To buy or not to buy… Organic?

to buy organic or not

I think this is the question that is on many people’s minds as some are very much aware of the pesticides in our fresh produce, whilst many, on the other hand, even distrust Organic label all together.

One is for sure, organic produce is a lot more expensive than its regular non-organic counterparts. It could be anywhere from 50% to 200% more expensive. There are many reasons for it – but it is mainly limited supply and intensity of the labour involved that is driving the prices up…

Why should we worry about pesticides?

Pesticides are poisons and, unfortunately, they can harm more than just the “pests” which they are supposed to target. They are toxic and exposure to pesticides can cause a number of health effects. They are linked to a range of serious illnesses and diseases from respiratory problems to cancer.

Pesticides are all around us – parks, pavements and playgrounds. Many people buy pesticides off the shelf for home and garden use. And finally, pesticide residues found on and in our food also puts us at risk.

Exposure to some can be acutely toxic, some cause toxicity over a prolonged period of time. Some cause cancers, some mess up our hormonal balance.

And then there is a combined effect of several where presence of one triggers other to be altered and act differently in combination with others that it would on its own (cocktail effect). This is the most dangerous one as prolonged exposure to cocktail effect is not yet known.

So, I think we can all agree that we need to pay more attention at the quality of food we buy. Organic is one way to buy produce and to be at least slightly at rest, assured that we are not putting our health at risk.

So, if you are not finding the costs of organic produce always affordable, here is what I suggest:

1. CHOOSE FRUITS AND VEGETABLES FROM THE “CLEAN LIST”

You may have heard about the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen… I think this a good place to start, so we can see what we can choose from a clean list that may not be worth buying organic in the first place.

Environmental Working Group, EWG – a non-profit, non-partisan organisation is dedicated to protecting human health and the environment, but their report is specifically concerned with vegetables and fruits in the US and some of this is certainly transferable worldwide or at least indicative of what some of the most problematic fruits and vegetables might be.

The Pesticide Action Network UK have devised the Best & Worst Food for Pesticide Residues and I like their work as they list foods that have a single pesticide and foods found with multiple of pesticides.

Here are the cleanest that can be bought non-organic:

EWG’s CLEAN 15 (USA): 1.Avocados/ 2. Sweet Corn/ 3. Pineapples/ 4. Cabbage/ 5. Sweet Peas (frozen)/ 6. Onions/ 7. Asparagus/ 8. Mangoes/ 9. Papayas/ 10. Kiwi/ 11. Aubergine/ 12. Grapefruit/ 13. Cantaloupe/Melon/ 14. Cauliflower/ 15. Sweet potatoes

PAN UK’S Best Fruit and Veggies with least pesticides: 1.Corn (cob)/ 2. Leeks/ 3. Star Fruit/ 4. Aubergines/ 5. Plums/ 6. Onions/ 7. Ginger/ 7. Exotic Fruits/ 8. Chilli/ 9. Kiwi Fruit/ 10. Peppers/ 11. Celery/ 12. Spinach/ 13. Banana/ 14. Raspberries/ 15. Other Berries/ 16. Melon

So, let’s than see that makes the Dirty Dozen list… or more than a Dozen:

EWG’S DIRTY DOZEN (USA): 1.Apples/ 2. Strawberries/ 3. Grapes/ 4. Celery/ 5. Peaches/ 6. Spinach/ 7. Sweet Bell Peppers/ 8. Nectarines/ 9. Cucumbers/ 10. Cherry Tomatoes/ 11. Snap Peas / 12. Potatoes.

PAN UK’S WORST FRUIT & VEGGIE LIST (with multiple residues): 1.Citrus (oranges, limes, lemons, nectarines)/ 2. Pineapples/ 3. Pears/ 4. Apples/ 5. Grapes/ 6. Strawberries/ 7. Peaches/ 8. Tomatoes/ 9. Apricots/ 10. Parsnips/ 11. Cucumber/ 12. Carrots/ 13. Lettuce, prepackaged salad leaves/ 14. Beans/ 15. Peas in a pod/ 16. Raspberries/ 17. Courgettes and Marrows/ 18. Cherries/ 19. Herbs/ 20. Kale

PAN UK’s worst other foods with presence of single and multiple pesticide residues: 1. Raisins (100%)/ 2. Dried grapes/ 3. Pesto/ 4. Tinned Beans/ 5. Herbal infusions and teas/ 6. Tinned Oranges/ 7. Tinned Strawberries/ 8. Wine/ 9. Tinned Cherries/ 10. Crisps/ 11. Oats (90%)/ 12. Processed Chicken/ 13. Spices/ 14. Wheat/ 15. Cereal Bars/ 16. Garlic/ 17. Mango/ 18. Prepared fresh fruit

As oats and wheat have been highly contaminated (90% of the samples) with single and multiple residues of pesticides, PAN UK found that two thirds of the breads are too. Read full report here.

The most concerning is that PAN UK found that Children in England are being exposed to a cocktail of pesticide residues in the fresh produce they receive through the Department of Health’s School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme (SFVS). 123 different pesticides were detected and for just 1p extra per day all the produce could be sourced organically. Read their full report here.

So, I believe it is good to check annual reports on what makes the dirty and clean list & try to eat from the CLEAN list as much as possible. Also, it is probably not worth buying those organic.

Then, what do we do about our favourites on the DIRTY list?

2. TREAT YOUR PRODUCE TO MINIMISE THE PESTICIDES

My mum used to do this a lot. She would wash the produce, where possible, in the solution of vinegar and water that seems to be a recommended an effective method at getting rid of harmful bacteria and some pesticides.

Mix the solution of 9 parts water and 1 part white vinegar and soak the produce in this vinegar solution allowing it to soak briefly, then swish it around in the solution and rinse before consuming.

This will help reduce the pesticides on the skin and time spent treating it can be well worth your health.

However, due to the nature of many of the new systemic type of pesticides, residues are contained within the entire piece of produce rather than just on the surface, which is especially true for any with soft skin. Think of tomatoes, cucumber, salad leaves, etc…

As a result, peeling or washing fruit and vegetables before eating is often not enough to prevent exposure to pesticides.

Then, it is your choice whether to buy those from the “dirty” list Organic or not.

3. BUY LOCAL PRODUCE

Local produce from trusted farmers might not guarantee that the produce does not have pesticides, but it may offer a better choice as it means that food has not traveled long, like 10 000 miles to get to your table, or picked green to reach you ripe in time… And this certainly off sets some carbon footprint. You also get a benefit of a fresher and more nutritious food. Perhaps, this is indeed a good compromise.

It is worth to note that organic produce that has traveled many miles to get to your table may have no pesticides, but is highly unlikely to have many nutrients. I would always go for nutrients, if I had to choose!

4. BUY FROZEN VEGETABLES

The truth is, if frozen at a time of picking, frozen vegetables and fruits can be even more nutritious because they retained all the nutrients whilst being frozen, according to research. So, if you go for those from the “clean” list – you are winning!

5. GROW YOUR OWN

If you have time and space, you can grow your own fruit and vegetables.

I have a remarkable friend in Milan who converted her entire roof top terrace into a garden that produces an incredible harvest each summer and autumn that she partly uses herself and partly needs to give away.

There are more and more urban projects of communities coming together and growing fresh produce.

In today’s world where food is less and less nutritious whilst Dirty Dozen list is getting way longer each year, it is not just our own health now, but the health of our future generations that depends on people getting together and finding solutions that will change the way we not only eat, but grow our food.

Governments will not solve a single thing for us, but minds and green fingers of people joined together just might!

And any of us could be an agent for change!

Start by finding out who is already doing something in the community or start your own movement if you have the drive and the passion for it!

If you are already doing something like this, let me know, share your story. I find stories like this incredibly inspiring as they give hope that… well, that there IS hope in the first place…

Thank you for reading and here is to you and your healthy, toxin free, active lifestyle!

Yours in health,

Sanela

Free Wellness Evaluation

Find out exactly why you are not getting the weight management and health results that you are after. I will help analyse your diet and find areas where you are falling short and recommend solutions.

Market value of a Wellness Evaluation is anywhere between £40 and £90, so Wellness Evaluation can be seen as my gift to you. Before making any decisions, my aim is to empower you with knowledge so you understand what changes need to happen and why in order to take your health to the next level in a healthy and balanced way…

Local clients can also enjoy the benefit of a Full Body Composition Analysis…


How to get excited about losing weight again…

Get excited about losing weight again

Most of us are programmed to think about what we will be missing out on when we have a big task ahead to complete rather than what we will gain in the process. So, we talk ourselves out of it!

Weight loss is one of these things we struggle seeing through!

It is one gigantic mission for many! Mission that many start and not complete or are on a roller coaster throughout life of completing and re-completing over and over again.

We know we should because it cuts down the health risks. But, it takes too much effort, too much time and, quite frankly, you might not even know where to start!

Most do not realise that if they perceive weight loss as hard – maintenance is even harder as it requires a whole new mindset shift.

I know, I have just made this whole thing rather depressing. LOL.

But, I encourage you to read on.

We come up with all the possible excuses why now is not the right time, how we have not found the plan that works for us, etc. Like most of it is not just common sense – drop added sugar and processed foods, increase water and exercise, make portions smaller and you are half way there already.

Yes, only half way as there is more to it and everyone’s understanding of what this really implies can vary. But, half way is always good enough place to start.

Beats not starting any time, right?

I know! It is all easier said than done!

Partly because food industry has made us addicted to sugar, flour and salt and we are just digging the hole even deeper and unable to get ourselves out of it.

Did you know that the food industry invest billions on research linking their products to happiness?

They bring in special experts who make combinations of salt, sugar and flour so perfect that we are addicted to the high it gives us from the first “hello”! And then we are so hooked that we keep seeking that same high… Which is why we sometimes eat even without thinking!

So, they play with our minds and body chemistry making us addicted to consuming way beyond our energy requirements. And way below our nutrition requirements.

This also means that it is time to stop blaming yourself for having a few pounds extra… or a lot more… System is clearly rigged and designed to keep us addicted and sick.

And I really believe this. There are forces out there who profit on our addictions and sickness. And are allowed to do so.

However, knowing this does not diminish our personal responsibility and the power I believe we have!

I believe when human mind is open to receive the knowledge it also has the power to make different decisions for themselves. And one decision at a time can have a compound effect on our future life.

Did you know, that if you have a smart phone these days – you have access to more information and knowledge than what President of the United States had 20 years ago?

I heard this over the weekend and I believe it. And I love it.

So, no excuses!

When eyes see things and ears hear new information – you can never undo it! When your mind expands with knowledge, it can never be retracted.

There is nothing that we can not do!

We just need to be willing to learn and seek knowledge!

And, how to be excited again about losing weight?

First, do not make it about weight loss! That is the first rule!

Because it truly is not about losing weight!

Second rule is figuring out what drives you to be HEALTHY instead?

How would your life be different? What could you do that you are unable to do now? What would you be able to wear? How would that make you feel?

What do you worry about when it comes to your health? You know weight is big part of those worries. Because you understand the risks. So, figure out how good would it feel not to have those worries.

If you come from a family that is overweight or obese, let me tell you… It is NOT in your genes! We can live to be 100 and have six pack well into our 60s or 70s or even 80s with the right lifestyle practices.

That is a fact!

OK, you don’t want a six pack! And that is more than cool!

Good news is – six pack is not a requirement for a long and happy and healthy life!

But right lifestyle practices and routines are!

Get excited because of how amazing it would feel to have the energy to face all the life’s challenges!

Without nourishing and looking after our bodies – it simply will not serve us well or to our full potential.

With health – we can achieve anything! That is why our health is our biggest wealth!

And if you think that it is easier to be healthy when you are wealthy… well, maybe you are right, but how about turning this on its head and think:

… if I achieve my best health, it is way easier to achieve wealth I desire!

If that is what you desire, of course!

Anyway, does the idea of being at the best shape and energy excite you?

Seeing and feeling how your life would be different is a good place to start because you must find what excites you about achieving (and keeping) great health in order to ever be able to achieve weight loss and keep your weight off!

Weight loss is just a by product!

Can you see that to be the case?

Mindset shift on getting excited about having a healthy, active lifestyle that will inspire you as well as the others around you is the key!

Then you just get through the motions of creating a brand new YOU and, you’ve guessed it – leaner figure just happens.

You can not solve the problem with the same mind that created it. And I am not the smart cookie that said this. But, I use it often as it is one of the fundamental truths around!

Stop worrying about weight as that will just keep you chained to a weight loss prison!

Get excited about health and let the vision of your NEW YOU make you take an inspired action!

Then, you need to get consistent and develop resilience, but that is another topic.

For now, just get excited and take some steps. Because when you are excited, truly excited and able to hold that vision – even if you do not see the whole road ahead – you will be less likely to give up.

So, drink more water.

Stop skipping breakfast.

Have a nourishing breakfast that is low in sugar and high in protein.

Eat regularly.

Exercise more.

Start somewhere. One healthy habit at a time and solutions will present themselves.

Because, if you change nothing – nothing will change!

We all had to start somewhere!

I believe in you!

Yours in health,

Sanela

Nutritional Therapist and a Herbalife Nutrition Health Coach

Free Wellness Evaluation

Find out exactly why you are not getting the weight management and health results that you are after. I will help analyse your diet and find areas where you are falling short and recommend solutions.

Market value of a Wellness Evaluation is anywhere between £40 and £90, so Wellness Evaluation can be seen as my gift to you. Before making any decisions, my aim is to empower you with knowledge so you understand what changes need to happen and why in order to take your health to the next level in a healthy and balanced way…

Local clients can also enjoy the benefit of a Full Body Composition Analysis…


Staying on track of our wellness goals when socialising…

healthy boundaries

This morning I had such a great session with my client who has been doing so great over the past few months. She has had such a great result to date in a short few months: body fat going from over 33% to 27% and her metabolic age going from 38 to a young age of 24 (she is 33). Amazing progress! 

Because this has not been the greatest of the weeks for her, we dug a little deeper. We spoke about not only achieving weight loss for the sake of it, but also developing healthy habits that will serve us for a long time and keep the weight off for a long time too.

I believe life is too short to spend it losing weight one part of the year (or for years), only to go back to our old eating habits so we can gain everything back. So, we can go on a diet again. Many repeat this cycle every single year.

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Give a little piece of your heart to the world… we get back so much more when we give…

It is a Sunday morning and I got up earlier, as usual, before everyone else. I am enjoying my cup of tea and a light breeze in the kitchen from all the windows being open so the fresh air can come in. Sun is out, birds are chirping away…. you get the picture. Beautiful setting and, yet, I have been so tearful last few days, painfully aware that Eid is in just a few short days and it will be the first one without mum.

I feel empty and confused as I do not know what meaning to give to Eid as it was because of her that we fussed about it in the first place. I just want to skip it. And I know I probably shouldn’t. Because the world does not stop. Next one will come before I know it and I will have to find way to go through it at some point. Heart tells me to acknowledge it, in her honour.

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Don’t let this sabotage your health efforts…

Are you someone who, when life throws a curve ball, because conditions are less perfect to maintain your health efforts – you tend to just throw in a towel and put a “diet” on a time-out until life corrects itself?

This could be due to a holiday, new baby, new job, stress at work, stress at home, moving house, relationship break-up, illness, celebrations such as birthdays, anniversaries, etc.? Or simply things not going your way and relief we get from even just a thought of a time-out while we sort our mindset out, has become as addictive as the sugar we know we also still crave for.

I get it. It is almost a completely logical thing to do. And you are not the only one who thinks that.

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13 Reasons Calorie Counting is OUT

Many resort to calorie counting as the best way to monitor their food intake and, if you have not heard it before, I am here to tell you that those days are gone… for good… because calorie counting is not an exact science as you thought it might be both when it comes to the factors concerning calorie consumption as well as calorie expenditure.

And, I think this a good news as it can free us from endless measuring and counting. Life is too short, right?

Studies show up to 25% errors when counting calories on each side: 25% error on calories we consume and 25% error on calories we burn because of our own individual differences, industry as well as our own measurements errors.

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It took walking in my client’s shoes…

We truly can not understand someone until we are in their shoes.

It took me personally losing my way with food (and I do not know how or when it happened) to be able to understand how tough it can be to get back on track for some of those who come to me for help;

It took me going through my own grief to understand the challenges of those who are grieving, how it impacts our choices and that patience and compassion are the key;

It took me ages to admit I needed help, to get my own coach and join the support community of others on the same mission as myself in order to be able to understand the reluctance of some of my clients who would rather do it on their own;

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Farewell to my dear mama

Passing away is a fact of life. We are met with it daily and are all just travellers in that respect, just passing by, each leaving our own unique mark on the world before we leave it. Reason knows it and yet heart can not help being broken when we lose a loved one. No other death has effected me as much as my mum’s. At the age of 78, just few days short of her 79th birthday, she surprised us all by leaving this existence, as we know it.

Past month I went from numb to my mind racing 100 miles per hour. Starting with – how is it possible that we can just be no more. I just could not stomach the fact that I could never call her again and speak to her…

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Eat well, sleep well to be well!

I do not think that we talk often enough about rest and sleep and their connection with our general health and weight management. Not only that they are connected, but the way we eat, our nutrition, can also influence not only our weight management, which is not a big news to anyone, but it can also influence how well we sleep. It is called Sleep Nutrition.

An average adult should get between 7 to 9 hours of sleep per day.

So, how well are you doing?
Do you have difficulty falling asleep?
Are you perhaps waking up a lot during the night and then finding it difficult to fall back to sleep?
Are you waking up tired and feeling unsettled or irritable throughout the day?

If any of this is you, I hope this article will be able to shed a bit of light and, ultimately, help.

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Healthy Fats: no healthy diet exists without them!

Here is one topic that is confusing the hell out of people. Fat in a diet.

Is fat bad? Should we have any fat in our diet? How much, if so? What kind of fat? What about keto diets? Etc.

We used to believe that fat is bad and diets should be low-fat… I know. I was there myself. Luckily, I had an awareness of protein and knew that cereals, bread, pastas are of no good to me, so I focused on protein and veg. And this worked really well. However, it WAS missing a healthy fat element and luckily science has moved on and with that, the way we now think of a properly balanced diet.

Low fat diet frenzy started in the 70s and it took decades before we realised that it was not fat, but sugar and simple carbohydrates, that are a true enemy. Many low-fat produce, like yoghurt as an example, were just added sugar to taste better. Same with baked goods: they reduced fat, whilst increasing sugar to compensate and sold us the notion that low fat was healthier. Think of muffins, cakes, etc.

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Vitamins & Minerals – tiny, but mighty little health soldiers!

Most of my health education was self-education and it started when I was a teenager. I have always enjoyed reading about health, especially vitamins & minerals and their impact on our health, which prompted my latest qualification as a Nutritional Therapist and why it felt so right, in the first place, to become a Herbalife Nutrition health coach nearly 15 years ago now. Because I understood the science already, I was open-minded to test the products and see the difference they possibly made. The rest is history.

Even as a teenager I used to make smoothies with any edible plant that was available in and around the house, together with fresh raw eggs from a local lady and soya milk I would drive for hours on my bike until I found one store that stocked it. Some teenagers smoked, I did this.

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10 “Food Frauds” to be aware of…

It was one of our Healthier & Fitter in 4 Weeks Challenge participants that inspired me to write this article. We are all proud of Kelly as she refused a cake yesterday, although it was “vegan and low sugar”. Many would even go as far as to say it is a “healthy cake”. Truth is – result to your blood sugar levels and impact on hormones would be just the same. Of course it is better when we use less sugar, but, it is not a great difference you might think it is.

I have recently visited Vegan festival here in Bath. What a fabulous movement, veganism that is. It is needed to bring our awareness of the suffering of animals. I believe in it and believe that is where, as a society, we must venture not only to save our souls from animals being mistreated in our name, but to save the environment too. Although, as we get the honey from the bees, I see nothing wrong from getting milk & cheese from the cows or eggs from our feathery friends. As long as we demand our food suppliers treat our animals with respect, as the nature intended. We must not stay ignorant of the way animals are torchered in life and death, in the name of our ever-growing food demand.

That is it on that subject for now as it is a different subject entirely. What was apparent from the probably good 90% of the food choices offered at the Bath Vegan Festival – we have a long way to go to understand what healthy and balanced means.

So, let’s start there when we talk about foods that are not entirely healthy although name would suggest they are. Some are even food frauds. But both are just the same – sneaky little diet wreckers.

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weight gain

Unexplained Weight Gain? These could be possible reasons

Weight management is a science. Beautiful science, that is. If you invest time in understanding it – managing your weight and your health becomes a game where you stand a chance winning it each time, for life.

Then, there are situations where you just might scratch your head, situations where it is not that simple and by the book, where you find yourself with an unexplained weight gain.

If you lack the knowledge of the basics, you will probably not find yourself in this article in case reasons for your weight gain are simply down to the lack of balance and frequency in your nutrition and diet.

If you eat more calories than what your body needs to function (more energy than you are burning), if your diet is out of balance (too many carbohydrates and too little proten) or if you suddenly cut back on exercise and continue eating the same amount as you did with exercise – of course you may gain weight! If your diet is not balanced, your body composition can be changing as well as you may be experiencing weight gain.

So, diet indeed is a major culprit.

However, if you’re doing everything the same as you normally  do and your weight still goes up – then you may need to dig a little deeper why that is…

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How to ensure fast metabolism

Metabolism is THE word. It is the reason why one person can eat like a growing teenager and not gain a pound, while another person’s every indulgence shows up on their waist.

What is Metabolism?

It is the name for the chemical processes by which our bodies convert food that we eat into the energy that we need to survive and function. It powers all our chemical processes from breathing to blinking.

The minimum amount of energy your body requires to carry out these chemical processes is called the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) or resting metabolic rate (RMR).

What determines our metabolic rate? Or what determines how effectively we burn the calories we consume into energy?

The aim is to burn all the food that we eat and not to have any excess, otherwise body will be storing it as fat and that is how we gain weight.

So, what determines how fast or slow the process happens is the combination of one’s body size, age, gender and genes. Of course, foods that we eat and drink will also effect the metabolism as some support it and some hinder the process.

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Trying to lose weight? It may be time to reconsider your drinking habit

While many of us can happily give up our fatty or sugary favourites, I find that certainly many of my clients find more difficult to give up alcohol, especially at weekends. It is built into our culture and it is a large part in how we enjoy time with friends and loved ones.

Apart from an obvious case where a person may be an addict, for vast amount of people alcohol has become a lot more than just an activity to partake when we are in social environment in order to perhaps celebrate something. Many use it to take an edge off a rough day, some do it almost on a daily basis. It has become a way of life. There is possibly even an emotion attached to it. Coming home from a hard day, pouring a large glass of Pinot Noir (or whatever your poison is) to sip whilst you are cooking your healthy dinner for your family or your partner, then another one over dinner and perhaps even one more as you snuggle up on the sofa to wind down. It s almost like a scene from a movie that glorifies this lifestyle. It may help you relax and you rely on alcohol to achieve that state.

This is only one of million other scenarios, however, one thing that strikes me regularly when starting a client on their nutrition plan is their excitement to change their diet and start their plan and then their equal reluctance to give up their drink. Sometimes the decision whether to go ahead with my coaching or not depends solely on how much their alcohol habit will be affected if they were to embark on a healthier & fitter self-betterment journey. It can easily sound like an addiction. And sometimes giving up alcohol is just one change too many they are not prepared to make.

Of course, it is OK not to be ready, it is our call when we are going to decide to change. And I am not in any way saying that alcohol should be avoided by absolutely everyone and at every circumstance. However, alcohol addiction is a reality for many. And obesity can be accelerated or even caused by alcohol, including many diseases. So, having any alcohol in a diet is a problem for many.

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Change your habits, change your life… How do we create new habits?

Thank you for clicking on this article as its title is everything but original. But, that does not make it less true. Actually, it is a huge deal!

Our life is truly a reflection of our habits at every level of our existence. We become what we think about because what we think about is what we will focus on and that will influence what action we take, which, ultimately, leads to a particular outcome (or outcomes for different areas of our life). Results, in one word.

Einstein’s famous definition of insanity is repeating the same actions over and over again and expecting different result. And, yet, that is exactly what majority of us do. We have around 60 000 thoughts every single day, take or add a few, and research suggests that 98% of those thoughts are exactly the same thoughts we have every single day. So, anyone wanting to change their life – what we need to change are habits and behaviours, which will influence our actions and the end result – our life.

Sounds simple, but we all know it is easier said that done. But at least we know that we got to change something. Because…

Change nothing – nothing changes.
Change a little – little changes.
Change a lot – a lot changes.

Habits come to mind as a logical one thing that we need to focus on changing. When it comes to health – habits are absolutely everything.

It is being said that it takes 21 days to change habits. But, science shows that this is a myth. Psychologists may agree that while it perhaps takes 21 days of consistent and conscientious effort to create a new habit, it takes far longer to break an existing habit. More recently, study of 96 people was published in The European Journal of Social Philosophy and it states that it took an average 66 days to form a habit, such as eating a healthy snack or exercising regularly. That is to reach the point of Automaticity. When we develop a new behaviour that we do automatically, like brushing teeth is. The point of unconscious competence.

They found that creating a new habit depends on type of behaviour we are trying to change, the person and the circumstances. It can also take anywhere from 18 days to 254 days for people to form a new habit, which is an average of 66 days, but this highlights why it takes longer for some to adopt new habits.

I always talk to my client that after weight loss comes maintenance and research shows that maintenance is actually harder. Why? Because they have not yet reached the state of automaticity. They lost weight with my support, but those that take it for granted and have not fully committed to living a healthy, active lifestyle for life are the ones that will struggle to keep the weight off.

So, how do we create new habits?

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New Generation Formula 1

Herbalife Nutrition has been surprising me for over a decade now, since I became a coach in 2004, with its focus on progress and innovation. Our doctors and nutritional experts always seem to be at least one step ahead and yet, always careful not to play into the hype of things, which, without doubt, can leave us members in frustration. However, nothing is brough in or replaced before the science first checks in. And that takes time. And we can and should wait.

Our Formula 1, almost unchanged for nearly four decades, is such an advanced formula that it brought the company as the leader in weight management and meal replacement industry with 31% of the meal replacement worldwide market share. Which is massive.

Starting my day with anything else but Formula 1 is not an option for me and my family. My boys want it before bed time too. And when they come back from school. My husband goes away for a day or two without it and “I really missed having shake for breakfast!” he always says upon return. Because what is good – feels good. You know it. Your body knows it.

There is so much research on meal replacements and a role they play in an effective weight management. Independent clinical studies on Formula 1 show how combining F1 meal replacement with regular diet produced better weight loss and fat loss results than food diet alone. That is in line with the recent research on meal replacements, in general.

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World Diabetes Day www.wellness4life.co.uk

World Diabetes Day 2018

Wednesday, 14th November is World Diabetes Day. As more and more people have diabetes and increasing amount of people are at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, and the fact that lifestyle plays a big part in disease development -while it is important to raise the awareness of the disease, it is also very important to talk about its prevention.

Personally, I have diabetes in the family. I grew up with both of my aunties, my mum’s two only sisters, being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. One died from it and the other died of cancer before diabetes could claim her too. In my opinion, based on what I recall, apart from following the treatment – neither of them really took necessary care when it came to changing their lifestyle. They both had a very sweet tooth. My mother, on the other hand, one that has always been more health conscious compared to her sisters, is nearly 80 now and I would be surprised if she ever develops the disease because of her balanced diet and healthy weight maintenance. Still, this topic feels like it is very close to home as I love and miss my aunties very much.

So, what is causing Diabetes and how can we prevent it?

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4 Pillars of True Health – Path to being Healthy AND Fit

Ever thought if it is possible to be very fit and yet to be very unhealthy at the same time? I think it is very common…

It is usually demonstrated in regular exercise and feeling strong and fit, however, having low energy levels, possibly suffering from an impaired digestion or skin problems or frequent colds or some other form of ailment or even disease, even having excess weight!

You might be that person yourself or you might know someone who you even admire for being an example when it comes to their dedication to fitness, however, you can see they might not be eating great and are “getting away with a murder” when it comes to eating.

Some people I know are exercising so they CAN “eat what they want”. Or can they, really? That is the question.

It is also a possibility to be very healthy with great energy levels and youthfulness because of an attention to a healthy diet, however, to struggle to run for three minutes or get up a few flights of stairs.

I used to be this person after I had children and know the feeling very well. Exercise does burn extra calories, however, its role in weight management is actually minimal compared to its extraordinary role in our overall health, ageing process and general strength and stamina.

So, I think many will agree when I say that our aim, ideally, might be to be both – healthy AND fit.

The question is – are You? And, if not, how do we achieve both?

I can tell you that there is a lot more to it than just diet and exercise, but they seem to be good places to start!

NUTRITION

First pillar is Nutrition, of course. It is because, 80% of our health IS nutrition – what you eat and drink throughout the day because it does not matter how hard you work in the gym if you do not control what you put on your plate.

Your level of nutrition body gets will impact your mood as well as how your body functions. Ideally, we need to start seeing food as medicine. Because food CAN have that effect.

We ourselves are powerful beyond measure and it is equally incredible what our bodies can do when we give them the right nourishment and fuel that helps our cells thrive. Your nutrition is the first key to your healthy lifestyle and all the exercise in the world can not help you if you are not fuelling your cells right, in the right balance and frequency.

The latest research confirms that only 1 in 4 people, that is 25% of the population, across 15 European countries, considers nutrition when making their health choices.

Malnutrition (poor diet that results in micro-nutrient deficiencies that lead to disease) is estimated to cost £19.6 billion in the UK annually where malnourished adults account for about 30% of hospital admissions. No wonder we have such shocking figures if only a few consider nutrition in the first place.

I think there is a lot more to it and certainly education plays a huge part.

We are all different and different diets work for different people (where by diet I mean – a way of life, what works the best for you), however, at least 80% are absolute fundamentals that work for all of us because, simply put, we are all members of the human race and body is the engine that is pretty standard for everyone – same rules apply for majority of us:

To function optimally, body needs protein, fibre, healthy fats, micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, etc) and water delivered each day in the right balance and frequency!

On top of all that, we need to eliminate foods that drain our cells, lower immunity, cause inflammation, make us age faster and, ultimately, cause the disease.

EXERCISE

Second pillar is EXERCISE. It might be only 20% of your weight management efforts, however, benefits of exercise far exceed its benefits just for managing weight.

We are wired to move our bodies and what exercise does is quite astonishing. Exercise gives us energy, it releases dopamine which makes us feel better, happier, stronger; it releases serotonin which helps us feel more relaxed and it relieves stress, it helps neurogenesis or body to grow more brain cells; it accelerates learning and processing of information, makes us more alert, have more will power, makes us more motivated…

We are wired to move, all we lack is a habit of doing so intentionally, so, building exercise into our DAILY routine is an absolute game changer.

Best time to do it is in the morning, very first thing! Why? Because of all of the above that I mentioned that happens almost instantly after exercise. Also, because if you don’t, you know it – the day takes over and you are less likely to find time for it later on. How difficult is it to make time for it by just getting up 30 minutes earlier. You are worth it!

If you can go out and exercise in the nature, in the fresh air, it is even more impactful as it can be almost as a form of meditation, but even if you exercise at home, you will be awake, feel strong and ready to face the day.

Also, when you build exercise into your routine and learn about nutrition and start making the right food choices – then you are setting yourself up for success.

Remember, you can be fit, but unhealthy… and you can be healthy, but unfit… The ultimate goal to a long-term overall health is being FIT & HEALTHY!

And we are not done, not yet.

REST

Third pillar is REST.

Rest probably should have been first because it is after rest that we exercise and then feed our bodies. Body that is not rested is body that is not ready for anything. Good rest during the night regenerates our cells, repairs our muscle tissue, deep sleep rejuvenates our whole body.

If you have ever woken up not feeling rested enough, you know the feeling and can appreciate the importance of great rest.

If you have ever woken up feeling rested – you know that feeling too and how phenomenally it feels.

Sleep is a whole different topic, but best advice is to try to get 8 hours of sleep, avoid technology and LED lights 1-2 hours before bed time, as well as caffeine. Sleep in a dark and cool room.

All of those, and many more, help us rest during the night, however, there is another form of rest – relaxation during the day.

Allowing yourself time, even if it is 10-20 minutes to switch off, meditate, have a walk in the nature, clear your mind or even have a power nap that many successful people build into their daily schedule in order to freshen up and it helps them refocus.

There is a huge amount of evidence on the benefits of daily meditation on our well-being as well as productivity.

So, make sure you are not in your head and in all frenzy and activity all day long.

MINDSET

Forth pillar you might think is an unusual one, but it impacts our health massively – working on our HEALTH MINDSET. I am sure you have heard “80% nutrition, 20% exercise, 100% mindset!” Because we are creatures of habit and building healthy habits is built in the mind first!

Everything starts with a thought and healthy starts from making a CHOICE to be healthy, every single day. And this, in my opinion, is indeed the pillar worth mentioning because it is exactly with mindset itself that most struggle with before they can achieve health or reach their health, wellness, fitness goals.

Once we choose to be healthy, we need to start working on building habits that support our healthy, active lifestyle so we can continue taking action and feeding our bodies with the right nutrition, exercising our body daily and giving it rest and relaxation it needs.

To build those habits, we need to invest time in surrounding ourselves with people, influences, education, support that will help us achieve that.

We need to keep feeding our healthy mindset with healthy thoughts so our healthy active lifestyle continues to manifest itself.

So, how do YOU support your mindset?

Remember that if people around you are unhealthy, there is a nearly 50% chance you will be too. So, you must surround yourself also with positive examples. Find a coach, find a running buddy, enroll yourself on to a health programme that fits your lifestyle and gets you the support and education you need, etc.

So, think about this for a moment:

  • Who are the people around you?
  • What have they got you thinking? Reading? Doing?
  • Who are you following on social media? I am serious here. Who are your influencers?
  • What are you reading, listening to, watching?
  • Where is all that leading you?

If you want to be healthy, but are following, as an example – deep-fried pizza recipes on social media, or slogans how life is too short and should be enjoyed without limit so you can eat what you want and when you want it… you get the picture… Well, clearly none of that is really helpful.

If you have higher health goals, then you need to set clear goals, design a plan, surround yourself with the right support, positive affirmations and, ultimately, take action.

Most importantly, keep educating yourself what healthy is and what it is not because, life is a lot more fun when we are not sick and when we have energy to face the day.

Investment in our health is arguably the best investment you can make because life IS too short and it is worth and much easier living it in a healthy and fit body. Not because fit & healthy defines you and so does not the lack of it. But, because we are all worth living our best versions of ourselves – physically, mentally, spiritually.

I hope my four pillars gave you an insight into areas where you need to focus into making your health more balanced and health goals achievable. If you liked it, please share, because – sharing is caring. 🙂

I believe that health is our greatest wealth and state where happiness resides, so wishing you to be healthy and happy, always!

Yours in Health,

Sanela

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