Eating for the Winter Season

Winter is a time where your metabolism slows down, your immune system is put to the test and you tend to feel the effects of being tired, unmotivated and lethargic. Many are also driven to comfort foods which can cause weight gain and healthy eating can be put on hold.

Here are 5 effective ways to increase energy in winter so you can strengthen your immune system, stop the cold and flu symptoms from appearing and continue with healthy eating:

Stick to routine

You’ve been waking up at 5 am and getting to the gym 4 times a week since January  – don’t break this habit now. However, it’s also really important to remember that quality sleep is vital for good health. Poor sleep can impact on everyday life affecting concentration, mood, stress levels and weight gain. Aim to get into bed early and enjoy around 8 hours of deep sleep.

Stay hydrated

Staying well hydrated will give you more energy, mental clarity and enhanced digestive function. If you are struggling to get in your 2l a day – opt for herbal teas to warm up from the inside.

Don’t be afraid of the outdoors 

A refreshing walk outdoors might be all you need to get that energy boost and a little dose of Vitamin D. Rainy? Do 30 minutes of yoga or stretching in the comfort of your own home.

Load up on goodness

Make sure that you are eating enough vegetables throughout the day. Aim for foods rich in the antioxidants vitamin C and beta-carotene, such as citrus fruit, cabbage, broccoli, pumpkin, sweet potato, and spinach. To fight off infections,  increase your intake of zinc, which is found in fish, oysters, poultry, eggs, milk and unprocessed grains.

In addition, try include a healthy level of good bacteria.  Fermented dairy products such as kefir and yoghurt—and sauerkraut—provide live cultures.

Snack

Grab the right snacks – fruit, nuts, yoghurt or a warm cup of tea with a delicious homemade oats biscuit. Steer clear from baked goods or snacks high in sugar.

Try our delicious variations of healthy and super nutritious snacks:

  • Oat and fruit bars – http://alexroyaldiet.co.za/oat-and-fruit-bars
  • Cocoa coconut and date balls – http://alexroyaldiet.co.za/cocoa-coconut-and-date-balls
  • Superfood health nut mix – http://alexroyaldiet.co.za/superfood-health-nut-mix

 

 

 

5 Quick Fixes for those Nasty Tummy Issues

It’s that time of year where everyone seems to either be run down with the “Summer-is-over-Winter-is-approaching-flu” or a bedridden tummy bug. A healthy diet and bed rest can do wonders but if you have been victim to the dreaded tummy bug then try these ‘quick’ fixes to give your gut the boost it needs. The gut is after all the most important aspect when it comes to our immune defense system.

  1. Activated charcoal

Activated charcoal is a unique form of charcoal (different to the ashes that remain after a braai), that binds to toxins in the gut alleviating symptoms of gas, bloating or other IBS related complications such as cramping and diarrhoea. Activated charcoal comes in a fine powder, granules, tablets and capsules.

Whichever form you choose, always take it with a big glass of water and at least two hours away from food and more importantly, medications and other supplements. Find activated charcoal at any Wellness Warehouse or health shop. Be sure to follow the recommended dosage instructions on the product.

  1. Glutamine and zinc

Glutamine is an essential amino acid that is anti-inflammatory and necessary for the growth and repair of your intestinal lining. Zinc can alter your gut bacteria and low levels of zinc can contribute to poor zinc absorption, which is in itself a problem. Both glutamine and zinc act as a powerful tummy healing remedy.

  1. Omega 3

Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation, which can reduce some of the symptoms related to acute and chronic digestive problems. Omega 3 can be found in salmon and sardines. These two provide us with most of the health benefits attributed to omega-3 fatty acids.

Other sources include seeds and nut oils such as flaxseeds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds and soybeans.

  1. Probiotics (and prebiotics)

Probiotics are the most important supplement to take because it helps replenish good bacteria and helps get rid of bad bacteria. Probiotic rich foods include fermented vegetables (see below), yoghurt, buttermilk and kefir.

  1. Bone broth and Fermented foods

Bone broth contains collagen and the amino acids proline and glycine that can help heal your damaged cell walls. Fermented foods contain organic acids that balance intestinal pH and probiotics to support the gut. Sauerkraut, kimchi and tempeh are excellent sources.

Also remember that bacteria feed off sugar so try to cut our refined carbohydrates and sugar altogether. Your tummy will thank you.

Hello Easter 2017

Have yourself a guilt-free Easter by trying these sneaky (and smart) eating tips:

  • Start your day off healthy: Go for your walk (or find your inner child and partake in the Easter egg hunt) and drink your green smoothie. Nothing sets you off more positively for the day.
  • Be drink-wise: Remember that alcohol is an empty calorie so try limit yourself to 1-2 units (for females) and 2-3 units (for males). Drink plenty of water throughout the day too.
  • Get in those veggies: Aim to fill up at least half your plate with salad and vegetables, that way there isn’t much space for the potato bake and pumpkin fritters.
  • Choose your indulgence: Avoid going overboard and stick to one treat. It’s either a second helping of roast, pudding after lunch or hot cross buns and a sneaky Easter egg, but not everything.
  • Start off the new week fresh: Easter break and school holidays are over, get back into routine with regular, healthy meals, lots of water and exercise. Try our Dietitians Guide to Clean Eating to kickstart your healthy eating regime. E-book now on sale for R199.00

 

Are You Ready For 2017?

Here are some great tips to start this year off with a BANG!

Eat Veggies at Every Meal

If you only eat veggies at dinner time, this tip is for you! Include veggies at every meal, even breakfast. Try spinach or cucumber in your smoothies and instead of snacking on processed foods like crackers, biscuits etc go for carrot or celery sticks to satisfy crunchy, salty cravings.

Include Protein, Fibre, and Healthy Fats at Every Meal

This is key to a balanced meal to help you feel full and satisfied and to stabilize blood sugar levels. Choose lean proteins (fish, chicken, eggs) and whole grains (rye bread, sweet potato, butternut) and legumes (beans, peas, lentils) for fibre and avocado, nuts, seeds, and olive oil for healthy fats.

Have a Salad as a Meal Everyday

Whether it’s a quinoa and black bean mason jar salad for lunch or a roasted butternut squash and kale salad for dinner, eating a salad for one meal not only helps you get your share of fibre and veggies, but since it’s low in calories, it’ll help you lose or maintain weight.

Make Lunch Your Biggest Meal

Consuming more calories midday than at breakfast or dinner ensures you have enough time to burn all those calories. Make sure you choice lean protein, high fibre, wholegrains and healthy fats.

Listen to your belly

Instead of putting the fork down when your plate is empty, eat slowly, and pay close attention to how your belly feels so you can stop eating when you’re satisfied but not stuffed.

Quit the Sugars!

Avoid the obvious culprits such as sweets, desserts, and cold drink, and also avoid processed foods, as these contain loads of hidden sugars. When sweet cravings strike, go for fresh or dried fruit or have a look at our healthy dessert recipes.

Be Consistent About Meal Planning

Choose one day a week where you can devote a few hours to plan, shop, and prep meals and snacks for the week. You’ll not only save time and money, but you’re more likely to stay on the healthy path once you have that intention set for the week.

Deprivation can cause you to binge

Denying yourself the bites you crave can backfire, causing you to feel deprived, resulting in binging and feeling depressed. So make a point to keep yourself happy and your cravings satisfied by allowing a small treat every so often, such as a square of dark chocolate or try our sugar free desserts and healthy snack alternatives.

You can do it!