. Sitting here, I’m harassed, hacked-off and craving chocolate.

The reason?

Mainly CHRISTMAS!

I spent yesterday wrapping presents (a job I dislike only slightly less than supermarket shopping), writing cards and then queueing in the Post Office.  At least the cashier was smiley, as opposed to my full-on Grinch.  No cashiers were harmed in the posting of mail.

I spent this morning using Amazon ITALY.  My Italian is very limited. A couple of frustrating hours trying to spread Christmas cheer to our lovely nephews and niece. I have my finger crossed that

a) I ordered the correct things and sent them to the right place

b) they get there in time

c) I’m not sobbing by lunchtime.  More BOO HOO HOO than HO HO HO.

Yes, it really IS beginning to look a lot like Christmas. It’s not that I’m The Wicked Queen from your fave panto, it’s just there is no time of year like this.

There’s shopping, wrapping, writing, inviting, cooking, cleaning, hostessing, partying, taxi-ing, socialising …not to mention the over-indulging, family feuding and fretting over how you’ll pay for it all. Am I right?

So to restore all us girls to happiness and harmony, I’ve come up with my Happy Hormonal Christmas – A Woman’s Survival Guide.  Let’s banish stress and cortisol and spread the love and oxytocin!

Basically, it’s top tips to have yourself a Merry Little Christmas.   A Happy Hormonal Christmas.

 

1.  Eat Yourself Merry and Bright

Christmas doesn’t have to be about eating your own bodyweight in festive fare, then scoffing a whole box of After Eights at one sitting and washing it down with a half pint of Baileys Irish Cream. Just because “it’s Christmas”.

You will feel so much better following the 80/20 rule.  A.k.a. all good things in moderation. Eat for nutrition at least 80% of the time.

Mostly choose good protein (meat, fish , tofu, legumes), veggies, fruits, nuts (unsalted!) and seeds. Choose whole grains in moderation.

ALL to avoid hormonal insulin spikes, rollercoaster energy and moodswings.

Watch the amount of sugar you’re taking in – and ALCOHOL counts – to avoid the same spikes and swings. AND reduce strain on your poor digestive system.

Read labels to see if the ingredients are natural and healthy.

Christmas dinner in the Payne house will be organic meat with heaps of veggies – some of which will be roasted in a small amount of good fats. Ooh and home-made gravy. Dessert is Christmas spiced poached pears. Yummy.  Festive. Healthier than most.  Not at all Scrooge-like.

Eating well will also make sure you’re not spilling over your jeans by January. For Christmas Without Weight Gain, read my secrets.

2.  Get and Spread The Comfort and Joy

Christmas can be the best of times … and worst of times.

We’re supposed to feel Joy to the World? Yet, it’s a time when we can feel stressed, low and lonely.

All of which can lead to self-sabotaging behaviour – comfort eating, drinking too much, shopping ’til we drop, snogging someone inappropriate at the Office party.

All of this things may give us a short-term buzz of pleasure hormone dopamine, but it’s not really happiness or joy.

Take comfort food, for example. Full of carbs usually.  They raise body heat and insulin and give you a nice, warm feeling.   Festive cheer even.  No wonder we reach for the mince pies and stollen.  Too much insulin can cause “crashes” of energy and mood, though.

For real “comfort” maybe watch a feel good movie like It’s A Wonderful Life and get yourself a massive dose of the happiness hormone, serotonin.  Or get some big old belly laughs with Home Alone.

Maybe spread the joy yourself and donate time or things to charities and other great causes. Even visiting someone who may be lonely or vulnerable.  That’s what the hyped John Lewis Man on the Moon advert is really all about.

If the strain of prepping for Santa is all to much, read more on how to beat those seasonal mood swings and stress.  Yes, lower your cortisol levels and have a Happy Hormonal Christmas.

 

3.  Sleep in the “Sleeps ‘Til Christmas”

How many sleeps ’til Christmas? Well, 8 when I first wrote this actually.

But are you actually get enough good quality sleep each night for a Happy Hormonal Christmas?

It’s a busy time of year. Don’t be tempted to burn your Christmas Candle at both ends.  Try to get in a few early nights for the sake of your energy levels, moods and general health.

If you’re waking in the middle of the night mentally making your Chrimbo card  list or fretting about your solo at the Carol Concert, it’s perhaps a little seasonal stress.  Raising your level of stress hormone cortisol.

Or it could be hormonal.  Sex hormones.

Hormonal changes can wreck sleep. AND lack of sleep can affect hormone levels.  Vicious cycle.

So when hormone levels spike or drop — during your cycle, during and after pregnancy and  around menopause – you may experience sleep problems.

Get more top tips on getting more sleep and helping your hormones in this fab blog.

 

4.   It’s a Time for Giving … so delegate!

Yes, Christmas IS a time for giving, so give someone else a chore or two to cross off the list.

There is no need to do the work of Santa and ALL his helpers when you have family, friends, neighbours, co-workers…

Not only will it lighten your load but it will involve others, giving them the warm, fuzzy, serotonin, happiness glow of having helped.  You’ll have happiness and harmony rather than feeling all hormone-y. Double bubble.

Happy Hormonal Christmas

 

Leaving you free to do some Chrimbo chillaxing.  Reading.  Watching cheesey films. Kicking up leaves wearing wellies in the woods.  Building a s snowman (it’s a winter “heatwave” here, by the way).

Of course, people won’t do it the same as you would, but it will be done.  It’ll be different.  It will be great.  Nothing has to be perfect, it just has to be good enough.  No-one will be arrested for Crimes Against Christmas if they “ruin” the brussels sprouts.

Remember Frozen? “Let it go, let it go…”.  You catch my drift.   You’ll release and spread that little old love hormone oxytocin by spreading all that love, trust and community.

 

5.  BE Present ..rather than give presents

Well, you can give and receive pressies too. I mean seize the opportunity. Enjoy every moment.  Create great memories.

And that doesn’t mean you have to conform to the chocolate box view of Christmas.  There is no one right way to “do” Christmas.

Help in a soup kitchen.

Walk on the beach.

Look after someone’s house and animals and pretend you’re on holiday.

Eat Lasksa. Minestrone. Guacamole.

Spend time with the people you really care about.  Or don’t.  Hole up in your cave reading your favourite books, restoring your energy and wallowing in your bliss.

Lower cortisol. Increase serotonin and oxytocin. Manage haywire hormones.

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas. However you choose to spend it.

I’m off to take a large dose of my own guidance.

Love, Kathy x

 

Breakfast for Health and Happy Hormones

Breakfast for Health and Happy Hormones

Breakfast like a Queen for Health & Happy Hormones.

I was looking at my Facebook page recently and noticed some photos of the cracking breakfasts I’ve served up this year.  Even if I do say so myself.

I’m such a breakfast fan, I did  little week long campaign called #camPayneforbetterbreakfast * groans at own pun*.   Come on we all heard that old chestnut about breakfast being the most important meal of the day, right?  And that saying that goes “breakfast like a King, lunch like a Prince, dine like Pauper”?

Then it’s surprising that so many (busy) people are still skipping breakfast.

And please don’t polish your halo if you’re snarfing down a coffee or grabbing a (sugar- laden) cereal bar and calling that breakfast.

 

Breakfast is an important meal

So here’s why I’m a BIG fan of a big breakfast and what makes a breakfast of hormone-balancing champions….

Why Eat Breakfast?

1. For energy

If you skip breakfast, you could be going a LONG time without any food. Assuming you didn’t get up for a fridge raid in the night.  And you need food for energy. The longer you go without eating,  the less energy you have. Obvs.

To keep your energy levels good, eat a healthy breakfast each day.

2. For nutrition

Every time you shove something in your mouth, it’s a chance to fuel your body and heal your body.  Yes, food is fuel and medicine.

So eat for nutrition. At least 80% of the time. If not more if you have some particular health goal.

If you skip breakfast you’re missing the chance to nourish yourself with all the good stuff – a variety of foods and loads of nutrients.

If you make poor breakfast choices you could be loading up on sugar, artificial sweeteners, refined carbs, additives and more – all of which can have negative effects on your body, mind and energy over time.  That doesn’t sound like The Breakfast of Champions.

3. For weight management and happier hormones 

Hands up who has ever been tempted to skip meals to save calories and lose weight.  Me. In the past. When you are trying to lose or maintain weight, it can be tempting to skip meals.

But skipping breakfast can actually cause you to GAIN weight. Oh yes.

It goes something like this…

You spend all night in the Land of Nod.  You skip breakfast. By mid morning you are so hungry (and your body is pumping grehlin, the hunger hormone) you could eat your own bodyweight in Chocolate Digestives, so you DO.

OR – with steely resolve – you survive on dust until lunchtime and you’re absolutely starving so order pizza and chips/fries instead of the salad you had planned at the canteen.

You actually scuppered your own your weight loss/management efforts with poor food choices AND you increased the production of insulin (the fat storing hormone) in your body, which can cause your body to well er … store more fat.  Wasn’t the plan, eh?

4. For peak performance  

When you’re really hungry it’s likely you feel weak, tired and even headachey.  Hardly primed for peak performance.

Hunger also affects concentration, alertness and even mood.  A Hungry Helen is not gong to be sharp, focussed, effective, efficient, productive or Happy Helen.

5. For yourself and your family

If you live alone, what better way to start the day with a little quiet time, mindfully eating your healthy breakfast, chewing it well and enjoying a break from distractions of your phone/computer/TV and life’s little challenges?

If you live with others or have kids it’s lovely to sit together mindfully eating etc etc AND connecting by talking to one another, really connecting. And if you do have children it’s great to set an example of how important breakfast is for energy, nutrition and performance.  You’re teaching them life skills and good habits.

What is a healthy, hormone-friendly breakfast?

But not all breakfasts are created equal.

Many contain sugar, artificial sweeteners, refined carbs, processed fats and oils, additives …blah blah blah. And that’s not good news. Even breakfasts that look healthy could be pretty UNhealthy.

I once made a show of myself on a crowded morning train by gasping in horror at the granola bar I just bought in good faith – stuffed full of teeth rotting, waist expanding, hormone harming sugar and palm oil! People thought it was Murder on The Orient Express or something.

Anyway, for a great start to the day I suggest breakfasts that are :-

Nutritious

Energy and hormone balancing

Tasty and look fab.

No-one wants to eat muesli that looks and tastes like sawdust, do they? Least of all me.

My formula for a healthy breakfast is:-

Good protein + healthy fats + fibre = Breakfast Fit for a Queen 

Breakfast Ideas

For example, if it’s a smoothie you’re after check out my ideas for making it super-dooper healthy and filling.

Or choose my chia seed pudding topped with coconut cream, fruit, nuts and seeds.

Even a full English can have a healthy twist if it’s great quality meat and grilled or cooked in ghee served with roasted veggies and wilted spinach?   And eaten only on high days and holidays.

I’ve even made myself drool now.

So I hope I’ve made the breakfast dodgers, coffee grabbers and sugary cereal snarfers stop and think just little about the opportunity they are missing for fuel and medicine at breakfast.

Love, Kathy x