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Party On, Enjoy Yourself, and Stay Healthy With These Holiday Tips

December 10, 2017

champagne
There’s no need to skip those Christmas parties just because you’re trying to maintain your weight during the holidays. These 25 strategies will help you stay on track while celebrating with the best of them.

  1. Eat a small, healthy snack before you go to the party, so you’re not starving when you get there. An apple with almond butter or fruit with Greek yoghurt are great, healthy and filling options.
  2. Bring a healthy appetiser to the party, so you’ll know there’ll be at least one option you can load on your plate.
  3. Check out all the buffet options before you start filling your plate, so you know which appetisers are your must haves.
  4. When at the appetiser table, opt for lean proteins and fresh veggies first to fill you up before splurging on a less-healthy option.
  5. If the appetiser is fried, steer clear, or think of it as your treat.
  6. Use a small plate when picking appetiser options.
  7. Alternate each cocktail, glass of wine, or beer with a glass of water, so you slow down how many empty calories you’re imbibing all night.
  8. Use low-calorie mixers like soda water, not sugary juices, to mix with your cocktail.
  9. Make smart decisions the day leading up to a party, so you can relax a bit at night. Load up on healthy, filling foods that keep you full without making you go over your goals for the day.
  10. Walk away from the food table so you don’t graze.
  11. Move your workouts to the morning so you aren’t constantly skipping sessions when you have evening plans.
  12. Know your calorie counts in popular cocktails, so you can make smart decisions.
  13. Choose cut vegetables to dip rather than chips or bread. You’ll save hundreds of calories without feeling like you’re depriving yourself.
  14. Sip your drink slowly so you aren’t constantly refilling your glass with empty calories.
  15. Choose a brut (dry) Champagne over other alcoholic beverages. Brut Champagne usually contains only 65 calories per glass.
  16. Add a five-minute workout into your party prep routine. You’ll feel good knowing you raised your heart rate and sweat out a few calories before indulging.
  17. Think positive: before you go into a party, psych yourself up about the healthy choices you’re about to make.
  18. Dance! There’s nothing like burning calories while having fun.
  19. If there’s a dessert you’re dying to have, split it with a friend.
  20. Vow to have only a certain number of drinks before switching to water or cutting yourself off.
  21. Give yourself a curfew if you find that you can’t resist all the goodies the party offers.
  22. Know how to pour a glass of wine. Most people pour too much into a glass, meaning you may be consuming more calories than you are calculating. A serving of wine is 150-ml; you should be able to pour five glasses from one 750-ml bottle.
  23. Always pour wine with your glass on the table. You’ll be able to gauge how much is in your glass more accurately.
  24. Even if you’re enjoying passed appetisers and socializing while you eat, try to eat mindfully. Don’t go back to the buffet unless you are hungry.
  25. If you find yourself overindulging, don’t beat yourself up about it. Tomorrow’s another day to make smarter choices.

Read more at https://www.popsugar.com.au/fitness/How-Stay-Healthy-During-Christmas-Party-Season-36187476#PMqiXe9CzHGqe96m.99

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Healthy Inspirations Recipe of the Week – Cucumber & Salmon Appetisers

November 23, 2017

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Here’s a fresh appetiser that goes down a treat. Why just use cucumber, though? Use the filling in mushrooms or tomatoes, or as a side with breakfast eggs. Makes 16 (as an appetiser)

Ingredients

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp Tabasco sauce
250g cooked salmon
1 Tbsp minced shallots
1 Tbsp chopped chives
to taste salt and pepper
1 large cucumber
4 cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 bunch chives

Method

  1. Peel strips of skin from the cucumber to make stripes of green and white. Slice into 2cm discs.
  2. Combine the mayonnaise, paprika and Tabasco in a small bowl and mix well.
  3. Flake the salmon into bite-sized pieces. Place in a bowl with the shallots, chives, salt and pepper, and gently mix in the spicy mayonnaise. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
  4. Use a melon baller to scoop out half the seeds from each cucumber slice to make a small cup.
  5. Divide the salmon mix between the cucumber cups, and garnish each with a cherry tomato slice and a couple of chive tops.

Healthy Inspirations Recipe of the Week – Turmeric Fish

November 16, 2017
  • 2 Tbsp ground turmerichi
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 4 white fish fillets
  • 1 lime
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 cup chopped fresh coriander leaves and stalks
  1. Preheat the oven to 200o C on fan bake.
  2. Combine ginger, turmeric, garlic, soy sauce, lime juice, lemon juice and olive oil into a bowl.
  3. Fold in the finely chopped coriander.
  4. Tear off 4 pieces of baking paper, each large enough to form a loose wrap for one fish fillet. Place the fish on baking paper and pour ¼ of the sauce over the top of each fish. Close the fish parcels, allowing a bit of space for steam to build up. To stop any leaks you can wrap the fish in foil as well as baking paper.
  5. Bake for 10-15 minutes until cooked through.
  6. Serve immediately with your choice salad or vegetables.

Recipe from Healthy Inspirations https://healthyinspirations.com.au/inspire-news-november-2017/
Originally through Yum Paleo

KIDS WITH TYPE 2 DIABETES IS RISING. BUT DIETARY CHANGES CAN HELP

November 4, 2017

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Data from the huge SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth study – that includes more than a whopping 20,000 participants – reports the incidence of type 2 diabetes is increasing in our children.1 We are talking a 7% rise annually between 2002 and 2012.

Until recently, type 2 diabetes was referred to as ‘adult-onset’. Now, kids as young as 3 years are being diagnosed.

Type 2 diabetes is largely preventable, yet can lead to significant health issues, including cardiovascular disease,2 blindness, amputations and even reduced length of life. This is aside from onerous the day-to-day monitoring and management, and symptoms such as depression and a poorer quality of life.3;4

Causes of type 2 diabetes are multifactorial, with familial, lifestyle and environmental factors at play.

From a dietary perspective, to reduce the risk of developing the condition here are some things to consider for you and your kids.

Reduce added sugar intake
Surprise! Too much sweet stuff may contribute to the onset of type 2 diabetes – especially regular consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages. Leave the highly refined sweet stuff behind, and replace with whole foods like fruit and healthful drinks like water and unsweetened tea.

Replace refined and heavily processed foods with real foods
Any food far removed from its original state should be limited. Heavily refined oils and trans-fats should be replaced with less processed oils and healthy fats, such as olive oil, nuts, avocado and oily fish.

Fibre-less flours can be just as detrimental to the body as added sugars. Instead, choose whole foods that are low in glycaemic load, swapping white rice for quinoa, or white flour for ground buckwheat, coconut or almond meal. 

Create a healthy gut
The state of our intestinal microbiome can influence our health in a variety of ways. Recent research indicates the prevalence of certain gut bugs may be linked to precursors of type 2 diabetes. Considering our diet hugely affects which microbial populations of the intestine thrive or decline, more attention should be paid to keeping those helpful guts bugs nourished to keep the unhelpful ones at bay.

A great place to start is limiting intake of heavily processed foods while ensuring fibre intake is up and enjoying some fermented foods.

Stabilize blood glucose fluctuations
Enabling blood sugar highs followed by almighty lows increases the risk for pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes. You can manage the blood sugar swing by eating regularly throughout a day, ensuring meals and snacks are comprised of ingredients offering fibre, healthy fats and protein. This offers a slow, steady release of energy to the body and therefore avoids the extreme fluctuation in blood glucose levels and high demand for insulin production. 

Enjoy plenty of anti-inflammatory foods
Blood concentrations of inflammatory markers such as CRP, TNF-a, & IL-6 are elevated in type 2 diabetes. While inflammation has it’s role in the body – such as healing the skin of a grazed knee – we don’t want to be living in high and chronically inflamed state. Choose to eat foods that keep inflammation in check, such as leafy greens, deep coloured berries, fresh herbs and spices, and heaps of vegetables.

Chat with a pro
Overall, if you’ve concerns or a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes has already been made, please do chat with your trusted healthcare professional. They can run tests and work with you on a personalized diet, lifestyle and (if necessary) medical treatment plan to help turn type 2 diabetes around.

By Angela Johnson (BHSc Nut. Med)

http://thatsugarfilm.com/blog/2017/10/12/kids-with-type-2-diabetes-is-rising-but-dietary-changes-can-help/

Volunteering & its surprising Benefits.

October 29, 2017

volunteers

How Giving to Others Makes You Healthier & Happier.
There are many benefits to volunteering such as:

Connecting you with others

One of the better-known benefits of volunteering is the impact on the community. Unpaid volunteers are often the glue that holds a community together. Volunteering allows you to connect to your community and make it a better place. However, volunteering is a two-way street, and it can benefit you as much as the cause you choose to help. Dedicating your time as a volunteer helps you make new friends, expand your network, and boost your social skills.

Make new friends and contacts

One of the best ways to make new friends and strengthen existing relationships is to commit to a shared activity together. Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, especially if you are new to an area. Volunteering also strengthens your ties to the community and broadens your support network, exposing you to people with common interests, neighbourhood resources, and fun and fulfilling activities.

Enhance your social and relationship skills

While some people are naturally outgoing, others are shy and have a hard time meeting new people. Volunteering gives you the opportunity to practice and develop your social skills, since you are meeting regularly with a group of people with common interests. Once you have momentum, it’s easier to branch out and make more friends and contacts.

Team building and bonding

While it might be a challenge to coordinate everyone’s schedules, volunteering as a team has many worthwhile benefits. By giving back to the community together, you make a connection through a shared experience which is ultimately making a difference. You will understand how good it feels to help others and enact change. It’s also a valuable way for you to get to know organizations in the community and find resources and activities that you may continue outside of work hours.

Good for mind and body

Volunteering increases self-confidence. Volunteering can provide a healthy boost to your self-confidence, self-esteem, and life satisfaction. You are doing good for others and the community, which provides a natural sense of accomplishment. Your role as a volunteer can also give you a sense of pride and identity. And the better you feel about yourself, the more likely you are to have a positive view of your life and future goals.

Volunteering combats depression. Reducing the risk of depression is another important benefit of volunteering. A key risk factor for depression is social isolation. Volunteering keeps you in regular contact with others and helps you develop a solid support system, which in turn protects you against stress and depression when you’re going through challenging times.

Volunteering helps you stay physically healthy. Volunteering is good for your health at any age, but it’s especially beneficial in older adults. Studies have found that those who volunteer have a lower mortality rate than those who do not, even when considering factors like the health of the participants. Volunteering has also been shown to lessen symptoms of chronic pain or heart disease.

Good for your career

If you’re considering a new career, volunteering can help you get experience in your area of interest and meet people in the field. Even if you’re not planning on changing careers, volunteering gives you the opportunity to practice important skills used in the workplace, such as teamwork, communication, problem solving, project planning, task management, and organization. You might feel more comfortable stretching your wings at work once you’ve honed these skills in a volunteer position first.

Provides career experiences

Volunteering offers you the chance to try out a new career without making a long-term commitment. It is also a great way to gain experience in a new field. In some fields, you can volunteer directly at an organization that does the kind of work you’re interested in. For example, if you’re interested in nursing, you could volunteer at a hospital or a nursing home. Your volunteer work might also expose you to professional organizations or internships that could be of benefit to your career.

Enhance or learn valuable job skills

Just because volunteer work is unpaid does not mean the skills you learn are basic. Many volunteering opportunities provide extensive training. For example, you could become an experienced crisis counselor while volunteering for a women’s shelter or a knowledgeable art historian while donating your time as a museum docent.

Volunteering can also help you build upon skills you already have and use them to benefit the greater community. For instance, if you hold a successful sales position, you raise awareness for your favourite cause as a volunteer advocate, while further developing and improving your public speaking, communication, and marketing skills.

It’s fun and fulfilling!

Volunteering is a fun and easy way to explore your interests and passions. Doing volunteer work you find meaningful and interesting can be a relaxing, energizing escape from your day-to-day routine of work, school, or family commitments. Volunteering also provides you with renewed creativity, motivation, and vision that can carry over into your personal and professional life.

Many people volunteer in order to make time for hobbies outside of work as well. For instance, if you have a desk job and long to spend time outdoors, you might consider volunteering to help plant a community garden, lead local hikes, or help at a children’s camp.

Do something you love and give back to our community!

Healthy Inspirations Recipe of the Week – Raspberry butter sauce with crispy salmon & salad

October 26, 2017

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The raspberries in this sauce make the easy-to-cook salmon a really special dish. Toss the salad greens in the sauce or drizzle the sauce over the salmon – whatever suits your tastes better. Serves 2

Ingredients

2 salmon fillets, skin on
1 Tbsp oil
20 raspberries
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
pinch sea salt
salad greens

Method

  1. Lightly salt both sides of the salmon. Heat oil in a fry pan over medium-high heat until the oil is hot and starts to crackle a little. Place the salmon in the pan, skin side down, and cook until browned and no longer sticks to the pan, about 3 minutes.
  2. Turn the fish over and cook about 3-5 minutes. If the middle is still not cooked to your liking, lower the heat a little and cover the salmon with a lid for a few minutes.
  3. To make the sauce, blend the raspberries and melted butter in a blender until smooth. Scrape into a bowl and mix in the vinegar and sea salt.
  4. Toss with greens and/or drizzle over the salmon.

Healthy Inspirations Recipe of the Week – Banana & Prune Muffins

October 19, 2017

banana-prune-muffins
Serves 4

Ingredients

2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 ripe banana
100g prunes, chopped
2 eggs
6 scoops Protein Powder Vanilla Cream
1/2 cup almond meal
2 Tbsp sour cream

Method

  1. Place melted coconut oil in a bowl. Add mashed banana and chopped prunes and mix.
  2. Add eggs and sour cream and mix well.
  3. Add Proti Powder and almond meal and mix to combine.
  4. Place in muffin pans and bake at 170 C for about 20 minutes, or until the tops are lightly browned.

HSC advice from someone who survived

October 15, 2017

hsc

It’s hard to avoid the impression that your Year 12 mark matters immensely. But remember, there are many pathways to where you want to go, and that number you think is all-important will eventually be forgotten, writes Dom Knight.

Today is the first day of the HSC, those three letters calculated to terrify Year 11 and 12 students and which I still can’t hear without experiencing flashbacks.

So, to all HSC and other Year 12 students, please allow me to offer you my sincerest condolenceswish you the very best of luck!

Talk to anyone who’s slogged through and obtained the NSW qualification, or the VCE or WACE or anything like it, and they’ll tell you that end-of-school exams are a uniquely cruel prank to play on 17-year-olds, especially when uni is never anything like as harrowing as the hoops you have to jump through to get there.

On the bright side, today is the first day of a few weeks of inconvenience you have to endure before getting on with the rest of your life, whatever that may entail. Which is hugely exciting.

Here are a few things that might help you transition from the ranks of those dreading their end-of-school exams to those delighted that they’ll never have to do them again.

Sleep

You’ll be tempted to stay up all night cramming, but that really isn’t a smart idea. You’ve been studying all year. You’ve done the trials. You almost certainly know everything you need to know already, and the honest truth is that exhaustion will probably hurt your performance more than stuffing your brain full of last-minute facts will benefit it. Worst of all, you might end up confusing yourself in your exhaustion.

Get a good pen

Boringly practical, I know – but if you’ve got a crappy biro, you’ll write less and your hand will cramp. Get one of those nifty rollerball pens where the ink flows freely without needing any pressure from your hand. I got ridiculous and bought a fountain pen because I thought it would let me write the most, but there’s no need to get that stupid unless you get a kick out of the idea. Oh, and get some spares, too.

Plan your essay answers

As a humanities guy, my HSC experience was full of 40 minute essays. Despite the temptation to start writing immediately, things always went better when I took a minute or two to work out some kind of logical structure.

Unfortunately HSC markers still don’t recognise listicles like this one, so you will need to construct some kind of an argument. Being ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ isn’t really a possibility – it’s all about trying to write convincingly.

Find a way to take your mind off it

In Year 12, I convinced myself that what I should do right before any exam was play Tetris on my monochrome Nintendo Game Boy, because it’s impossible to freak out about how maybe you’ve forgotten certain key characteristics of flowering plants when there are different-shaped blocks to stack to the sound of a mesmeric Russian folksong.

These days you probably have far more sophisticated games on your phone, but the point is the same – we benefit from taking our minds out of a stressful situation. Whether it’s having a bath, lying in the sun or going for a swim, having some brain downtime will help.

Know that courses with higher entry requirements aren’t necessarily better

At school, I had my heart set on a certain course because it was supposed to be prestigious, and I thought that if I got into it, everyone would think I was smart. I’d never even thought of that particular career before my ego and my insecurity combined to tell me that I should do it.

I got into the course, and got my qualification, but I’ve never been sure that it was a good decision – I’ve never really used it, and all it ended up giving me were a few more years at uni. In other words, I made a dumb decision because I wanted people to think I was smart. Better to be honest about what you’d really enjoy doing, and be good at.

Treat yourself

I’m not saying go out and rampage through every outlet at your nearest food court, but this is not the time to be imposing a rigorous new diet. I wouldn’t have made it through the HSC without regular splurges on chocolate and ice cream, but your rewards program can work in other ways, too – two hours of study might buy one more episode of an entertaining TV show, or whatever works.

Don’t worry – there are lots of pathways to where you want to go

These days, there are lots of ways to get into just about any field. Most programs are available at graduate level, for instance, and Melbourne Uni is pioneering a model where everybody does generalist degrees when they first leave school. What this means is that while a mark that exceeds your target will let you get into a certain course, not getting in this time around won’t permanently exclude you. It’s tempting to feel that school exams are an all-or-nothing scenario, but they really aren’t.

Or you might not know what you want to do, which seems scary but is really quite liberating – it’s OK to take a few years to find out.

Drink cups of tea

Coffee before an exam, perhaps, but I’ve always tended to drink a lake’s worth of herbal tea when I had to do a lot of studying or writing. Somehow, it’s very soothing. I particularly recommend peppermint or rooibos.

Find out about your heroes, and how they did at school

It’s hard to avoid the impression that your Year 12 mark matters immensely. Looking at the biography of just about anybody who you admire will show you that in fact, school results are a very minor thing in the context of most people’s lives. In terms of my heroes, very few hilarious comedians, great writers or excellent musicians did brilliantly at school, and even if they did, their marks didn’t particularly help them to become who they ended up being.

Get ready never to talk about your mark again

After the second week of uni, it becomes socially unacceptable to mention any high school accomplishment, and especially your mark – unless you do really well and the newspaper rings up 20 years later, I guess. You might put it on your first graduate job application, but you probably won’t ever again after that. A few decades on, even you will struggle to remember the number that right now means everything.

Good luck, and I hope you get the mark you want – but if it doesn’t work out that way, you’ll almost certainly still be absolutely fine. You may even be considerably better off if you avoid a course you don’t really want to do.

Regardless, in a few week’s time, you’ll never have to wear a school uniform again, and that fact alone makes it well worth saying – congratulations!

Dominic Knight is the NSW/ACT Evenings presenter on ABC Local Radio.
Article sourced from: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-10-12/knight-hsc-advice-from-someone-who-survived/6847466