There’s a lot to like about winter. I LOVE crispy winter mornings & log fires on those dark evenings. I shan’t list all the things I don’t like about winter, but right up there must be catching a cold, and feeling a bit blue come January. In this newsletter I’m going to explain why so much of that is down to your levels of vitamin D, which is sometimes called the ‘sunshine vitamin’ (and hence a lack of it in winter).
We’ll look at all the stuff you really need to know about vitamin D and why it is vital for life. We’ll look at how you can tell if you might be a bit low, who should get tested, and where to have it done (and what to say to your doctor to have this done free of charge). Also how to boost your levels naturally through food, although food sources are will NEVER give you enough vitamin D in winter.
WHY YOU REALLY, REALLY NEED THE D
Vitamin D is a superstar vitamin. More correctly, it’s actually a hormone. If levels are too low, this is bad new...
Midlife is full of surprises – and not all of them are good… If you are reading this then I’m guessing that you are touched in some way by symptoms of the menopause – or more accurately, the transition to menopause. Perhaps you are even horrified at the person looking back at you in the mirror. Who is this person? What the heck happened?
It might be that you are really suffering or perhaps you’ve just started noticing some changes. The experience is different for every woman but often it means being hot, cold, moody, tired, sleep-deprived, nervy, irritable, sad, or hairy. It can mean hot flushes, memory loss, and a seemingly immovable band of fat around the middle and thighs.
Your fluctuating hormones are the cause of all of this, but you don’t have to accept these symptoms as the way things need to be. Learning to re-balance your hormones naturally will help you take back control of your life. Given life expectancy increases, women can expect to spend at least a third of their life ‘me...
Has your weight been creeping up on you over the years and is proving difficult to shift – despite your best efforts? Or maybe your energy levels are on the floor? It’s easy to push to the back of your mind. Surely things can’t have got that bad… You’re not one of ‘those’ people whose food and lifestyle choices result in blood sugar levels so wonky, they find themselves in the prediabetes or diabetes trap… It’s easily done, and I see a lot of people in clinic who have been surprised to find they’re occupying that space.
It really is worth getting your blood sugar levels checked out. Once you know your numbers, you can do something about it and make a huge shift in all aspects of your health, including your weight. Whatever the tests say, I want you to know that, by making some simple changes to your diet and lifestyle, it is possible to prevent, control and, in some cases, reverse this condition.
COULD IT BE ME?
One in six people over the age of 40 is likely to have diabetes, with many m...
‘Hormones’. Oestrogen and testosterone are the two that most likely spring to mind, and their role in puberty, libido, the reproductive system. In fact, our bodies produce a whole host of other hormones which play a role in our health and how we function day in day out. Ghrelin, given its name as a ‘growth hormone releasing peptide’, controls hunger, food intake and combined with growth hormone, fat storage.
Stimulated by the cells in our stomach, ghrelin sends signals to the hypothalamus in the brain telling our bodies it’s time to eat. Small amounts are also released by the pancreas and the small intestine. The more ghrelin in the bloodstream, the bigger the appetite and likely, the more food you eat. After food, ghrelin levels are decreased as we’re satiated, and they don’t rise again until your body starts looking for more energy.
If you’re trying to lose weight, you might be wondering how you can keep your levels low. To be clear, ghrelin is no...
Is it all in your head or is your body trying to tell you something? Some might dismiss a ‘wisdom of the body’ theory as quackery. However, if you think about the biological processes happening within your body and the factors affecting these, the argument to substantiate a link becomes more compelling.
Here’s why. Food is so much more than just calories. It’s information. The body is a wonderful machine, constantly sending you signs and signals about the information (or nutrients) it needs to function at its best.
The trouble is, when you fall into unhealthy patterns, you unwittingly train your brain and body to think and crave certain foods. Often these foods give you a quick fix. You feel great for 30 minutes, yet an hour later your energy levels are on the floor and you need another hit to keep you going. Sound familiar?
This concept applies to everyone, not just women in pregnancy who are typically associated with an appetite for unusual or inedible substances such as clay, coal or d...
Park the notion that fat is bad. It is not. In fact, most of us aren’t eating enough of it.
Fat can help you lose weight, protect against heart disease, absorb vitamins and boost your immune system. Do you know which fats to eat and which to avoid?
These are the fats that have the worst reputation, and they’re found in animal fats and coconut oil.
Here’s the controversial bit - because it goes entirely against what we have been told for decades (and we are still being told by government agencies) - these saturated fats that you eat – the dietary saturated fats – don’t raise cholesterol.
The fats that are ‘bad’ are the trans fats, which cause cell membranes to become stiff and hard, and they no longer function correctly. Trans fats are harmful to cardiovascular health (they lower good cholesterol - & increase level of bad cholesterol). Some transfats are contained naturally in dairy products, but particularly in processed foods (i.e. hydrogenated oils, margarine).
Easter is going to turn up this weekend, whether you like it or not. Chocolate and hot cross buns are all around; in every shop and TV commercial. It’s enough to melt away your good intentions and, with this much pressure, binging feels almost inevitable.
Of course, chocolate is available all year round. The trouble seems to come when there’s too much chocolate, as is the case at this time of year, which leads to too much temptation, eating too much in one go, then feeling miserable because you over indulged. The worst parts of a binge are the feelings of guilt and failure that you feel afterwards. So let’s fix that.
Let’s accept that Easter will mean chocolate indulgence on one level or another. Here’s how to make the best of it.
1. Try to discourage family and friends from buying chocolate for you. This puts you back in control of how much you have.
2. Ideally you’ll want to choose the darker chocolate eggs or chocolate selection. The higher the percentage of cocoa, the less room there i...
Did you ever do a double take as you walked past a mirror and realise that THAT woman is actually you? Sometimes it is almost as if your fat cells take on superpowers while you sleep, adding inches in the space of just a few hours. How is it that all of those tricks you had up your sleeve in your 20s and 30s for quickly shaving off half a stone before the summer holidays just don’t work anymore, despite your dedication and willpower?
The ‘midlife’ years can be a challenge for all sorts of different reasons and, yes, weight loss IS harder. The rules are different when it comes to weight loss when you’re over 40, that’s for sure. Aside from diet, the seven remaining pieces of pie are thyroid hormones, the stress hormone cortisol, the fat storage hormone insulin, oestrogen, sleep, digestion and exercise.
It’s a path you need to navigate carefully to find your own magic formula, but losing weight, regaining your energy, getting back to your best is possible with the right advice, and...