Life Happens – Don’t Give Up On Your Health Goals

Life Happens – Don’t Give Up On Your Health Goals

You’re on a roll. You’re eating healthy, you’re getting into a workout routine and the pounds are starting to melt off. Then life happens. You get sick, your schedule changes, you’re tempted by your favorite treat. The reason really doesn’t matter. The truth is that you fell off the wagon and ate some unhealthy food and didn’t make it to your weekly workout. (more…)

Understanding Hypnosis

Understanding Hypnosis

Understanding Hypnosis!

This article was originally written for the Hypnosis Network and is featured on their website the link is at the bottom of this article.

I believe this is a very accurate and comprehensive account of Hypnosis one which I share in most part so rather than spending hours recreating the wheel I am sharing this.  Please understand it is only one interpretation of Hypnotherapy and I am sure not everyone will agree so take what you need from this so that if and when you decide to have a hypnosis session or buy a product online you will have a better idea of what to expect and the questions to ask before you commit your time and hard earned cash to that person or product. (more…)

The Dirt On Clean Eating

The Dirt On Clean Eating

This article was written for the https://www.hcf.com.au/content/hcf/home by Roseannah Shelson

We see the term ‘clean eating’ everywhere – in celebrity interviews, Instagrammed breakfasts, podcasts and diet books – but what does it mean, and is it healthy?

Rosannah Snelson
June 2017

Whether it’s sugar-free, organic, paleo or raw, every day we’re bombarded with advice on how to eat ‘clean’ and be healthy. The messages are often confusing, not to mention conflicting.

“There is general societal confusion around health, and if you take on board every bit of health literature out there, ultimately there’s nothing left to eat,” Sarah McMahon, Psychologist at BodyMatters Australasia said during a Radio National interview.

“There are a lot of diets and theories around food – raw movement, veganism, clean and pure eating – where there isn’t a great deal of research,” McMahon warns.

In today’s media environment just about anyone with an audience – from a chef or model to a blogger or TV personality – can offer advice on nutrition, despite being unqualified. This can lead to people making uninformed and unsafe decisions about their diet, and creates a culture where disordered or abnormal eating is largely normalised.

What is clean eating?

There’s no scientific definition of ‘clean eating’, but it seems to be based on healthy choices – eat plenty of wholegrains, fruits and vegetables; reduce salt, sugar and alcohol; and eliminate processed foods. The crux of clean eating is to consume food the way nature delivered it, or as close to this as possible.

Dietician Susie Burrell says, “Generally, the clean eating recommendations are a harmless, if not beneficial, dietary choice. It’s when people take it too far – cutting out all carbohydrates, sugar, dairy, grains or legumes for example – that clean eating can result in a number of dietary deficiencies.”

Health experts are so worried about the rise of obsessive eating that in 1997 they coined the term ‘orthorexia’, which means “fixation on righteous eating”. The main difference between orthorexia and anorexia is the fixation on perceived health, rather than weight loss, however weight loss often follows. People with orthorexia are obsessed with eating only foods they judge to be healthy; but the irony is that their health can actually end up suffering.

“This is one of the paradoxical elements of orthorexia, that someone is in the pursuit of health but the illness itself makes them unhealthy,” McMahon said.

The risks of clean eating

In the mind

Let’s start with the name. By defining some foods as ‘clean’, it implies that other foods are somehow ‘dirty’ or ‘bad’, and this isn’t a good mindset when it comes to healthy eating.

“Nutrition is complex; it’s not as simple as sorting foods in categories of good and bad and eliminating those seen to be ‘dirty’ or ‘impure’. Healthy eating is about a balanced approach to food and not demonising any particular food group,” Burrell reminds us.

While attempting to improve your diet is generally a good thing, if obsessive food behaviour starts to occupy too much of your time, or causes you stress, it may be masking other issues and you should seek professional advice.

“When diet and exercise habits start to negatively impact other areas of life, whether it be relationships, mood or anxiety over eating out, this is when we start to get concerned,” says Burrell.

Disordered eating conditions, such as orthorexia, can lead to a clinical eating disorder so if you think your attitude towards food has become unhealthy or obsessive, seek out help. Even if your GP isn’t a specialist in eating disorders, they can be a good first stop. Your GP can provide a referral to a dietician with specialised knowledge in health, nutrition and eating disorders. The Butterfly Foundation of Eating Disorders can help if you’re worried about your child or a loved one.

In the body

Generally, any diet that recommends cutting out entire food groups should be carefully examined – unless you have a medical reason to do so (e.g. lactose intolerance or coeliac disease). By excluding sugars, carbohydrates, dairy, or anything else, you run the risk of depriving yourself of important nutrients and upsetting the way your body functions.

In the case of sugar, most people can benefit from reducing their intake of processed sugars but “it’s when this obsession turns to all sugars, including starchy vegetables and fruits, as well as the majority of carbohydrate-rich foods like rice, bread, cereal, pasta, legumes and grains, that our nutrition starts to be negatively impacted,” says Burrell.

Avoiding fruits and vegetables is also a concern as this can cause your fibre intake to drop dramatically, particularly the types of fibre required to keep your bowels working well.

“When intake of fibre reduces initially, you’re unlikely to notice any significant change. But over time it’s common to see changes to bowel habits, reduced energy and feelings of fatigue,” says Burrell.

Avoiding carbohydrates can rapidly deplete fat stores, resulting in fast weight loss. While this initial effect may seem encouraging, it’s unhealthy. Your body may not be technically ‘starving’, but abnormally low levels of carbohydrate affect metabolism, appetite and cognitive functioning. When you begin eating normally again, you can experience rapid weight gain as your body clings to the extra calories.

“For some, this can lead to years of unhealthy dieting and a bad relationship with food,” warns Burrell.

Dairy is important for getting enough calcium and reducing your risk of weakened bones (osteopenia) and osteoporosis. If you can’t tolerate dairy and have been medically recommended to avoid it, seek advice from your dietitian on how to keep your calcium levels safe.

“For months you won’t notice any change, but as your body starts to realise it isn’t getting enough calcium, it’ll start to slow down some other functions, such as regulating muscle and heart functioning and nerve transmission,” says Burrell.

The bottom line

We live in a culture where diet messages are everywhere and anyone can spruik nutrition advice. It’s important to recognise that while well intentioned, being ‘too good’ can actually become a bad thing for your health and wellbeing.

“When things seem too good to be true, they usually are. Most extreme dietary changes, especially if they involve cutting out food groups, will have consequences. A balanced diet is still the way to go,” says Burrell.

McMahon agrees: “One of the main things we can come back to is the idea of moderation and balance.”

For more information and tips on a healthy diet according to the recommended guidelines, visit the Eat for Health website.

For information or support about eating disorders, contact the Butterfly Foundation for Eating Disorder’s National Helpline on 1800 33 4673 (Mon – Fri, 8am – 9pm AEST).

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5 Foods That Are Much Less Healthy Than You Think

5 Foods That Are Much Less Healthy Than You Think

There are several “healthy” foods that are not as good for you as you may think. Food manufacturers advertise these products as effective for delivering lots of nutrition, helping you lose weight, keeping your mind sharp, and offering other physical and mental health advantages. Unfortunately, all the advertising tricks in the world don’t change the chemical composition of a food item.

If something is unhealthy for you, it is simply unhealthy. Avoid the following 5 foods which are not as healthy as you thought they were, and your mental and body-based fitness efforts will receive a boost.

1 – High-Fiber Snack Bars and Protein Bars

The key here is reading labels. There are some energy bars, protein bars and high-fiber snack bars which are very good for you. Start reading food labels. Find those that don’t contain sugar, salt, added flavors and a long list of ingredients that end in -ite, -ate and -ose.

You also shouldn’t eat an entire day’s worth of fiber, roughly 25 g, in a single snack bar, as this can have a dramatically negative effect on your digestive system if you don’t eat fiber throughout the day.

2 – Low-Fat Foods

I bet there are some low-fat foods you like a lot. They taste delicious, don’t they? Well, think about this for a second. If the fat is removed, and fat provides incredible flavor, where is your flavor coming from? The answer is, in most cases, incredibly high doses of unhealthy, refined sugar. Your body needs healthy fats in moderation, which means enjoying guacamole or hummus instead of a fat-free food product.

3 – Orange Juice

Did you know it could take as many as 5 to 7 oranges to make a single glass of orange juice? Unfortunately, when you drink the juice you get all of the calories from all those oranges in one beverage! It’s why even 100% juice is jam-packed with tons of calories.

The natural sugar in all of those oranges can additionally cause a blood sugar spike. The natural fruit sugar (fructose) which gives many fruits their sweet taste tricks your body into gaining weight by not letting you realize when you are full. Avoid orange juice and drink a glass of water instead.

4 – “Health” Drinks

There are plenty of drinks touting amazing health properties. If they’ve got more than 3 ingredients, you probably should skip them. No matter how the ingredients are disguised, and manufacturers are very goodat disguising empty calories and simple carbohydrates like sugar, if there is a long list of ingredients, your healthy drink is probably anything but.

5 – Store-Bought Vegetable Patties

When you make your own vegetable patties and black bean burgers, you know exactly what you are putting into your body. Unfortunately, many of the frozen, processed vegetable patties you find in the frozen foods section of your local grocer have more fillers and binders than healthy vegetables. A lot of so-called healthy vegetable patties are extremely high in sodium and sugar as well.

3 Steps to Creating New Habits

3 Steps to Creating New Habits

Let’s talk about forming new habits. We all have times in our lives where we intentionally want to change our behavior for the better and create new habits for ourselves. This could be getting in the habit of eating healthier and drinking more water. Or it could be moving more and taking the dog for a daily walk. Or it could be work related, or spiritual, or… There are so many areas in our lives that could be improved and made easier if we created new habits. (more…)