So much of health is all about habits and actions, but where do these all stem from? What if we don’t have to make as many changes as we think we do? What if there was one powerful thing that makes a lot of difference?
That thing is mindset.
Mindset is sometimes called “the story we tell ourselves.” It’s our attitude toward things in our life. And we have control over our mindset.
And research is showing that it may be far more powerful than we thought.
Here’s a quick story about a fascinating study.
Researchers at Stanford University looked at a bunch of people’s health and wellness lifestyle habits, as well as health markers.
What they found was that the people who thought they were a lot less active than they actually were, had a higher risk of death than the general public. And, they also had up to 71% higher risk of death than people who thought they were more active. Even if the story they told themselves about being “not very active” wasn’t true!
How is this even possible that people who simply thought they were less active had higher risks, even if it wasn’t true?
There are a couple of ideas why. Firstly, one is that maybe if we feel like we’re less active, it may make us feel more stressed. And stress isn’t good for our mental or physical health. Secondly, there may be a bit of a mind-body connection where the body embodies what the mind visualises.
Researchers don’t know why, but what matters is that there is a good mindset.
This means that our mindset, the way we think about ourselves and our habits is extremely important…just as important as actually having good habits.
So, let me give you a couple of strategies to boost your mindset for health.
Almost no one eats perfectly seven days a week (not even me, and I’ll be the first to admit it). It’s inevitable that obsessing over the quality and quantity of everything we eat or drink isn’t necessarily a great mindset to have.
It can bring on binging, shame, and guilt – none of these are great ways to get healthy. We want to get healthier by making better choices and building better habits. And these are usually best done incrementally – one step at a time.
So, instead of having a black and white approach where everything is good or bad, why not try aiming for good enough to empower ourselves to make better choices, instead of perfect choices.
If it helps, tell yourself that you’re doing an experiment. Allow yourself to try out a new habit or way of eating and give yourself permission to experiment with it, instead of aiming for perfection. Sometimes you need to use this mind trick to get yourself over the hump of getting started and sticking to it.
When you try to “earn” a gluttonous weekend by eating clean during the week, you’re making a trade-off. You’re telling yourself that, as long as you’re good most of the week, you can go wild on the weekend.
And that’s not awesome because the mindset is jumping from one extreme to the other. You’re controlling what you do all week, and possibly thinking about how to indulge over the weekend. A better mindset is to live as though you’re trying to do well every single day. Like you care about your health and wellness. Caring about your health can still include the occasional treat. When you’re consistently doing your best, that’s good enough.
For support in creating a mindset for health contact Kate for a free 15 minute phone consultation.
Creating a mindset for health can be a powerful tool for better physical health. There’s a proven mind-body connection that research can measure.
Thinking positively, and dropping the black/white and good/bad labels, can help you reach your health goals.
How is your mindset for health? Which of these tips resonate with you the most? How are you going to implement them in your life? Let me know in the comments below.
1 tbsp chia seeds
¼ cup raspberries
¼ tsp mint
2.5 cups water
Add the water, mint & raspberries to your blender and blend until combined (add ice, if desired). Fill your favourite water bottle with the mixture and add chia seeds. Shake before drinking.
Serve & enjoy! This is a great source of fiber and a refreshing tasty drink to have during the day.
Do you love your breakfast? Do you have a short list of “go-to” recipes? Would you like a bit of inspiration to start eating breakfast again? Check out my 3 must eat breakfast foods.
Getting some protein at each meal can help with blood sugar management, sustaining energy levels through the day and weight loss. This is because protein helps you feel fuller longer and releases energy slowly through the day. So I’m going to show you how to get the protein, as well as some veggies and healthy fats that will be your soon-to-be favourite new “go-to” breakfast foods.
Yes, eggs are the “quintessential” breakfast food. And for good reason!
No, I’m not talking about processed egg whites in a carton. I mean actual whole “eggs”.
Egg whites are mostly protein while the yolks are the real nutritional powerhouses. Those yolks contain vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and healthy fats.
Eggs have been shown to help you feel full, keep you feeling fuller longer, and help to stabilise blood sugar and insulin.
Not to mention how easy it is to boil a bunch of eggs and keep them in the fridge for a “grab and go” breakfast when you’re running short on time.
And…nope the cholesterol in eggs is not associated with an increased risk of arterial or heart diseases.
One thing to consider is to try to prevent cooking the yolks at too high of a temperature because that can cause some of the cholesterol to become oxidised. It’s the oxidised cholesterol that’s unhealthy for the heart.
The healthiest way to cook eggs is to poach them in boiling water for 5 minutes so the egg yolk is still runny. Frying, scrambling and boiling are also ok too.
Nuts and seeds contain protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and fibre. Nuts and/or seeds would make a great contribution to breakfast.
You won’t be fooled by “sugared” nuts, sweetened nut/seed butters, or chia “cereals” with added sugars – you know I’m talking about the real, whole, unsweetened food here.
Nuts and seeds are also the ultimate fast food if you’re running late in the mornings. Grab a small handful of almonds, walnuts, or pumpkin seeds as you’re running out the door; you can nosh on them while you’re commuting.
Not to mention how easy it is to add a spoonful of nut/seed butter into your morning breakfast smoothie.
They’re also great in granola or muesli, or chopped up on your porridge.
Hint: If you like a creamy latte in the mornings try making one with nut or seed butter. Just add your regular hot tea and a tablespoon or two of a creamy nut or seed butter into your blender & blend until frothy.
Yes, you already know you really should get protein at every meal including breakfast; but this also applies to veggies. You know I would be remiss to not recommend veggies at every meal, right?
Veggies are powerhouses of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals, fibre, and water. You can’t go wrong adding them into every single meal of the day so if you don’t already you should definitely try them for breakfast!
And no, you don’t need to have a salad or roasted veggies for breakfast if you don’t want to but you totally can! You wouldn’t be breaking any “official” breakfast rules or anything like that.
Adding some protein to leftover veggies is a great combination for any meal. Including breakfast.
If you like me to look over your diet and give you more healthy breakfast ideas, book an appointment on the contact page here.
I’ve included a delicious recipe below for you to try (and customise) for your next breakfast.
1 teaspoon coconut oil
¼ cup veggies (grated zucchini and/or sliced mushrooms and/or diced peppers)
Pinch salt, pepper and/or turmeric
Add coconut oil to a frying pan and melt on low-medium heat (cast-iron pans are preferred).
In the meantime grab a bowl and beat the egg(s) with your vegetables of choice and the spices.
Tilt pan to ensure the bottom is covered with the melted oil. Pour egg mixture into pan and lightly fry the eggs without stirring.
When the bottom is lightly done flip over in one side and cook until white is no longer runny.
Serve & Enjoy!
Tip: Substitute grated, sliced, or diced portion of your favourite vegetable. Try grated carrots, chopped broccoli or diced tomato.
Sometimes those Christmas feasts are just amazing.
And it’s not just the abundance of delicious food but also the people, the decorations, and the ambiance.
It is way too easy (and common) to indulge on those days.
But it doesn’t always stop there.
Sometimes we overeat on regular days. Or at regular meals. Or All. The. Time.
Here are 3 ways to avoid overeating at Christmas.
(Psst, turn these into habits and ditch the willpower!)
When your stomach is growling and you smell amazingly delicious food it’s too easy to fill a plate (or grab some samples with your bare hands) and dive into the food.
But did you know that it’s possible to sometimes confuse the feeling of thirst with that of hunger? Your stomach may actually be craving a big glass of water rather than a feast.
Some studies have shown that drinking a glass or two of water before a meal can help reduce the amount of food eaten. And this super-simple tip may even help with weight loss (…just sayin’).
Not only will the water start to fill up your stomach before you get to the buffet, leaving less room for the feast but drinking enough water has been shown to slightly increase your metabolism.
For more advice on how to avoid overindulging at Christmas and for weight loss, contact Nutritionist Kate.
You’ve heard of mindfulness but have you applied that to your eating habits?
This can totally help you avoid overeating as well as having the added bonus of helping your digestion.
Just as being mindful when you meditate helps to focus your attention on your breathing and the present moment being mindful when you eat helps to focus your attention on your meal.
Do this by taking smaller bites, eating more slowly, chewing more thoroughly, and savouring every mouthful. Notice and appreciate the smell, taste and texture. Breathe.
This can help prevent overeating because eating slower often means eating less.
When you eat quickly you can easily overeat because it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to know that your stomach is full.
So take your time, pay attention to your food and enjoy every bite.
Bonus points: Eat at a table (not in front of the screen), off of a small plate, and put your fork down between bites.
You may be yearning for that rich, creamy main dish.
But don’t start there.
(Don’t worry, you can have some…just after you’ve eaten your salad).
Veggies are a great way to start any meal because they’re full of not only vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and health-promoting phytochemicals but they also have some secret satiety weapons: fibre and water.
Fibre and water are known to help fill you up and make you feel fuller. They’re “satiating”.
And these secret weapons are great to have on your side when you’re about to indulge in a large meal.
Have your glass of water, eat mindfully, and start with your salad to help avoid overeating at meals.
If you’re not much of a plain water drinker or need your water to be more appealing to your senses here are five delicious (and beautiful looking) fruit combos to add to your large glass of water:
Slices of lemon & ginger
Slices of strawberries & orange
Slices of apple & a cinnamon stick
Chopped pineapple & mango
Blueberries & raspberries
Tip: You can buy a bag (or several bags) of frozen chopped fruit and throw those into your cup, thermos, or uber-cool mason jar in the morning. They’re already washed and cut and will help keep your water colder longer.
We all tend to overindulge over Christmas with all the chocolates and mince pies available. It is okay to enjoy Christmas treats as long as you get back on track afterwards. I will share my 5 quick ways to lose weight after a holiday binge so you can get back in shape fast!
Copyright: stockbroker / 123RF Stock Photo
Many people believe that dieting is the best way to lose weight. They have tried all the popular diets such as the Atkins diet, 5:2 diet and juice fast diet. Somehow they always end up putting the weight back on and more after finishing the diet. Why is this? When you suddenly fast your body goes into starvation mode and your metabolism slows down to conserve energy. When you eventually give in to your body’s signal to eat, your body holds on to more fat in case there is a famine again. This is a negative cycle of dieting and putting on weight. So now I will explain how to lose weight and keep it off.
The best way to lose weight is to eat healthily. Making gradually changes to your diet including reducing processed, sugary foods and increasing the amount of vegetables and protein in your diet will help to support your body in losing weight and keeping it off. Make it a long-term lifestyle change, not a fad diet.
Here I will tell you how to lose weight and keep it off with my foods to eat and foods to avoid for weight loss:
Make your meal plate in these proportions for weight loss.
When you calorie count it stresses you out and does not work in the long-term. Eat 3 meals per day and a few healthy snacks to give your body all the nutrients it needs.
If you would like a personalised diet plan for weight loss, contact Kate on 07652 868342 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
It’s the new year! January is a great time to detox your body so that you are fresh as the new year begins. I have written these 10 steps as a guide to help you to achieve your new year’s resolution of detoxing. Here are my top 10 tips for detoxing including simple but effective ways to detox.
I hope my top 10 tips for detoxing have inspired you to start cleansing your body. If you would like more information on detoxing, contact Kate on 07562 868342 for a free 15 minute nutrition consultation.