Do you have a clear vision for your health?

As a Health Coach of over 15 years, I absolutely love helping people understand how, in order to reach your health goals, it is not just what you eat, but also how you feel & think that it translates into your daily actions and, ultimately, results.

Most people come to me for help because they need more energy and to control their weight believing that a nutrition plan I give them will get them to their goal.

The truth is, whether it is me or one of the million other coaches available – what everyone seems to be searching for is a tool that will solve their health problems, help them lose weight and … happy days. So, they search and search and select one plan that appeals to them the most, that fits their vision of health.

And some end up with me and I am honoured each time it happens.

Many truly believe they want a lifestyle change and what they soon discover over the coming weeks & months of coaching, support and education is that building new habits is not as easy as they thought and that having a long term view requires more than just a plan to follow.

Meal plan is just a tool, an external point of reference to what we should be doing and it only works while we do. Even the most nutritionally optimal & balanced meal plan is just a tool.

In order to develop sustainable healthy, active lifestyle – it becomes about something far greater than just a plan that we follow. It becomes more about developing a vision for our long, term health into which we can THEN incorporate the plan. Tool has its great purpose, but, without investing our whole mindset into it, it will not work. Not long term.

Having a vision also helps us ride the storms and handle better the curve balls that life will throw at us and so that we can give up the notion that circumstances and conditions need to be perfect for us to be & keep healthy.

Life long health quest can seem as a long journey, especially when we are young… To a 30-year old – it is preparing for the next 50 years and beyond. We are just not taught to invest in our health in each decade of our life for the next decades to come. Not in the same way as we are taught to invest ourselves in our education and career.

When we have a vision for our health & fitness, something deeper within us that inspires us each day to live the best version of ourselves – that is where the real transformation happens and it touches all aspects of our health – physical & mental health.

We plan holidays, we plan our finances & career, we plan our social life, education, etc. however, we are falling short of developing a vision and strategy for our long term health – how we want to show up not only now, but when we are 60, 70, 80 and beyond.

What we do is once or twice (or more) a year we attempt to diet so we can look better for a holiday or some other occasion. Or we have “detox” once a year believing it is enough to reset our health to some kind of a starting point. Or we get ourselves to the point of developing health conditions and only then look for remedies.

All short term fixes and tactics. However, I applaud anyone even doing the above as it shows we want to feel good and that we came to realise that health matters.

How about going deeper in order to go further?

How about learning to look after our health and planning for it in the same way we look after our homes and gardens or our cars? Or how we plan holidays and our future, in general?

How about, once we start feeling better, instead of abandoning the plan that was clearly working for us and making us feel better, instead of allowing complacency to set in (because we now feel better) – we develop a different strategy that will keep us inspired to keep going and investing in our health?

How about developing internal dialogue about what we want for our health about a month, a year or even a decade from now and use that vision to fuel us?

I see often clients losing traction exactly at this sweet point, after weeks, months or even years of creating this lifestyle and going through so much effort – because they reached their goal… and are unable to see beyond.

We tell ourselves stories that we worked so hard so we deserve a break… and then we find it hard to get off that same break.

Without a clear vision ahead – how we want to come up in the world when it comes to health & fitness – it is way too easy to lose the grip on what is best for our physical & mental health.

Could it be that we simply lack the understanding that, to feel good every day – we need a daily health strategy… for the rest of our lives.

Or could it also be that to develop and stick to a long term strategy, we first really need to be inspired to do so by digging deeper and creating a vision for ourselves when it comes to our health & fitness and why it is important to us to become the best version of ourselves.

It all comes, it seems, to an inner work again. Our mindset.

The truth is, the relationship we have with our bodies and ourselves in general will directly impact the thoughts and relationship with food & exercise that we have and those are the catalysts for our health… or lack of it.

Our thoughts about ourselves, our beliefs, will fuel our daily choices and this relationship will either set us free or make our life very difficult.

Furthermore, state of our health will have an impact on energy we bring into any other category of life – our work & career, relationships, etc.

“Health brings freedom very few realise… until they no longer have it!”,

Anonymous

Many set financial & career goals, only to lose health in pursuit of wealth. Sometimes to the point of no return. Many times same pursuit undermines our relationships with most loved ones and cause relationships to break. We feel lonely, isolated, hurt, guilty, etc. How long before it starts effecting our work too?

It is all interconnected. Because our life is made up of many components and it is about learning to balance them all. We somehow need them all within our view point. And that takes real effort.

Where do we start?

I say – health & fitness! Because how we feel about ourselves, energy we have, confidence we feel – has a direct impact on how we show up in most other spheres of our lives.

If you start winning here, it will show up elsewhere too.

I have been recently inspired by one of the online masterclasses to create vision and strategy for myself for all important categories in my life.

This is where this breakthrough came from for me. From a simple awareness what is required to have an exceptional life – to look at the life as a whole, not just one aspect of it disregarding others, which then creates an imbalance in another area.

What a concept, I thought!

To create a set of daily intentions that truly helps us play our best game – that nourishes our relationships with loved ones, makes us a better parent as well as a more caring & romantic partner, allows us to work smarter rather than harder by doing our life’s work with purpose, have a social life that creates meaningful connections with like minded people, etc.

To understand that lack of vision, purpose & strategy in any one single category will cause one or more to eventually break down.

I don’t know about you, but I aspire to this. I aspire to showing up in the world better than I am right now. And I am enough and worthy of this. My life is. My children are. It is a worthy legacy. Who knows where it could lead and to what impact on the world it could have.

It all starts from a believing that all this can be achieved!

And it all starts from your health & fitness vision

Because, when you have your health & fitness under control and are operating at the highest level – you will have more energy, you will think more clearly and will be more attractive, I am not necessarily talking about being physically attractive, but your vibrancy & energy will be attractive to people and that will open new opportunities and bring power and efficiency to your daily work…

Let me guide you through the process as I understand it and as I have done it for myself:

BELIEFS: Start from asking yourself what your current beliefs are about health & fitness. Where are you right now? What are the beliefs that are driving your current behaviors? What behaviors are serving you and what are not serving you? Who do you spend time with? How influenced are you by the behaviours of the people you spend most time with? What have they got you doing, thinking, believing?

Do you even believe you can reach the health of your 20s or 30s even when you are 60, 70 or beyond?

So, we start from figuring out where we are right now and what our beliefs are. All the good stuff that we can keep and and all that does not serve us and that has to go!

VISION: Imagine your life & health in the next 3-5 years. How do you ideally see yourself. This is your vision of your best YOU! How does it feel? This is the place to get very clear what you truly want, even if it feels impossible right now.

We sometimes set goals that are way too achievable and, therefore, goals that do not inspire us either.

So, dream big!

PURPOSE: “Motivation pales in comparison to purpose!” – because when we know our WHYs – we are self-fueled and do not need motivation or blame the lack of motivation for the lack of progress. No one needs to push us either!

We only have a lack of motivation because we lack purpose!

Ask yourself why your vision is the way it is. How your life would be different if you were at your very best health & fitness? Who would it impact? Go within and then some further more. Until you get to your why that makes you cry!

STRATEGY: It is only when we know what we want and why we want it – we can then develop a strategy that we can follow – set of daily actions – that will essentially make all the difference and help us reach the transformation! This is the point where meal plan becomes a useful tool.

Once you invest time & effort to put the framework in place – this will help steady the course and help you develop long term habits until they are automatic, like brushing teeth is.

I don’t know about you, but I got so excited about this.

This sort of exercise makes us take full responsibility for our life and, whilst some might find this difficult as it is easier to blame others or circumstances – think about it differently – it puts us in control and in a driving seat of our life.

And do not worry about HOW you will achieve it – when your WHY is strong enough, how will come to you in a form of inspiration or even certain people and coaches that will suddenly drop into your life when you start paying attention.

When the student is ready – teacher appears.

Now the only thing left to do is to get excited and start setting your vision around your health & fitness!

Let me know how you do and if you would like me to facilitate the process and help you on your journey, give me a shout!

Until next time, yours in health,

Sanela

“Health is never owned, it is rented and the rent is due every day!”


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

If you are not getting the weight management and health results that you are after, Wellness Evaluation can help analyse your diet and find areas where you may be falling short and recommend solutions.

It will help 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

If you are not getting the weight management and health results that you are after, Wellness Evaluation can help analyse your diet and find areas where you may be falling short and recommend solutions.

It will help 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…



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…

Read More


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.

Read More


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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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

Free Wellness Evaluation

If you are not getting the weight management and health results that you are after, Wellness Evaluation can help analyse your diet and find areas where you may be falling short and recommend solutions.

It will help 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…


Work those hormones for a successful weight loss!

If your idea of losing weight is still stuck on the old-fashioned calorie control approach – think again! Or worse – if you rely on your will power – think even harder (that is an exhaustive topic in its own right)!

Weight loss science has long evolved and weight loss has become what it always should have been – a lot more than a number on your scales, for sure. World is slowly realising that successful weight management starts from within… from nourishing your body as well as mind. By being kinder to yourself from the thoughts and beliefs you have about yourself to being kinder to your body by giving it the nourishment in the right balance so it can thrive instead of being deprived.

We are finally learning, or at least appreciate that we need to educate ourselves, about our bodies and how it functions so that we can eat for health and longevity and, with that, believe it or not, weight management sorts out itself. These days, we can literally abandon the scales knowing that we are good! Good for our body’s health and that shape is nicely coming along too.

How about that for body positivity! Loving our bodies just the way they are whilst we are building them healthier and better so this vessel can serve us well in whatever our purpose in life is – to raise a healthy, happy family or change the world – which is, kind of, the same thing, don’t you think?

By focusing on what IS – we only perpetuate its existence. Focus on health and becoming the best vision of you – you may be surprised how far THAT takes you instead of being obsesses with the number on the scales!

If you are not there yet and feel you are somehow behind this attitude towards your own health and wellness, don’t worry. It is never too late to start the journey the right way. Perhaps, keeping on reading for starters…

So, how do you get from that place of feeling heavy, lethargic, knowing you are not taking good care of yourself to actually not only losing weight, but also having energy, feeling good about yourself, having spring in your step?

The answer is as simple as – to make your wellness goals a reality – nutrition is the key and, more importantly, eating to balance your hormones related to weight management and metabolism. In the process, it is about repairing diet-related inflammation that exists in the body. Quality over quantity, right? Equally, quality of food is not measured in calories, but what it does within the body – does it feed & nourish your cells or does it damage them.

When our hormones are unbalanced – we age faster, develop disease as well as put on weight as they play a critical role in how body gets energy from the foods that we eat, which is known as metabolism.

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10 Item “Healthy Diet” Checklist

Back in 2004, a year after my first pregnancy, I took what I can only describe as a leap of faith, by embarking on my very first, and luckily last, weight loss journey. Since then, my focus has shifted on long-term health and becoming a better version of myself over the years. Healthier and happier version of me.

However, I did not understand at a time that weight loss is such a big thing for so many people and that choices are so vast that can truly leave a person lost in confusion as well as despair. It is because I never thought of weight before as I never had issues with it myself before my pregnancy.

These days, I imagine it to be even harder for those looking to improve their health or better manage their weight. The moment you open up your email or social media account – you are overwhelmed with health messages, recipes, different diets being promoted from all kinds of experts and influencers in health industry.

I am one of them, right?

Well, who knew that out of my first and very positive weight loss experience, passion was born and so was my calling. Because one thing I knew was that I felt better, not just for the weight I lost, but for the energy & confidence I gained as well as incredible satisfaction from helping others has given me.

With all that, there is also a constant need to remain a student myself as well as educate others on the latest in nutrition and health as, not only through solutions that we offer, but through the education – we can make this world a better, healthier place. Because knowledge is power. Always.

If you are one of those looking for help and not sure where to start, let me give you a few pointers what to look for, so you can make the right choice, the one that is sustainable long-term, rather than go astray or run around in circles.

If you are no stranger to dieting, I am sure you have, at some point perhaps, started a diet or an exercise regime but never got the shape and result you wanted, felt hungry or deprived, lonely, lacked energy or motivation to keep going?

It could be that what you were trying has not been something that is sustainable or lacked support or real science to make a long-term result. Here is my list of what to look for…

1.Focus should always be on body composition rather than weight loss alone as a measure of your progress. Traditional diets focus on a number on the scales rather than on what that weight loss consists of. Any time you go to the slimming class and step on those scales – you actually have no idea what is going on internally and whether that weight loss consists of fat or muscle.

Why is that important? Well, if you are losing muscle, you are also slowing your metabolism which is the quickest way to hit the plateau as well as gain all weight back, and more. And then you diet again and that is how we end up becoming a Yo-Yo dieters.

Diets like this are also a cause of premature ageing, reduced immunity, low energy, poor performance and declined strength. Only when we lose fat and fat alone, our shape starts changing and we are reducing the health risks that fat is causing.

Keeping or even increasing our muscle mass means that we have greater strength, faster metabolism and we only then run a chance of a sustained weight loss. Losing weight AND keeping it off.

2. Focus on balance of macro nutrients, not calories alone! Because if your diet is not balanced – it is not healthy. Full Stop. You may be eating foods generally considered healthy, but only when they are eaten in the right balance of proteins, fats and carbohydrates – you will achieve more than weight loss – healthy body composition!

Commit to getting nutrition wise! Protein, whether you are a vegan, vegetarian or meat-eater, should be around 30% of your daily calorie consumption and so should be healthy fats.

So, salad alone for lunch or “everything low-fat” is not good for your body and diets promoting that are not great long-term! It is a sure way to lose muscle instead of body fat and that is not the right way to lose AND keep the weight off, to say the least!

Vegetarian and vegans in particular may struggle with this and if their diet is unbalanced in this respect – it may be the reason for unexplained weight gain or lack of energy and stamina despite eating “healthy”.

3.Focus on calorie quality to optimise metabolism, not just calorie quantity. Traditional diets allow you to eat within your calorie allowance and you are good as long as you do not go over! We need to move away from this outdated thinking because it is a calorie quality that counts far more. 200 calories worth of broccoli will have a completely different impact on the body than 200 calories of chocolate.

So,” calories in-calories out” approach is outdated and we know better now thanks to the science. Your body requires a certain amount of micro nutrients every single day to provide your body with health and vitality, so, the key is, even if you are eating to lose weight, to still hit your nutrient levels.

Nutrition can not be compromised. Otherwise, you WILL see lower energy levels, loss of muscle, and more. Research shows that only 25% of adults consider nutrition when eating. We obviously need more education on why nutrition always needs to be on our minds when eating, not just for an effective weight management, but for general health and longevity.

4.Think about your hormones. Traditional diets completely ignore the role of hormones. Because they focus on just calories alone. We need to know better, so we can do better. Most people do not realise that how we feel, look and even act is regulated by our hormones and we are not just talking menopause.

Everyone is effected by their hormonal activity every second of every day. They also control our body composition. Low quality food, even if it is low-calorie food, will compromise our hormonal activity and our biochemistry.

In particular we are talking about fat burning hormones that completely get out of balance when we eat unbalanced diet and it stops us from burning fat. Remember, it is fat we want to burn? However, when we eat clean, high quality food in the right balance, together with the right kind of exercise – fat burn is ON, baby! This really is the KEY!

5.Focus on meal frequency! The science now shows us that your body can only function optimally if it gets the right nutrients in the right amounts and – in the right frequency. So, the right plan would be the one that allows you to eat more high-quality foods, more frequently.

This would stabilise your blood sugar and satisfy hunger rather than spike it! So, skipping meals, especially breakfast and snacks is a big no-no for most people! Those are also the opportunities to fit in more nutrition.

6.Focus on exercising smarter, not necessarily exercising more. We are almost pre-conditioned to think that when we are trying to lose weight we need to get to gym more, like every day. Science shows us that doing small amount of exercise, but effective exercise that stimulates your metabolism is a lot smarter way.

So, instead of running for hours on treadmill, you are far better off adopting exercising at intervals so you get a varied heart rate. When you combine that with some resistance training – you will far better support your precious lean muscle and burn body fat. Remember that nutrition is 80% of your efforts, so make your workouts effective and no more than 30 minutes per day, on average, is needed.

And, more important than anything – find exercise that you enjoy doing as you are more likely to continue…

7.Focus on eating that promote stable blood sugar levels. Many diets promote low-calorie meals or snacks, however, whilst they are low-calorie, they could be completely unbalanced and messing up your blood sugar levels (calorie quality and balance, remember). The result is – storing more fat, even if weight loss is registering on the scales (loss of muscle due to lack of protein).

Another way we can cause blood sugar roller coaster is by skipping meals or snacks, usually in hope that we will lose more weight. It almost always backfires as research shows – all it does is causes us to over-eat on the next meal. If you truly want to do it the right way and achieve fat loss, avoid any diets that promote meal skipping. Meal frequency matters.

8.Avoid fads, eating plans that have a “fashion” element attached to them… so, high protein diet, low carb diet, high fat diet that is popular right now, etc, or basically, any diet that excludes whole food groups.

It takes years before we can see true evidence and clinical data on those diets and there is already plenty of evidence on some. But, just the sheer fact that they are excluding whole food groups means they will cause imbalance.

It may work short-term, but the imbalance generally means that people can not stick to it long-term. And if it is not a lifestyle thing, it is not right. Only balanced diet is a healthy diet, remember. We must understand that. That means – balanced amount of protein, fibre, healthy fats and vitamins and minerals and trace elements in diet will ensure our bodies get all they need so they can function properly and have strong immunity, slow down the ageing process and help us manage our weight for a long time after losing it.

9.Start with an end in mind – so, if your goal is to be healthy – focus on your long-term health, not on your looks alone and short-term weight loss. It is about long-term health strategy rather than short-term tactics.

For that to happen, your diet and diet of your family, needs to be … you’ve got it – balanced and nutrient dense. It does not matter how hard you work in the gym if you do not control what goes on your plate.

10. Focus on developing healthy mindset, knowledge and insights so you can achieve the shift within. Education on nutrition is so important so that you can understand and make right food decisions, however, working on developing long-term healthy mindset is far more important as it will help you get out of the dieting prison and ensure you can live your life free of negative body image, limiting self beliefs, stay in control of your emotions and a lot more.

So, instead of just focusing on your physical body, the key is to understand your emotions – where they come from, how to accept and process them; your psychology – beliefs and how to change them if they are limiting you in any way; your language – what you say about yourself, food and world around you and how you say it and if you are making any assumptions… etc. Only healthy mindset helps you stay healthy for life and I am sure that is what everyone hopes for.

I hope this was helpful, although it just gives you some pointers rather than in-depth solutions into each. Each of the points is a subject in their own right, but being aware of each can be a step into the right direction..

I am a Nutritional Therapist & Herbalife Nutrition Health Coach and if you would like help with your own weight management, or have any questions, please do reach out, I would love to help.

If you have been inspired by this article or wish to connect or place a comment, please do so further below and, please do share, because, remember, sharing is caring. 🙂

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

Sanela

Free Wellness Evaluation

If you are not getting the weight management and health results that you are after, Wellness Evaluation can help analyse your diet and find areas where you may be falling short and recommend solutions.

It will help 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…


In defense of “Clean Eating”

The world we live in today is so different to the world we lived in a decade ago. You just take Social Media as one example. It was almost non-existent ten years ago or certainly it did not exist in the same capacity it does today. I am daily overwhelmed and inundated with messages, articles, opinions, research, etc thrown at me. I am assuming many feel like this. Some of this information is truly great, some not so much. “Not so much” stuff does not always bother me, but, today, I saw something that, instead of ignoring, I thought of using as an opportunity to throw a different light at it as it is health related and a subject close to my heart.

As the title of the article suggests, it is indeed about “clean eating”. Because, while I thought I heard it all, I was amused, to say the least, to read how one “TV dietitian”, names need not to be mentioned, called clean eating as “unhealthy, another diet and bullshit”, pardon HER French. Well, her 65 thousand (plus 2000 extra since yesterday) followers loved her for it. I can see the appeal, audience loves when we dare, even swear and throw bombastic claims. Everyone has their audience. However, I can not agree any less and I thought it warrants writing why that is and why you shouldn’t agree either…

Firstly, what is Clean Eating?

Well, clear definitions vary and so do opinions on whether certain foods should be part of it, but, in a nutshell – it is a balanced diet that focuses on whole grains, fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, protein and it is a diet that eliminates processed foods. I think it is logical and something we have always known to be good for us, however, we have just now given it a name. Mediterranean Diet is probably the closest to clean eating we can think of. Which, in my opinion, is not really a diet, but a way of life for many people and they are better for it.

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Nourishing Foods in Hot Weather

I believe this topic is long overdue as the Hot British Summer just keeps on giving, however, who knew! I do hope it is not too late for the advice and that we keep being blessed with this glorious weather (that we are so not used to). When we prayed for summer in the winter months (for the past few decades at least), I do not think anyone expected our wish to be granted in such abundance this year. My husband would say – be careful what you wish for. Now, many complain that it is too hot, however, let’s all admit – there is something rather refreshing waking up to a warm, sunny morning; it makes you want to wake up early and seize the day. I have been watering the plants at 7AM most mornings and that, in itself, has been refreshing and wonderful. Connection with nature from the word Go.

Back to our subject, when weather is hot, there are few things we need to bear in mind in order to keep our body well nourished and energised.

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Health, like happiness, is an inside job: Healthy and Happy can only coexist

Achievement of any goals in our lives come down to our mindset. Health goals included. I have been working on this article a while, bit by bit, until it came together. It is a message to those who perhaps struggle at this point in time with their health and choices they make. I have seen a lot of struggle and I wish to tell you that you are not alone and there is hope.

If it was enough to just be told to “eat healthy”, advice we are given all the time (ambiguous as it is as it means different things to different people), everyone would be at their ideal weight and peak health. No, it is not easy, because it is a science and we are only human, so, try to feel less frustration and let’s focus on what we can do. We all know we should choose, buy, eat healthier foods, however, unhealthy options can have such huge grip on us, until unhealthy habits are all we have. No wonder food gives us such anxiety.

Part of it, to a certain extent, is not necessarily even our fault. Do you know that the food companies employ food scientists who design foods with the exact ratio of fat, sugar and salt that gets us to the so-called “bliss point”? It is a point at which foods have such an appeal that we are begging for more. Foods with too much salt will cause us crave foods with sugar as body is seeking balance. And vice versa. Simple carbohydrates will make us crave just more of the same.

So, that is one issue and “easily” taken care of when we just decide not to touch foods we know are not good for us. Think cakes, biscuits, chocolate, sweets, crisps, ice cream, etc… Easy peasy, right? Well, it is not. It is much easier said than done because foods with a “bliss point” can make a food addict out of us. Sugar addiction is real. But so is smoking and there are people who decide to stop, smoke their final cigarette and never smoke again.

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Bulletproof your Digestive Health: how to keep your Second Brain happy

You may have heard already that our digestive health is our second brain and what goes on in the gut is responsible for 80% of our immunity. Small Intestine is where the majority of digestion and absorption of nutrients takes place. As our body is exposed to toxins in everyday life, such as smoking, alcohol, medications, stress, pollution, chlorine and many more, maintaining healthy digestion helps body eliminate them from the body. Without gut’s ability to neutralise and eliminate toxins from the body – weight loss is impaired and, as a result, we can experience a weight gain, as just one of the “side effects”.

One-third of the UK population regularly suffers from digestive illnesses such as IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), constipation, diarrhoea, stomach-aches, nausea and sickness and cancers of the digestive tract are the largest cancer killer, actually 23% of all UK cancer mortalities. So, with that in mind, our Digestive System does deserve special attention as it must be one of the most important parts of our entire body. Hippocrates famous quote still very much rings true today: “

“Death sits in the bowels. Bad digestion is the root of all evil!” (400 BC)

So, taking care of our digestion becomes an essential part of a healthy body and efficient weight management and here is why and how…

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Keep Fit with Fit Foods

Your body is yearning to get lively as it is designed for movement, but, if allowed, it will begin to seize up, fatten up and generally degenerate. So, whatever your age, moderate exercise can help with your wellness as it builds and strengthens your muscles, improves skeletal density & keeps osteoporosis at bay, gets your heart pumping, helps shift plaque from your arteries, helps mobilise toxins trapped in fat cells, uses up stored fat reducing stored weight, reduces feelings of depression, lessens fatigue, improves skin tone and colour and there are so many more amazing benefits, both physical and psychological.

Exercise, however, is just one part of the equation. You may have heard this before, or you may hear it for the first time, in which case you may well be surprised, but the fact is – your health as well as the success of your weight management effort is 80% down to your nutrition and only 20% down to exercise. Therefore, poor fuel will equal poor performance and athletes know this all too well.

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Day in a life of a Health Coach

Being a great Health Coach is more than just possessing the knowledge to help others improve their health and sharing health quotes and pretty looking plates of food. Those looking to make changes in their lifestyle are looking up to our profession for inspiration, so, our work needs to be “true love made visible” so it can have the power to make an impact on others, to touch them and inspire them to self-betterment and becoming better versions of themselves.

For me, Health Coaching is a calling. People are looking up to us not just for our knowledge, but how authentic we are in our message. We need to be relatable, honest, real, with compassion and kindness for those who are struggling and yet have strength to tell them the truth, the way things are and reality of the journey ahead, not just give a lip service. And we also need to have integrity to show up every day and be first in line who take inspired action in our own lifestyle to show what is possible, commit to our own self-betterment so we indeed can be great in our profession. Integrity is when we do the right thing when no one is watching. People can spot a fraud. We give it away in our energy or lack of it. You can not fake authenticity. Authenticity is beautiful. There are people I follow because they are honest and authentic. It also takes skill to be able to comunicate it right, but energy is always there and can not be faked.

This article is not just about to show what I do on a daily basis, something I am asked about all the time. Following Get.Healthy.With.Sanela on Instagram would pretty much answer that. I also wish to communicate something much deeper than my “dear diary”while I also give those who asked me what they were looking for.

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We all have a personal story. Here is mine on how to cultivate a health mindset and why…

I am inspired to write something rather different today. Something personal. And yet, something that concerns those who desire, sometimes desperately, to get healthy. I hope it gives hope.

You see, I have been healthy most of my life. I started being conscious about food when my mother’s breast cancer and her pure will to survive has inspired her to seek alternative ways of beating it on top of cancer treatment she received. Based on what I now know, she choose foods that reduce inflammation in her body naturally through seeking answers in plant-based diet and that gave her body a fighting chance to heal itself. I don’t even think she knew why she did what she did, she just knew instinctively by being open to natural healing she picked up from books and advice from people who had knowledge about the natural healing of plants… Fast forward 40+ years, she is a healthy 78-year-old still inspiring with her attitude to health and taking care of herself.

I was only an eight year old girl at the time when she had breast cancer. I remember waking up every day with a fear that I would lose her to cancer. I was fully aware what was going on. She made close friendships with nine other ladies in Zagreb clinic where they were all treated and all shared one room. Over the next 12 months, I remember phone calls she received being notified of their passing on, one by one. My father was my rock at the time. Hers too. I remember overhearing her crying to him saying that she feels lesser than a woman after the operation. He replied: “You at least have one. Look at me, I have none!” She laughed. And retold that story many times after that. We still remember it. Support is everything sometimes. When you feel you are at your lowest point, it can mean the difference between you giving up and picking yourself up again. Support is love. And I felt it. I still feel it. And I am better person for it. I am so grateful for this experience early on. It shaped who I am today.

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Dangers of sugar addiction and how to kick it

Dangers of Sugar Addiction & how to kick it

Almost every single day, more and more studies are proving that sugar is addictive and it plays a major role in the development of many major diseases from heart disease, diabetes, cancers, Alzheimer’s, just to name a few.

Sugar is very topical these days, everyone is talking about it, but what can we do about it? More importantly, dear reader, could you, perhaps, be one of many who is eating too much sugar?

Some obvious signs that you may be addicted to sugar are:

  • You constantly crave sugar and simple carbohydrate foods like bread, pastries, cakes, biscuits, coffee with sugar, etc…

  • You crave meat and salty foods (as a way for body to seek balance as you are eating too much sweet foods – and it works vice versa too),

  • You can not stop eating simple carbohydrates and “will power” simply does not work

  • You eat them so much and can get to the point of being sick from the quantity you have eaten?

If any of the above is YOU – yes, you indeed may be eating way too much sugar or simple carbohydrates, in general.

But, do not worry as you are not the only one and it can be changed. I used to be the same. For years. Because I ate healthily the rest of the time, I convinced myself that it was OK. Everything in balance, right? Well, wrong! For me, anyway. Feeling that I was not in control and could not stop was driving me crazy. I don’t know about you, but Nutella was MY poison of choice. I even had a nickname given to me. I would sneak into the kitchen just to have “one little teaspoon”. And then I kept going for more, until I felt I was going to be sick or realising that in the space of two to three days it was all gone. Guilt galore! The truth is, with that action, I was undoing all the great work I was doing the rest of the day. Because of the way I felt emotionally (guilty, frustrated, disappointed) as well as physically (possible diarrhea, stomach pain, occasional spots on my face), I decided to take action…

Most people have their poison. What is yours?

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