Metabolism-boosting salad incredients

posted Dec 8, 2014, 11:44 AM by Toni Patchett

With "summer" here it's time for salads!

To add flavour as well as boost your metabolism try adding things like cayenne pepper, garlic, lemon juice, ginger, basil, parsley and thyme to your salads.  Dijon mustard also has this metabolism-boosting effect along with improving overall digestion and nutrient utilisation.  We've all grown up hearing about the amazing benefits of apple cider vinegar, but according to Metabolic Cooking authors, it also detoxifies the liver aiding in weight loss, increases metabolism and supresses hunger levels.

Enjoy those summer salads!


posted Jan 10, 2013, 8:07 PM by Toni Patchett

Some nuts are a fantastic healthy fat source.  Be aware that they can also be an allergen for some people, and also slow fat loss.  The best nuts?  Walnuts, almonds, brazil nuts, pistachios, cashews and pecans.  Remember these nuts sometimes come in the form of nut butters such as almond and brazil nut butter, which taste fantastic and is an alternative to eating straight nuts.  So why are these nuts so good for us?  They help stabilise blood sugar levels; the healthy fat from nuts encourages healthy hormone levels that support lean muscle tissue and recovery; can give us healthier skin and hair; improves energy and alertness; helps to alleviate sugar and carbohydrate cravings; helps you feel fuller for longer; and the list goes on.......

So start adding a healthy handful of nuts to your daily morning or afternoon tea.  Or a decent spread of nut butter to rice thins or just straight from the jar!

Microwave Ovens

posted Jul 26, 2012, 9:52 PM by Toni Patchett   [ updated Jul 26, 2012, 9:53 PM ]

Ten Reasons to dispose off your Microwave Oven
From the conclusions of scientific clinical studies, we can no longer ignore the dangers of the microwave ovens sitting in our kitchens. Consider the following:

1). Continually eating food processed from a microwave oven causes long term - permanent - brain damage by 'shorting out' electrical impulses in the brain.
2). The human body cannot break down the unknown by-products created in microwaved food.
3). Male and female hormone production is shut down and/or altered by continually eating microwaved foods.
4). The effects of microwaved food by-products are long term and permanent within the human body.
5). Minerals, vitamins, and nutrients of all microwaved food is reduced or altered so that the human body gets little or no benefit, or the human body absorbs altered compounds that cannot be broken down.
6). The minerals in vegetables are altered into cancerous free-radicals when cooked in microwave ovens.
7). Microwaved foods cause stomach and intestinal cancerous growths. This may explain the rapidly increased rate of colon cancer in UK and America .
8). The prolonged eating of microwaved foods causes cancerous cells to increase in human blood.
9). Continual ingestion of microwaved food causes immune system deficiencies through lymph gland and blood serum alterations.
10). Eating microwaved food causes loss of memory, concentration, emotional instability, and a decrease of intelligence.

Balancing your workouts

posted Jun 27, 2012, 11:42 PM by Toni Patchett

Balance: Making sure your exercise routine is balanced can be a time-consuming chore, but if you don't balance your workouts you may be heading for a long time of injury and pain. Living on the Western Hills provides us with a great array of challenging walks, which are good for you, but only to an certain extent. If you have a lot of weight to lose, or you are recovering from injury or illness then walking is the best way to start your exercise routine again. But this will only take you so far. Your muscles still need to be stimulated, especially as we get older. After about 35 years of age we start to lose muscle strength, co-ordination, balance and the ability to recover quickly from injury and illness, especially if our diet is also not at its best. This is all the more reason to get an overall balance of exercise. By balance I mean, cardio, strength exercise, relaxation and flexibility. These are all key aspects of a balanced body, which in turn is a healthy body. So how do we get all these things with our busy lifestyles? Cardio: weekend walks with the family; bike to work; take a short walk after dinner most evenings; take a walk at lunchtime. Strength: your job may give you this already; speak to your local health club about options best suited to you. Relaxation: meditation; yoga; gentle swimming; massage. Flexibility: pilates; yoga; your own stretch routine. You don't have to spend hours on each activity, you just have to do it often. Get into a routine and stick to it.

As usual, speak to your doctor before starting an exercise routine.


posted May 25, 2012, 12:32 AM by Toni Patchett

There are many theories behind the reason we get stitch while exercising. Many runners believe it is to do with the rate of breathing while exercising, others believe it has to do with what and when we eat before exercising. Whatever the reason most of us are more concerned about how to get rid of it once we have it. Again, there are many ways to reduce the pain of stitch and perhaps to be rid of it altogether, but as a runner I have tried and tested these techniques and am happy to share the few that have actually worked for me. Do watch what and when you eat before exercise. I recommend a light meal about two hours before heading out for a run or walk. This may include a banana, a few nuts and seeds, or a few crackers, but try to avoid anything too acidic like apples, or milky like yoghurt as this can aggravate the stomach resulting in a stitch. Start your exercise routine with a light warm up. Breathing regularly plays a huge role in keeping stitch at bay. If you warm up slowly your body will acclimatise gently to the forthcoming exercise session and your breathing will slowly adapt. Also on the breathing side, try to take fuller breaths to allow your diaphragm to properly lift and lower meaning you get enough oxygen and are not straining the diaphragm with small shallow breaths. If you do however, still manage to get stuck with the side-stitch, there are two things that I find work best. Pause your exercise session, exhale all the air in your lungs and then some, then take slow deep breaths. My other method is slightly less public-friendly, and that is handstands. It sounds crazy, but it actually works. A few handstands seems to release the tension and tightness built up in the diaphragm and releases the feeling of stitch. Once the pain subsides begin again slowly. As always, check with your doctor before undertaking any changes to your exercise routine.

"Good" Condiments

posted May 22, 2012, 7:33 PM by Toni Patchett

If you read last months article of 'bad condiments', you'll be keen to read this one on 'good condiments'. Just for a bit of background; a good condiment will be made of natural ingredients promoting healthy fats and antioxidants, both of which are important in preventing us from becoming unwell. First up is Guacamole, which is a good source of healthy fat which helps you feel full, has heaps of fibre, vitamins and antioxidants. Mustard, mustard seed is a powerful antioxidant and yellow mustards have tumeric added to them which helps fight cancer. Hummus, is made up of purely natural ingredients and is very easy to make. Some brands are made using soyabean or canola oils, avoid these! Choose only olive oil in your hummus! Salsa, is a wonderful alternative to tomato sauce which made the bad list last month. Tomatoes are high in antioxidants and anything else added to a salsa is a vegetable, ie natural and healthy. And last but by no means least, Pesto, again a simply made condiment full of high antioxidant-rich ingredients and healthy fats. Not to mention, yummy!  As always, check with your doctor before making any major changes to your diet

Fat-Fighting Spices

posted Apr 12, 2012, 10:31 PM by Toni Patchett

Basil: suppresses your appetite, making you feel fuller. Black Pepper: fat-burner and powerful anti-oxidant. Oregano: helps reduce bloating. Parsley: improves digestion which helps the body use the food you eat, meaning less is stored as bodyfat. Rosemary: lowers cortisol, which is the body's belly-fat storing hormone. It also helps keep you calm.

"Bad" Condiments

posted Apr 12, 2012, 10:03 PM by Toni Patchett   [ updated May 22, 2012, 7:34 PM ]

It's always better to focus on the positives rather than the negatives of anything, but it is certainly a good idea to be aware of the negatives just so you can make an informed choice. So here briefly are some of the condiments that fall under "unhealthy": Mayo - Most mayo's are made from refined soybean oil and can cause internal inflammation, it's also very high in Omega-6 and therefore throws your Omega-6 to Omega-3 balance out. Tomato sauce - Yes tomatoes are good for you, but the sauce is mostly sugar - don't kid yourselves! BBQ sauce - Nope, even more sugar than tomato sauce. Salad Dressing - Most brands in the shops are made from the unhealthy oils; soybean, canola and high fructose corn syrup. Low fat healthy salad dressing options are a contradiction in terms! You need to have a source of good fat in order to absorb the vitamins and minerals from your veggies. Best option = make it yourself! Look out next month for the healthier options.

Back Pain

posted Dec 5, 2011, 8:56 PM by Toni Patchett   [ updated Dec 5, 2011, 8:57 PM ]

Back pain: There are three main big myths when talking about back pain. 1. You 'throw your back out'. 2. Back pain means there is something wrong with your back. 3. Your current pain isn't related to your previous bouts of back pain.

In most cases people are doing some sort of activity when their back starts hurting, so therefore believe that the activity caused the pain. This isn't necessarily the case. More often than not there is an underlying issue that is exacerbated by the activity which then causes the pain. By treating the underlying issue the pain should go away. Anything can trigger back pain, such as picking up something heavy, twisting, bending, even sneezing. But because there are so many triggers it doesn't mean your pain is unrelated to previous back pain. It is more likely that the pain is from the same underlying problem but just triggered by something different. Back pain doesn't always mean there is something wrong with your back though. Things like stress and eating unhealthily can also cause back pain.

Three easy ways to avoid back pain are: 1. Avoid excess. Doing too much of the same thing, such as the same type of exercise, drinking too much coffee or soft drinks, or eating too much junk food. 2. Avoid deficiency. Not enough of something, like not enough water causing dehydration, not enough exercise, not enough fruit and vegetables. 3. Stagnation. Stagnation, meaning something is moving too slow, can be caused by doing too much or too little of something and can leave the body low on energy and slow down blood flow. Blood flow may be restricted at a trigger point in your back and can slow down and clog up the system. Believe it or not, but eating and drinking incorrectly can actually lead to back pain.


posted Nov 22, 2011, 6:07 PM by Toni Patchett   [ updated Nov 22, 2011, 6:09 PM ]

During a stress reaction the blood thickens to help wounds to heal. With our current lifestyles this can happen when you do anything from buying a house, to getting stuck in traffic. It can also happen when you have a high sugar diet, consume chocolate, coffee and tea and smoke cigarettes. This is due to the caffeine, nicotine, theobromine and theophylline which stimulate adrenaline. Eventhough these things can give you an instant energy hit they also slow down digestion, repair and maintenance to be able to deal with the stress. Prolonged stress is associated with speeding up the aging process, hormone imbalance and several diseases of the digestive system. By living off these stimulants (including stress itself) you run the risk of upsetting your thyroid balance, which means your metabolism will slow down and you will gain weight; upsetting your calcium balance resulting in osteoporosis; and upsetting sex hormone balance.

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