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Where body and soul meet

Diets and exercise plans are so yesterday! And yet, good nutrition and physical activity are the fundamentals that shape mind and body health. Contrary to popular opinion, it can be easy to eat well and be fit as a fiddle.

There are a number of innovative guidelines that truly do make a positive, long term difference.  Try these tips to up your nutritional health plan:

Ø  Respect the individuality of taste buds – not all foods suit all people

Ø  Try to have a light breakfast, your main meal at lunch and a medium supper

Ø  Sip hot water each morning and evening

Ø  Breakfast can be a fruit only meal with very good results for health

Ø  Snack on fruit until the main meal at lunch

Ø  Good mood of the cook and at mealtimes is an important part of nutrition

You are what, and how, you eat

Gradually introduce as many of these tips as possible and you are guaranteed to feel on top of the world. What’s more, everyone will be able to tell that something is different, and that this something is showing you off at your best. Cultivate these mealtime habits:

Ø  Be seated when eating so that your body can concentrate on digestion – take time to enjoy the experience the meal and you will be less likely to experience cravings.

Ø  Don’t eat too quickly – digestion starts in the mouth and chewing food well optimises the process.

Ø  Avoid ice cold drinks at mealtimes – enzyme activity is a type of chemical heating process which is affected by very cold beverages.

Ø  Drink little at mealtimes – so as not to dilute digestive juices and to allow them to optimally work on the food you have just eaten.

Ø  Don’t skip meals on a regular basis unless fasting under medical care – the human body is designed to eat two to three times daily, or snack healthily more regularly, for stability of many functions.

Ø  Eat to comfort levels and avoid over-eating – and always wait for 15 – 20 minutes before taking second helpings as often the brain takes a while to register that the tummy is full and that you are in fact not hungry!

Four common sense food tips

1.       Avoid leftovers as freshly prepared food is the healthiest

2.       Don’t eat when you feel that your last food is not yet fully digested

3.       Cut down on animal fats and proteins and increase fresh fruit and vegetables

4.       Minimise processed and saturated fatty foods

Three top tips to win the battle of the bulge

1.       When craving sweets, first eat two fresh dates – you will happily do without that chocolate!

2.       Replace supper with nutritious, chunky soup two or three times a week – you can even have seconds, but no bread allowed!

3.       Have a grapefruit or freshly squeezed grapefruit juice an hour after a main meal

Movement therapy

One woman’s curse is another’s delight, when it comes to exercise. Most important is to know that regular physical activity releases relaxing hormones, the magical ingredient in true health.  Simply get started and before you know it, you will reap the rewards and be able to do more – and enjoy it!

The trick with exercise is to find what you enjoy. Not everyone likes to do a gym workout, or run for miles. Regular participation in activities like yoga, dance, walking, swimming, hula hooping, trampoline jumping and tennis, are just as valuable. Here are a few important pointers to bear in mind:

Ø  Prioritise time for your activity of choice and don’t deviate too often.

Ø  Mix up your warm and cold weather activities to suit.

Ø  Never do exercise just before or after a meal.

Ø  Yoga is one of the best exercise types for you for mind-body balance.

Ø  Avoid competitive sport if you are feeling out of control, excessively angry or fatigued.

Ø  If your endurance is naturally good, do some exercise that requires greater strength and perseverance.

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