Tag Archives: stress

Why Your Desk Job Is Slowly Killing You

Most people including myself have an office job and we tend to spend many hours a day, a week sitting at our desks answering emails, conference calls and attending endless meetings. A sedentary lifestyle can lead to an early death. According to a recent study if you spend more than 4 hours  sitting down whether at your desk or on a couch, you are more prone to an early death and diseases like diabetes, heart attacks, blood clots and strokes. Endless hours sitting in front of a computer can also affect your eye sight, posture and brain.

Exercising every day may not be enough

Exercise is good for both the body and mind. However running every morning or going to the gym may not be enough if you end up hours sitting at your desk, driving to work where you are sitting in your car or commuting sitting on the tube or bus.

What to do when at the office

Get moving. Ideally every 30 minutes you should get up and have a walk or a stretch. Do calf raises which are great for circulation. when you are sitting at your desk try rotating your ankles. Take a break to go and get some fresh air to refresh your brain. After lunch is a good time to go for a stroll.

Try to stand more at your desk as opposed to sitting. You can stand while you are checking emails on your computer or your phone.

Try walking and talking when answering calls or on a conference call. By being active as much as possible you are burning calories.

Posture is so important to prevent neck and back pain. So make sure to sit up right at your desk. No slouching. A strong core is the secret to a strong back so try to work your core when you next work out.

Long hours sitting at your desk can lead to stress so it is important that you do take regular breaks when you are feeling tired.

After Work

Try to walk as much as possible. Take the longer route to the bus stop or tube or get off a stop earlier. If you have been siting at your desk all day the last thing you should do is spend hours on the couch.  Always keep moving.

Healthy eating

Do not eat junk food. If you are sitting all day at your desk you need to fuel your body and mind with the correct nutrients to keep your brain alert and improve your circulation. Drink regular green juices, smoothies and plenty of water. Never skip breakfast as this will give you energy and make it a nutritious breakfast by eating porridge or eggs on toast with avocado.

Include ginger, garlic and cayenne pepper in your cooking which are good for circulation. Eat oily fish rich in omega 3 like wild salmon and sardines and you could also take a fish oil supplement.

Limit your salt intake as salt will harden your arteries and arteries need to be elastic.  Too much salt in your diet can also lead to high blood pressure.

I hope you have found the above tips useful. If you require a bespoke nutritional and lifestyle plan please email me.

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Stress and the Digestive System

We have all suffered from stress at some point in our lives whether due to exams, work, a bereavement, an illness, children, divorce, financial troubles or other. Most of us when under stress instead of finding ways to relax tend to have more coffee, fizzy drinks and sweets to keep us going. When you are stressed the digestive system tends to shut down and you are not assimilating any nutrients. Therefore it is best to eat very light small meals through out the day.

Coffee, cortisol and stress

Cortisol is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands which is released in response to a person being afraid or stressed. In a ‘fight or flight’ situation in the old days the cortisol would be utilised as the person either fought or ran for their lives. Nowadays unfortunately we seem to be more and more stressed and cortisol is not utilised and too much remains in the body. Today we sit at our desk drinking coffee to keep going producing more cortisol and not exercising to get rid of it. Cortisol levels are high in the mornings and lower at night. It regulates blood pressure, helps the body to utilise glucose for energy. It sends a message to the liver to release stored glycogen to fuel the muscles and the brain. However too much stored in the body can result in weight gain, depression, mental illness, impaired memory and brain function. This is why too much coffee when stressed is not a good idea.

Juicing

Juicing is good for quick absorption of nutrients. It takes 15 minutes for the nutrients from a juice to hit the blood stream. This is very good in people that have digestive issues, are suffering  from an illness and their digestion is compromised. It is also good for people that are stressed as stress places a strain on the digestive system.  Juicing is also good as it includes raw foods packed full of enzymes that are lost during cooking. Juicing places less of a strain on the liver. Ideally fruit and vegetable juices should not be mixed together. Apples and carrots are the exception. Since a juice is very quick in hitting the blood stream it is important not to use too much fruit as this can cause a spike in sugar levels. Vegetable juices are best for people suffering from blood sugar problems. Fruit juices are high in sugar and can also cause weight gain as juicing removes the fibre.

Removing the fibre is what makes juices easier to be absorbed as your digestive system does not have to work hard to absorb the nutrients. Also in a juice you can pack larger quantities of vegetables than you would be able to eat. This means you are able to get more nutrients from a glass of juice.

Foods not to eat and foods to eat

Red meat should be avoided as it is hard to digest. Avoid all stimulants such as coffee, alcohol and all fizzy drinks. These will put pressure on the adrenal glands. Reduce your intake of refined white carbohydrates like white pasta, bread and all cakes and biscuits. Stay away from all dairy. No rich sauces.

Cook everything fresh from scratch. No ready made meals. You want to eat foods that are easier to digest like soups, sweet potatoes mashed, steamed fish and vegetables. Include more ginger, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, dandelion greens, broccoli, bananas, tofu, quinoa, millet, spelt, lentils, chickpeas, hemp, pumpkin, sunflower, flax and chia seeds, oily fish like wild salmon and sardines. Try to eat everything baked, grilled or steamed. If you are particularly stressed I would recommend smoothies, juices and soups as these are probably the best foods when highly stressed.

Include more super foods into your diet like wheatgrass shots, barley grass and spirulina. Wheatgrass shots should be taken on their own. barley grass and spirulina you can add to smoothies.

I hope the above has helped. If you would like a bespoke nutritional and lifestyle plan please email me or purchase my online initial consultation.

6 Tips to Live Longer

There are so many people living longer healthier lives today and you can be one of them. All you have to do is make simple changes in your lifestyle. Stop smoking, cut down on the alcohol and get active. Here below are a few tips that I hope will help.

Eat Healthy

Include more fruit and vegetables into your life. Put fruit in your porridge in the mornings and choose fruit as  a snack. Include plenty of vegetables lunch and dinner. Eat what is in season making sure to eat a wide range of colourful vegetables. Include plenty of green leafy vegetables. Make sure to clean your fruit and vegetables thoroughly with white vinegar or bicarbonate of soda especially if not organic. This will get rid of all the pesticides and nasty chemicals. Another great way to include more vegetables into your diet is by having more smoothies and juices.

Include good quality protein in your diet choosing plant based protein like lentils, chickpeas, all beans and tofu. Eat more fish and when eating meat make sure to go for organic and white meat without the skin. If going for red meats go for lean cuts. Too much animal fats in your diet can lead to disease like coronary heart disease and cancer.

Go for healthy fats like avocado, nuts and seeds. Choose complex carbohydrates like brown rice and wholewheat pastas.

Make sure you do not over eat. Over eating will cause you to age as well as onset of disease. You should always walk away from your  plate feeling still hungry not completely stuffed. All people that reach the age of 100 eat little. As we age it is important not to over eat in the evenings. This is not to put pressure on your digestive system and the  heart, so make dinner the lightest meal of the day and eat at least 2 hours before going to bed.

Get Moving

Being active is  the key to longevity. Being a couch potato in front of the tv for hours on end will shorten your life. Make sure to do at least 30 minutes of exercise daily. This can be either in the gym, or even  brisk walking is good. Be active during the day, Keep busy, do not spend hours sitting down. Instead of driving or catching the tube or bus choose to walk. Get off the bus a few stops before and walk to work or the shops.

Sleep 

Make sure to get a good nights sleep. This too is essential for a healthy body and mind. Make sure to switch off your tv and computer few hours before bed. This will help to unwind and relax. Have a relaxing bath, switch some classical music on and read your kindle.

Stress

Make sure to cut down stress. You can eat well but if you are highly stressed your digestive system will be compromised and you will not be assimilating essential nutrients. Stress is a killer, it can cause all sorts of conditions and diseases like heart disease and cancer. Find time to focus on yourself. Take a relaxing bath before bed, do yoga which is fantastic for relaxing the mind. Have a massage.

Drink in Moderation

If only people knew the damaging affects  alcohol has on  the body. It is poison for your liver and brain. It ages you and causes disease like liver cancer. If you are going to drink moderation is key. One glass of organic red wine at lunch and one at dinner. Drink a glass of water for every alcoholic drink you have.

Do not Smoke

If you are a smoker you want to consider giving up. Smoking not only ages you, it causes disease like lung cancer, emphysema, strokes and heart disease. Just like alcohol this toxic habit will not make you live long. So stop now.

 

 

Tips For Dealing With Stress

We have all suffered from stress at some point in our lives whether due to exams, work, an illness, children, divorce, financial troubles or other. Most of us when under stress instead of finding ways to relax tend to have more coffee, fizzy drinks and sweets to keep us going. This caffeine and sugar fix won’t last long, in fact it will contribute to raising stress levels. Reality is that unless you address the root cause of the problem it will never be solved. Pretending that everything is fine and carrying on as if nothing is wrong is not the solution. Stress is a KILLER. If you allow it to take over your life, you run the risk of a total burn out, a nervous break down, heart attack, stroke, other diseases and death. This is why you need a good network of friends and family who are there to help you.

Signs and symptoms of stress can be any of the following:

Mood swings
You often break down in tears
You feel you cannot cope with having to do so many different things
Feelings of anger
Feeling irritable
Palpitations
Poor digestion
Loss of appetite
Sugar cravings
Headaches
Depression
Brain does not work properly causing you to forget names and simple things.

If you suffer from any of these signs and symptoms you must stop, change and seek help immediately or the next step will be to have a total nervous break down!

Cortisol and stress

Cortisol is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands which is released in response to a person being afraid or stressed. In a ‘fight or flight’ situation in the old days the cortisol would be utilised as the person either fought or ran for their lives. Nowadays unfortunately we seem to be more and more stressed and cortisol is not utilised and too much remains in the body. Today we sit at our desk drinking coffee to keep going producing more cortisol and not exercising to get rid of it. Cortisol levels are high in the mornings and lower at night. It regulates blood pressure, helps the body to utilise glucose for energy. It sends a message to the liver to release stored glycogen to fuel the muscles and the brain. However too much stored in the body can result in weight gain, depression, mental illness, impaired memory and brain function.

Foods not to eat and foods to eat

Red meat should be avoided as it is hard to digest. Avoid all stimulants such as coffee, alcohol and all fizzy drinks. These will put pressure on the adrenal glands. Reduce your intake of refined white carbohydrates like white pasta, bread and all cakes and biscuits. Stay away from all dairy. No rich sauces.

When you are stressed the digestive system tends to shut down so you want to eat light small meals through out the day. Eat all fresh whole foods. Cook everything fresh from scratch. No ready made meals. You want to eat foods that are easier to digest like soups, sweet potatoes mashed, steamed fish and vegetables. Include more ginger, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, dandelion greens, broccoli, bananas, tofu, quinoa, millet, spelt, lentils, chickpeas, hemp, pumpkin, sunflower, flax and chia seeds, oily fish like wild salmon and sardines. Try to eat everything baked, grilled or steamed. If you are particularly stressed I would recommend smoothies and soups as these are probably the best foods when highly stressed.

Include more super foods into your diet like wheatgrass shots, barley grass and spirulina. Wheatgrass shots should be taken on their own. barley grass and spirulina you can add to smoothies.

Take up a new hobby

Take up a hobby that you enjoy. So once or twice a week you are free from your usual daily routine and stress. Embark on something you enjoy like a cooking class, painting, pottery, dancing etc. This way you will feel more relaxed and be happier. Also watch movies and sitcoms that make you laugh. Laughing distresses you putting you in a good mood.

Useful supplements

Magnesium is known as nature’s tranquilliser and is best taken in the evenings before bed 400mg. Take a good multi vitamin. Biocare do a very good one for women called Femgaurd. Vitamin C 2000mg daily divided in small doses of 500mg. Too much vitamin C in one go can trigger diarrhoea. Biocare which I really like make a wonderful supplement called AD206 which contains many nutrients including Siberian ginseng and B5.

Yoga and breathing exercises

Exercise is important but while you are feeling stressed do not do high intensity exercise like kick boxing or running. Instead do more relaxing exercises like walking swimming and yoga. In fact yoga is fantastic for the body, mind and soul and breathing exercises performed in the morning and evening are also good to calm you down during stressful moments.

Make time for yourself and get plenty of sleep

You must make time for yourself. Get your partner, family and friends to look after the kids while you take time out to have a relaxing massage and a facial. Learn to pamper yourself. Listen to classical music when you are home which is extremely relaxing and will put you in a good mood. Every evening before bed try to have a relaxing and soothing bath in lavender oil. A bath is more relaxing than a shower. Showers are for the mornings to wake you up. A bath before bed time will prepare you for a good nights sleep which is essential for proper brain function. Lack of sleep will make you more stressed. Surround yourself with a good network of family and friends you can trust and turn to for help and guidance. Remember, you are the most important person so start loving and taking care of yourself now before it is too late!

If you feel you cannot cope and are on the verge of a nervous breakdown, please do not be afraid to reach out for help by contacting your doctor who will recommend a good counsellor.

5 Tips For Staying Healthy This Winter

So important to look after ourselves in the cold winter months. We need to ensure we stay strong and healthy. Diet and lifestyle play a big role. Here below are some useful tips on how to protect yourself and boost your immune system this winter.

Keeping your Immune System Strong

A healthy immune system won’t let you get sick with a terrible flu that keeps you bedridden and weak for days. Make sure your diet is super healthy by including lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. Eat what is in season. Drink lots of  good quality filtered water and vegetable smoothies and put super food powders like spirulina, wheatgrass and chlorella in them to boost your immune system.

Keep the body alkaline by having a warm water and lemon first thing in the morning 20 minutes before breakfast. This acts like an internal shower. Include fresh ginger, garlic, onions and herbs like turmeric in your cooking.

Stay away from refined sugar that weakens the immune system and is destructive for the whole body. Sugar is absolute poison so avoid indulging in too many cakes, biscuits, pies etc.

Include supplements like zinc, Vitamin C and echinacea. Also get your levels of vitamin D checked. Lack of vitamin D has been linked to  poor immune health.

Stress

Stress has a huge impact on your immune system. Learn to listen to your body and STOP! This is so important. Learn to slow down and say no. Avoid drinking too many coffees and teas as caffeine releases the stress hormone cortisol. If you keep going, eventually you will burn out and become ill. If you are feeling particularly stressed try a B complex and Magnesium which is known as nature’s tranquilizer. If you are stressed try yoga which is fantastic for calming the mind and breathing exercises together with meditation also help.

Sleep

A proper nights sleep is essential in keeping the body strong and healthy. Lack of sleep will result in a compromised immune system. If you are having trouble falling asleep try to relax by having a warm bath before bedtime, and stay away from the computer before going to bed.

Exercise

Exercise is very good for circulation and it makes us feel good as exercising releases endorphins which make us calmer and more relaxed. Find the right exercise for you. Remember we are all different. walking, swimming, dancing, running, gym etc are all good. However as with all things you do not want to over do it. If stress levels are high I would strongly suggest you do only yoga.

Wash your hands

So important to keep washing your hands continuously so you limit contact with germs.