5 Tips to Kick the Flu this winter

While nothing can completely stop a cold in its tracks, a healthy immune system can help ward off the germs that cause colds and the flu. A healthy immune system can even minimize a cold’s duration

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can provide a challenge during the cold months. As the temperature drops, it’s tempting to abandon our healthy eating habits and exercise regimen for comfort food and huddling indoors.

However, keeping well-nourished is important in keeping our immune system firing and to ward off winter bugs. Following these tips can help you stay healthy through winter.

 

Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables.
Fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants which can boost your immune system. Fruits and vegetables that are in season are great to make hot stewed fruit or soups and casseroles – perfect warming foods for a cold winter’s day.

Watch your portion sizes.
To avoid a winter waistline try using a smaller plate, filling half your plate with vegetables, and avoiding distractions (like the TV) at meal times. Try to reduce ‘non-hungry eating’ by asking yourself whether you are actually hungry or whether instead you might be looking to food because you are bored or tired.

Keep hydrated.
Even when it’s cold out, you still need to drink 6-8 glasses of fluid each day. Remember that a warm cup of non-caffeinated tea counts!

Enjoy some sunshine.
The shorter days in winter mean we get less exposure to the sun, which can lead to a drop in vitamin D and serotonin. This drop can affect our mood and we may be more inclined to reach for high calorie comfort foods to make us feel better temporarily. This in turn impacts our immunity. Try spending some time outdoors during your lunch break or go for a quick walk before or after work.

Keep active.
Put your layers on and head outside for a walk or find an indoor sport or exercise class you enjoy. Increase your incidental exercise by taking the stairs instead of the lift or parking further away from your destination.

Success Story- Lihana – “Its not a diet, its a lifestyle”

Lihana has done amazing in her weight loss journey following her personalized meal plan, she has been so positive and determined from the start, to take charge of her health. Lihana shares her journey and what she has learnt through this amazing and inspiring transformation!

Kirby: How much weight have you lost in total?
Lihana: I weighed 79.9kg when I came to you, I now weigh 71.7kg. A total of around 8.2kg in 4 months.

Kirby: What was the most difficult part of the diet plan?
Lihana: I am a mom of a 3 year old and it is so easy to lose yourself in motherhood, work and being a wife. I have tried all types of diets and nothing was sustainable. In my mind I was quite healthy but I came to the realization that I actually don’t eat a lot, but when I do I eat all the wrong types of food. The biggest challenge was the mindset change and to realise that this will not be a quick fix but a LIFESTYLE. I had to decide to do this for me and in that way I can be an example to my daughter, of how to be healthy and it does not have to cost you a fortune to cook nutritious meals.

Kirby: What was the easiest part of this journey?
Lihana: The easiest part was the weigh in sessions with you as the anticipation of your results can be quite exciting.

Kirby: Can you share some tips and give advice to others in your shoes, just starting the diet plan?
Lihana: Do not see it as a diet, this must be a lifestyle change. You must do it for yourself and you will not lose the weight in one week, you definitely did not pick the up weight overnight. ALWAYS remember where you started and that will make the end result so worth it. Every kg, cm and body fat % I lost was like a brick off my shoulders.

I feel great and I cant wait to cook myself healthy real food! I actually eat a lot these days but I love every meal. Stay true to yourself and don’t overthink it JUST DO IT! 🙂

I am so glad I got to meet Kirby from Alex Royal Dietetics. She has guided me and supported me all the way.

The Ketogenic Diet: What its all about…

In case you missed Kirby’s interview on Heart Radio Station, see Q&A below…

What is a keto diet?

The keto diet is a very high fat (70-80% of total calories), extremely low carb (less than 80g but can be reduced to 20-30g per day), moderate protein diet.

What is ketosis?

The idea is that when you deprive your body especially your brain of its primary fuel source (carbohydrates -starchy veg, all grains, all sources of sugar or fruit) it forces the body to use an alternative fuel source, fat for energy instead. This causes the body to produce something called ketones. These are chemicals made by the liver that can be used by cells for energy. When you are in this state, it’s called being in ketosis.

Is a keto diet safe?

A ketogenic diet could be an interesting alternative to treat certain conditions, and may accelerate weight loss. But it is hard to follow and it can be heavy on red meat and other fatty, processed, and salty foods that are notoriously unhealthy. We also do not know much about its long-term effects, probably because it’s so hard to stick with that people can’t eat this way for a long time, so we need more evidence to fully understand long term effects.

How do you know when your body is in ketosis?

Once ketone levels in the blood rise to a certain point, which you can test with a urine dipstick. This also depends on how strict you limit your carbs as well as other factors: genetics, medical history, body composition, energy needs.

What foods can you eat on a keto diet?

A few examples include:

Fats- olive oil, coconut oil, grass fed butter, lard, some nuts and seeds, avo.

Veg- cruciferous, leafy greens, asparagus, cucumber, zucchini etc.

Protein- grass fed meat, poultry, eggs, bone broth, wild caught fish, organ meats, some full fat dairy.

Is a keto diet safe for the kidneys? -do you have an answer to this one?

It should be, if done correctly as you are not increasing your protein at all. The concern is more the liver, heart and arteries.

Is ketosis safe for diabetics?

Ketosis has been shown to improve blood sugar control in patients with type 2 diabetes at least in the short term. *no long term studies have concluded this, more research is required.

What can you drink on the keto diet?

  • Water
  • Unsweetened coffee+tea
  • Bone broth
  • Bullet proof coffee
  • Kombucha
  • Kefir