Tips for Coping with Family Stress During the Pandemic

Tips for Coping with Family Stress During the Pandemic

(Guest article by Emma Grace Brown @ emmagracebrown.com)

The pandemic has forced most of us to make changes to our daily routine. For many, this means spending a lot more time at home than normal. While this is a great chance to make memories with your loved ones and bond with the other members of your household, it also heightens the potential for family tension and conflict. Keep reading to learn how you can reduce household stress and ensure that everyone gets along during this strange time.

Prioritize Health and Wellness

Your household is going to have a much easier time getting along if everyone is feeling their best, so try to make health and wellness a priority! Wellness4Life can help you develop a health plan and find ways to bring more wellness to your family’s pandemic routine through diet, exercise, and other healthy habits. For example, regular exercise will have a wide range of benefits on everyone’s mood and energy levels. Whether you prefer to take walks around your neighborhood or follow online workout videos, a good exercise routine will help reduce the negative effects of being confined in the house and keep everyone feeling calm and relaxed.

Keep Everyone Well-Fed

Diet will also play an important role in keeping your household happy and healthy during the pandemic. According to Mental Health First Aid, unhealthy eating habits can have a surprising effect on your emotional wellbeing. Skipping meals, for example, can make your family members feel weak and irritable. Likewise, diets that lack essential vitamins and minerals can lead to moodiness and fatigue which will only fuel family tensions.

Try making some healthy food swaps to mitigate these issues. For example, swap white bread for whole-grain versions to reduce blood sugar spikes and the subsequent energy crash that can make people cranky.

Do Some Deep Cleaning

Our surroundings have a bigger impact on our mood and energy levels than many people realize. Clutter, for example, tends to make us feel anxious and unfocused, which is why you may feel a little less stressed after cleaning up the house. Redfin suggests that clutter can even contribute to bad energy in your home!

This could be a great chance to deep clean your home and instill more calm into your space. Sort through your stuff and say goodbye to unwanted items that are weighing you down. If you want to go a step further, rearrange your furniture, give the walls a fresh coat of paint, and have your carpets professionally cleaned. If you’ve been looking for an excuse to redecorate your house, this is it!

Get Out of the House

Spending days upon days cooped up inside isn’t good for anybody. Cabin fever is bound to lead to a few household arguments! If you’re craving some fresh air, get everyone out of the house for some outdoor time. Nature has the undeniable power to relax and calm the mind, whatever the weather. Assemble your loved ones and take a long bike ride, pack a picnic and head to the park, or go hiking in the woods. There are all kinds of fun activities you can enjoy with your family outdoors during the pandemic!

Make Time for Yourself

The importance of “me time” cannot be understated, especially now. While it may not be easy to find time alone when everyone is working, learning, and playing under the same roof, it’s not impossible! Even parents have found inventive ways to steal some alone time during the pandemic. For example, you could go sit in your car and listen to an audiobook or run a hot bath and lock the door. If you need to distract your kids for a while, set up a fun craft activity, give them a few household chores, or permit yourself to be a little more flexible about screen time limits.

Coping with the coronavirus pandemic hasn’t been easy for anyone. But as time goes on, we’re all learning to live in this new normal. Turn to Wellness4Life for pertinent tips and information, and help the rest of your family adapt to a harmonious life at home so you can all get through this together.

The One About Energy Levels

The One About Energy Levels

Do you find yourself often lacking energy and focus and then reaching for a fix of your choice – coffee, tea or energy drink?

You are not alone! Most people do experience lack of energy from time to time and in this video I explain where our energy comes from and how to improve our energy levels on a daily basis without quick fixes that do not serve us!

I hope you enjoyed the video, let me please know if it resonated with you. Please feel free to reach out if you would like to improve your nutritional intake in a way that is personalised for you, so you can enjoy the benefits of having energy & vitality!

Stay tuned for more videos and, in the mean time, wishing you an abundance of energy!

Kindest regards,

Sanela

Th One About Meal PLanning

The One About Meal Planning

Do You often find yourself sabotaging your weight loss efforts by being unprepared and then giving in to temptations? Number one rule is – be prepared and here is why meal planning is crucial if you would like to reach your wellness and weight management goals…

I hope this was of a value and, until next time, enjoy the benefits of being prepared so you can reach your wellness goals and enjoy Healthy, Active Lifestyle!

Yours in Health,

Sanela

the one about metabolism

The One about Metabolism

This is the first video in Health Weight Management series as knowing how to eat to boost your metabolism as well as what to avoid that busts your metabolism is one of the most important healthy weight management know-hows…

Hope it was of a value! Please feel free to share!

Would you like to find out my take on some other aspect of weight management? Let me know!

Until next time,

Yours in health,

Sanela

The One about My Story

The One About My Story

I am very excited about breathing a breath of fresh air to my blog posts as it has been a while since I posted, mainly as I was focusing on redesigning this site during the lock down.

Now that the site is redesigned, I am excited about pouring more energy into growing this section and this time, instead of regular written articles, I am going to bring you all the knowledge and experience over the past almost two decades via series of videos. Vlogs, they call them. 🙂

I hope you find them of a value and, first things first, here is my story, where it all started almost 40 years ago, and why I do what I do and with such passion.

I hope you find it of a value.

Thank you for watching.

Yours in health,

Sanela

Herbalife Nutrition Aloe Mango Healthy Hydration

Intermittent Fasting v Balanced Nutrition & Healthy Breakfast

I am being asked about Intermittent Fasting a lot these days.

So, what is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent Fasting is simply taking a break from eating for 14 to 48 hours.

In my experience entirely, interest seems to come primarily from two groups:

  • Teenagers who might see it as a trend and may want to combine it with Veganism that they know very little about in terms of how to incorporate it in a balanced and nutritionally optimal way, although their intention may come from all the right reasons. This all is a worry as certainly in case of Intermittent Fasting, if ever advised, it would be for healthy adults and certainly not recommended for growing teenagers.
  • Adults who wish to implement it as a way of losing weight: less opportunities to eat leads to consuming less calories and, naturally, it will boost your weight loss. Question is, what is that weight loss made of (muscle tissue or actual fat loss) and whether it can ever be considered as a lifestyle?

I find it interesting that same people who might object to the concept of nourishing and science backed meal replacement shakes (taken once or twice a day as part of eating 5-6 times balanced meals each day with at least 1500 calories and optimum amount of all the nutrients) thinking they will “starve”, are more than open to the idea of, well, starving.

Without doubt, the appeal to Intermittent Fasting is real and I had to look into it more closely. It seemed fair to start with an official disclaimer aimed at Intermittent Fasting:

Fasting is not recommended for pregnant/lactating women, diabetics, active athletes and those following a structured training programme, if you are under 18 years of age, persons with an eating disorder or a BMI under 18.5, and anyone with an illness, a medical condition, or following a medical treatment. Also, medical supervision is recommended for any fast over 24 hours.

So, it does leave out quite a large part of the population, suggesting it is not entirely safe, certainly not for those who fall into the above categories. This advice certainly should be followed.

What does the research tell us about Intermittent Fasting?

Some research into Intermittent Fasting shows that when you fast, it causes your insulin levels to decline, that there is a benefit to the human growth hormone as it increases and that your cells also initiate important cellular repair processes and change which genes they express.

So, overall, great great news and, naturally, I want all this for my body too, right?

As a matter of fact, fasting is very common in many religions and customs, it is an ancient and powerful method that can promote healing and regeneration and, if done correctly, can be very good for our health, as even modern science now proves it.

But, fasting once a month or being it an annual practice like it is for Muslims during Ramadan, is slightly different from those who wish to live by it. Hence, the long disclaimer above.

As a believer in having breakfast, I can not just ignore the science and research behind Healthy Breakfast, “breaking the fast” from the moment we wake up as our empty tanks require nutrition to run effectively!

Certainly if you’re diabetic, hypoglycemic or pregnant, breakfast is essential to maintain glucose levels, but, what about these important and well researched benefits for the rest of us:

  • Improved energy levels & metabolism.
  • Provision of essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, protein and fibre (compared to no breakfast).
  • Stable blood sugar levels, which effects our hormones responsible for weight management, reduces hunger and cravings, reducing our chance of over-consuming high calorie foods later in the day.
  • Improved memory and concentration.

So, if Intermittent Fasting can indeed improve our present health and future longevity and while Healthy Breakfast has already well researched benefits for our metabolism, weight management, concentration, moods, etc – can those two be combined?

I was glad to hear that Dr David Heber, Chief, Clinical Nutrition Director, Nutritional Medicine and Obesity Professor at the UCLA, certainly thinks so:

“In ancient times, humans did not do intermittent fasting as a weight loss diet. They had no choice as there was little or no food available in many environments from cold caves to hot deserts. Today with fast foods and street foods everywhere, many people only stop eating at night and while sleeping.

I am sure many can relate to this is as sometimes we’re not even listening to our body signals because we’re mindlessly stuck in our habits around eating as we are so used to having food around us all the time.

Dr David Heber suggests that “eliminating after dinner binge eating of snacks after 5 PM and not eating for 14 hours until 7 AM qualifies you as an Intermittent Fasting Dieter.”

So, it does not have to be a big deal and there certainly is a safe way for everyone to benefit from Intermittent Fasting during the night when body is generally regenerating and cells are given the space and time to get the DNA debris and waste products out, but without missing out on ever so important Healthy Breakfast, an opportunity to fuel body for the day ahead.

Dr David Heber continues:

Your body goes through a change in metabolism every night while you are sleeping and not eating. These changes are the adaptation to starvation which allows you to survive long periods without food. You lose body protein and muscle during long-term fasting which has to be restored with more protein when you resume eating a healthy diet without high fat/high sugar snack foods.

I don’t recommend fasting for many days as this will lead to losing muscle, lowered metabolism, and weight regain. The body normally adapts to fasting and breaks down fat to spare protein being used to keep blood glucose up while you sleep.

Amino acids from protein account for half of glucose production while you sleep with the other half coming from glycogen breakdown in muscle and liver. Ketone bodies formed from fat in the liver rise while you are sleeping and are used for energy by your cells and organs.

Having a Protein-Rich Shake at breakfast (The most important meal of the day) helps to restore your muscle protein lost during sleep and will lead to healthy weight management in combination with resistance exercise and a Healthy Active Lifestyle!

I share his views that behaviour of Intermittent Fasting as, while it works for some and is seen as a lifestyle choice for many, it is not as good as combining Balanced Nutrition and Healthy Active Lifestyle.

Certainly not as a way of life.

But, if you must try it or if you desire to implement it for the benefits of cell longevity and all other researched benefits of IF – consider taking Dr D. Heber’s advice and building a habit of an early dinner, eliminate snacking after dinner and having your Healthy Breakfast when you wake up, which would allow at least 12 -14 hours for body to fast – giving body a break from food during the evening and night when body is naturally resting and regenerating.

This would also solve mindless snacking in the evening that many have an issue with and certainly make it possible to have the best from both worlds, after all.

Yours in health,

Sanela

Free Wellness Evaluation

Diana’s Testimonial

Diana’s Testimonial

“I have known Sanela for many years. However hard I try to describe Sanela, I do not think any words would do her justice.

Sanela is great. She is not just a nutritional therapist. She is an amazing human being who has invested her life into in-depth study of human character, meaning of life… And this, combined with her expert knowledge of nutrition, the mechanics of weight loss, and physiology of the human body makes her approach very unique to addressing the issue of weight.

Because it is not actually about weight. It is about health in its entirety. Both physical health and mental health. This cannot be separated in fact.

Sanela’s holistic approach to health enables her clients to embark on a journey where losing weight is not a drag and living healthy becomes a way of life. Not because one has to but because he/she wants to.

Being mindful of what is good for our bodies and choosing healthy options is a powerful way of self-care.

Sanela’s message “Get excited about choosing health & living healthy” is key to a changed mindset which will ultimately lead to weight loss which will be sustained.

I highly recommend Sanela to anyone trying to lose weight or improve their health. I really think she is the best in her field as I continue to work with her on my own journey to wellness.

Diana, Bath (Health Care Professional, Bath)

Herbalife Nutrition success stories and testimonials

Hayley’s Story

Hayley’s Success Story

Hayley is a mum of two young girls here in Bath and came to see me after being referred to me by her mother-in-law, Fran, who has been my client since 2017. We did the Wellness Evaluation with full body composition analysis, had a great chat about her current challenges.

At the end, Hayley was excited to start with our basic Herbalife Nutrition plan and was given a full Nutritional Manual to follow with recipes for her other meals, shopping ideas, meal planning ideas, exercise, etc. I took her through it and, to my surprise, Hayley did not need much to set off on her journey changing her breakfast for our Formula 1, changing balance of her meals, serving sizes, meal frequency and soon started feeling better as well as ending losing 22 lbs to date in total.

Hayley implemented some recipes within both her own and her husband’s lifestyle, which caused her husband to lose some body fat and feel much better too. I do not think we appreciated how much progress Hayley made until she sent me the photo in a blue jumpsuit that she bought herself for their wedding anniversary break. She looks absolutely stunning.

Here is to Hayley’s continued success.

Aubergine, Goats Cheese & Spinach Shakshuka

Aubergine, Goats Cheese & Spinach Shakshuka

There are many versions of Shakshuka and, whichever one you choose, it is a meal or even a hearty snack that will not leave you disappointed.

One of my clients has recently sent me one of Ottolenghi’s recipes that was featured in his column in The Guardian earlier this year.

Firstly, I absolutely love Ottolenghi and his creative and modern twist on Middle Eastern cuisine. Secondly, I had some aubergines and did not want to see go to waste. And, to make it slightly more balanced and adopted for my clients needs, came out a delicious twist on a Shakshuka favourite, inspired by Ottolenghi.

Aubergine, Goats Cheese & Spinach Shakshuka

Aubergine, Goats Cheese & Spinach Shakshuka
Aubergine, Goats Cheese & Spinach Shakshuka

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 Aubergines, peeled & cut into 1 cm round chunks
  • 2 cans of chopped tomato
  • 200 gr of goats cheese cut into 1 cm cubes (alternatively, use same amount of tofu/ tampeh or 3 eggs per person)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil,
  • 4 gloves of garlic, finely chopped,
  • 100 gr of spinach, washed and chopped
  • season with cumin or garama masala, chilli flakes, black pepper, salt
  • garnish with coriander or basil

METHOD:

Heat the oven to its highest setting.

Peel and slice aubergines into 1 cm thick circle chunks, put on a baking tray, spray with olive oil and season with black pepper and little bit of salt. Roast for 20-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the sauce. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium sized, oven proof frying pan on a medium – high heat. Once oil is hot, add garlic and cook stirring occasionally for up to 2 minutes.

Turn down the heat and add tomato, stir for 10 minutes and season with cumin or garama masala, black pepper and salt.

Once the sauce has thickened, stir in spinach and add aubergines. Top with goats cheese and then grill for 10 minutes or until cheese has softened.

Top with some basil or coriander and serve.

Enjoy and feel free to let me know how you found it!

Avocado fruit that just keeps on giving

Avocado – fruit that just keeps on giving… Enjoy these simple recipes

Who would have thought that avocado is “a large berry with a single seed.” It is one of my favourites, although I almost exclusively use it in savoury recipes, unless mixing it into my breakfast Formula 1 smoothie.

Avocados are also a great source of vitamins C, E, K, and B6, as well as riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, potassium, lutein, beta-carotene, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Healthy fats should be 30% of our diet and, well, part of every meal and avocados are a great source of Omega 3 fatty acids – the exact type of healthy fats we should be consuming.

Avocados are also a fabulous source of an all-mighty fibre, essential for healthy digestion, heart health as well as effective weight management. One serving of 1/2 a medium avocado packs around 5 grams of fibre.

Although most of the calories in avocados come from fat, one does not need to shy away from them – those are essential for our health and even weight management, when eaten in moderation.

Enjoy those recipes as a great healthy & balanced snack or even a meal!

Eggavonnaise

INGREDIENTS

  • 2-3 boiled eggs,
  • 1/2 a medium ripe avocado,
  • 1 tablespoon of low fat yoghurt or cottage cheese,
  • 1/2 lemon juice,
  • 2 Rye or Rice cakes
  • parsley or coriander as garnish
  • salt & pepper
  • chilli flakes

METHOD

Boil eggs, peel and mix in a bowl with yoghurt, avocado flesh, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Serve on ryvita or rice cakes or even one wholemeal toast or even 1/2 medium sweet potato, as an alternative.

Garnish with selected herbs and chilli flakes.

Enjoy as a healthy snack or lunch!

Home Made Guacamole

Home Made Guacamole

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 ripe tomato, chopped and reseeded,
  • 3 ripe avocados
  • 1 chopped onion
  • juice from 2 limes
  • chopped coriander
  • salt & pepper
  • chilli flakes

METHOD

Mix it all up or whizz in a blender and serve with a couple of eggs for a perfect balance of protein with healthy fats.

Serve couple of tablespoons on a wholemeal toast or a couple of rice cakes or ryvitas for a delicious snack or even a light meal

Store remaining Guacamole in an airtight container in the fridge with a stone of one or two avocados that will prevent it from going brown.

BON APPETITE!

These recipes are one of many our clients get as part of their Personalised Meal Plan. If you would like help with reaching your wellness goals, please do not hesitate to reach out…

Healthy Home Made Soup

Soups – not only winter food

Soups really “hit the spot” in cold winter days, however, they could be a great healthy meal or a snack in any season.

They are a great way to pack in more nutrition especially if your children are like mine – have a limited vegetable menu. Soups are a great way to disguise all those veg that they normally would not touch.

So, I am very lucky my boys love home made soups.

Home made soups are a much healthier option compared to canned soups that are usually high in sodium and some in sugar too, like tomato soup, as well as a chemical BPA. They are easy to make and cheaper too than store-bought ones. So, win on all counts.

I usually alternate between either a vegetable soup or a chicken bone broth soup.

Bone broth in particular has been found to have incredible benefits on our health:

Zingy Formula 1 shake with celery juice

Zingy Celery Juice Formula 1 Wellness Shake

If you love green smoothies, you will love this one:

Ingredients

  • 2 scoops Formula 1 vanilla
  • 1-2 scoops PDM – Protein Drink Mix
  • Handful of spinach 🌱
  • 1 kiwi 🥝
  • 1/2 green apple 🍏
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ginger
  • 300 ml cold water or juice of a whole celery

Method and benefits

You would never eat all those vegetables and fruits for breakfast, but in a smoothie you are packing in so much goodness.

Herbalife Nutrition ensures body gets all important complete plant based protein (18-24gr), fibre (5-10gr) and all the essential nutrients on top of benefits of all the added plants – so you can actually call it a MEAL!

Enjoy!

Products you will need

Protein Drink Mix – use instead of milk with F1 or as a high protein snack
Overnight Protein Oats with Herbalife24

Overnight Protein Oats with Herbalife24

This is a recipe that everyone loves and I receive so many requests for, so, here it is… Enjoy as a breakfast, or, ideally, after your Formula 1 healthy breakfast – as a mid-morning snack. My husband loves it as an after dinner healthy snack, so, take your pick…

It is perfectly balanced, with fibre coming from oats, protein, vitamins and minerals from our cutting edge Herbalife24 Rebuild Strength shake (20 gr) with a distinctive chocolate flavour and healthy fats from almond or peanut butter…

What You Need

  • 125 ml of Dark Chocolate Almond/ Soya Milk (under 45 calories per 100ml) or Coconut Milk (Under 25 calories per 100 ml),
  • 30 grams of porridge oats (preferably organic, plain),
  • Rebuild Strength/ Protein Drink Mix (PDM) – 2 scoops per serving (10/15 gr protein)
  • 3 almonds or 1 teaspoon of plain almond/ peanut butter (no sugar/ salt).

Method

Blend 125 ml of Dark Chocolate Almond or Soya Milk or Coconut Milk with 2 Scoops of PDM or 2 Scoops of Rebuild Strength (in the USA – 1 Scoop of Rebuild Strength) and pour over 30 grams of Porridge Oats.


Store in the fridge overnight (or make in the morning and allow 2 hours before eating) and serve for Meal 2 with 3 almonds or 1 teaspoon of plain almond or peanut butter.

One pot turkey chilly with rice

One Pot Turkey Chili with Rice

Serves: 4Prep: 10 minsCook: 25 mins

Nutrition per serving: 295 kcal/ 9g Fats/ 21g Carbs/ 31g Protein

WHAT YOU NEED

  • 10 oz. (300g) minced turkey fillet
  • 1/2 cup (115g) rice
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp. oil
  • 1/2 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup (250ml) vegetable broth
  • 1/3 cup (60g) red kidney beans, drained
  • 1/3 cup (85g) sweet corn, drained
  • 1/3 cup (30g) grated cheese (optional)

Spices:

  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin,
  • 1 tsp sweet pepper,
  • 1/2 tsp hot pepper,
  • 1/2 tsp salt,
  • 1/3 tsp ground pepper

METHOD

Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onion and garlic, cooking for 3-4 minutes.

Next, add the meat and fry for about 5-6 minutes until cooked throughout.

Add spices, mix, then add the dry rice and mix again.

Next add the chopped peppers, beans, corn, canned tomatoes and broth. Mix and bring to the boil. Simmer covered on low heat for about 17-20 minutes.

Add grated cheese, cover and heat for another 2 minutes until the cheese melts, then serve.

Dairy free option: cheese in this recipe is optional, so if you prefer a dairy free meal, just skip the cheese or replace with a vegan version.

Enjoy this balanced and delicious recipe that you can enjoy as lunch or dinner and that whole family with love!

Immune Booster Formula 1 Shake with Apple, Ginger and Lime

Immune Booster Apple, Lime, Ginger & Formula 1 Shake

INGREDIENTS & METHOD

  • 2 scoops of Herbalife Nutrition Formula 1 shake: Vanilla, Banana Cream, Strawberry Delight or Summer Berries would all go well.
  • 250 ml of non-fat milk OR 1-2 scoops of Protein Drink Mix (Vegans – use 250 ml of soya milk)
  • 1/2 an apple, diced,
  • 1/2 a fresh lime or lemon
  • 1 teaspoon of grated ginger
  • Optional: 3-5 ice cubes

Blend all well together and enjoy as a healthy breakfast, snack or replacement to any other meal.

All our Formula 1 Shakes are Vegan and Gluten Free.

The Power of the Shake

This shake combination of 2 x scoops F1 Nutritional Shake Mix, 2 x scoops of PDM (Protein Drink Mix), together with 1 x Formula 2 Vitamin & Mineral Tablet for Women (or Men), provides:

  • 24 grams of plant protein, key element in immune health
  • 6 grams of fibre, add Oat Apple Fibre for an additional 5 grams of fibre
  • Following vitamins and minerals that support immune function:
    • 130% NRV of Vitamin A
    • 240% NRV of Vitamin C
    • 150% NRV of Selenium
    • 130% NRV of Zinc
    • 280% NRV of Vitamin D
    • 110% NRV of Copper
    • 130% NRV of B6 & B12
Immune Health & Weight Management

Managing weight and taking care of our immune health has never been more important

As I write this, Covid-19 is about to officially reach 1 million infected and 50,000 deaths worldwide. Situation is unprecedented and it is not over yet. And numbers are telling us that it is going to get much worse before it gets better.

As we are all adjusting to our new way of life for now, resilience and hope implanted in us all is telling us that “this too shall pass” and that most of us will see this through and come at the other end.

Saying that, life may never be the same again and it will be a long road to recovery for most of us – not only financially, but emotionally too because Corona is leaving trauma in its tracks.

Whilst most are recovering from the virus, way too many are not. They are taken into hospitals and some never to be seen again. In lock down, there is no such thing as locking arms and hearts together to grieve. So many families are left behind to grieve on their own and not even able to attend a funeral. This is trauma.

Whoever is lucky enough not to have this experience by now, or yet, is taking it seriously and taking precautions.

We all know by now that social distancing, staying at home and personal hygiene are essential to stop the virus from spreading.

However, what will save us is not just avoiding the virus, but beating it by strengthening our body’s chances to beat it!

Because, it is now a known fact that this virus is here to stay.

And we can not all hide forever.

Statistics show that most vulnerable are those with existing health conditions, especially those with respiratory conditions, then those who are obese and/ or already have compromised immunity due to conditions such as cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular illness.

Dr David Heber from the UCLA released his own series of online videos about Covid-19 and his message that stuck with me was the one regarding Obesity and Diabetes being identified as risk factors for COVID-19 infection by the World Health Organization (WHO).

This is a problem for most of the Western countries. 65% of adults in the UK alone are overweight or obese and it is hitting them the most.

Here is a great explanation by Dr David Heber, world renowned expert in cardiovascular health and obesity, why this is a challenge in relation to Covid-19 that specifically attack the respiratory tract in the critically ill:

Upper body and abdominal fat restricts the inflation of the lungs through mechanical pressure both on the sides of the lungs and below the diaphragm which moves down when you breathe in opening the lung passages and allowing air into the lungs as they expand.

Abdominal obesity also reduces lung function through inflammation from substances released by fat cells and the actions of the Microbiome causing narrowing of small airways in the lungs. There is an association of obesity and asthma especially in obese children where spasm of airways due to increased smooth muscle cells in airway walls makes them react to airways.

With so many people around the world overweight or obese, we can all do something to fight COVID-19 through Balanced Nutrition and a Healthy Active Lifestyle which will reduce the effects of excess abdominal and body fat on lung function!”

So, what we should NOT be doing right now is eating through our emergency reserves of high in sugar and salt canned foods, increasing alcohol consumption (because it is all too depressing) and worry-eating through stacks of biscuits and other unhealthy snacks…

Well, I can not tell anyone what one should or should not be doing, however, I hope anyone who falls into the higher risk category recognises by now that this is not only an opportunity, but a necessity to take care of their health.

I have been so inspired by so many people taking this time to re-invent themselves, learn new skills or to find the creative streak in them they never thought they had. Social media is full of them and they are brightening our day each day!

Same with our health – we may never have a better opportunity to truly focus on building some healthy habits, strengthening our immunity and even losing some weight whilst in the lock down.

Because it really is a question of necessity and survival for many and an opportunity many have been waiting for, if you can see it like that.

So, let’s not waste time!

I have been so impressed by many of my clients who are sticking even more firmly to their habits, and some old clients I have not heard from in years that contacted me, wanting to stock up on our nutritional products.

Penny has already dropped for many – health is the only thing within their control.

And the only thing that matters right now.

No money in the world can save us if our health is poor!

An interesting study has just come out from Italy where a hospital in Italy has added “10 grams of vitamin C intravenously in addition to conventional therapy” to be given to “patients with COVID-19 pneumonia admitted to ARNAS Civico-Di Cristina-Benfratelli, Palermo” hospital. (This is a registered trial of 500: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04323514.)

A meta-analysis of five trials just got published in the Journal of Intensive care showing that oral Vitamin C shortens time needing a ventilator by 25%:

“471 patients requiring ventilation for over 10 h, receiving an oral dosage of 1–6 g/day of vitamin C shortened ventilation time on average by 25% (P < 0.0001).” (https://jintensivecare.biomedcentral.com/…/s40560-020-0432-y)

Bravo, Italy!

But also, let’s be clear – this is not a new science! Nevertheless, a welcomed one.

Because, the truth is, our body is a miracle and when we give it what it needs, it knows what to do! And benefit of nutrition for that very purpose should not be ignored.

Strengthening our immunity has always been about reduction in recovery, not necessarily being totally immune to all the viruses that come our way.

Weight loss has always been about developing healthy habits that not just help reduce number on the scales, but nourish the body rather than deprive it further as many “diets” tent to do. Which leads us back to Immune Health.

If the Covid-19 vaccine does not materialise very soon, and even after it does, these two areas – weight management & immune health – will become even more important as a way forward for all of us, whether we are within risk category or not.

So, what does it look like taking care of ourselves right now.

Firstly, try not to panic as our emotions play a huge role in food choices we make. Meditate, learn breathing techniques, do not feed yourself with Covid-19 news all day long, instead – read a book, watch inspiring videos, anything to stay calm and positive.

Increase fruits and vegetables in diet and use this time to cook. We all know by now, once the initial supermarket panic was over, that there is enough produce in the stores.

If you are not great at cooking – use this time to learn to cook some simple meals.

Plan your meals. Small portions spread over 5-6 meals a day will be perfect to sustain your energy levels. Focusing on combination of protein, complex carbs and healthy fats to get the balance on your plate will ensure your blood sugars are stable, so are your hormones and hunger and cravings are kept at bay.

Instead of sugary cereals for breakfast, have a yoghurt with some fruit and seeds, or stock up on our vegan Formula 1 Healthy Breakfast that is loved by adults and children alike and will give the body the start it needs while nourishing the body.

You can even use our Formula 1 to make a porridge based breakfast that is more balanced and nutritious, if porridge is your thing!

For supplements, check out our Vitamins, Minerals & Phytonutrient supplements that will help give body nutrients it may not be currently getting. Formula 2 Multivitamin & Mineral complex for Men/ Women is a great place to start.

Feel free to stock up on some pharmaceutical grade Vitamin C and take 1000mg per day.

Stock up on your Vitamin D stores too as we will all be lacking some sunshine.

Above all that, use your allowance to go outside for a walk or a run, catch up on sleep, hydrate well, introduce more fruits, vegetables and lean meats into your diet…

However, remember that all the above is futile if you do not drop added sugar and other sweets in your diet, eliminate juices from carton, fizzy drinks and processed foods especially processed meats, cut out alcohol, reduce smoking (here is your chance to cut it out completely!).

Above all, stay positive, hopeful, solution oriented.

We can not control what will happen, but we can control what we each do in our own little worlds.

There has never been a better time to honour our bodies as that may just be the one thing in our control right now, which is a blessing.

Whatever happens, we can, at least, say we are doing our best!

Stay safe and healthy!

S x

Three Bean Avocado Salad Recipe

Three Bean Salad

This is an absolutely fab recipe, truly another one of my favourites.

It is one recipe that could be very useful in this current health crisis caused by coronavirus and used as a healthy alternative to things like canned baked beans, notorious for their both salt and sugar content that can only compromise your immunity further.

It is delicious , one of my clients favourites and allows you to stock up and store ingredients in your pantry and freezer.

It is suitable for vegans and vegetarians alike.

Recipe is also perfectly balanced with optimum amount of plant proteins that one meal should have, great amount of fibre, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats. This is what you need:

the three bean salad

WHAT YOU NEED (serves 1)

200g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed,

200g tin red kidney beans, drained and rinsed,

1/3 handful fine green beans, chopped, (if frozen, steam for 10 minutes beforehand)

1 shallot/small onion, finely chopped,

1/2 avocado per 1 teaspoon of olive oil for healthy fats if you have no avocados,

1/2 lemon, squeezed

Ground black pepper.

Fresh or dried coriander or other herbs

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO:

Combine the chickpeas, kidney beans, green beans and shallot/ onion together in a bowl.

Add the avocado or olive oil and squeeze the lemon over the salad.

Season with ground black pepper and coriander to taste. You can add some other fresh herbs too if you like!

Enjoy!

You can make several portions of this meal, store in the fridge and consume over 3-5 days.

Enjoy!

Herbalife Nutrition Health Coaches & Customer Community

What have my clients taught me over the years…

“Life is a box of chocolates, you never know which one you are going to get!”

One never knows what will be the outcome of the very first client appointment. It is sometimes a start of a wonderful relationship. And, at times, it ends right there before it even had a chance to begin.

You can not even rely on the feeling one gets as we can never be completely sure what goes inside someone else’s head. I surely was wrong many times.

These days I try not to invest any energy into dwelling what will happen. It can mess with the natural flow of the meeting. The more I am just myself and allow potential clients to be honest and true to themselves, the better chance of working together.

When the feeling is really good (and you always have some feeling) and it turns out to be true, it is the most exciting part of my work. Being given a chance of making someone’s life better is the best feeling of all and an adrenaline in itself.

And only then the real work starts…

One of the very first lessons I learnt early on was:

DO NOT GET ATTACHED TO AN OUTCOME, BE AN AUTHENTIC YOU

Being attached to an outcome makes us less authentic and client could easily feel they are either being pushed or manipulated into starting, which is not a way to start any relationship. It actually is a dead end.

For me, it also means that my happiness and love of my work is not dependent on the outcome of the single evaluation. I am just planting seeds and spreading the love for nutrition and health.

Most of my clients are a pure joy to work with and are the reason why I love my work. But, it is not always smooth sailing. And challenging relationships with clients have taught me most about myself, what kind of a coach I want to be and how I want to show up with my work.

So, another thing I learnt:

BE CLEAR ABOUT RESPONSIBILITIES & STAY ACCOUNTABLE

If I am out of alignment with myself, not taking care of my own body and my emotional being, it manifests itself as feeling stuck, overwhelmed, lacking inspiration and joy that I get through my work.

This is not the place where we can authentically serve and where love for our work can shine through!

So, I owe it to myself to be my own first responsibility in order to be able to do great work and help inspire others to take action!

I can educate, support, guide, however – I am NOT responsible what my clients ultimately think, do and the results they get.

I did not understand this always, which caused me to put some blame on myself when things did not work out. Clients that consistently did not get results used to give me anxiety.

I was questioning myself, what I missed, what more I could have done and then, when I was exhausted with self-blame, instead of letting go, I would try even harder hoping this time I could do more for them, offer more of my time, offer discounts that are fear based rather than to honour client’s loyalty and show gratitude…

Wow… I am sweating just when I think about it.

I now know that, while this came from the right intention – pure desire to help – it did not come from the right place – it came from self-doubt, feeling I was not (good) enough and fear of loss – thinking “I will lose them, if only I did more, they would stay!”

Oh how things have shifted!

And that is why every single client had a place in my own journey, which contributed to the confidence I have today!

I have nothing but gratitude to all the people on my journey as all these experiences only made me a better coach and a better human too.

What else did I learn?

PATIENCE

I am impatient by nature. I have always been a person of action, driven, as I find great satisfaction in the achievement!

Health results, however, can not be rushed. Like you can not rush your child finally understanding algebra or learning to read fluently. (I tried, failed and then got a tutor with all the patience my boys needed!)

With an enthusiasm of my early thirties when I was just starting as a health coach, I recognise now that lack of patience got the better of me on on more occasions than I wish to remember.

Because health was important to me and taking care of myself came naturally to me, I could not understand that it is a process, sometimes a rather long one for most.

It was listening to Anthony Robbins that opened my eyes to what kind of a coach I want to be. He is talking about success being 20% mechanics (my support, my meal plan, nutritional products) and 80% psychology.

Wow, it blew my mind!

I realised that I am not in a transactional business. This is a business of emotions, deep emotions that make our reality. My clients first needed a breakthrough in order to eventually start loving themselves enough to commit to change needed to see the results they dream of. They also needed to believe that this is possible.

So, I accepted that success is not a straight line and I could breathe finally, although true work was only beginning! This new awareness hardly made me an expert. What it did, however, is put me on a quest of my own personal development, so I can understand myself better as well as human psychology.

Transformations and results will happen when clients are ready and not a minute before clients want it far more for themselves than I can ever want it for them.

Actually, what I want is irrelevant. I know that now and I learnt to stay in my lane. And be OK with it, whatever happens.

My responsibility is to continue being someone who can inspire them and guide them – help adjust the sails when they go off course, with love and compassion. And, with permission, to dig a little bit deeper each time to help them go further.

Which takes me to the next lesson…

HOLDING SPACE

Holding space means being willing to walk alongside another person in whatever journey they’re on without judging them, making them feel inadequate, trying to fix them, or trying to impact the outcome.

This is paramount for health coaching.

Last thing any client needs is my judgement when they lapse. They judge themselves enough, and sometimes they get enough from the society or people closest to them.

They need to know I am a safe place that will hear them without judgement and help them, in their own time, to turn it around.

And this is something we can practice in every relationship we encounter. With our children, spouse, friends…

I have heard of the concept only few years back and I only wish I understood it even sooner, but it is never too late to develop this awareness and learn to intentionally show up with tenderness, compassion, empathy and kindness. It can transform any relationship.

Holding space is also about understanding the next lesson…

BOUNDARIES & SELF RESPECT

Oh, this is a tricky one! Tricky for most and it certainly was for me! Big time.

I will be honest. People with (healthy) boundaries used to irritate me. I thought they were rude, unhelpful, selfish.

Eventually, I realised that other people’s clear boundaries only caused such resistance within me because I personally had issues with asserting boundaries.

I now recognise people who lack boundaries and also grew to have much admiration when I come across people with healthy boundaries (especially when they also have a skill of communicating it well).

I come from the society that lacks boundaries to the core, I do not even think we have a word for it, so, if I ever wanted to have healthy and happy relationships, I had to get better in this respect. Or continue to grow bitter.

I have entered this business prepared to be inconvenienced, but without setting my limits, knowing where I stand, feeling uneasy about confrontations or showing assertiveness – it was a tough going at times.

I open my door to clients and often see them at times that fit into their busy schedules even if I had to go out of my way to rearrange my own schedule. Of course, I am more than happy to accommodate as they are equally trying to accommodate my services into their busy, often too busy, life as well. So, it is a healthy “give and take” on both sides.

Then you get little red flags with some clients. You feel unappreciated, taken advantage of. Resentment sets in, which literally sucks the joy out of the work you love.

Experience taught me that the right client with the right character would know this boundary. Because most times it is a matter of respect. Respect they have for me, but – respect I first had to have for myself.

They were only following my lead, after all.

So, I raised my standard over the years, which was a subtle change that happened within me, not something that I necessarily openly communicated, although, it must have come through how I spoke and how I carried myself.

I noticed type of clients that sought me has changed, there is a healthier “give and take” relationships, whilst existing clients that gave me those little red flags just naturally dropped off. Relationships that do not work out are mutually communicated and there are “no hard” feelings.

This brought so much peace and reignited the joy my work gives me.

And, all those that pushed my limits – I am forever grateful to as they brought to light where I needed to improve in order to honour my feelings whilst developing healthier relationships with not just my clients, but anyone in my life.

Of course, I am still for greater part work in progress and learning to be kinder to myself, but the awareness of the boundaries issue has been a game changer.


Health Coaching is a privilege I do not take for granted. My clients let me into their lives. I get to know their family members, their stories, their fears, their dreams, their hopes, their challenges. Whatever they feel comfortable sharing. This is an honour. Never a burden.

I am dealing with real people, with real emotions and as much as they are here to learn from me, my clients are bottomless well of insights and lessons I am blessed to receive and grow from.

Sharing these insights is my way of honoring every single person who walked through my door and who let me into their world.

If you are my client – “Namaste!”

If you used to be my client – “Namaste!”

And, final insight…

DON’T TAKE ANYTHING PERSONALLY

Everyone has hopes and dreams, fears and challenges, real emotions and is just trying to do the best they can.

Sometimes, other’s best is not good enough for us and we take someone else’s actions to heart too much and give it meaning and unnecessary emotions that suck the energy out of us.

Here is what gave me a different perspective. It literally blew my mind and I go back to it each time I run a risk of interpreting someone else’s actions as an attack on me. It is a quote from one of my favourite books, “The Four Agreements” and The Agreement Number TWO says:

“Don’t take anything personally! Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream…”

Understanding this has truly set me free from needless suffering and frustration on many occasions and it continues to do so.

It helps me have a better flow when working with clients, without resistance on my part.

It certainly helps with letting go, letting live and moving on.

This brought me most peace.


I would like to finish with the quote from Wabi Sabi book that speaks volumes to me:

“We bloom and ripen with time. Our character develops and our wisdom deepens as we age. We have more to offer to the world with every experience we go through!”

I turned my lessons into blessings and failings into my strengths and I am excited about the next chapter and what new experiences will teach me.

I have finally excepted that we are never a finished products… we are all rough diamonds at a different stages of polishing…

The same as my clients, I am also only trying to do my best! And that is the best anyone can do!

If you are looking to start your health journey – NAMASTE!

If you are a coach that is just starting off – hang in there, it is a beautiful profession and hope some of this has been of a value.

If you are an experienced coach – I would love to know – what were YOUR biggest lessons on your coaching journey?

If you are someone who can relate in any way – let me know!

Thank you and, until next time, yours in health,

Sanela

Become the best version of yourself… Start today!

In the end, our health is usually one thing we CAN have control over and if you are someone at the start of your journey, remember that Rome has not been built in one day and our attempt to improve our physique and health should pretty much be approached with bearing the same in mind…

We need a plan, patience & vision.

Those with vision move even in darkness.

Our vision for ourselves is best when not focused on the outside appearance alone as our health and beauty are a lot more than just skin deep.

Our vision needs to be strong and inspire action every day, which will make us more patient and committed to a long term goals.

Then we need a plan that is simple, even fun and that nourishes us on our path to becoming the best version of ourselves.

Start Today

One of the biggest mistakes we all make is waiting for the “perfect storm”, that perfect moment to start something new… to start a new diet, to stop smoking, to look for a better job, start that project, make an important phone call, study for the exam…

The only perfect moment is RIGHT NOW.

Delaying action whilst waiting for that perfect opportunity is simply procrastination and the more we do it, the more we develop a habit of it that can be very costly.

Procrastination is an issue of self-regulation and, when it comes to health, it can cost us our health because we delay doing the right thing for our health and well-being over a period of time that can even go for decades. The result is a poor health, until it sometimes can be too late.

Procrastinators can change their behavior and it is said that highly structured cognitive behavioral therapy can work really well. If you have an issue with starting things – work on your psychology first.

Books are sometimes a great place to start and so are videos and podcasts to help with awareness and insights into what is stopping you and how to take an inspired action and stop procrastinating.

And remember, the path to the best version of yourself starts today and here are some basics to help you get started…

Hydration, Hydration, Hydration

First thing is to re-visit how much water you drink daily.

Coffees, teas, fizzy and other sugary drinks simply do not count and all represent problem on multitude of levels including cellular damage, dehydration, low energy, weight gain.

Our bodies function best when body is well hydrated with at least 8 glasses of water a day, which is minimum 2 litres for most adults. More water is recommended for those of a bigger frame, especially men and when exercising as body loses water rapidly through sweat.

Water is sometimes the only catalyst that makes things work. As kidneys are responsible for detox, which can not happen without water, and whilst liver is responsible for breaking/ metabolising fat – when water is scarce, liver tends to help the kidneys and breaking the fat becomes secondary; as a result fat loss will be compromised.

If you are to start with one habit, start with water.

Apart from flushing toxins, water helps digest food & circulate blood. Food contains only 20% of fluid intake, so, hydration through healthy beverages is necessary.

A couple of glasses upon waking up with some lemon and then hydrate with one glass on the hour every hour. Set your phone reminders. Use fruit as water infusion. Green tea is fantastic alternative to regular tea and coffee.

Thermojetics Instant Herbal Beverage

Our Thermojetics Herbal Beverage is great for every day hydration as well as part of the weight management plan. I love adding some lemon to it too for added nutritional benefit.

It is a combination of green tea and other botanical ingredients. It has not been treated with alcohol unlike most teas from the high street stores; process of extraction and purification happens with water and charcoal, leaving the finished product with high antioxidant/ phytonutrient value, similar to the plant when it is picked up; it is highly refreshing and catechins compounds cause thermojetics effect that help boost metabolism and energy levels as well as help burn fat.

Alcohol

Alcohol is a bad news for not only fat loss but for our general health. It is a stress to the body that body treats as a poison.

If you would like to take your body composition to the next level, the best advice I could give you is to not only limit, but completely cut out alcohol.

Not many are able to do that and I approach it with care with clients as it is one thing that causes so much resistance. I do believe in taking small steps and limiting alcohol consumption to less to what is a norm to start with, then seeing the results we get and finally decreasing it further.

One can still have results if weekly units are minimal, up to 1-2 glasses of wine, as an example, but anything more will generally hinder the results greatly.

Cutting on calories in food to accommodate alcohol is highly undesirable and results will be limited, if any. Cortisol is a fat storing hormone in our body that alcohol (together with lack of sleep, too much cardio activity and stress) seem to elevate and, as a result, body is in a state of fat storing rather than fat burning.

So, think about your alcohol consumption and how much you really want to improve your health and body composition. Every success requires some form of sacrifice.

Think Protein to avoid Hunger & Slower Metabolism

Most people need to eat more protein. Or reduce protein coming from animal sources.

Protein is a very important factor for your immunity as body needs protein so that the white blood cells can produce antibodies that seek out and destroy invading viruses and bacteria.

It helps stabilise blood sugar levels and, therefore prevents hunger and fat storing. Apart from multitude of other uses, protein is incredibly important for the prevention of muscle loss over lifetime, especially when you are on a weight management plan.

Dieting is very much linked to a muscle wastage when dieting is not done right, which is the major cause of yo-yo syndrome – losing weight, then putting it back on again.

With loss of muscle, your metabolism is slower and so is body’s ability to burn calories. You may find yourself gaining all the weight (and more) back on that you lost, although you may be consuming calories that used to maintain your weight in the past. Your body has less lean muscle to burn them off and therefore, fat gain is inevitable.

High protein foods such as fish, soya products and low-fat dairy products can help to boost your immunity as well as increase your metabolism and support your lean muscle on your weight management plan.

Protein for Vegetarians & Vegans

Whilst I am not vegetarian myself, I support vegetarianism greatly, even veganism. The only issue I find with clients who are vegetarian or vegan is that they still suffer from an inadequate amount of lean muscle due to lack of protein in their diet, sometimes low energy levels and excess body fat that they simply are unable to shift.

All of these issues are sorted with our personalised nutrition plan that targets what they might lack in their diet – protein, plant protein in particular, and micro nutrient intake.

Whilst eating wholefoods can have remarkable good effects on the body, it is a well-known fact that, according to World Health Organisation, UNICEF, UK Ministry of Agriculture and Royal Society of Chemistry – vitamin and mineral depletion of our soil is a global problem with up to 72% depletion of nutrients in fruit and vegetables in Europe alone over the past 60 years.

Supplementation with pharmaceutical graded supplements can make a massive difference in energy levels of anyone, even those who already follow a healthy diet, Vegetarians & Vegans included who would greatly benefit from more macro nutrient balance in their diet.

Protein for Meat Eaters

Whilst protein is an important macro nutrient – meat eaters should take this information with caution.

Meat and dairy can cause high acidity in the body, that leaches nutrients from your muscle and bones and therefore deplete your energy levels and immunity, therefore meat protein must be well-balanced with plant protein.

Whilst getting THAT beach body will require eating personalised amount of protein each day (around 1 gram of protein for each pound of lean muscle – more if exercising and/or building muscle) in the right balance and frequency – you will do more damage on a cellular level if trying to get it all from animal sources.

My goal with clients who are meat eaters is to increase their protein intake whilst balancing plant with animal sources as well as increase their micro nutrient intake.

Generally, once there is a better balance of proteins v carbs & macro nutrients v micro nutrients (Vitamins and Minerals) established, in the right frequency, blood sugar levels are stable, cravings diminish, energy levels increase and we are more likely to have a sustainable fat loss.

Good Carbs v Bad Carbs

We need to stop thinking that carbs are our enemy. Body relies on carbohydrates for fuel, however, they are not all equal. The least processed carbs such as fruit and vegetables are extremely beneficial as they deliver all important nutrients, vitamins & minerals, to the body, together with powerful antioxidants and fibre.

To get that beach body, if that is what you desire, now that we drink more water and include protein in each meal whilst balancing plant with animal protein – we need to combine some Good Carbohydrates with that protein.

That means having a colourful diet of fruits, vegetables, legumes each and every day.

Bad Carbohydrates will go against our efforts to slim down, feel and look healthy and reduce our body fat. Bad carbohydrates are those highly processed and refined foods such as sugars, pastries, cakes, sweets, cereals, white pasta, white bread, sugary drinks, just to name the few.

They do not boost, but rather bust your metabolism, leaving you craving for more, whilst storing excess calories as fat, depleting your energy levels as they are usually void of nutrition.

They may also compromise your digestion and therefore, absorption of nutrients which has an effect not only on energy levels and immunity, but will be a contributing factor to weight gain too.

Fibre Factor

Fibre is a type of carbohydrate and one of THE most important dietary factors for helping support healthy digestion. Fibre is found in fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains and plays a big part in keeping our bodies healthy.

Adults are recommended minimum 25 grams of fibre each day for healthy digestion, so including high-fibre foods and fibre supplements in your diet can greatly help improve your digestion.

Fibre rich foods are slow sugar releasing and, when combined with protein, they keep your blood sugar levels stable and fuller for longer.

Most of the clients I see struggle to get adequate amount of fibre in their diet. If not sure, MyFitnessPal is a great tool to check if you do. I use it to check my own fibre, protein, Calcium and fat levels occasionally.

I teach clients to use it, if they wish, in addition to my support which we use as part of the education process so they see how getting perfect balance of 40% carbohydrate, 30% protein and 30% fat intake within personalised calorie intake gets them results.

The moment they step out of the equation and there is less protein and more carbohydrates, the results are less visible at their weekly body composition check, or there are no results at all. Penny drops every time as they learn more how food balance and frequency affects us.

Should we count calories?

Calories are not all created equal. 100 calories of vegetables is not the same on a cellular level and on the level how body processes it and it’s affect on the body when compared to 100 calories worth of chocolate Maltesers (which, by the way, are NOT lighter than air).

I use client’s Resting Metabolic Rate to calculate the calorie ceiling they need to be under in order to lose weight, using a simple formula, however, because my personalised weight management solutions are already calorie controlled, my clients do not need to necessarily count calories.

They would just need to follow the prescribed meal plan that includes some great recipes, use their hand to determine portion sizes of macros and, sometimes, write a food diary as a great way to gauge daily food intake and those that do – have a better result.

They also learn how what they consume in any given week relates to changes in their body composition. All part of the education process and raising the awareness on how certain foods effect us. The moment they skip snacks or meals or eat unbalanced meals and snacks – they see decline in muscle, just as one of the examples.

Calories are important or rather learning about them, to help us become more conscientious about our food choices, but, balance in macro nutrients is even more important because not all calories are created equal.

Skipping dinner because we blew our calorie ceiling during the day (or any other meal or snack for whatever reason) is surely not the path to health OR healthy weight loss (or rather, fat loss) and improved body composition.

Get more active

Now that we drink more water, focus on lean and/ or plant protein and good carbohydrates with plenty of fibre, whilst banning all refined sugary carbohydrates – it is time we need to get more active if we want to see some great results! Remember, results come best from 80% nutrition and 20% exercise plan.

Believe it or not, we all have the six-pack muscles, but most people have it all hidden under the layer of abdominal fat. It is time to unwrap it! If you are not used to exercise, start with walking more and then find the local class that you enjoy, perhaps build it to a couple of classes a week.

The science shows that the best form of fitness that help you get into shape in less time is any form of High Intensity Interval Resistance Training. It is a combination of a little bit of cardio with resistance and weight training, all in one single workout. It not only burns a lot of calories during exercise, but it has the highest after-burn with up to 1000 calories burnt in 38 hour window post-exercise.

Try to find your own HIIRT or HIIT class near you or create a program that you can do at home.

Now that we have most of it covered and you are more aware what is needed to get you started on the journey of becoming the best version of yourself, I would like to remind you of the first point I made – start today!

Get the picture of yourself when you were at your best and get emotionally connected to that vision of yourself. Let it be your guide, your North Star.

If not sure how to start or if anything inspired you in this article, do get in touch, drop me a line. I would love to help. Free Evaluation offer stands, it can be slightly daunting starting on your own and you, whilst will need to do it by yourself, you do not need to be alone in the process. As many as 75% have better success when having the right support.

Until then, life is colourful, make your diet colourful too and feel the difference! Afterall, life is much more fun lived in colour!

healthy and balanced Shakshuka recipe

Shakshuka – Poached Eggs in a Spicy Tomato Sauce

Shakshuka is a classic North African and Middle Eastern dish and made from simple, healthy ingredients. It is a vegetarian dish.

Shakshuka literally means “a mixture” and, whilst I have seen many versions of it that sound equally delicious (like Green Shakshuka), the traditional version uses tomatoes, onions and spices as the base with eggs poached on top.

It is absolutely delicious and here is the version I recommend my clients to try as a balanced and nutrient packed meal that can be enjoyed for breakfast or any other meal. I prefer it mid morning or for lunch :

WHAT YOU NEED (serves 1)

½ chopped small red onion

1 crushed or chopped garlic clove

½ a red or yellow or green pepper

2 sliced mushrooms

1 teaspoon of olive oil

200 gr tin of chopped tomatoes OR 1 x large (or 2 medium) fresh tomatoes, chopped

3 whole eggs

Black pepper

Tablespoon of chopped fresh coriander

2 chopped spring onions

½ teaspoon of cumin,

½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper,

pinch of paprika

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO:

In a smaller frying pan (so it all is cooked compactly) fry the garlic, onion, mushroom and pepper until they are all soft.

Add one tin of chopped tomatoes and all the spices. Bring to the boil, then give it a good stir.

Make three wells and crack in three eggs, one in each well.

Cover the pan and cook for further 8-10 minutes.

Season with black pepper and scatter the fresh coriander & spring onions over the top to finish.

Bon Appétit

turkey bolognes with sweet potato

Vegetable packed Turkey Bolognese with sweet potato

This is one of my favourite meals as I love heart health promoting potassium and fibre rich sweet potato with virtually anything. Whilst you can serve bolognese sauce with a spiralised courgette as the latest culinary trend for those in need to reduce starchy carbohydrates and manage their weight more effectively, I find sweet potato instead a lot more satisfying.

Here is a great make over turkey bolognese recipe that contains three times less saturated fat than beef, packed with vegetables for extra fibre and nutrients. Vegetarians and vegans can instead use quorn.

WHAT YOU NEED (Serves 4)

400 gr Turkey mince ( or size and thickness of palm per person)

4 teaspoons of coconut or olive oil,

1 onion,

1 large carrot

1 red peppers,

2 tablespoons of tomato purée, 

1 can of chopped tomato,

200 ml water,

2 handfuls of chopped spinach,

4 medium sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed or halved,

2 teaspoons of ground cumin

Chilli flakes to taste

1 x low salt Kallo cube

black pepper

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO:

Heat the oil in a pan, add the onion, carrots and peppers and cook until just soft.

Add the mince and cook until browned, then add the tomato purée, chopped tomato, generous amount of black pepper, cumin and 1 x low salt Kallo cube dissolved in water. Cook for another 10 minutes.

Towards the end – add spinach until wilted.

Serve with mashed sweet potato or on a jacket sweet potato, sprinkled with some chilli.

This recipe is full of protein, fibre and nutrients and, if you follow the serving sizes, it is ideal as a balanced and low calorie lunch or dinner that whole family will enjoy!

Bon Apetit!

Herbalife Nutrition Beta Heart Heart Nutrition with Beta Glucans

Suffer from high cholesterol? Here are 3 steps you can take to manage it…

Firstly, what is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a natural fatty substance made in the body by the liver. It plays a vital role in the formation of cells, production of vitamin D, production of hormones, production of bile and digestion, BUT high levels can lead to an increased risk or a heart attack, stroke, developing atherosclerosis and other heart diseases… There are two types of cholesterol or lipoproteins:

  • low density lipoproteins (LDL) or bad cholesterol and
  • high density lipoproteins (HDL) or good cholesterol.

High levels of blood cholesterol from either diet or genetics will speed up the plaque’s growth faster. If the plaque bursts suddenly, it cuts off the oxygen supply to a part of the heart: which is when a heart attack can occur. The higher the level of LDL, the greater the risk of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD). The lower the level of HDL, also the higher the risk of CHD.

There are no noticeable symptoms of high blood cholesterol or dislipidaemia and it is usually diagnosed based on medical & family history and blood test results. Whilst we can not control risk factors such as family history, getting a heart friendly diet & getting regular exercise is something we all can control.

These are the lifestyle factors that affect our cholesterol levels. So, whatever our age, if our lifestyle involves smoking, drinking alcohol, sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy diet, excess body weight and body fat or existing health issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure, then we are at risk of having high cholesterol. High cholesterol is not only an issue for older or overweight people.

Statistics show, according to the World Health Organisation, that 133.3 million people in the five biggest European countries (Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the UK) have high blood cholesterol.

A 10% reduction of blood cholesterol levels will result in 50% reduction in heart disease in men of 40 years old in the next 5 years and a 20% risk reduction in those who are 70 years old.

Here are practical ways we can all manage our blood cholesterol…

Step 1: Boost Your Exercise:

Regular exercise is an important part of our heart health and keeping our blood cholesterol at normal levels and, in general, a healthy heart. Exercise helps with weight management as well as keeping your heart healthy by strengthening your heart muscle and keeping blood vessels in a good condition.

It also helps to increase your good HDL cholesterol and stimulates the movement of fatty deposits in the liver. According to the 2013 NHS guidelines, 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week is needed to help lower your cholesterol, which amounts to 30 minutes five times per week:

  • Find a buddy and turn your much necessary fitness into a fun hobby you look forward to;
  • keep it simple and realistic: twenty-minute walk every day and one hour of some other exercise per week will help you reach your 150 minute goal, it does not need to be more complicated than that;
  • whenever you can, take stairs instead of elevator, park your car furthest from the supermarket entrance, etc… get active whenever you can as every little thing makes a difference.

Step 2: Choose heart-friendly diet:

  • Read food labels and choose foods with low cholesterol and low saturated fats:
    • do not buy ready-to-eat snacks like crisps (high in saturated fats, salt and sugar) and choose snacks that contain healthy fats (polyunsaturated and monounsaturated) like nuts, seed, sy beans and olives;
    • avoid processed meats like sausages, frankfurters (choose instead lean cuts of meat),
    • increase consumption of oily fish such as salmon, mackerel that contain healthy fats and Omega 3s;
    • limit intake of red meats and choose low-fat milk and cheese to reduce saturated fat intake,
    • avoid refined “white” carbs found in cakes, ice creams, pastries, white breads, white pasta
  • Take care how you cook your food: avoid roasting and frying and, instead, poach, grill or steam and choose healthy oils during cooking such as olive oil;
  • do not skip meals to lose weight: keep with eating 5 smaller meals every 3-4 hours to control hunger instead;
  • shop after you eat to avoid buying unhealthy foods at an impulse;
  • Increase consumption of fibre as diet rich in fibre can help reduce the risk of heart disease. Fibre helps to control your blood sugar and cholesterol, make you fuller for longer and prevent constipation or hard bowel movements.:
    • choose whole grain varieties of pasta, rice and bread;
    • increase consumption of fruits and vegetables

Step 3: boost your diet with beta-glucans with Beta Heart®

Beta-glucans (found in oats, oat bran, barley, barley bran) have been clinically proven to contribute to the maintenance of normal blood cholesterol levels. Oat beta-glucan has been shown to lower/reduce blood cholesterol.

The beneficial effect is obtained with a daily intake of 3 grams of oat beta-glucan.

When our bodies digest oat bran, beta-glucans molecules are released. They create a gel that binds cholesterol. This is less easily absorbed into the body. The process uses up some circulating cholesterol, meaning less cholesterol in the bloodstream.

Lower your cholesterol

Lower Your Cholesterol with Herbalife Nutrition’s Beta Heart®

Beta Heart® is a nutritious vanilla-flavoured powder that contains the key ingredient OatWell™ oat beta-glucan. Oat beta glucan has been shown to lower or maintain blood cholesterol.

Herbalife has partnered with OatWell™ on Beta heart®, which helps to lower or maintain blood cholesterol in one step. OatWell™  products contain a 4-5 times higher concentration of beta-glucans than standard oat brand, and a natural combination of oat beta-glucan, insoluble fibre and protein.

What does 3 grams of beta glucans look like?

  • 2 bowls of oat based breakfast cereals (281 calories, based on semi skimmed milk),
  • 6 small slices of wholegrain bread (300 calories, based on 50% oat flour, 50gr per slice),
  • 9 oatcakes (400 calories based on 15g oatcake) OR
  • 2 scoops of Herbalife’s Beta Heart (only 51 calories).

Beta Heart® is also approved by cholesterol charity HEART UK, who provide expert support, guidance and education on cholesterol. HEART UK operates a product approval scheme to help signpost the public to heart-healthy foods that can play a positive role in helping  manage their cholesterol.

Key benefits of Beta Heart® :

  • 3 g of oat beta-glucans help to lower cholesterol (2 scoops)
  • 1.5 g oat beta-glucans help to maintain cholesterol (1 scoop)
  • Sugar free
  • With no artificial sweeteners
  • High in fibre (3 g per scoop)
  • Source of protein
  • 25 kcal per scoop

So, how ‘heart-friendly’ is your lifestyle?

A visit to your GP is the only way to know for sure whether your blood levels of cholesterol are ‘high’. Also, simply taking a look at your lifestyle can be an indicator:

• Do you have an unhealthy diet?

• Are you inactive?

• Do you smoke?

• Do you have a high-sugar  or high fat diet? 

If you are concerned, please do get in touch. We have nutrition programmes that can help manage your weight and cholesterol. The heart plays a key role in the human body – it is IMPORTANT to look after it.

how healthy is your diet

How Healthy Is Your Diet? Take a Free Online Test

Joanna’s Testimonial

Joanna’s Testimonial

“Last September I began feeling cross because many of my buttons would just not fasten and I felt exhausted much of the time.  I have a friend who kept going to the dry cleaners to have her clothes taken in and she told me about Herbalife and Sanela.

I immediately called Sanela to book an appointment and from then on my life has improved.  I think the Formula 1 shakes are delicious and I enjoy whizzing them up with fruit; the snack bars really keep one going and above all I like the challenge.  I have lost over a stone now and feel so much better, enjoy my weekly trip to Sanela and her magic scales though I now will see her once a month for a wellness check-up as I reached my goal.

I found it a bit expensive at first as you get supplies for a whole month, but as it works out less than £5 a day for 2 nutritious meals, a healthy protein snack, supplements and an energy drink – Sanela made me realise that a lot of people pay that much just for a sandwich out and a fizzy drink, so it is important to understand the value. Sanela has since made me a member and I now order independently at a discount.

You are sometimes tempted when you are cooking for your family and I did find it difficult to drink enough water but you have your evening meal to look forward to and the joy of looking and feeling better!  This is such a painless way to lose weight and improve your health. I don’t know why more people don’t do it.  I would recommend everyone to just – Go for it!”

Joanna Cacanas, Bath

february a healthy heart month

Heart Health – right at the heart of our health…

Officially, February is a Healthy Heart Month and having lost both mum and dad to heart disease, this is a topic very close to my own heart. Heart disease happens to be our leading cause of death and virtually everyone nowadays will know someone who either has suffered, or still is suffering from some form of heart disease.

Heart disease primarily comes from the build up of fatty deposits in our artery walls, which eventually block the blood flow, leading to a heart attack or a stroke.

Treatment of heart disease nowadays is merely through the prescription drugs. However, heart disease is a lifestyle disease and, as such, preventable and even reversible with the change in lifestyle, which could mean, for many, longer, quality life without prescription drugs, enjoying long, quality life with loved ones…

Whilst age, gender (men are more likely to develop Coronary Heart Disease), family history of heart disease and ethnicity are unmodifiable factors in developing a heart disease – risks factors that are known to influence development of CHD are smoking, diet, lack of physical activity and psychological stress and disease risk is particularly elevated in cases of stroke, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, renal disease.

Science shows that exercise and what we eat and drink play the biggest part in heart health prevention as it helps us maintain healthy weight.

Say NO to Heart Disease: Nitric Oxide (NO) and Heart Health

So, you exercise, maintain a healthy diet, keep your weight down, manage stress, but there is one more component you should add to your healthy heart regimen… and that is increasing your levels of Nitric Oxide.

Nitric Oxide (NO) is a signalling molecule produced organically in our bodies by the intake of right kinds of foods and supplements and it helps to control blood flow to every part of our body.

It supports overall vascular health by helping blood vessels to dilate, which supports healthy blood pressure levels and healthy circulation.

NO was discovered by Dr Louis Ignarro, PhD, world renowned heart health expert, who I had a pleasure of meeting and being trained by on many occasions and who was awarded a prestigious Nobel Price for the discovery of Nitric Oxide and what it could mean to the humanity in reduction of heart disease.

Dr Louis Ignarro believes that Nitric Oxide, this single molecule that is produced by the body itself, may be the single factor that contributes to all major illnesses and, at the same time, the key to living a longer, healthier life…

In itself, Nitric Oxide is a gas that acts throughout the body as a messenger and influences the functioning of virtually every organ in the body, including the lungs, liver, kidneys, stomach, genitals and, of course, heart by inactivating so-called “oxygen radicals” (free radicals) in the body that can contribute to cell damage.

  • The cardiovascular system uses Nitric Oxide to control blood flow to every part of the body. Not only can Nitric Oxide relax and dilate (enlarge) the blood vessels, thus ensuring that blood can efficiently nourish the heart and tissues of the entire body, Nitric Oxide can also support healthy blood pressure levels.
  • The immune system uses Nitric Oxide to combat toxins, providing a strong internal deffence system.
  • The brain relies on Nitric Oxide to store and retrieve long-term memories and to transmit information within the nervous system.

A deficiency, therefore, of Nitric Oxide, can have a dramatic impact on our health. A total lifestyle approach to supporting Nitric Oxide levels including a healthy diet, exercise and nutritional supplementation, provides a wide range of benefits throughout the body at the cellular level which can improve circulatory, immune and nervous system function.

Here are just few things you can do to boost your Nitric Oxide production and support your Heart Health:

MANAGE YOUR WEIGHT:

If you are at least 15% heavier than you should be, than your excess fat is stressing your heart and blood vessels. Your endothelial Nitric Oxide production is diminished, and your susceptibility to a host of diseases is increased. Losing weight is not about vanity, but your health. Managing your weight is important, so is choosing a weight loss plan that will not damage further your health as many fad diets do, but will contribute towards your heart health.

DECREASE YOUR INTAKE OF SATURATED FATS AND ELIMINATE TRANS FAT INTAKE:

Whilst fat needs to form 30% of your daily calorie intake, it is important it comes from the right sources, so avoid Trans fats you will find in many off the shelf items like biscuits, cakes, ice creams, etc, but also avoid most of your fats coming from saturated fats from especially animal produce such as sausages and other processes meats… more about Healthy Fats

ADD QUALITY OMEGA 3 FISH OILS TO YOUR DIET:

Omega 3 fatty acids from fish oils help reduce total blood fats, reduce bad cholesterol and raise HDL good cholesterol. Also, fish oils benefit the heart by keeping arteries being clogged up, contributing to heart attack and stroke. The recommendation is to include oily fish in your diet at least twice per week, especially fish like sardines, mackerel, salmon and fresh tuna. Research shows that the production of Nitric Oxide increased within minutes after exposure to omega 3 fatty acids.

INCREASE YOUR DIETARY FIBRE CONSUMPTION & ANTIOXIDANT INTAKE:

Many associate fibre with healthy digestion, but actually, our heart benefits too. Studies have suggested that soluble fibre can perform a tasks of lowering blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels and increasing HDL cholesterol – by binding with cholesterol particles in your digestive system and moving them out of the body before they’re absorbed – thereby protecting the endothelial cells where Nitric Oxide is manufactured.

Scientists now believe that it is not just eating fat that causes the build up on the inner surface of the arteries, but eating those fats that have been oxidised, which makes it more sticky therefore adhering to the inner artery walls more easily.

Antioxidants neutralise free radicals in the body and reduction in free radicals will also reduce the risk of the free radicals oxidising the fat and making it stick to the artery wall.

We are now coming to believe that fibre works through substances called phytonutrients, which seem to have the antioxidant advantage when it comes to guarding NO. Higher fibre foods, in particular vegetables and fruits, also tend to contain other nutrients like vitamin C and E, powerful antioxidants that stimulate your production of NO.

Daily recommended amount of fibre is minimum 25 grams per day and statistics show that many are struggling with achieving even half of this amount, which is affecting not just heart, but also digestive health of the population.

INCREASE INTAKE OF DIETARY SOY:

Soy has been a staple of the diet in Japan for many years and heart disease is amongst the lowest in Japan, and at least the part of the credit belongs to soy.

Soy is filled with phytonutrients that function as antioxidants and fight everything from cardiovascular disease to cancers of the breast and prostate. In particular, soy substance called isoflavones interfere with the oxidation of blood fats, preventing free radicals from being formed and from causing endothelial damage that interferes with Nitric Oxide production.

There are plenty of ways to incorporate soy into your diet such as through soy yogurt or milk or tofu as a substitute for meat dishes. I personally consume it through my Formula 1 Healthy Breakfast smoothie and it provides, apart from a complete plant protein, also all the vitamins, minerals my body needs as well as the fibre – up to 10 grams of it just per breakfast.

INCREASE CONSUMPTION OF GREEN TEA:

Green tea has been known in China as a powerful healing agent for at least 4000 years. Green tea contains powerful antioxidant, which appears to kill cancer cells without harming healthy ones and it combats oxidative stress and protects your endothelial cells from invading molecules, thereby safeguarding Nitric Oxide production and improving your cardiovascular health.

Green tea also seems to speed up the rate at which the body burns up fat, making its consumption supportive of weight loss. It is very important how tea is manufactured to ensure its potency once it reaches the consumer, so I have my own brand that I trust that will not go through alcohol during manufacturing process as most supermarket teas do.

BOOST YOUR FITNESS:

Last but not the least – increase your Nitric Oxide production by boosting your fitness… Benefits of exercise are tremendous in getting our overall health, in particular cardiovascular. So, get more active!

I hope this article has been of a benefit and wishing you all a Healthy Heart Month of February! Please do check out Dr Lou Ignarro’s superb book “NO More Heart Disease”, my clients borrow it from time to time and find it refreshing and packed with not just research but also advice that can be easily implemented.

CONSIDER OUR HEART HEALTH FRIENDLY NUTRITION

Lower your cholesterol Beta Heart Herbalife Nutrition

Lower Your Cholesterol with our Beta Heart®

Beta Heart® is a nutritious vanilla-flavoured powder that contains the key ingredient OatWell™ oat beta-glucan that has been shown to lower or maintain blood cholesterol.

Herbalife has partnered with OatWell™ on Beta heart®, which helps to lower or maintain blood cholesterol in one step. OatWell™  products contain a 4-5 times higher concentration of beta-glucans than standard oat brand, and a natural combination of oat beta-glucan, insoluble fibre and protein.

Look after your heart, eyes and brain with Herbalifeline Max

  • Taking 1 tablet per day contributes to the normal function of the heart, normal vision and normal brain function
  • Taking 4 tablets per day contributes to the maintenance of normal blood triglyceride levels
  • Taking 5 tablets per day contributes towards the maintenance of normal blood pressure
Niteworks® Night-time Nutrition

Add powerful ally in the maintenance of excellent heart health with NiteWorks®

Herbalife’s  heart health supplement NiteWorks is a direct result of Dr Louis Ignarro’s awarded research and it supports your body’s natural ability to produce Nitric Oxide, which promotes circulatory, immune and nervous system function.

As majority heart attacks happen in the early hours of the morning when Nitric Oxide levels are at its lowest, this nighttime supplement helps to elevate its levels.

best breakfast 2019

Maintain your Weight and increase nutrient intake with Formula 1

Clinically proven to reduce weight and correct all five metabolic syndromes better and faster than all-food diet, our Formula 1 is a brilliant addition to anyone’s diet whether you need a more balanced and nutritious breakfast, recovery after a workout, healthy snack or any other meal replaced when on the go… it is a perfect plant based nutrition addition!

I dedicate this post to my mum…

Heart disease is a silent killer because there are no obvious signs or symptoms, and many people don’t realise they have it.

Yet, unless it was fatal, it is a totally reversible disease and our lifestyle has direct impact on its development in the first place.

Take care of your heart, because it is literally at the heart of your health.

I love you, mum, miss you every day and wish you were still with us. Rest in peace, you are forever in my heart…

If you would like to reach out and see how you can support your heart health through Herbalife Nutrition and making lifestyle changes, please do not hesitate to get in touch…


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I am interested, but I have more questions about Herbalife NutritionI am ready for a lifestyle change & would love to work on a 1-2-1 basis - please book my FREE Wellness EvaluationI thrive in a group environment & I am ready to change my habits - I would like to discuss joining 5 Day Eat Clean Challenge or 4 Week Challenge

immune health

Boost your Immune System and ward off common viruses!

With season changes, especially during winter season when we spend more time indoors (when indoor air could possibly be even five times more polluted than outdoor air) – no wonder we are more vulnerable to viruses and lower immunity, especially if we have not properly recovered from previous colds and flu.

When we get stuffed up nose from having a cold, it is just our body alerting us that we are either not giving our body what it needs or exposing it to what it can not handle… The truth is, it is not us that get ill, but our cells, so, health of our body is dependent on the health of our cells.

To avoid getting ill, taking valuable time off work and even prolonging our time being ill, our best line of defense is always developing a healthy, active lifestyle. Feeding & protecting our cells on a daily basis will not only make our body stronger to face common viruses, but also minimise its exposure to free radicals that cause cell damage and make us age faster and develop more serious conditions…

Here are some strategies to keep your immune health strong:

1 Reduce stress and get plenty of sleep and rest: I would like to start with sleep and rest as, for me, this is the weakest link. 2-3 days of lacking sleep and I am in trouble despite the fact that I actually take really good care of my body.

There are many reasons for this, main one being that our body’s cells count on good sleep in order to repair & regenerate themselves. Lack of sleep can raise levels of fat storing hormone cortisol that impairs our food choices the next day, which have further repercussions on our energy levels, weight management and general health. Try to get 7-9 hours of sleep each night.

2 Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables: A nutrient-rich diet is important as it is exactly the lack of nutrients that lowers our immunity.

Minimum five portions of fruit and veg a day are recommended. Plants are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and immune-boosting substances known as phytochemicals, which help protect us against disease.

Try to eat them raw to preserve their nutrient content, although some like carrots and tomatoes, have more nutrients when cooked slightly.

3 Protect your Digestive Health: This could easily be the most important point of all as scientists now believe that 80% of our immunity is in our digestive tract.

Bad digestion also impairs our immune health as absorption of nutrients is compromised and no amount of nutrient intake can help if those nutrients are not being absorbed by our cells.

4 Build an exercise habit: To keep colds and viruses at bay, it is very important to get active and start a healthy exercise program. It is worth noting that exercise, especially a lot of it, also causes free radicals that cause oxidative stress and damage to our cells, so it is paramount that our exercise efforts go alongside a nutrients-rich healthy & clean diet that contains free radical fighting antioxidants.

This will strengthen body’s immunity and defenses as well as repair the damage exercise causes to our muscles. On top of that, you also get many benefits of exercise:

• Increases energy.
• Reduces stress.
• Builds stronger bones and muscles
• Improves Sleep.
• Improves strength, balance and posture.
• Opens us for great social opportunities and to meet new friends; gym classes especially are great ways of meeting like-minded people.
• Gives us pride and sense of achievement when we meet our goals.
• Helps depression.
• Helps weight loss/ management and tones our body.
• Encourages healthy competition: training with a friend can help you try even harder!
• Alleviates period pain!
• Reduces high blood pressure and the threat of coronary disease & a stroke.

5 Stop Smoking! We all know the facts now: smoking leads to many serious illnesses such as lung disease, so start cutting back now!

Only one single cigarette generates approximately one quadrillion free radicals. Can you even imagine this number?

6 Include a high quality supplement in your diet. This STILL seems to be a controversial point, which always puzzles me and I think it is because it is much misunderstood.

The “pro-supplement” case is very clear – nutrition in our plants is at least 4 times less than it was 100 years ago! These days we get oranges with no Vitamin C, Spinach with very little or no Iron, etc.

However, it is not as easy as just popping a supplement and that is not what is suggested here. Because not all supplements are created equal and majority of those on the market are totally useless.

An effective supplement is the one that contains many types of antioxidants combined properly and well absorbed by the body. Anything less than this is not effective if not even hazardous. The best instruction I can give is to avoid cheap supplements and go for pharmaceutical grade instead of just food grade available on our high streets & online portals.

If drugs (that are chemicals) work to regulate certain processes, there is no reason why naturally occurring & health essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants (that are also chemicals that our bodies well respond to and depend on) would not work too. They are, however, not to substitute, but to supplement an already healthy diet if we want to see any results from taking them.

Cells that are healthy from a clean, nutrient rich & sugar free diet will absorb nutrients easier as well as there will be more to be absorbed from a quality supplement. This is a bullet proof combo!

Well rounded Vitamin & Mineral supplement is a great place to start.

These are the ones that my family and I use:

Formula 2 Vitamin & Mineral Supplement for Women

Formula 2 Vitamin & Mineral Supplement for Men

Other elements that cause free radical damage of our cells are prolonged exposure to sunlight, pesticides, pollution, medications, food additives, food (in particular processed food), etc. These all deplete our immunity and we can take measures to avoid or minimise our exposure to them.

Also, keep surfaces in your house clean and make sure you improve air circulation in your home by opening up windows regularly.

I hope the above was valuable and highlighted areas where you may need to pay extra attention in order to extra bullet proof your Immune Health.

In the mean time, stay strong & healthy and feel free to explore your current wellness and find out how well you may be doing and where you may be falling short by taking an online wellness test below…

Until next time, yours in health,

Sanela

Wellness Evaluation Wellness4life

HOW HEALTHY IS YOUR DIET? Take a FREE Online Wellness Test

It takes only a few minutes answering some key questions in relation to your health, nutrition and lifestyle is able to give you ideas where you may be falling short in your lifestyle choices and how to improve it.

You then have an opportunity to reach out to me for support in areas where you are unable to make changes yourself…

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