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

5 Natural Ways To Beat Bloating

5 Natural Ways To Beat Bloating

 

 

5 Natural Ways To Beat Bloating.

Do you sometimes look like you’re hiding an inflatable up your jumper?   Forget the phrase “muffin top” – yours looks like a 3 tier wedding cake!

Suffer bloating?

That uncomfortable and embarrassing problem where your tummy swells to a MASSIVE size?

It can be fluid retention. It can be digestive problems, like windypops or constipation.

Whatever the cause, it sucks.

Let’s look at common symptoms and ways to beat bloating.

 

Common Symptoms

Common symptoms include:-

  • Your clothes become tight
  • Your tummy feels rock hard (or it can still feel soft)
  • You’re constipated.
  • You get gurgling, rumbling, belching and gas.   It can be so loud, it’s cringe-worthy.
  • Other parts of your body are also swollen – ankles, feet etc.  And usually pre-period. That’s often due to fluid retention.

If that sounds all too familiar, what can you do to beat bloating?

 

Conventional Ways to Beat Bloating

Your Doctor will give different advice depending on the cause.

And do see your Doctor if you suffer regular bloating.  In rare cases, it’s a  sign of a more serious problem, so don’t be a doctor dodger.

If the issue is pre-period water retention, a doctor might suggest reducing salt intake.  Or even prescribe diuretic drugs i.e. they eliminate fluid.

If bloating is caused by digestive problems, they’ll advise you on keeping your poop mechanism in tip top condition.

 

5 Natural Ways To Beat Bloating

Remove Wheat Products From Your Diet

Wheat is difficult to digest even if you’re not allergic to wheat i.e. suffer coeliac disease.  It can cause bloating.

Try removing wheat and wheat products from your diet for 4 weeks and see if that makes a difference.  Replace wheat with brown rice and other grains like quinoa and buckwheat.

For diet advice for a diagnosed condition, see a dietician or nutritional therapist.  I follow The Digestion Detective for free guidance on digestion and bloating.

Regulate Salt Intake

If your issue is fluid retention, review your salt intake.

Some women in my clinic get pre-period cravings for crisps, nuts and other salty snacks.  These can make the issue worse.  Eat plenty of leafy green veggies to boost potassium and balance out sodium.

Be aware of hidden sodium like monosodium glutamate in Chinese dishes and takeaways.

Drink Water

Drinking plain, filtered or spring water can help reduce bloating and improve tummy transit.   Avoid fizzy water as it can make you even windier.

Take Regular Gentle Exercise

If bloating is caused by sluggish digestion, regular, gentle exercise can help. Try walking or yoga and pilates can help relieve bloating and wind.

Try Complementary Therapies

Choose something that you will enjoy to support you to beat bloating.  In my own clinic, I use homeopathy, Tissue Salts and herbal tinctures to support clients with minor digestive trouble or water retention.  As well as recommending a healthy and hormone friendly diet.

 

If you give any of these a go, let me know how you get on trying to beat bloating.

Love, Kathy x

5 Popular Misconceptions About Weight Loss

5 Popular Misconceptions About Weight Loss blog

5 Popular Misconceptions About Weight Loss …

… OR 5 Fibs About Fighting A Muffin Top

 

Is there a little more of you to love these days?

It’s hugging tightly to your tummy?

And it’s STUCK there – your chuffin’ muffin top.

Have you tried e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g?

In my clinic, I see many gorgeous 30s to 50s women who are trying to get their tummy roll to jog on…sometimes even by jogging.

They may be too young for menopause or they may be approaching it, but the pesky paunch is just not shifting.  I have to admit in recent months, mine had been spreading a bit and enough is enough for this Perimenopausal Princess.

So, it’s time for me to share some fictions, fallacies and fibs about losing weight.  Here are just FIVE of the common mistakes women make when they are trying to lose the tummy tyre.

Quick Fix Diets

They don’t work.  One of the popular misconceptions about weight loss.

It always reminds me of that  Peter Kay sketch (he’s a UK comedian for my overseas friends)

“This is the diet right, I’ll tell ya now.  If ya wanna lose weight, this is the diet.  My mate, she’s a nurse, she got it photocopied.  I swear to God, I’m not sh**in’ ya. You have a Tuc cracker and a cup of beetroot, right. You drink your own p**s. Tracy’s on it, she’s lost 14 stone in a day!”

Funny as.

But weight lost quickly is often just water and muscle, not fat.

And crash diets make your body think there’s some kind of “famine”.  When you start to eat normally again,  your body hangs on to it’s fat stores to prepare for another famine.  So you can end up with more fat than you started with.

This is the cycle called yoyo dieting and it mucks up your metabolism.

Stop dieting.  Choose healthy eating habits you can stick with at least 80% of the time, for life.

 

Dodging Fats

For many years, fat has been the bad boy of food.  Another of the misconceptions about weight loss.

We’ve been told that fats harm our hearts. And fats make us fat. They’re responsible for the world’s obesity crisis.

And now we know that’s not really true.

Sure, the terrible trans fats – those processed fats in processed and fast food – are health harmers.  Check your food labels for “hydrogenated vegetable oil” and give it the widest of wide berths.

And maybe choose the saturated fats in meat and dairy in moderation.

But eat plenty of good fats – the unsaturated fats in oily fish, nuts and seeds, avocado, extra virgin olive oil.

We now know that fats are important in the battle to manage our weight.

Fat helps us burn fat. REALLY.

They are also essential for growth and development. Fat provides energy.  It helps protect our organs.  It helps maintains our cell membranes  It  helps us process and absorb nutrients.

Eat good fats.

 

Dodging Breakfast

I know many a breakfast dodger.  They skip brekkie because they’re too busy or running late or they just want to try to eat less.  Skipping meals? One of those popular misconceptions about weight loss.

BIG mistake. Eating breakfast boosts your metabolism after a nights sleep when your fat-burning slows down.

Choose a healthy, keeps-you-fuller-for-longer breakfast like porridge with some fruit, nuts or seeds or some eggs.  Read more here on healthy breakfasts.

We should all try to eat regularly to keep our fat-burning steady, our blood sugar steady, our energy steady and our hormones …yes STEADY.

Eat little and often.  3 small to medium meals per day plus 2 healthy snacks.  Include good quality protein with each meal and snack.

 

Fuelling Up On Refined Carbs

There are some diets that are pretty much NO carbs and other diets that are all about the carbs to keep you full. I have seen many a lady scoffing a jacket potato as big as her own head smothered in baked beans (with added sugar?) whilst “on a diet”.

I’m not saying never eat another jacket spud, but here’s the deal with carbs.

Insulin is the fat storing hormone. Anything that causes insulin to be raised, causes more fat storage. Foods that increase insulin tend to be sugar and any foods that contain sugar and refined starches like white rice, white bread, white flour, white pasta, potatoes.

So think low carb.

Eat good quality carbs in moderation – brown rice, wholemeal flour/pasta/ bread, spelt, rye, buckwheat, oats etc.  Get carbs from your veggies, legumes and a little fruit.

 

Dodging Exercise

Exercise boosts metabolism. End of.  Don’t dodge it, if you can.

Not really, end of. For weight loss and weight management, combine healthy eating with moving your butt.

Vary your activities.  You’ll avoid boredom. Especially if you make them fun activities you can fit into your life.

Combine aerobic activities like walking or dancing with weight bearing exercise. Weight bearing exercise builds muscle.  Muscle looks leaner than fat AND muscle burns more fat.

If you’ve been falling foul of these fictions and fibs, try my tips and see if it makes a difference to your weight loss or weight management.

Ler me know how you get on.

My battle with the perimenopausal paunch is underway.  Keep fighting the good fight.

 

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

Christmas Without Weight Gain

christmas without weight gain

Christmas Without Weight Gain

In 2008, I lost almost 3 STONES between summer and the start of December.  TRUE FACT.

By learning the calorie and nutrition value of foods, clean eating and moving my sorry butt.  Mainly dog walking, zumba and wii-fit.  Never saw the inside of a gym.

I didn’t want to pile on pounds over Christmas, so I learned some sneaky secrets and put on NOTHING.

 

I want to share my 12 Ways You Won’t Gain Weight This Christmas a.k.a. Christmas Without Weight Gain.

 

To save you time and eyestrain, the FIRST 6 TIPS ARE IN THIS BLOG.

You see, this was becoming a VERY, VERY LONG POST.  So I trimmed it and made you a PDF of all 12 tips to read at your convenience.

The full 12 tips for Christmas Without Weight Gain are available to DOWNLOAD RIGHT HERE.

Read at your leisure. I know you’re busy.

 

I know you’re skeptical. You’re thinking … I have as much chance of managing weight as George Clooney arriving down my chimney with cartier diamonds in his swag bag.

But it IS possible not to gain weight with a bit of forward planning.  And these simple strategies I’m about to share with you. Your friends and family probably won’t even notice, so there’s no chance of being called a Big Old Grinch.

And you’ll be applying the golden 80/20 rule so won’t feel like a Bah Humbug Bore either. By that, I mean have healthy habits at least 80% of the time, all the time.

So what are my top tips?

 

1.  Never Go Out Hungry

So, never visit the supermarket when you’re hungry or you’ll end up stockpiling food like the shops are shut until Groundhog Day.  Christmas is only ONE day.  And you may be tempted to finish it ALL rather than waste it.

Buy only the food that you’re going to need plus a couple of festive treats. A couple. That’s two. Or less.

You’re also more likely to make poor choices if you’re ravenous when you’re shopping. Stay away from the BOGOF offers on salty snacks and the dustbin-sized tins of sweeties. And no-one really needs to buy the European Cheese mountain, do they?

Excess food including unwanted presents can be saved or donated.  Read tip number 11 in the download.

Also never go out to a party or event hungry. Have a little nutritious snack before you go out to stop yourself hoovering up the canapés or having second …even third ..helpings.

If you DO arrive hungry, drink a glass of water before you start scoffing to take the edge off hunger.

2.  Buffet Like A Boss

Wanna know how to buffet like a boss?

First of all, step away from the buffet! Don’t stand next to it. You’ll be less tempted to pick.

Choose the smallest plate you can find.

Don’t stack it up. Think “bungalow buffet” with single storey snacks, not a towering skyscraper of sausage rolls.

Count your canapés. Yep, keep score or keep the cocktail sticks and then you’ll deffo know how many you troughed.

Pick your picky food wisely.  Protein is a good option as it fills you up, so chicken or prawns or hummus would be great. Avoid the fatty, sauce-laden, cheesey, pastry covered, cream filled snacks. And the diabetes-inducing desserts.

Go for the garnish. When I worked in a corporate environment where there were plenty of gut-busting buffets, I was often found chomping on the lettuce, tomato and cucumber plate garnish.  If there are veggies and fruits, get those.

Avoid second or third helpings.

Indeed, you could NOT eat buffet at all. *whispers* I sometimes go to parties and celebrations and NEVER EAT A THING. I eat before I go and then just have a couple of drinks and some water. I hold my husband’s plate so everyone thinks I had some. I am so BUSTED now.

3.  Serve and Eat Restaurant Styley

When we go out to eat in restaurants, we are given a portion – okay the size of the portion does depend on the restaurant.  See point 9.

You’re likely to eat less if you are served a normal portion of food in the kitchen and your plate is brought to the table.  Serving dishes are left in the kitchen. Platters and serving dishes may look beautiful on the (groaning) table, but folks are more likely hoover it up and end up eating waaaayyyyyy more than they need.

If you’re a hostess this year, please bear this in mind. You can still offer second helpings to people who really want them, so no-one will think you’re a Scrooge. You can really help Christmas Without Weight Gain.

4. Limit the Alcohol

At the risk of sounding like a party pooper, limit the booze if you want Christmas Without Weight Gain.

It’s not just about the sugar, blood sugar spikes and calories…it’s about control.

If you’re a bit squiffy you’re more likely to reach for the profiteroles with a devil-may-care attitude. If you’re full on wasted, you might get a kebab on the way home.

We can sometimes feel out of place without a drink on our hand, so if you can’t face just drinking water or people are pressurising you, try a mocktail or even just soda water with ice and lemon.  It looks remarkably like a vodka tonic.

Have you seen my recipe for Mulled Apple Juice? Delicious and non alcoholic.

Better still, be the Designated Driver and then no-one pressures you into boozing.

If you know you’re going to have a couple of drinks, choose wisely. White spirits with a little fresh juice or a non artificial sweetener packed mixer.  A wine spritzer. Red wine and champagne even have some health helping properties.

Break convention. Always choose a tall thin glass.  Studies show that we pour less liquid into them than short stocky glasses.

5.  Don’t “Lick the Bowl”

Woman licking batter bowl

Hands up who can’t resist this?  *blushes and raises hand*

But you know that saying, right? “Little pickers wear bigger knickers”.  So true.

For Christmas Without Weight Gain, don’t lick the bowl.

Taste test when cooking, but be sensible.  And there’s no need to eat FOUR home-made mince pies to see if they’re okay, is there?

‘Nuff said.

6.  Make or Take Your Own

Rather than play “guess the ingredients ” or attempt to “calorie count” every dish at parties or other people’s homes, bring a dish of your own.

Not only will you know you’re eating something healthy and nutritious but you’ll look like a Jolly Good Egg.

Bonus.

 

You KNOW you got this. You CAN have Christmas Without Weight Gain.

You read the first 6 super secrets.  For all 12 tips download your guide here.

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

 

What to do about body shape and “middle age spread” in your 40s and 50s

 Middle Age Spread

 

Middle Age Spread or Menopausal Muffin Top?

Managing weight can seem like a constant battle for many of us women, but it seems to be a full-scale WAR in our *ahem*  middle years. Or “middle age spread” years.

You know?

Your muffin top seems to be making a bid for freedom out of your jeans.

You LOOK at a cake and it goes straight to your hips.

You eat lettuce and do lunges and still can’t lose that pesky half stone/stone/3 stones… delete as applicable.

BUT middle age spread is not about WEIGHT really. It’s about FAT.  And body shape.

Here’s why …and later learn some helpful hints on marmalising your mid-life muffin top.

Watching “weight” or fighting “fat”?

What you weigh, doesn’t really tell you that much about your health.  Even BMI (Body Mass Index which measures the ratio of our weight to height) isn’t the be-all and end-all when trying to stop middle age spread.

That’s because muscle weighs more than fat.

So an athletic, fit-as-a-flea, six-packed Gym-Bunny might weigh more and have higher BMI than that of your average-build Couch Potato Princess.

Gym Girl could even register as overweight on a weight chart! But she is likely to be much leaner, fitter and healthier; carrying more muscle than flab compared to her sofa-surfing sister.

Are You Changing Shape?

Body shape is another useful indication of health – and also hormones – in mid life.  A good measure is waist to hip ratio.

Last year, I started to notice that my previous bootylicious “pear shape” was becoming a bit of an “apple” … so-called middle age spread is another sign of perimenopause.

Why?

Basically, Mother Nature makes up for dwindling oestrogen levels with the gift of fat around the middle, because tummy fat produces oestrogen. How cruel!

But hey ho, a LITTLE extra fat isn’t a big problem, it’s when you laying down a lot of fat, you need to take it in hand.

If you divide your waist measurement by hip measurement and you get a number bigger than 0.8, it’s not healthy, lovely.

There are long-term health risks associated with middle age spread. And metabolism slows with age, so it’s not going to get any better, without some new habits.

Start managing it downwards now.

How To Stop Middle Age Spread

Let’s start with how NOT to manage menopause muffin top.

DON’T GO LOW FAT – eating fat doesn’t equal becoming fat. Choose essential fats as part of a healthy diet from nuts, seeds, avocado and oily fish for overall health and FAT BURNING. Yes, that’s right.  Reduce saturated fats and trans fats from processed foods.

DON’T CHOOSE “DIET” PRODUCTS – ever seen that meme on social media? The one that says ‘For “diet” or “lite” read “chemical sh*t storm” ‘? They can contain sugar for taste, which is linked to weight gain.  Or artificial sweeteners which can lead to weight gain by confusing your body – your body triggers appetite when it gets a sweet “hit” with no calories.

RESIST COUNTING CALORIES – scientists have proved that all calories are NOT created equal. The same number of calories from different types of food can have very different effects on the body. The old notion of “calories in versus calories out” for weight loss has been debunked over time. See GO LOW CARB below.  Eat for health.  Food is medicine as well as fuel.

DON’T SKIP MEALS  – balance blood sugar by eating little and often.  Eating this way balances insulin (fat storing hormone), reduces cravings and gives you better energy. Eating your largest meal during the day, not late in the evening can also help.

DON’T DIET – it may be a quick fix, but over time it messes with your metabolism and can lead to a cycle of yo-yo dieting.  Create healthy eating habits you can keep.

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And now onto those key healthy habits to create and sustain to reduce that middle age spread …

GO LOW CARB – that’s low not NO.  Carbs – especially refined ones and that includes SUGAR – cause excess insulin which encourages fat storage. Have carbs in moderation and choose from a whole variety of wholegrains – rye, spelt, buckwheat, millet, barley, rice, quinoa, oats, wild rice, wheat and more.  I’ve been getting freaky with freekeh, recently.

EAT GOOD QUALITY PROTEIN – and I mean with each meal or snack. It’s great for balancing blood sugar. Choose from organic meat or poultry, eggs, fish and seafood, organic dairy, legumes, nuts and seeds and more.  One of my snacks of choice is a piece of fruit with some nuts …sliced apple spread with a little almond butter is the aces.

BUILD ACTIVITY INTO YOUR LIFE – note I didn’t use the E word… “exercise”.  It even brings me out in a rash. Hehe. Exercise always sounds like such a chore. And my fave activities – yoga, zumba, dog walking and gardening – are never a chore. Vary your activities to include some fat burning and some weight bearing exercise for maximum benefits.

FOLLOW THE 80/20 RULE – choose healthy habits at least 80% of the time, always. It’s not a “diet” we’re on, it’s a way of life.

So let’s fight fat, watch body shape and eat for nutrition in the war against middle age spread, sisters. Who’s with me?

Love, Kathy x