Is 5 a day really enough?

It was the World Health Organisation (WHO, that in 1991 first advised adults should have a daily consumption of 400g of fruit and vegetables per day which equals to about 5 portions of 80g each but it wasn’t until 2001, ten years later, that the department of health in the UK translated this to the 5 a day plan that most of us have come to recognise. So first of all, what is a portion? Well, it equates to 7 strawberries, 8 cauliflower florets or a 2 inch piece of cucumber for example. According to WHO, 2.7 million deaths would be avoided annually worldwide if everybody ate 400g of fruit and veg a day. An enquiry by the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit stated that lower than recommended intakes of fruit and veg were to blame for 42,200 premature deaths annually in the UK and poor nutrition has cost the NHS £6bn in treatment and care. Fruit and vegetables, in a number of ways, can help to reduce the risk of ill health as they are a source of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals but not all varieties are created equal. Polyphenols in apples and berries are good for cancer prevention and so are leafy green veg. For healthy bowels you might want to add garlic and onion for prebiotics to stimulate healthy gut bacteria. This is why you need to eat a good variety of fruit and veg. I would say that the governments recommended 5 a day is not enough to keep us optimally healthy. France recommends 10 portions, Denmark advises 6 portions and Japan recommends a whapping 17...

2 for 1 donuts at Peterborough Hospital

Am I being ludicrous in thinking that hospitals should be promoting a healthy lifestyle? We were recently visiting a relative in hospital at Peterborough Hospital, a relatively new building, and the first thing that struck me as we approached the entrance was the women in her dressing grown and slippers standing outside the front doors with a cigarette in hand. As we entered we thought lets get some fruit to take the patient so we looked at the shops in the foyer, WH Smiths, Costa Coffee, another coffee shop/restaurant and plenty of vending machines selling crisps, chocolates and fizzy drinks but not a piece of fruit in site, we got her a magazine instead! But what really shocked me was the big poster outside the coffee shop advertising their ‘product of the month’ donuts only £1.25 or 2 for £2.00. Hmmm, fried sugar laden donuts, just what sick people need. Giving out the wrong message or what but then when you look at hospital meals that consist of fish and chips and cheap slop I don’t know why I was surprised. Personally I feel the only food that should be available on hospital property are those that are healthy and nutritious. Not food that will rapidly cause your health to decline. And as for patients, they really don’t need fish and chips, white bread sandwiches and puddings. What they need is nutrient rich food. What is the point of nursing people from illness when the very food you feed them is working against that? After all, didn’t Hippocrates say “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food”....

The OMG and Other Crazy

A little while back I saw two crazy articles in the Daily Mail and it reminded me why I don’t usually buy newspapers, because they are full of utter tosh! The first was headlined – OMG! This gimmicky diet might just work. It’s about a book written by a personal trainer, Paul Khanna under the pen name Venice A Fulton and was inspired by TOWIE, really need I say more? The book promises to help you drop 20lbs in just six weeks, which is not that revolutionary. But what happens after the 6 weeks? See the downside of most ‘diets’ is that you can’t sustain then for long periods of time so as soon as you come off them the weight goes back on and sometimes more. The other thing I felt uncomfortable about is its focus on ‘being skinnier than your friends’ totally the wrong message to be sending out, especially to young girls. Here are some of the ludicrous suggestions in the book: The book suggests that broccoli can be as bad as coke and that you must aim for no more that 120 grams of carbohydrates a day and that it makes no difference if you get all your carbs from cans of coke or a plate of broccoli. Well I’m sorry but it does. I agree that you should reduce your intake of carbs and opt for unprocessed carbs when you do have them. So I’m sorry Mr Khanna, it does matter where those carbs come from. Stay away from smoothies. I partly agree with this one, don’t over do it with the fruit smoothies...

Keep Calm and Carry on at Christmas

It is the season to be jolly isn’t it? Well with some very alarming stats about Christmas such as: Studies show that two out of three Christmas gifts are unwanted and that last year over 360,000 of those unwanted gifts were already posted on Ebay by Christmas night. It’s estimated that over half of adults in the UK use credit cards to fund Christmas and that it takes on average around 5 months to clear that debt. It is a season that can be filled with guilt and arguments, unless you have the right tools. So I have a little present for you, my friend The Coach with the Hat has put together a series of 2 minute videos which are emailed to your inbox to help and support people through this time of year and it is FREE! The videos are called Keep Calm and Carry on at Christmas, what a cool name right? Covering topics such as: *Budgeting *Effective present buying *How to deal with the guilt *Rejection and much more… To find out more and claim your FREE gift click here now: Facebook: http://tinyurl.com/7otvyxk website: www.keepcalmandcarryonatchristmas.com I really know you will enjoy these short 2 minute videos as they will help support and guide you through this time of year from stress into joy and happiness. Happy holidays,...

The silly season is upon us

  The Coca Cola advertisement is on TV and the supermarkets have shuffled everything around to accommodate the Christmas merchandise and suddenly your choice of tissue boxes has gone from 10 patterns to 2.However, with the festivities can come the stresses, strains and over indulgences too. So, as we head into the so called ‘silly season’, we wanted to share some tips with you to help you stay sane and healthy over the holidays. It all comes down to planning It’s easy to over eat and over spend during Christmas so plan your meals in advance and make a list before you hit the shops otherwise its all too easy to find your trolley loaded with too many of the things that aren’t good for us. It also means that you won’t have to run around at the last minute because you forgot something. The same goes for gifts too. Have a budget and make a list of who you need to get presents for. It’s so easy to get carried away when you see all the delights in the shops that are there to tempt you. Don’t shop on an empty stomach Now this tip applies all year round not just at Christmas. Right now there are a lot of ‘goodies’ to tempt you on the supermarket shelves and if you are starving whilst you are shopping, those tempting treats suddenly start jumping into your trolley and it will usually be the carb heavy and sugar loaded things that jump in first. Keep those party pooper bugs away Make sure you are keeping your immune system boosted so...

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