Food and Fitness Tips

Happy Thursday All!  It’s Friday Eve!

Chef P has the day off tomorrow so we’re heading to Borough Market in London by train!  We were there just before Christmas last year, so at least I know what to expect and what I can get there!

I’ll talk about that in another post, but for today, I’m going to give you some food and fitness tips and just some general well-being tips; well probably more food tips, but it’s nice to throw something different in once in a while. 🙂

Stop-Smoking-Aids¤ Stop Smoking!  Probably the number one thing you really should do.  Women who stop smoking by the age of 30 reduce their risk of dying of tobacco-related diseases by 97%.  Quit by 40 and your risk is reduced by 90%.  Stop Smoking Day here in the UK is March 13….next week.  What a perfect time to give it up for good!

¤  Drink your H2O.  Water is a secret weight-loss weapon.  Dehydration slows your metabolism and stops fat burning.  But 10 minutes after drinking 500ml/17fl oz. of cold water, your rate of calorie burning rises by 30% and peaks after 30 minutes.  Nearly half of that comes from your body trying to heat the water.

¤ Enjoy your food.  Don’t just woof it down!  A recent paper published in Obesity found those who chewed their food properly, keeping it in their mouths for up to eight minutes(!) before swallowing, ate less.  Chewing properly also helps release nutrients from the food, so you don’t need to eat as much to absorb the right amounts.

pasta¤  Eat Pasta!  White pasta has an undeserved bad image:  The Mediterranean diet uses white pasta and is one of the healthiest diets in the world.  It proves you don’t have to give up your favorite foods to eat healthy.  Pasta is high carb, but low on the Glycemic Index, because the starch molecules are encapsulated in a unique way in the pasta dough.  However, don’t overcook it as this breaks down the structures, raising the GI.

¤ Keep a food diary.  Keeping a food diary can help you lose weight.  If you’ve had a bad week, you can go back and pinpoint where you screwed up it went wrong.

¤ Cut down on the saturated fats.  Yes, we’ve heard this before, but this is great for keeping your heart healthy.  Even though you cut out the saturated fats, your body still needs fat so you need to consume the good ones, in particular the oils found in avocados, nuts, sees and evening primrose oil.

¤ Try coconut oil.  Coconut oil is great in food and has so many benefits.  It doesn’t degrade at high cooking temps, unlike many other oils and you can even use it in smoothies.  It’s high in lauric acid – a good thing (a type of saturated fatty acid – also a good thing), which can speed up metabolism and great for your joints.  Go for an extra-virgin, raw, cold-pressed oil to really benefit your health.

nocake¤ Crave a dessert after dinner?  Brush your teeth after eating.  The taste of the toothpaste and the time it takes distracts you, so your craving goes away.  Pop a toothbrush in your bag if eating out.

¤  Avoid drinking water with dinner.  Too much fluid can dilute the digestive enzymes in your mouth and stomach, making them less effective.  Aim to drink 30 minutes either side of your meal.  An occasional glass of wine with dinner is fine, but sip it slowly to make the most of it.

sleepy_cat¤ Get some sleep!  Lack of sleep contributes to obesity as it affects the amount of calories we eat the next day.  Different hormones affect men and women after a poor night’s sleep.  The hormone ghrelin rises in men, increasing their appetite, and the satiety hormone GLP-I falls in women, so they don’t feel full after eating.

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Beauty Really is Skin Deep

SKIN ~

The epidermis is composed of the outermost layers of cells in the skin, “epi” in Greek meaning “over” or “upon”, which together with the dermis forms the cutis. The second layer of skin is sometimes called inerdermus, Latin for 2nd layer.

The epidermis acts as the body’s major barrier against an inhospitable environment, by preventing pathogens from entering, making the skin a natural barrier to infection. It also regulates the amount of water released from the body into the atmosphere through transepidermal water loss (TEWL).

In humans, it is thinnest on the eyelids at 0.10 mm (0.0039 in) and thickest on the palms and soles at 1.5 mm (0.059 in). – Wikipedia

OK, now that we know what it’s made of and all the technical jargon to go with it, how do we take care of it, and I mean all of it?  We have skin all over us, not just on our face.  Most people focus on facial skin but it doesn’t and shouldn’t end there.  Most of us slather on moisturizer and sunscreen, but that’s just taking care of the outside.  We still need to take care of it from the inside as well and we can do that by eating a diet containing skin-saving nutrients.

Whatever we put into our bodies is reflected on the outside; our skin.

What do we put into our bodies?  Food and drink, which of course we need, but there’s other things that we put into our bodies that aren’t so great; things like tobacco smoke and alcohol.

Studies have shown that smoking is associated with premature wrinkling although it is not certain exactly how.  Some theories include the heat from the cigarette can directly burn the skin, it causes changes in the elastic fibres of the skin and it causes narrowing of blood vessels which reduces blood supply to the skin and can cause loss of collagen.

Alcohol dehydrates your body generally, including the skin, which is your body’s largest organ. This happens every time you drink.

Alcohol is also thought to deprive the skin of certain vital vitamins and nutrients. At least women have the option of make-up to hide the hangover tell-tale signs.

But that’s only for starters. Drinking more than you should over time can have other, much more permanent, detrimental effects on your skin. Rosacea, a skin disorder that starts with a tendency to blush and flush easily and can eventually lead to facial disfigurement, is linked to alcohol.

And then there’s the cellulite; many believe the toxins in alcohol contribute to its build up. Not the look you were going for? If you’re drinking heavily, however, you can take steps to cut down.

So hungover is not your best look, nor the look of someone who’s been a heavy drinker over a number of years, why not cut down on alcohol and help preserve those good looks.

OK, so that’s what happens when we ingest things we shouldn’t.  So what should we ingest to make it better?

YOGURT ~ As long as you stick to yogurts in non- to low-fat varieties with no added sugars (and you don’t go haywire with the consumption), you will be consuming lots of protein and vitamins — all which help to enhance your immune system and as a result give you clear, vibrant skin.

BLUEBERRIES ~ Free radicals caused by pollution and UV radiation attack skin cells and cause DNA damage and these tasty little treats are powerful ammo in the fight against the premature aging process.

SALMON ~ Omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon are responsible for healthy cell membranes and the overall health of the various cells in the body. The stronger the walls of the cells, the more water is kept in, thus making skin cells look more vibrant, plumper and overall more youthful.

ALMONDS ~ Almonds are packed full of vitamin E and are rich in monounsaturated fat, which is a “good” fat known for lowering cholesterol and keeping cell membranes strong and intact, which is crucial for keeping skin youthful.

SWEET POTATOES ~ Sweet potatoes boast large amounts of beta carotene — an antioxidant whose protective qualities defend against the damage that sun exposure will cause.

SUNFLOWER SEEDS ~ These seeds are loaded with vitamin E,  a powerful antioxidant that decelerates the aging of skin cells, keeping us looking younger longer. Vitamin E is also known for its ability to diminish the appearance of scars.

This is just a short list of foods to help benefit your skin.  We all need to take of ourselves on the inside…so we can look great on the outside!

♥ Terri  ♥♥