Feel, Look, Be, Amazing

Why you should eat more raw for amazing health

Why Should you be eating more raw?…Well we all know we should be eating more fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds but I’d recommend taking that one step further because many of the amazing benefits of these whole foods depend on them being eaten in their natural, raw state.

And the benefits are so worth it…

Let’s take a look!

1. You will look amazing

Eating raw will give you The Raw Look: a natural healthy beauty, glowing, radiant complexion, sparkling eyes that are full of life. I can recognise it a mile off in people.

This look is simply a reflection of your healthy insides. No amount of money can buy this look, no surgery or aesthetic injections. You have to do it the natural way by eating raw. It is Healthy Beauty from the inside out.

why you should be eating more raw

2. Helps maintain a healthy weight

Raw fruit and vegetables are very low in calories, raw nuts and seeds are very high in calories. Both will help with weight control!

HOW?

Fruit and veg– when eaten raw are bulky, big and fibrous, meaning they fill you up big style. They are also very low in calories. This is a Win win situation if you are trying to loose or maintain your weight. If you are full then you’re not eating anything else and nobody likes to feel hungry.

Nuts and seeds- the high levels of healthy fats in nuts and seeds makes them high in calories. But it also makes them incredibly satiating. They keep you feeling so satisfied and full for a long time which is excellent for weight control.

With the right preparation raw nuts and seeds are life changers. They can be the difference between constant yo yo dieting and effortless weight control. The difference between healthy snacks treats and absolute junk. For more on preparing nuts and seeds as amazingly healthy treats and snacks click here and here.

As an extra benefit raw vegetables, unlike cooked, retain their natural sugars meaning some are really quite sweet such as carrots, mangetoute, red peppers . This helps curtail a sweet tooth or in a other words you don’t crave a sweet after your main course as much.

When you eat whole food, including raw produce, your body is nourished. It knows it has eaten and sends signals of satisfaction to your brain. This is the reverse of what happens when you eat junk. Your body doesn’t recognise this as food ( because it isn’t) and therefore demands more nourishment that means it demands you to eat and eat and eat and eat until it gets the nourishment it NEEDS.

Do you recognise this spiral of over eating? then Click here to read my blog post Reset Your Tastebuds Quit Processed Food.

3. It’s alive! (The science bit)

Raw produce retains all of its nutrients, natural enzymes and anti-oxidants. You know those things we all need to stay healthy and thriving. Cooking and heating over a certain temperature (40-48 degrees celsius) destroys many of them.

If you are eating raw your body is smugly lapping it up. It’s loving it. (A bit like the trees after it rains😁 ). It’s living it’s best life just because you have fed it what it desperately wants and needs.

eat food thats alive for health

4. It makes you feel amazing

This goes back to the science bit. Your body has needs. Needs that are met by eating food that’s alive and it will thrive on this. Meaning not only will you be looking your best but you will also be feeling it.

On a personal note in the last 8 years since I reset my lifestyle:-

  • I’ve not had a common cold or flu
  • I never have headaches
  • I have zero digestive issues in fact my acid reflux symptoms have completely disappeared.
  • In short, I have a fully functioning immune system that really has my back…

It’s not just that you don’t get sick it’s also just that feeling of aliveness… energy and zest for life.

5. It’s Fast

Just chop or peel and chop and your good. No slaving over hot stove, no waiting time no faffing around with sauces or mashers. Chuck on plate and eat. Yummy.

6. Produce tastes better raw

Im sorry (not sorry) but it does. It’s juicy , refreshing , full of water and flavour and well…life! That’s my only way to explain it. That’s my opinion, if you try it for all the great reasons above I’m confident your tastebuds will change and you will agree with me😁

jerry mouse,  yummy in my tummy

Anyway, kids much prefer raw vegetables and that proves it. It’s probably the natural sugars in the veg. they enjoy but that’s besides the point.😂

So I’m sure you agree these are great reasons for eating more raw alongside a healthy balanced diet. I eat a nourishing and balanced whole food diet. Click here to see what I eat and recommend for a healthy diet.

It’s not just food that nourishes me, to see the supporting healthy habits that enhance my lifestyle click here


Around 8 years ago I reset my lifestyle from incredibly unhealthy to Amazingly Healthy and I’m never going back because I’m loving my new healthy lifestyle. If I can do it so can you!

Click on the picture below to find out how.

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click picture to go to Healthy and Loving It course information page.

Subscribe below to receive my occasional blog posts and Healthy and Loving It news direct to your inbox.

Further Reading

Eating Raw helps avoid oxidative stress read more… Avoid Oxidative Stress to Help Avoid Lifestyle Disease

I would love to hear your thoughts, suggestions and questions in the comments section below.


bone broth for health and good looks

Bone broth is currently very trendy as a superfood but don’t let that put you off,  it’s been around since pre historic times. It’s the liquid made from slow simmering of bones and connective tissue of animals, poultry or fish. It’s cheap, tasty and easy to make. You’re about to find out why Bone Broth is a fountain of health and youth and why you have to find a way to get it into your life.  


Health Benefits of Bone Broth

Research is ongoing but there is plenty of  evidence that eating  bone broth regularly can play a vital role in keeping the  whole body healthy. 

 All bone broths are nutritious, the exact nutritional profile depends on the animal or fish used. What they all have in common is that because all the nutrients  are simmered into the broth they are delivered in a form which is easily used by the body.  

bone broth healthy

Many of the nutrients found in bone broth are nutrients most people are lacking making it especially important.

  1. It contains lots of important vitamins, minerals, amino acids and  essential fatty acids.  Bone broth is especially rich in  minerals that build and strengthen bones.
  2. Benefits the digestive system.  The gelatin in bone broth supports healthy digestion. Scientists are increasingly finding that overall health depends heavily on digestive and gut health.  Those with digestive disorders like leaky gut syndrome, IBS, acid reflux or any other digestive disorder may find it helps relieve symptoms. 
  3. Helps fight inflammation.  The amino acids in bone broth help fight inflammation.  Chronic  Inflammation is behind many diseases and illnesses and is also connected with obesity.
  4. Joints health.  The amino acids in bone broth are known to support joint health.  It may help lessen arthritis symptoms. 
  5. Supports Weight Loss.  Bone broth is low in calories but the  gelatine in it makes you feel full up.
  6. Improve’s sleep and brain function.  The amino acid, Glycene, found in bone broth makes you feel relaxed.
  7. The high collagen content in bone broth may have anti ageing effects on the skin such as improving its elasticity and reducing wrinkles.

How to Make Bone Broth

  1. Put bones in a large pot and fill with as much water as fits the pan comfortably.
  2. Put in a tablespoon or two of Vinegar
  3. Bring to the boil then put a lid on and turn to lowest simmer.

Cooking Times

Beef, Lamb – 2 days (add carrots onions and celery after 1 days cooking)

Chicken – 8-12 hours (can add carrots, onions and celery at the start)

Fish – 4-8 hours (can add carrots, onions and celery at the start)

bone broth anti ageing

How to Eat Bone Broth

If you go to good restaurants and enjoy eating their excellent tasty food, you can bet on it that they are using their own ‘in house’ made  broth to flavour most of their dishes.  The broth is often the secret ingredient.

You can use bone broth in anything and everything that requires a stock.  It is the premium  stock you can possibly use  in terms of flavour, nutritional value and health benefits. .  

Here’s a few ideas:

  • Just drink it as a broth.
  • Cook your wholegrain in it.
  • Make soup out of it. 
  • Use it for casseroles. 
  • Stews. 
  • Curries. 
  • Sauces. 
  • Gravy.

Make and consume when you can.  A portion of one cup per day is thought to be perfect for maximum health benefits. 


healthy and loving it online course
click picture to go to Healthy and Loving It course information page.

Further Reading

How to Eat Healthy

Amazingly Healthy Food

Embrace Your Age but Never Embrace UnhealthyEmbrace Your Age but Never Embrace Unhealthy

Ageing Beautifully with Healthy Beauty

Healthy Looks Good

Getting Healthy or Losing Weight? You Know What to Do but Are You Doing It?

Article on benefits of broth by The Evening Standard

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how to eat healthy

You know what to do to get healthy or to lose weight but are you actually doing it? You’ve read all the health blogs and books or maybe you follow a health influencer. You’ve bought all the gear to work out, you’re kitchen cupboards are rammed full of healthy foods and you’re going to start on Monday, that means you can enjoy the weekend then have a fresh start. But then somehow Monday never comes….

…Or Perhaps, you do get started on your amazing health journey but then for some reason at some point it stopped, you can’t really remember how or why, or perhaps you can, but you wonder why it stopped you because in hindsight it doesn’t seem such a valid reason for quitting as it did at the time…

This story is so familiar right? It’s everyones story, we’ve all been there.

It’s true that most of us have a good idea how to get healthy or lose weight but we’re not doing it!.

If we actually followed through with what we already know we’d all be cavorting around as a super healthy species looking our best… looking amazing…feeling amazing. Lifestyle illness and obesity would be scarce if not eradicated.

If we all want to get healthy and look our best, and we already know what to do…then why isn’t it happening?


get healthy lose weight

Getting Healthy or Losing Weight

I say getting healthy OR losing weight but really they are one and the same thing to me. If you get healthy you will lose weight if you have weight to lose. You will also gain weight if you have weight to gain. You’re body will reach it’s healthy weight naturally.

Losing weight should always be part of a bigger picture of getting healthy. It’s crazy to even consider unhealthy practices in order to lose weight. Presumably if you want to lose weight it’s because you want to look better and feel better. but you’re not going to look better if you’re unhealthy and your certainly not going to feel better.

Effortless weight control is just one of the many benefits of being healthy.

Getting Started

I believe that one of the biggest stumbling blocks is simply just actually getting started. We always seem to put things off until that perfect moment. You know the drill.

  • I’ll start later, on Monday. that way I can enjoy the weekend first and then make a fresh start.
  • I’ll start next week because I won’t have as much work on then.
  • I’ll start next year because I’ll have been one year off the cigarettes by then so I’ll have got over that and be ready to tackle a new challenge.

.and so on…The ‘reasons’ we come up with to put off our healthy journeys are endless…this is a huge problem because before you know it you’ve just spent you’re whole life waiting for the perfect time to start getting healthy meaning you’ve lived your whole life unhealthy

This kind of thinking is flawed from the outset because getting healthy should be a new way of life. A new way of life that has to be capable of absorbing all the realities of your life.

What do I mean? I mean you can’t wait until the perfect time to start your new lifestyle…you can’t wait until your life is perfect to start your new lifestyle because your life will never be perfect. There will never be a perfect time, it won’t come, it won’t happen. Something else will always come along to scupper your plans…That is life!

Life is not perfect, it has ups and downs, obstacles and hurdles, things get in the way and shit happens, you get a new job, a date, an illness, a crisis…

Your new lifestyle, a healthy lifestyle fits in with this truth. Because in truth you healthy lifestyle will not be 100% healthy it will simply be mostly healthy

Take the first step, take action NOW. Don’t wait until perfect, it will never come!


how to get healthy

Persistence not Perfection

The truth is, living the dream of an amazingly healthy life is not about perfection it’s about persistence.

Persistence refers to perseverance in spite of fatigue or frustration

Quoted from Wikipedia.

Persistence not perfection means being gentle on yourself… you are human…allow and allow for your ‘mistakes’ your ‘falls from the wagon’ your humanity… but at the same time you do want to be healthy, you do what it takes and you keep on doing it, despite setbacks, despite hurdles, despite hardships, despite LIFE…You keep getting back on the horse.

At Healthy and Loving It (my online course) we recommend that you’re doing what it takes for amazing health 85% of the time and doing this persistently.

Persistence not Perfection. Live the 85% rule

Motivation burn out

The truth is motivation only gets you so far. It can get you started and along the way but for effortless health and weight control…for lifelong health…to be healthy forever, you need something different than motivation.

You have to start enjoying your new lifestyle, you have to be happy with it…you have to love it. You can’t be spending your whole life hankering after all the things you want and can’t have. You have to get to the stage where you want the healthy stuff not the unhealthy stuff.

You need to find healthy AND happy…you need to be Healthy AND Loving It.


getting healthy losing weight forever

Confusion

And of course there is the confusion of all the conflicting opinions out there. I started off this post by saying most people know what to do and I think deep down they do despite the conflicting opinions out there. We might get confused if, for example, we’re desperate to lose weight and we end up trying out some fad diets but deep down we know this isn’t permanent and we know it isn’t healthy.

Here at Amazingly Healthy Life and on the Healthy and Loving It online coaching programme we believe in wholesome, nourishing food. Click here for a more in depth look at what we recommend to eat It’s just honest, back to basics eating.

Don ‘t Dream the Dream Live It!

We’ve looked at some of the main reasons why, despite our knowing what to do to get healthy or lose weight, we don’t actually do it. Knowing and understanding these can help us do what it takes to start taking action and living the healthy dream rather than just dreaming about it.

My Healthy and Loving It online coaching programme was designed to be the bridge that takes you from unhealthy to amazingly healthy, from theory to practice, from thinking about it to actually doing it. If this sounds good to you and you want to find out more click on the picture below.

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No more silence
black lives matter

What happened to George Floyd was unbearable, unthinkable, unacceptable…Unacceptable is not strong enough. Nothing is strong enough…I write from A place of love, A place of please God help us fix this, A place of desperation, the feeling that I need to DO something. It comes from a place of guilt and shame… for the silence… NO MORE SILENCE, I can’t speak.

I write as a white women…what else can I do? I don’t speak on behalf of anyone but myself. I just have to say…do something. I want to say publicly that I stand beside the black community in their fight for justice and equality. I stand beside the black community in their fight for humanity.

I stand beside the black community so that they can breathe.

I Can’t Speak

“I can’t breathe’ the words uttered by George Floyd as he was choked to death. It makes me sick. I can’t bear it. I can’t even look at those words ‘I can’t breathe’. I can’t hear them…see them…every time I think of them I become choked with emotion and cry with anguish. I was at the BLM rally on Glasgow green last Sunday and the crowd started chanting “I can’t breathe”. I couldn’t join in… I couldn’t even get the word ‘I’ out because I was too choked with emotion, I couldn’t speak…I CAN’T SPEAK.

but then I must…we must. We must speak out.

It’s unbearable, how can it be that this person, this ‘so called human being’ , this ‘police officer’ this ‘enforcer of the law’. this ‘defender of the people’. thought that it was ok to do what he did.

I thought to myself “he treated him as if he was an animal’. but it’s even worse than that because you wouldn’t treat an animal like that. Nobody treats animals like that…

In what world is that ok…and what makes it even worse… how could he even think that he could get away with such a thing…

He must have thought he could get away with it, how could he have thought that?

Is that what America is…is that what our world is…

no more silence
Black Lives Matter  peaceful protest
Glasgow Green, 7 June 2020

No More Silence

The biggest lesson I take from this and my mantra going forward is –

No more silence. I’m sorry!

I will not be silent any more.

Because silence isn’t working.

If you’re like me your normal response to some form of racist act or racism on the news would be to think. ‘that’s disgusting’. or ‘what a disgrace, they should be locked up’ and feel disdain for the perpetrators. I suspect that’s the place where the majority of the white community sits.

But it’s not enough for us to pat ourselves on the back, ‘well done you for not being a racist‘ and move on living our lives as normal. We as whites have the privilege to do that. We have the choice to move on with our lives and forget about racism…until it’s on the news again.

Silence isn’t working. It’s obvious. LOOK at what’s just happened, how can that be. We can’t just sit in silence and continue to let that happen in the hope that SOMEONE ELSE will fix it.

SOMEONE ELSE isn’t working in the background making everything better. It’s not getting better, from where I’m sitting it’s getting worse…or perhaps it’s always been that bad and I just haven’t seen it…

For the love of god and all humanity let us be proud of ourselves and our actions. There is power in numbers… There are many, many more people who are not racist than who are…Let yourself be known,…Stand up peacefully alongside the black community and fight for what we know is right.

Please stand up and fight with them so that they can breathe.

Learn More

Black Lives Matter


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Todays blog post is NOT within my normal topic range. I just felt I had to speak. This website exists to help women feel, look and be amazing. So if you subscribe below, that’s what you’re subscribing for.

embrace your age but never embrace unhealthy

Embrace your age but never embrace unhealthy…

…I love that women in midlife seem to be embracing themselves ‘just as they are’. This mantra of self love is evident all over social media. It’s a fantastic movement… It’s heartwarming…it’s empowering lots of women. Mid life women now accept and embrace their grey hair (or not either is good) …accept and embrace their fluffier figures… accept and embrace that they have a few more wrinkles and are a bit more tattered around the edges. I love this…

But

With that said, it worries me that this is promoting a somewhat cavalier attitude to our health and well being. That it’s being used as yet another excuse – as if marketing campaigns don’t give us enough – to give ourselves the green light to engage in activity we know is not good for us. Because you know ‘we’re worth it, we’ve earned it”

Eating junk, not exercising, drinking too much alcohol and so on because you no longer care about your appearance is one thing but what about the other consequences of this behaviour. What about how you feel ….

We have to find the balance between accepting who we are and how we look as we age ,… with the fact that we are still (and ALWAYS will be) beautiful, vibrant women and well worth looking after. We should NEVER give up on ourselves or our health.

healthy and loving it

VOLUNTEERS WANTED:- Before you continue reading I want to tell you about Healthy and Loving It my new online course designed to give you the amazing health described in todays post. The soft launch is scheduled for this July and I’m looking for volunteers to test drive it. For more information on this and the course click here

Back to the blog post which is about a 3.5 minute read, here’s a brief summary.

  • Choose Wisely, Choose Health.
  • Age or Neglect?
  • Let the Goddess Shine.

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Choose Wisely, Choose Health

Don’t use your age as a reason to throw caution to the wind. Instead use your years of experience to guide you in what you know deep down is the right direction.

Fact – if you’re not feeling well you are miserable…You are not living your best life… You’re not self loving…You are not empowered… You’re not happy!!! Regardless of your age.

Being unhealthy weakens our immune system meaning that we catch every cold, sniffle and virus that’s going around. It also means you may be suffering from regular headaches, aches and pains, digestive problems… caused by a multitude of things like bad diet, poor sleep, bad habits, lack of physical movement and exercise, lack of stress management and so on.

unhealthy means more colds and virus

Lifestyle Diseases – Things like type 2 diabetes, some types of heart disease, several types of cancer, obesity and more, they are all completely avoidable and sometimes reversible. The choices we make for ourselves in our lives are a big deal they can quite frankly mean the difference between life and death.

We have it in our power to avoid the bad choices that can make us very sick and many of us don’t use that power wisely.

Age or Neglect

We often blame our age for all our woes:- regular illnesses, aches and pains, overweight, our fading looks, the dark circles under our eyes, puffy eyes, our lack of motivation, our lack of energy, our flatness of mood. But is that true? Is this the full picture? Is our age the cause?

I say no…

These ‘signs of ageing’ are really signs of neglecting to look after ourselves properly. Neglecting to choose wisely often over years if not decades… 

  • Eating junk food, poisons, addictions and bad habits
  • Neglecting to feed our bodies with the proper nutrition it needs to function
  • Lack of exercise and general movement
  • Lack of relaxation
  • A lifestyle full of stress
  • No stress management
  • No play time
  • Not getting enough sleep
  • Burning the candle at both ends…

Do these sound familiar…is this starting to make sense?

Of course we will all have some signs of aging it is inevitable…But sitting on our butts all the time, staring at screens, pumping our bodies full of chemicals and toxins while at the same time not feeding our bodies with the nutrients it needs to function correctly… that’s not going to help is it???

Note:- At some point in our 40s and 50s we will have hormonal changes to contend with. This is very real and no laughing matter. Amongst many other symptoms hormonal changes can (note the word can not will) contribute to weight gain. To read more about hormonal weight gain click here

lose bad habits live your best life

Let the Goddess Shine

You know all that talk about how women become invisible when they reach a certain age? Stuff that… I say be gone invisible middle aged women and let this goddess in her prime shine her light for all the world to see…

…but how can we goddesses in the prime of our lives let our lights shine as brightly and clearly as possible?

The number one thing is to LOVE YOURSELF. recognise your worth, your uniqueness and nurture it.

The number one way to love yourself is to give yourself the gift of complete health. That doesn’t mean get skinny and get the best body and go workout every day. Noooooooooo.

It means:-

  • Provide your body with what it needs to thrive.
  • Provide your soul with what it needs to thrive.
  • Provide your mind with what it needs to thrive.

In practical terms this means:- (click on items for more)

So yes by all means embrace your age but never embrace unhealthy. Instead, give yourself the ultimate in self love, the gift of amazing health.

healthy and loving it online course
click picture to go to Healthy and Loving It course information page.

Healthy and Loving It is my new online course designed to give you the premium health described in todays post. The soft launch is scheduled for this July and I’m looking for volunteers to test drive it. For more information on this and the course click here

Further reading

Healthy Looks Good

Ageing beautifully with healthy beauty

Because you deserve it: marketing bad habits

healthy looks good

People spend a lot of money trying to look good. Seeking the product or treatments that will give them the skin they’ve always dreamed of or that illustrious, shiny hair or sparkling, unpuffy, unwrinkled eyes… Undoubtedly some of these products and treatments work to varying degrees but if you’re relying on stuff like this you’re missing a trick. There is a rich source of natural beauty that will deliver all the above and so, so much more. Not only that it’s free and available to everyone. This wonderful source is good health… Healthy Looks Good.

Its about a 2.5 minute read, here’s a brief summary.

  • Inside Out beauty
  • It’s More Than Just Food
  • If You feel Amazing You Look Amazing
  • How to get Healthy

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Inside Out Beauty

When you are healthy on the inside this is reflected on the outside…You will be beautiful because you ARE truly and genuinely beautiful…on the inside.

Someone who prioritises their health will have glowing skin and a clear complexion not because of the latest skin cream but because her skin is being fed what it needs to thrive. The results of this is…surprise surprise…healthy skin. Skin that looks healthy or in other words, beautiful skin.

She has luscious hair because it’s receiving all the nutrients it needs to be healthy and so… it is…and it looks it.

When you eat food that’s alive, you yourself look alive. This reflects mostly in the eyes. Yes they will be very white and sparkling… but there’s more…a certain sense of ‘aliveness’ behind the eyes of a very healthy person that’s extremely attactive.

…and you can ditch the latest diet fad or product. You don’t even need to think about weight control when you are prioritising you’re health. It’s a non issue. You concentrate on being healthy and the weight takes care of itself.

Click here to read more about Inside out Beauty in my blog post ‘Ageing Beautifully with Healthy Beauty’.

relax for good health

It’s more than just food

It’s more than just food though. Inside out beauty – or healthy beauty as I sometimes call it – is strongly influenced by what you eat but there are other factors at work too because true health is holistic. We need to be looking after whole selves – body, mind and spirit – to be truly healthy. We’ll look at this more below in ‘How to get Healthy’

If You Feel Amazing You look Amazing

Being healthy makes you feel good… No… more than that AMAZING…if you feel good you look good…if you feel AMAZING you look AMAZING.

This is so true. Think about it…

When you’re on top of the world how is your expression, your demeanour, how you hold yourself, your essence.

Isn’t it true that you have a spring in your step? This in itself is much more attractive than slugging about with your head down and your shoulders slumped.

You’re face will be relaxed and animated rather than full of stress and anxiety. There’s nothing more ageing than a face full of stress and anxiety. It’s not an attractive look. Just the peace of mind of knowing that you are prioritising your health makes for a much more relaxed existence. On top of that a healthy person actively works at relaxation and easing stress.

A healthy person is a happy person. Happiness is very attractive…is there anything more attractive than a happy person? That smile that lights up a persons day… the infectious laughter… Click here to read more about How to be Happy.

When you are feeling good your are much more confident. Confidence is attractive…confidence is sexy!!!

how do I eat healthy

How to Get Healthy

As already mentioned true health is holistic. So often we concentrate on the physical body and neglect our minds and spirit/soul but they are all interconnected, after all they all live together in one container… your body. The health of one will inevitably affect the others.

Achieving great health is a journey. Start taking small steps in the following and you’ll be starting out on the greatest, most fulfilling and rewarding journey of your life:- Click on each item for further advice.

  1. Eat real food. Quit processed food and eat whole foods, it’s that simple.
  2. Eliminate or reduce bad habits. Putting poison into our bodies is never going to result in good looks…or a healthy body.
  3. Prioritise Your Sleep. You already know how bad lack of sleep makes you feel. Prolonged sleep deprivation will take a real toll on your looks, skin, eyes even hair and definitely your waistline.
  4. More Play – fun, laughter, human connection. Being genuinely happy is crucial to good all round health.
  5. Relax more. Take the stress out of your face and your body. Stress doesn’t just affect your looks it’s the root cause of much disease.
  6. Sit Less and Move More. Oxygenate your skin and body, and get those muscles and limbs moving.
  7. Exercise more. We need to keep our muscles and body toned not just so we can look good but also so that they work properly.
  8. Love Yourself More. This is where it all starts really. If you don’t love yourself you’re really not healthy, no matter how many push ups you can do…
  9. Get Outside in Nature More. Spending too much time inside is not good for our looks or our mental health and therefore our physical health.
healthy and loving it online course
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Subscribe below to receive my occasional blog posts and Healthy and Loving It news direct to your inbox.

Further Reading

Click here for a Healthline article on the best foods for great skin.

I would love to hear your comments, suggestion questions below.

Drink green juice to up your anti oxidants and avoid oxidative stress

Oxidative Stress is a condition which can occur in the  body and may lead to numerous diseases. It’s not a coincidence that they just happen to be the lifestyle diseases that seem to be plagueing the western world in epidemic proportions. With this in mind, it’s obviously a good idea to do everything we can to avoid it, so today we’re looking at how to avoid oxidative stress to help avoid lifestyle disease.

It’s around a 3 minute read. Here’s a brief summary.

  • Negative Effects of Oxidative Stress
  • The Science Bit.
  • In a Nutshell.
  • Eating to Avoid Oxidative Stress – Up Your Anti-Oxidants.
  • Other Healthy Lifestyle Choices that Can Reduce Oxidative Stress.
  • Top Tips for Avoiding Oxidative Stress.

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Negative Effects of Oxidative Stress

Listed below are some of the health conditions oxidative stress can lead to:-

  • Diabetes
  • Inflammatory conditions
  • Depression
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Parkinsons
  • Alzheimers
  • Some Cancers

Oxidative stress has also been linked with:-

  • Weakened immune system,
  • Premature ageing 
  • Male infertility.

The Science Bit

Oxidative Stress in the body is caused by an imbalance between free radicals and anti-oxidants.  When working properly free radicals fight off pathogens which cause infection but they  can cause harm if levels get too high in your body.

 Unfortunately, there are free radicals in our environment: ozone, smoking, pesticides (hence why we should try to eat organic), cleaning fluids, pollution and radiation. 

When free radicals are not kept in check by anti-oxidants there is an imbalance leading to oxidative stress in the body which can then lead to disease.

In a Nutshell

We have to ensure we are eating enough anti-oxidants and minimising our exposure to free radicals in order to avoid oxidative stress the negative medical consequences that can cause.

cherries rich in anti oxidants avoid oxidative stress

Eating to Avoid Oxidative Stress – Up Your AntiOxidants

Important Note:-

Some anti-oxidants are destroyed either completely or notably reduced in the cooking process. Eat your foods rich in anti-oxidants raw wherever possible and when it’s appropriate to do so.

There are some notable exceptions to this though.  Studies have shown that the anti-oxidants in both tomatoes and carrots increase and become more available for the body to utilise after being cooked.  Which is good news for all the soups, stews, casseroles and curry lovers out there. 

Studies have suggested that anti-oxidant supplements are ineffective and may even be toxic and cause oxidative stress.  You need to get your anti-oxidants from whole food sources. Click to read more.

All fresh fruit and vegetables contain anti-oxidants.  Different colours contain different nutrition and different anti-oxidants with different health benefits so its a really good idea to eat the rainbow,  eat as many colours as you can.   

All whole foods contain anti-oxidants, some are just better sources than others.

Food Especially Rich in Anti-Oxidants

  • Berries
  • Cherries
  • Citrus
  • Prunes
  • Dark leafy greens
  • Cruciferous vegetables ie broccoli, kale and cabbages
  • Carrots
  • Tomatoes
  • Olives
  • Cacao (good quality cocoa, dark chocolate, the higher the percentage, the better, and of course raw cacao is the best)

Other Foods Rich in  Anti-Oxidants

  • Fish
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Turmeric
  • Ginger
  • Green Tea
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Cinamon and ginger
  • Coffee

Other healthy lifestyle choices that can reduce Oxidative Stress

sauerkraut up your antioxidants to avoid lifestyle disease

Top Tips for Avoiding Oxidative Stress

  1. Make your health a priority.
  2. Eat lots of your produce raw.
  3. Make fermented foods like Sauerkraut. Fermenting foods makes the nutrients like antioxidants even more available to our bodies.
  4. Green Juice daily – easy to consume, sheer volume of  different raw produce.
  5. Green smoothie daily – delicious and can be packed with anti-oxidant rich raw whole foods.

Click links below for further information and recipes for the above top tips.

Rawlicious – 5 Easy and delicious ways to eat more raw

Destress Further Reading

How to get Outside in Nature More and Why We Need To.

Switch on Your Relaxation Response in minutes for a Healthier Life

Playtime For Grownups: How we Can Play And Why We Should.

How to be Happy.

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There’s a lot written about stress and how to avoid it or cope with it better. How the stresses and strains of our modern lifestyles are causing our fight or flight response to activate too often or indeed never turn off and the damage to our health this causes. Today I’m focusing on why it’s crucial to relax and how to switch on your relaxation response in minutes for a Healthier Life.

Its about a 5 minute read. Here’s a brief summary.

  • Why it’s crucial to relax?
  • What is the relaxation response?
  • How to activate it?

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Why It’s Crucial to Relax

When we talk about finding time for relaxation many people roll their eyes and think:-

  • I’ve no time for this.
  • I’m too busy.
  • I’ve got a family to take care of.
  • I can’t relax.
  • Hippy dippy nonsense.
  • I can’t afford all these fancy ideas.

My no frills answer to this is ‘you have to find the time to relax as if your life depends on it because it does.’ If not your life then certainly your quality of life.

Stress is a Killer.

You don’t need much time, you don’t need any money, and you won’t be much good to your family when you’re sick or worse…

… hippy dippy nonsense or not just look at the benefits:-

Benefits of Practicing Relaxation

  • Slower heart rate
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Improved sleep quality
  • Normalises blood sugar levels
  • Improves digestion
  • Slows down your breathing
  • Reduced activity of stress hormones
  • Increases the blood flow to your major muscle groups
  • Improves your moods and concentration levels
  • Boosts your confidence and problem solving ability
  • Reduced anger and frustration
  • Fact:- Stress Makes You Fat
  • Reduces muscle tension and chronic pain
  • Lowers Fatigue

and all this for just a few minutes of your time…

relaxing sunset

What is the Relaxation Response?

There are 2 divisions of the body’s autonomic nervous system.(click here to learn more about the autonomic nervous system.)

  1. The sympathetic nervous system. When this is activated it’s known as the ‘fight or flight response’ (click for more)
  2. The parasympathetic nervous system. This should be our normal modus operandi, our ‘rest and digest system’ When this switches on it’s known as the Relaxation Response.

To understand what the parasympathetic system or relaxation response is, it’s revealing to look at what it’s NOT.

The Sympathetic Nervous System (Fight or Flight)

When an unexpected stressful situation occurs, and hormones are released, the sympathetic nervous system is activated, which stimulates the adrenal glands, and this releases catecholamines (pronounced kat-i-kol-uh-meen) which include adrenaline & noradrenaline. 

This leads to increased blood pressure, heart rate and breathing rate and slowed digestion…

This response was designed originally to help us escape dangers like running away from wild animals. Nowadays, we live in such a full on world that it can be turned on by almost anything and everything like a traffic jam, an imminent performance, a trauma, scrolling social media, your job….

The point is we need our bodies to recover and go back to operating on the parasympathetic system. They’re not built to operate constantly in ‘fight or flight’ mode and unfortunately under our modern living conditions that’s exactly how many people are operating. This takes its toll on every aspect of our health – mental, physical, emotional and spiritual.

The Parasympathetic System (Relaxation Response)

When activated this returns the body to normal after a stressful situation. It switches off the fight or flight response and brings all bodily functions back to normal healthy operating levels.

Blood pressure, heart rate, breathing, digestion and hormone levels all normalise.

How to Activate Your Relaxation Response

There are many ways to relax which we’re fairly familiar with and many of which I’ve already wrote about:- (click links to read more)

and many, many more.

But for now I want to talk in particular about the ability to turn on your relaxation response in minutes.

No matter where you are or how little time you have you can find refuge in yourself and rest in your own body.

You can find a deep sense of relaxation, a sense of being at peace, of coming home.

relaxing watching the sun set

The Breath

Listed below are a few techniques for switching on the relaxation response. They all have one thing in common. They all centre on the breath.

Actually the more you learn about healthy holistic living, almost everything depends upon and is centred around the breath. When you think about it, this makes perfect sense since without breath there is no life.

Focused Breathing

Sit or lie (or stand even) in a comfortable position and concentrate solely on the breath with your eyes closed for a few minutes until a calmness spreads through your body. Concentrate on slowing the breath down, breathe through your nose and try not to move your body. Bring a glimmer of a smile to the mouth.

There are two particular breathing techniques that I find particularly useful in this respect. Click on either for more.

  1. Ujayii breathing
  2. Buteyko breathing

Meditation

There are many forms of meditation. In it’s simplest form you are simply following the above Focused Breathing instructions, and constantly and compassionately returning to focusing on the breath when your mind wanders… which it will.

Click here for my recent blog post on meditation.

Listening to Soothing Music or Sounds

Follow the Focused Breathing instruction as above and allow yourself to float away into the music or sounds. Personal headphones or EarPods are best for this so that you are in your own world. Some sort of chill out music or the sounds of nature work best. You can find these on apps like Calm.

You can also do this in the garden with the real sounds of nature. Have you ever been lying relaxing in the garden on a summers day when everything starts to sound quieter and more distant almost like it belongs in another world. That’s you in a state of deep relaxation and meditation.

Guided Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Follow the Focused Breathing instructions above. Focusing on one area of the body at a time , tighten all the muscles then let them relax. Don’t forget to include the face which often holds stress and tension.

You can be your own guide or use one of the many on apps like Calm.

relaxing at the beach

Visualisation

Follow the Focused Breathing instructions above. Visualise yourself at your favourite place, the beach, on top of a mountain, sitting by the river… wherever it is. Concentrate on seeing everything in detail, imagine what it sounds like and even what it smells like.

Use one or multiple of these 5 simple practices to de-activate your fight or flight responses and activate your relaxation response to enjoy the phenomenal positive health benefits they bring.

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healthy dehydrating food amazingly healthy life

Dehydrating food doesn’t sound particularly healthy or sexy. In fact it brings up visions of TV dinners and Pot Noodles. But you might be surprised by the types of food that can be ‘cooked’ with one in terms of deliciousness, nutrition and simplicity. Dehydrators are relatively inexpensive and extremely simple to use. Lets dive deeper and find out how to Have Fun Getting Healthy with a Food Dehydrator.

It’s about a 2.5 minute read. Here’s a brief outline.

  • What is a Dehydrator
  • Benefits of Dehydrating
  • Eat Raw Food with Attitude
  • Care Free ‘Cooking’
  • Preserving Food
  • Recipes and Ideas
  • Inspiration

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What is a Dehydrator

A dehydrator works  a bit like a large hairdryer blowing hot air around your food and slowly removing the moisture.  If you put your food out to dry in the sun the end product would be similiar.

I have mine out on the shelf all the time in the kitchen,  probably in the place where a microwave oven would normally sit!!!.(yes, that’s a suggestion)  This ensures it’s not just another piece of unused kitchen equipment sitting in the cupboard.

dehydrated fruit

Benefits of Dehydrating

The main benefit  of dehydrating food at low temperatures is that even though they don’t taste raw they still are in fact  raw and maintain a  full nutritional profile.

Set your dehydrator to no higher than 46 degrees celsius , (115 Fahrenheit) and your food will ‘cook’ but still remain ‘raw’ with all of the  beneficial nutrients, antioxidants and enzymes intact.

Eat Raw Food with Attitude

Dehydrating food brings variety to your raw whole foods.  It gives them a different texture and feeling for example  chewy or crispy or  it can warm and soften  so that it can almost feel like it has been cooked depending on what you are making.

This means that you can make things that are ‘cooked’ but still have all the benefits of raw.

Click here to read my post about the benefits of eating more raw produce.

Care Free ‘Cooking’

Another great benefit of Dehydrating food is a that it’s a  bit like using a slow cooker.  You can just forget about it and do your own thing while it does its. 

It generally takes hours, even days, and you wont ‘burn’ or ‘overcook’ anything. It’s very lenient on timings.

Preserving Food

The dehydrator dries as a method of preserving food for use at a later date . For example dried fruit, herbs or vegetables.

raw chocolate brownies recipe dehydrator

Recipes and Ideas

I use my dehydrator extensively but the 2 main things I make in it, that are indispensable to my healthy lifestyle are Raw seed crackers  and Raw Chocolate Brownies. ( subscribe to my blog to receive free recipe)

The raw seed crackers replace bread or biscuits as a carrier of tasty dips, spreads and even butter. The Brownies are my sweet treats.

Here’s some ideas for healthy things that you can make in your dehydrator.

  • Raw sweets and desserts (banana bread, chocolate brownies, cookies… there’s a whole world of healthy raw sweets out there – google for inspiration)
  • Raw seed crackers (loads of recipes on the internet)
  • Dried fruit (see below)
  • Dehydrate excess herbs, vegetables and fruit for later use in stocks, soups, stews, juices and smoothies…From a glut from your own garden or that were ‘bargains’ at the supermarket.
  • Raw savoury snacks like Kale crisps and Spiced nuts and seeds
  • Raw dehydrated bread
  • Raw Fruit leathers/rollups. (click here for more and recipe )
  • Raw main course recipes (really just for serious raw foodies)
  • and much more

Drying fruit

Many store bought dried fruits contain added sugars, sulfur dioxide and unhealthy fats. When dehydrating your own fruit you know exactly what is in them which will be nothing, except fruit.

It’s so simple to do – slice fruit* put it on dehydrator shelves, set temperature to 46 degrees C and forget about it for hours. (6 hours maybe more…**)

*Fruit like berries are placed in whole.

**Dehydrating times will vary between different makes and models and the end result you, yourself are looking for but it’s hard to get it wrong.

Dehydrating your own fruit can be especially useful if you have your own fruit trees  in the garden with excess fruit.

dehydrated fruit healthy life

Inspiration

To get the best idea of how amazing this concept is I recommend you go and eat a meal at a raw food restaurant. It really is incredible. You may be served things like ‘lasagna’ or ‘pizza’’  and they will taste like them but believe me they won’t be anything like their traditional namesakes in reality. 

What they will be is

  1. Highly nutritious and extremely healthy
  2. Totally raw and plant based
  3.  Absolutely delicious.  

This type of dehydrating is very time consuming and expensive,  It’s only really relevant if you want to be a high raw vegan and you have a lot of time on your hands but interesting nevertheless.

Summary

We all need ideas on how to make getting healthy more fun and we could all do with eating more of our fresh produce raw. It’s the best way to maximise on the fantastic nutrients it offers us. A dehydrator offers you numerous, fun, funky, tasty and dare I even say sexy ways to do just that.

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Many people exclude nuts and seeds from their diets because they think they are fattening…but quite the reverse is true. Nuts and Seeds are nutritional powerhouses that are tasty, extremely versatile and scientific research has shown them to actually help with weight loss not cause it…Let’s dive deeper and look at Why You Need More Nuts and Seeds in Your Life and Amazing Ways to Eat Them.

Its about a 5 minute read, here’s a brief outline

  • Nuts and Seeds – Nutrition
  • The Benefits of Eating Seeds and Nuts in a Nutshell
  • Amazing Ways to Eat Them

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Nuts and Seeds – Nutrition

There are lots of different types of nuts and seeds which all  contain similiar amounts of  macronutrients (protein, carbohydrate and fat) but each have differing amounts of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) dependant on the variety.

Generally, we can say that nuts and seeds are:-

  • High in monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. 
  • Low in saturated fats.
  • High in protein (a good choice for non meat eaters).
  • Contain zero cholesterol.
  • High in fibre so great for good gut health.
  • A fantastic source of antioxidants.
  • Good source of  vitamins E and some of the B vitamin group.
  • Contain minerals i.e. magnesium, zinc, plant iron, calcium, copper, selenium, phosphorus and potassium.

Common varieties of nuts and seeds to eat:-

  • Almonds
  • Brazil nuts 
  • Cashew nuts
  • Hazelnuts 
  • Macadamias
  • Pecans 
  • Pine nuts
  • Pistachios 
  • coconut (read more)
  • Walnuts 
  • Pumpkin seeds 
  • Flax seeds 
  • Sesame seeds 
  • Poppy seeds
  • Sunflower seeds 
  • Chia seeds.
nuts and seeds health benefits

The  Benefits of Eating Seeds and Nuts in a Nutshell 😁

  • Healthy and highly nutritious.
  • Help with weight control.
  • High in antioxidants, fibre and healthy fats.
  • Great Taste.
  • Satisfying and Satiating – They fill you up for a long time.
  • They are relatively inexpensive.

Highly nutritious and healthy.

Eating nuts and seeds will reduce the risk of many diseases including heart disease, diabetes and other lifestyle diseases caused by oxidative stress and inflammation.  This is due to their excellent nutritional profile which contains much of what our bodies need to help us thrive and protecting us from disease.  There is nothing in nuts and seeds that will harm us or cause disease.

An Ace in the Whole for Weight Control

Nuts and Seeds keep you feeling full up but it’s a different kind of full.  You don’t feel bloated or stuffed and uncomfortable, there is just this lovely full satisfied feeling which lasts a long time. Being full for longer and not feeling hungry is a winner if you are fighting to loose weight. 

There has been much scientific research. Click here for more on how nuts and seeds help in weight control.

Amazing Ways to Eat Them

  • The more variety of nuts and seeds you take in your diet the better because your body will receive more variety of nutrients.  Variety is the spice of life as they say.
  • For top nutrition try to eat them raw or dehydrated but light cooking is also fine and can make some recipes easier and tastier.
  • Avoid all processed packets of nuts of any variety.

Obviously you can just take a handful of nuts or seeds and eat them and thats great but below are some great ideas for delicious and easy ways to get them into your diet.

Raw Sweets and Treats

The internet is awash with raw sweets, treats and desserts recipes and most of them contain nuts and/or seeds. Just google your favourite dessert with the word raw in front.

My ‘go to’ raw sweet treat is Chocolate Brownies. I eat these every day, they are amazing, moreish and healthy too. The main ingredient of these is almonds. Subscribe to my blog this week to receive the recipe direct to your inbox.

Chia Seed Pudding

Chia seeds are touted as a superfood, such is the magnificence of their nutritional profile.  Chia seed pudding is a regular on my breakfast menu.

My Favourite Chia Seed Pudding recipe

  • 2.5 tablespoons Chia Seeds
  • Homemade coconut milk enough to cover seeds by about an inch
  • Half teaspoon raw honey (Vegan can use coconut sugar)
  • 5 frozen organic raspberries
  • 3 organic strawberries cut up
  • 1 portion of fresh pineapple cut up
  • 5 dried sour cherries (soaked overnight if I remember)

Put chia seeds in bowl cover with milk then stir. Stir in the rest of the ingredients except the honey and allow to set. (10 minutes to overnight whatever suits you) Spread the honey over the top of the pudding or stir in. 

Why It’s so great:-

  • Chia seed pudding sets so can be portable easily with the right container
  • You can make them ahead of time by soaking them overnight or you can make them with just minutes to spare
  • They are extremely healthy, in fact they are a superfood
  • They can’t help but be tasty, you make them to suit your own tastebuds. You might also want to adjust the setting time so that the texture is to your taste. Note: if you dont like the texture you can blend them to a mousse texture. 
  • Chia seeds are great for weight control, they form a thick gel which expands in your tummy making you feel full. They also contain healthy fats and protein keeping you full for longer and are low in calories.

Nut or Seed Butters 

There are some good brands on the market but homemade is best in terms of deliciousness, cost and nutrition.

My go to recipe is sunflower or pumpkin seed butter. Simply because they are much less expensive than nuts especially as I always buy organic. Besides that the seed butter is absolutely delicious anyway.

The recipe for seed butters or nuts butters are interchangeable. You can use either nuts or seeds, whatever you fancy or have in your cupboard.

Homemade Seed/Nut Butter

  • 2 cups sunflower/pumpkin seeds or Almonds
  • A sprinkle of salt
  • Coconut sugar (1 teaspoon or to taste)
  • Vanilla to taste (pod, paste, extract)
  1. Spreads seeds/nuts evenly over a baking tray and lightly sprinkle with salt. Place in oven at 180 degrees celsius for around 10 minutes. Check after 5 minutes some seeds are more delicate. You don’t want them to colour.
  2. Remove and leave to cool completely
  3. In your high speed blender ( I use a Vitamix) blitz the nuts using your tamper to continually press the nuts or seeds down into the blades until it turns into nut butter consistency. It will first be a paste, stick with it, it will eventually become nut butter. It may take some time.
  4. Remove carefully from blender into large bowl, it may be very hot, stir in the coconut sugar and vanilla and then transfer to sterilised jar.

Please Note: if you use pumpkin seeds your nut butter will be green.

Nut Milks

Almonds, Hazelnuts and Coconut all make amazing nut milks. You can try anything though.  Using coconut is more cost efficient which is why I use this on a daily basis. You can also use seeds which is very cost effictient but I don’t think the result is as delicious. 

Nut Milk Recipe

  • 2 cups of any nuts (including coconut)
  • Vanilla (pods, paste, extract)
  • Water
  1. Blend everything for around 3 minutes in your high speed blender.
  2. Strain through a nut milk bag into a large jug
  3. Pour into a bottle and place in the fridge ready for use

Please Note: You can if you wish sweeten with raw honey or coconut sugar and any other flavourings or spices you fancy like turmeric, cinamon, ginger etc

Seed crackers

These make an amazing healthy alternative to bread and savoury biscuits. Homemade is best of course. I make mine raw using the dehydrator. but you can if you prefer make regular seed crackers. There are loads of recipes online.

 These are a regular on my breakfast table with spicy avocado dip and my homemade seed butter. My raw crackers I make contain a mixture of flax seeds (also called linseeds) sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds.

Sprinkle over salads, stir frys, stews and casseroles

Nuts and seeds are awesome included in main meals,  Seeds can easily be sprinkled over salads. Sesame seeds are especially delicious sprinkled over an asian style salad but you can get creative and try different things.

Raw Pesto

Pesto sauce is traditionally made using basil and pine nuts… but you can swap these out and  use nuts like walnuts or almonds, and instead of basil you can use rocket or kale.  Get Creative.  Delicious served with simple grilled meats, fish and chicken. 

Further Reading

Read a comprehensive article all about the benefits of Nuts and Seeds by Healthline

Find out more about What I eat

My recent blog post How to Eat Healthy

The benefits of eating raw.

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