There’s nothing you can do to stop ageing. Sadly everybody gets older and die eventually. If feeling and looking younger than your years is important to you, you’ll probably know that some foods give you energy and make you feel full of life, and others drag you down and put your straight into a food coma.

People live in Japan who eat a diet rich in fish, vegetables and soy, low in fat and sugar, have the longest lifespan the lowest levels of heart disease. Every meal you eat is an opportunity to fend off ageing, so eat the right food. A disease fighting, anti-ageing diet means cooking from the scratch, using fresh ingredients instead of relying on the lettuce in your burger for one of your five a day portions of fruit and veg (that’s the story of my life).

Antioxidants could add years to our lives buy fighting free radical damage, if we are getting enough. For very basic good health, you need five a day – five portions of fresh fruit and vegetables a day ( a portion is around a handful). But to fend off aging , you need to step up a level and pack in as many antioxidants as possible.

Let’s start with some most easy to find and affordable anti ageing foods:

Spinach

It all in the color – spinach and other dark green vegetables such as kale, rocket and spring greens are packed with hundreds of disease fighting micro nutrients. Spinach is good at protecting eyesight as well as keeping the arteries clear of cholesterol, reducing blood pressure and lowering the risk of cancer. Baby spinach leaves contain more than 90%more antioxidants than iceberg lettuce.

Onions

Onions are high in the flavonoid quercitin, which can cut heart disease risk by 755%. Flavonoids also boost the immune system. One study showed a strong link between regular consumption of onions and a reduced risk of stomach cancer.

Broccoli

Broccoli come s from a family of cruciferous vegetables (including cabbage, kale and Brussels sprouts) that contain high levels of sulphur compounds which increase the enzymes that stop cancer cells growing. They also contain high levels of the antioxidant vitamin C and cholesterol lowering fibre. If there are any leaves left on the stalk, don’t discard them before cooking – they contain more carotenoids than the florets!

Sweet potatoes

While white potatoes provide low amounts of antioxidants, the darker skinned sweet potato is packed with antioxidants. They are simply delicious and so easy to cook. They can be baked in their skins, or boiled. Try cutting them into strips and roasting them in the oven in a little olive oil to make sweet potato chips.

Nuts

Nuts got a bad reputation during the 1980s fat free diet craze. We think nuts make us fat. They are high in calories, but in moderation ( a handful, a few times a week) they can reduce your risk of having a heart attack by up to 50%. They are packed full of monounsaturates, which lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol.

Wholegrains

Foods come from the wholegrain, those that still contain the antioxidant- packed wheatgerm, will help to lower your risk of heart disease, hypertension and certain cancers.

Yogut

Yogurt is a good anti ageing food as it’s full of probiotics or ”good bacteria” essential for essential for healthy digestion and boosting the immune system. Getting your digestive system working effectively means you’ll also get the most out of the other anti-ageing foods you are eating.

Consume a Balanced Diet

What you choose to eat every day has a direct effect on your appearance, so it is important to consume a balanced diet. Everyday Health states that nutritious foods reduce your chances of developing chronic diseases as you age, and it elevates your energy, which can make you naturally more vivacious. Although nutritional needs do vary among seniors, eating more vegetables, fruits, small portions of lean meats, fish, beans and whole grains are especially helpful. When you eat healthier, it is easier to keep the pounds off and avoid developing life-threatening health conditions that negatively impact your appearance.

The older that you get, the more important that it becomes to develop life-saving and beauty-magnifying habits with a sound diet, regular exercise, and a worry-free mind. Maintaining your beauty regimen and using products that nourish your skin is important for reducing anti-aging and appearing years younger. Every day that you make the choice to do something positive to make yourself look and feel good, your natural beauty and inner glow will shine through.

A healthy smile reflects more than just your oral health. In fact, our teeth and gums are a great indicator of our overall physical health. As well as examining your teeth, tongue, and gums to diagnose certain conditions, medical professionals often look to your oral health to determine whether you’re at risk of developing other health problems. 

To learn just how important a healthy smile is, take a look at the ways your oral health can affect your wellbeing…

Improve Heart Health

A good oral hygiene routine removes plaque from your teeth and prevents it from turning into tartar. When plaque is left on the surface of your teeth, it begins to damage the enamel and causes decay. Of course, plaque doesn’t just affect your teeth; it damages your gums too. 

An early stage of gum disease, known as gingivitis, often occurs because of plaque buildup. Characterized by spongy, swollen or bleeding gums, it can quickly develop into a more severe form of gum disease if it’s left untreated. 

However, the damage plaque causes doesn’t stop there. If it isn’t removed via brushing and flossing, plaque can impact your heart function too. With studies still ongoing, researchers are exploring the ways in which dental problems contribute to heart disease. 

It’s possible that plaque can actually affect your heart health in two ways, which highlights the importance of practicing a good oral hygiene routine. Firstly, plaque from your mouth could migrate throughout the rest of your body and eventually cause blockages in your arteries. When your arteries are partially blocked, it prevents blood from flowing through them effectively, which means your heart and other organs won’t get the oxygen or nutrients they need to function optimally. 

Secondly, the presence of plaque increases your risk of developing bacterial infections. As plaque itself contains millions of bacteria, it doesn’t take much it to get into your bloodstream. When this happens, bacteria will cause inflammation at the site of any existing damage and potentially cause infection within your body. This has been linked to increased instances of endocarditis, which is an infection of the inner lining of the heart muscle. 

Due to scientific links between gum disease and heart health, taking care of your teeth and gums will do more than just prevent oral hygiene issues. By flossing and brushing regularly, you could keep your heart in tip-top condition too. 

Decrease the Risk of Dementia

Many people assume that dementia is a natural part of the aging process, but this isn’t the case. Dementia is actually a degenerative condition, which means it gets progressively worse over time, but it doesn’t affect everybody, and it isn’t an inevitable part of getting older.

As researchers learn more about Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia, they have identified biological markers that indicate how and when dementia developers. When dementia occurs, it’s often because abnormal structures affect how the brain works. These structures, known as neurofibrillary tangles and amyloid plaques, prevent the nerve cells from communicating normally and cause inflammation to occur. 

Although the exact way in which gum disease contributes to dementia is still being studied, numerous researchers have made the link. In addition to this, a bacterium commonly found in gum disease, Porphyromonas gingivalis, has been found in the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s disease, which may highlight why people with gum disease seem to have an increased risk of developing dementia.

Other theories purport that an excess of dental plaque causes damage to the bodies’ blood vessels, which eventually increases the number of toxic proteins in the brain, thus leading to dementia. Additionally, it is thought that the ongoing inflammation which is present when someone has gum disease causes the entire body to be more at risk of inflammation. As people with dementia typically have inflammation within the brain, anything which increases the risk of inflammation could potentially increase the risk of dementia too. 

While the science behind the mechanism is still being understood, there are a variety of studies that show that people with gum disease are more likely to develop dementia. Due to this, regular brushing and route visits to the best dentist in your area are a must. By reducing plaque buildup in your mouth, there’s a good chance you could reduce your risk of developing dementia in later life too. 

Defeat Diabetes with Oral Health

Diabetes can cause a wide range of symptoms but few people realize that it can affect your teeth and gums. When your blood sugar levels aren’t well-controlled, it can cause damage to numerous parts of the body, including your gums, heart, kidneys, and liver. When blood sugar levels are too high, the blood vessels in your body are damaged. This means they are unable to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the rest of your body.

When your gums don’t get the nutrients they need, the risk of an infection occurring increases. Similarly, it’s possible that bone loss could be exacerbated if the supply of nutrients isn’t sufficient. In addition to this, uncontrolled blood sugar means there can be a higher level of glucose in your saliva. Increased glucose means bacteria can multiply, which also increases the chances of an infection taking hold. 

Due to this, people with diabetes have a higher risk of developing gum disease. In fact, your dentist may advise you to get checked for diabetes when they first diagnose you with gum disease. Although a good oral hygiene routine won’t be enough to manage your diabetes alone, it can certainly reduce the risk of subsequent problems occurring. When you implement a good oral hygiene routine, for example, you’re removing excess plaque, which limits the ability of bacteria to thrive in a high glucose environment. 

Protect Your Body with a Healthy Smile

Oral health should never be viewed in isolation. As well as increasing the risk of some health problems, the health of our teeth and gums can also provide crucial information regarding conditions affecting other parts of our bodies. By visiting your dentist regularly and maintaining a healthy smile, you can successfully maintain your overall physical wellbeing and reduce the risk of developing health problems in the future. 

Are your drawers tidy and ordered? Do you only have clothes you like and wear regularly in your wardrobe? Are all the appliances in your home essential and in working order? Is your desk piled up with unsorted paperwork? Is your car clean and well maintained? Is the area under your bed well ordered and dust free? Is there any mysterious boxes and bags of unknown “stuff” lying around your house? Do you recycle and decluttering periodically?

It’s finally Easter Weekend and I’m having a good few days to sit down and ask myself the above questions. Mostly importantly, there’s finally some time to have a good clean up. Clean up the house, clean up my mind and make life simple.

Deep cleaning is good for your soul.

The good news is I’m aware of it and have started to clean up once in while.

Storage cabinets

I’ve gone through cupboards and drawers and threw out lots of useless items accumulated. On the upside, I also found almost a full bottle of hand sanitiser. This is something money can’t buy in this current environment, you know. Hand sanitisers are sold out everywhere right now.

Wardrobe

This is a major and ever evolving area. I’ve been ruthless this time and put a few big bags of clothes in the local donation bin. Most of them are never worn or in mint condition. From now onwards I’ll only buy clothes in neutral colours and in simple styles.

Kitchen cupboards

Gone are the slow cooker and blender. These appliances are good ideas but never used. Talking about being ruthless. There are hundreds of pretty dishes that I still can’t bring myself to get rid of. Should have only bought a couple of bowls and plates and be simple! “Unused stuff” can take up so much space and be a huge money waster. No wonder I’m poor. If you want to be financially successful, think before you buy!

Getting rid of your clutter and you’re free to redefine yourself. Your space becomes clearer. Life becomes less stressful. It makes you feel you are in control of your life by chucking out things you don’t need.

I only started decluttering a few years ago. Before that, I had all the ornaments, travel trinkets, plants, designer clothes, silver jewellery that are too fancy to wear everyday and things for projects never been undertaken.

The Chinese believe that all these unlovely, unwanted thins lying about haphazardly block the flow of energy – the chi in our homes. Obviously I’m not Chinese enough. Cutting my belongs will be an ongoing process and I need to cultivate ruthlessness.

It’s hard to feel unstressed when your home is dirty and messy. Even if it’s clean, keeping it that way is often a major cause of stress. Very often, I feel too tired or too busy to clean. But a clean home gives me so much joy and energy so there must be easier way to keep our homes clean.

The answer is clean as you go.

Get dressed as soon as you get up

I’m very sloppy when I work from home or having days off. But try this, the minute you get up, make your bed and get dressed. Wash up (make up is optional) and comb your hair. You’ll be amazed how much more productive you can be.

Aways have a clean kitchen sink

If you prepare and cook food, wipe down the counter top quickly as soon as you are done. Wash dishes when you are done with them. It’s easily said than done I know. But don’t make it a habit leaving dirty dishes pile up in the sink. With a shinning sink, you feel you are in control.

Put away clothes when you take them off

I used to have clothes piled up everywhere in the bedroom, in the bathroom. It doesn’t take much effort to put clothes away whenever you take them off. If they are clean, put them back in the wardrobe. If they are dirty, put them in the cleaning basket. It’s that easy and make you feel so much better!

Take out garbage whenever you are leaving home

Before you leave home, check if there’s any garbage to take out.

Make it a habit to declutter regularly and clean as you go. You’ll fee much less stressed and more in control of your life for sure.

Do you have an ache in your lower back, a tight, pulling feeling in your neck and your shoulders up in your ears? If so, then you are not alone. Nowadays I probably spend more than 10 hours seated and could feel my waistline expanding by minute.

This kind of sedentary lifestyle means your back and stomach muscles become severely underused. It means you body is heading for a disaster and you need to stand up, get active ( 30 minutes a day for a adult) and learn to maintain good posture.

How to stay in shape and feel more energised? A good place to start is to do something about the neglected areas of your health regime. When you are out of shape, it’s very possible that you are over eating. You don’t exercise. You don’t sleep well. Or all of the above.

1. Sleep well

Most people skip sleep all week and then play catch up at the weekends. That’ll not only knock out your body clock but also make you fell lethargic and even sleepier when you do wake up. For effective sleep, aim for seven solid hours a night. To aid your sleep have a warm bath to make you feel drowsy. Lower the room temperature. A cool environment improves sleep. Avoid caffeine (coffee, tea, diet drinks and some pain killers) five hours before bed and don’t go to bed hungry. Also don’t eat a heavy meal two hours before bed, as this will cause a restless night.

2. Eat well

Be aware of how much you eat and what you eat. These two things alone determine your weight gain. Not all foods are made the same. Generally it’s the food that tastes good usually packs the most on the calorie front. keep a food diary and note where your weak spots lie. This will not only help you to be honest about what you eat but will also help you to create a healthier food plan to nourish your body.

Eat like a healthy person and don’t go with mad diets. Healthy people don’t police what goes into their mouths, feel guilty when they eat something “bad” and skip meals because they want to lose weight. Eat when you are hungry and stop when you are not. Don’t over eat. When you tend to over-eat, stop. Find something else to do that takes your mind off eating. If you’re truly having a bad day, and food is the only remedy to make your better, give in to it in a small way. Then move on!

3. Exercise often

Sadly, for many people, myself included, the idea of exericse is more abhorrent than a diet. That’s why people start diets everyday and people only tend to start exercising either at New year or when the beach season comes. This is down to one simple reason: in order to exercise you need to take action, which means you actually need to move. Whereas diet, you can literally just do nothing. Both equal weight loss but studies show that people who exercise win in the long run.

That’s because exercisers:

  • Have more self-esteem and confidence because their bodies feel stronger.
  • Have leaner bodies than people who diet because muscle takes up a third of the space of fat
  • Keep weight off for longer than dieters
  • Feel great in genera, as exercise releases feel good endorphins

How to keep exercising and stay in shape then?

First of all, you need to stay motivated. Find a sport or activity that suits you and inspires you, as well as getting you results. Create a realistic vision of how you’d like to stay in shape in the long run.

Make exercise a habit. Keep doing it every day or at lease 3 – 4 times a week. All you need is 30 minutes a day. When tempted to break your habit, remind yourself your are only sabotaging yourself. Every time you break it means you have to start all over again!

Of course life doesn’t run smoothly for anyone and it doesn’t take much to give us an excuse to break down. When there are times you have a setback, remember to jump back on the wagon and keep going.

You have to see exercise and activity as part of your life to. Get use to moving and your can stay in shape effortlessly.

I talk about motivation quite a lot on this blog because it’s not easy to stay motivated all the time.
Motivational speaker Zig Ziglar once said: “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing. That’s why we recommend it daily.”

If you are feeling less energetic lately, here are 10 ways to stay motivated.

1. Develop a passion

It’s hard to feel motivated if you don’t feel passionate about something. Passion is what drives us to do things. Can you find at least two consuming passions in your life? It can be cooking, reading, sports, your career or achieving financial security. The more you train your mind to get passionate about things, the more likely you are to feel motivated in your life and geared up to do things.

2. Dream big, but don’t be a big dreamer

Believe it or not,these are two very different things. People who dream big have goals, stay motivated and go for what they want. Whereas people who are big dreamers tend to live in fantasy land rather than going after what they want, because the fantasy is just so nice and enjoyable. It’s much pleasurable to muse it over and play it out in your head than make it real. Have to admit , sadly I belong to the latter category most of the time.

3. Don’t procrastinate all the time

Are yo a big talker? Or some one who always has brilliant ideas but can’t put your plans into action? Like a big dreamer, procrastinating continuously get get you anywhere either. We need less thinking/talking, more doing.

4. Motivate other people

There’s nothing more likely to get you feeling motivated than to motivate others. So be someone’s cheerleader and you’ll discover the power of motivation and how it could work for you. Being a mentor, or positive friend. Help people highlight their strength, build goals and go after their dreams. Try it – you’ll surprised how effective it is.

5. Entice a reward

The trouble having zero motivation is that it makes you feel guilty, bad and fed up with your lack of zest. Change tactics and dangle a carrot in front of your face instead. Enticement of a reward works better as a motivator than guilt, whatever your goad is.

6. Do something everyday

It’s hard to be motivated when you’re overwhelmed by the big picture. Start small and do something every single day. Everyday write down three things you have to that will take you closer to your end goal. The key is consistency. If you are loosing momentum, ask a friend or expert along to help wither to boost your confidence or tackle a task with you. It can help make your task fun, keep your goals upbeat and enable you to see the bigger picture, just when you feel your motivation slipping away.

7. Finish what you start

This is a major motivation tip, because if you have trouble with motivation it’s also likely you have trouble finishing what you start. If his is the case, train yourself to finish things – even if you’ve lost interest. Getting to the end of a task teaches you that you are someone who is capable of completing tasks.

8. Energy yourself

It’s hard to stay focused if you feel tired and exhausted all the time. This means that if you are trying to motivate yourself you need to lose a few of your lazy habits (sorry). Eat well, sleep well, exercise and take vitamins if necessary. You’ll find you have the energy to get up and do things.

9. Surround yourself with go-getting people

Mix with people who have a real verve for life. Notice how your energy flags when you spend time with someone who moans all the time. Or is negative about everything. Motivated people give you energy and make you feel you can achieve anything you set your mind to. Find this type of people and stick to them.

10. Keep going

Stay motivated is hard, especially when the days get hotter and everyone is taking it easy and having a good time. These are days to watch out. While you take a break, don’t take your eyes off the ball or too long. Or else you’ll feel back at square one.

Stay motived.

Explore a Huge Range of Materials

Libraries are full of different reading materials and resources. You have rows upon rows of books to explore, and that’s not all there is. You can also find magazines, comic books, newspapers, and even sometimes areas to listen to music (with headphones). And that’s just what you can find offline.

Take a Break

Libraries can also be great sanctuaries. If you’re looking for somewhere quiet to spend some time, and perhaps to detox from technology, a library is a great choice. Some places in the library will allow for a little more noise, but many are intended for quiet reading, studying, and more.

Attend an Event

You can find a number of events at your local library. They will often offer talks on different subjects, readings from authors, classes and lectures, gatherings for various hobby groups and other fun and interesting events.

Admire the Architecture

At some libraries, one of the best reasons to visit is the architecture. Some modern libraries might not be much to look at, but a library with a lot of history can be a sign to behold. Sometimes you don’t even need to go inside to be impressed.


Infographic Design By University of Southern California

It’s something we may notice as we get older, that we have certain ailments we might think are too late to fix. Or once we’ve entered a new decade of our lives that we’ve got to watch what we eat a little bit more and this may fix a lot of problems. But if you are getting older and you think that it’s time to fix specific problems is it a straightforward approach that you need to implement? What does it really take to fix your health as you get older?

It’s Not About The General Things

If we are at a point in our lives where we really need to start looking at our health in a holistic sense this is when we have to drill deep into specific issues. Partly, this is to do with looking at our health and getting a check-up but also making those appropriate steps in the right direction before it’s too late. If you have a specific ailment or a niggling issue with a part of your body, it’s important to get these things checked out because it could be a symptom of something much more detrimental over time. This is where organizations like Nicholson Health and Wellness can come into play because they are able to look at physical ailments in the round and provide expertise so you can fix these little issues before they get worse. 

Your Mind Affects Your Body

We have to get out of the habit of thinking that they are two different things. There has been a lot of research to show that a positive attitude can help build your immune system. As the saying goes, it is mind over matter. Your mind can affect your body and when you start to implement certain practices that can have a positive effect on your life, your physical health will improve as a result. Whether you are particularly cynical towards something like meditation or mindfulness, even if you can focus on positive thinking or gratitude, this is something that will evoke a sense of wellness throughout your entire life.

Tackle The Science Behind Health

It’s so easy for us to do something because that’s what we “should” do but when we start to drill deeper into the science behind certain approaches to healthiness it could completely shake up your approach to health and wellness. Sure we aren’t all biochemists, but if we start to think about something like physical health and what the right sort of exercise can do for our body this can mean that we have a healthier attitude towards doing the things that are right for our body rather than doing something because we have to follow received wisdom. Exercise is a very good example because we can think that we have to hit the gym 7-days a week in order to receive any sort of benefits, when in fact, it’s all about the right sort of exercise routine. It’s all about giving your body the right signals and something like the Body By Science approach where you only exercise to weaken your muscles so it builds up stronger is something you could take inspiration from.

Fixing your health is such a massive subject that we can worry a lot about it and not really get anything accomplished. But if you start to think about these three approaches perhaps it can springboard you to the right method that will fix your health and happiness.


Gut health is something everyone needs to pay more attention to. “There’s a lot of focus on gut health,” explained nutritionist Jacqueline Alwill, “The gut is the seat of our health and is responsible for our overall health and wellbeing.”

So what exactly is gut health?

Gut health, explained

According to nutritionist Rebecca Reynolds, “in your large intestine, you have trillions of bugs (or microbiotia), and that’s called the gut microbiome”. Problem is there are good and bad microbiotia, and when the bad ones outnumber the good ones your gut falls into a state of dysbiosis, which simply means your gut becomes unhealthy.

An unhealthy gut has been linked to various adverse medical conditions. A Time feature on gut health details how poor gut wellbeing is associated with diabetes, lowered immune function, and heart disease. Gastroenterologist Terry Bolin goes a step further, noting how dysbiosis might play a role in neurological disorders and some cancers. “We believe [gut bacteria] do have a potential role in mental disease, psychological problems, anxiety, depression,” says Professor Bolin. “They do have an influence on weight gain. And they may have a potential influence in preventing cancer and possibly disorders of the colon like colitis.”

Keeping your gut healthy

The good news is that keeping your gut healthy is relatively simple and these three tips can help:

1. Eat more vegetables

In a post on ‘6 Ways To Start Improving Your Gut Health Today’ dietician Chloe McLeod recommends eating more vegetables. “Vegetables provide our body with the nutrients it needs on a day-to-day basis and helps to maintain general health,” explains McLeod. “They also provide fibre to keep the gut healthy and help our body’s systems run more effectively.”

2. Consume prebiotics

You must also consume fibre-rich fruits, like apples, bananas, berries, onion, garlic, and whole grains. These are non-digestible fibre, otherwise known as prebiotics. They are important because they “provide food for the healthy bacteria which are found in our gut.” (For health tips 1 and 2, you might want to get some ideas from the food suggestions we gave in our ’10 Healthy Snack Ideas Perfect For Weekends’ post. The kale and potato chips are easy to make, while the Cinnamon Dusted Apple Chips makes for a delectable dessert.)

3. Take probiotics

An effective and easy way to get more good bacteria in your gut is through probiotics. A guide to probiotics by Parsley Health, describes them as living microorganisms that “can maintain and help restore the balance of power in the gut”. They are especially important if you are suffering from general digestive issues such as diarrhoea, gas, bloating, and constipation, and from more severe gastrointestinal disorders like Crohn’s disease, pouchitis, and irritable bowel syndrome. Probiotics are readily available and should be a regular part of your diet.

Mind your gut health now

While there is still more to be discovered about gut health, there is more than enough science for you to start eating right. Follow the above steps so you can keep your gut healthy.


Keeping your gut healthy

The good news is that keeping your gut healthy is relatively simple and these three tips can help:

1. Eat more vegetables

In a post on ‘6 Ways To Start Improving Your Gut Health Today’ dietician Chloe McLeod recommends eating more vegetables. “Vegetables provide our body with the nutrients it needs on a day-to-day basis and helps to maintain general health,” explains McLeod. “They also provide fibre to keep the gut healthy and help our body’s systems run more effectively.”

2. Consume prebiotics

You must also consume fibre-rich fruits, like apples, bananas, berries, onion, garlic, and whole grains. These are non-digestible fibre, otherwise known as prebiotics. They are important because they “provide food for the healthy bacteria which are found in our gut.” (For health tips 1 and 2, you might want to get some ideas from the food suggestions we gave in our ’10 Healthy Snack Ideas Perfect For Weekends’ post. The kale and potato chips are easy to make, while the Cinnamon Dusted Apple Chips makes for a delectable dessert.)

3. Take probiotics

An effective and easy way to get more good bacteria in your gut is through probiotics. A guide to probiotics by Parsley Health, describes them as living microorganisms that “can maintain and help restore the balance of power in the gut”. They are especially important if you are suffering from general digestive issues such as diarrhoea, gas, bloating, and constipation, and from more severe gastrointestinal disorders like Crohn’s disease, pouchitis, and irritable bowel syndrome. Probiotics are readily available and should be a regular part of your diet.

Mind your gut health now

While there is still more to be discovered about gut health, there is more than enough science for you to start eating right. Follow the above steps so you can keep your gut healthy.

Gut health is something everyone needs to pay more attention to. “There’s a lot of focus on gut health,” explained nutritionist Jacqueline Alwill, “The gut is the seat of our health and is responsible for our overall health and wellbeing.”

So what exactly is gut health?

Gut health, explained

According to nutritionist Rebecca Reynolds, “in your large intestine, you have trillions of bugs (or microbiotia), and that’s called the gut microbiome”. Problem is there are good and bad microbiotia, and when the bad ones outnumber the good ones your gut falls into a state of dysbiosis, which simply means your gut becomes unhealthy.

An unhealthy gut has been linked to various adverse medical conditions. A Time feature on gut health details how poor gut wellbeing is associated with diabetes, lowered immune function, and heart disease. Gastroenterologist Terry Bolin goes a step further, noting how dysbiosis might play a role in neurological disorders and some cancers. “We believe [gut bacteria] do have a potential role in mental disease, psychological problems, anxiety, depression,” says Professor Bolin. “They do have an influence on weight gain. And they may have a potential influence in preventing cancer and possibly disorders of the colon like colitis.”

Keeping your gut healthy

The good news is that keeping your gut healthy is relatively simple and these three tips can help:

1. Eat more vegetables

In a post on ‘6 Ways To Start Improving Your Gut Health Today’ dietician Chloe McLeod recommends eating more vegetables. “Vegetables provide our body with the nutrients it needs on a day-to-day basis and helps to maintain general health,” explains McLeod. “They also provide fibre to keep the gut healthy and help our body’s systems run more effectively.”

2. Consume prebiotics

You must also consume fibre-rich fruits, like apples, bananas, berries, onion, garlic, and whole grains. These are non-digestible fibre, otherwise known as prebiotics. They are important because they “provide food for the healthy bacteria which are found in our gut.” (For health tips 1 and 2, you might want to get some ideas from the food suggestions we gave in our ’10 Healthy Snack Ideas Perfect For Weekends’ post. The kale and potato chips are easy to make, while the Cinnamon Dusted Apple Chips makes for a delectable dessert.)

3. Take probiotics

An effective and easy way to get more good bacteria in your gut is through probiotics. A guide to probiotics by Parsley Health, describes them as living microorganisms that “can maintain and help restore the balance of power in the gut”. They are especially important if you are suffering from general digestive issues such as diarrhoea, gas, bloating, and constipation, and from more severe gastrointestinal disorders like Crohn’s disease, pouchitis, and irritable bowel syndrome. Probiotics are readily available and should be a regular part of your diet.

Mind your gut health now

While there is still more to be discovered about gut health, there is more than enough science for you to start eating right. Follow the above steps so you can keep your gut healthy.

In life, we all go through some pretty bad instances. For some reason, we’ve been put on this earth to go through all kinds of experiences and emotions. There’s, of course, a better reason somewhere out there, but that one is certainly also true! The balance of life means that we must all have a few good things and a few negative ones. Whether you believe in karma or not, it’s almost a certain fact that you’ll have as much positivity in your life as negativity!

Now, a select few people in this world will go through something that’s a little more serious than they’d like. Health conditions and issues are things that seem to hit random people at the most random of times. It’s not great, but it’s all part of this strange life. It’s down to how you react and then act during the course of this particular episode. If you’re willing to do something about it, then you have a real chance of getting through some pretty shady times. 

When you have to see someone else go through this kind of thing, it’s arguably harder to deal with. There’s nothing really you can directly do to fix what’s happening, after all – you can only indirectly influence it. You can make a little difference with your actions, however. If you’re dealing with someone that has a mental issue or a physical one, then you can still play your part in helping them return to being happy and healthy. Here are some things you can do in order to make it happen:

Get Clued In 

You don’t need to be an expert in the medical field to figure out a few of the basics. The body and the mind are two pretty difficult things to get your head around, but you can get to know the fundamentals in a short space of time. If you know more about the issues that are facing your loved one(s), then you’re going to need to do a little research into what’s going on. Thankfully, there are lots of sources online that can give you all the info. For instance, if you wanted to know about chronic musculoskeletal conditions, then you can head to Musculoskeletal Australia after a quick Google search. The more you know, the better equipped you’ll be in terms of helping your pal. 

Be Present

This one is easy – you just need to turn up and show the person in need that you do indeed care. When you’re struggling, it’s easy to get down. If you then have nobody to talk to or nobody to help you out, then you may start to feel worthless. If you could stop that kind of things from happening to someone, then you probably should. It’s not hard to take an hour or so out of your day to visit someone. It might seem like such a small, needless task, but it would do so much good for everyone involved. 

Don’t Do Absolutely Everything

You might start to feel as though you should be doing a lot for them. While that’s something to be appreciated, you should probably ease off a little, and let them complete tasks on their own. If you spoon-feed everything, then that will take away their skills. It would also make them feel as though they can’t perform certain things when they absolutely could.  

Hire Professional Help

If they’re in a pretty horrendous position, then the chances are that you’ve already sought out extra attention from experts. Some things can uncared for by professionals, however, due to ignorance or the decision to simply not bother. If you feel as though extra help is needed, and you can’t really provide it, then you might want to get someone that knows what they’re doing. Professional home care services might be a great idea – experienced and trained people that deal with all kinds of issues would be a great addition. 

Be Positive

Just being happy around them can do so much. If you’re constantly in a miserable mood when in their presence, what do you think it will do for them? They’re already struggling, making them feel negative will only make them suffer twice. People react to what’s around them, if you’re happy and positive, then they’ll feel as though they can beat whatever’s plaguing them.

Don’t Put Them Down In Any Way

Patronizing or simply belittling is obviously a tremendous no-go. You know that you shouldn’t talk down to them, but you might accidentally do it to them, too. Don’t make them feel as though they’re different to you – they aren’t. If you speak to them with a condescending tone, then they’re going to feel terrible. 

No matter how good Helen Mirren looks right now, it’s all smoke and mirrors. Older actresses and celebrities always look fantastic when they’re swanning up the red carpet, but they will have gone through the same changes in age as every other regular Juliet on the street. 

Aging hits all of us if we are lucky enough to get to that point in life, and knowing what to expect can take the edge off the changes that you could experience. So, pop the glasses on and settle down, as we’re going to take you through nine things that you should expect as you get older. 

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  1. Your Hair May Fall Out. Through life, many things make our hair fall out from pregnancy to stress. You can get more information from your doctor as to what you can do about hair loss in age, but it’s something that you should be aware of happening. It’s not nice, but slow down on the hairbrush!
  2. You Sweat Less. You may have been used to pump out sweat when you exercise or get too hot, but now you’ll sweat differently as your sweat glands shrink down and become less sensitive.
  3. Teeth Are Less Sensitive. Over time, the hard inner tissue of your teeth builds up, which makes your teeth much less sensitive on the surface. Handy, for the teeth you have left!
  4. Your Brain Shrinks. As you age, certain areas of your brain shrink down and it’s the areas that control learning and planning that shrink the most. 
  5. You’re Less Susceptible To Colds. By the time you’re in your later years, you’ve built up an amazing immune system with an excellent response. You’ve been there and caught that over the years, and it’s because of the years of colds you’ve already endured.
  6. You’ll Get Fewer Migraines. Most women who deal with migraines in life get them less and less as they age because of the changes in hormone levels that occur over time.
  7. Your Tastes Change. By age 60, most people lose half of their taste buds. This could be why you’re penchant for chocolate cake has come roaring back: you’re compensating with extra foods that are richer. 
  8. Hearing Loss Is Common. So many things are changing, and hearing is one of those things. It can begin early in life, but it’s something that is usually gradual from age 50 (or thereabouts). Hearing loss is common by age 65, which is why it’s important to see an audiologist as you age.
  9. You’ll Feel Happier. Older folks? Far more contented with life as they age. All the hard stuff feels finished and the children have flown the nest and are living their own lives. So many studies are out there telling us that older people are more contented with time, which serves why they are jollier! 

All of these things are just a part of life. Some things are nice, some not so nice, but all in all, it’s a part of life!

The weekend rolls around and it’s like all our self control flies out of the window. A little switch flicks on in our heads that tells us its the weekend, and boom! The healthy mindset we had adopted Mon-Fri disappears. It can be frustrating when your resolve was strong only to completely deteriorate at the mere sight of the weekend. Of course, life should be about balance – everything in moderation is key if you want to live a sustainable healthy lifestyle. That being said, if you want to make smarter choices come the weekend while feeling like you’re still eating a treat, the ideas below can help you. Take a look and you’ll find 10 healthy snack ideas perfect for weekends! 

  1. Homemade Tortilla Chips and Dip

Homemade tortilla chips are possibly far more satisfying because you know you’ve made them all on your own. All you need is a piece of flatbread, pitta, or a wrap cut into portions. You can cut them into triangles, strips, or whatever you prefer. You can then spritz them with a little oil and pop them in your oven or air fryer until they are crispy.

For the dip, you can pretty much make whatever you fancy. You can make homemade salsa with chopped tomatoes, onions, and herbs, or you could make guacamole with avocado, lemon, and anything else you like. Get experimental! 

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  1. Kale Chips 

Kale chips are super easy to make in an air fryer. All you need to do is place your kale inside with a little oil, salt, pepper, and maybe some lemon. It only takes 5-10 minutes and they are so tasty! You’ll get your nutrients in while feeling like you’re chomping on a treat. 

  1. Protein Mug Cakes

If you need a good way to get more protein in but also want to indulge in a sweet treat, a protein mug cake is the way forward! Again, this is something you can get experimental with. Grab a mug, add your protein of choice, a little baking powder, honey or sugar, peanut butter if desired, a milk or milk alternative, and maybe even a piece of chocolate. Mix it all together until it has a cake batter like consistency and put it in the microwave for as long as it takes to rise. Be careful not to overcook, as it can go rubbery! 

  1. Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

Spicy roasted chickpeas are a delicious treat to eat in front of a film. Toss drained chickpeas with a tablespoon of olive oil and air fry it for 15 minutes. You can then add seasoning, more oil, and lemon juice before putting them back in the air fryer for 5 more minutes. You can easily store these to eat later on by placing them in an air tight container and they’ll last a few days! 

  1. Energy Bites

There are a ton of ways to make yummy energy balls! For this, all you have to do is add your chosen ingredients together in a bowl, mix, place in the fridge for about 30 minutes, and then roll into balls. That’s it! You don’t even have to bake them. An idea of some of the ingredients you can use include:

  • Oats
  • Peanut butter
  • Ground flax seed
  • Chocolate chips
  • Cup honey
  • Chia seeds
  • Vanilla extract 

Try the above recipe and see how you get on and you might just like to play around and make up your own next time! 

  1. Hummus 

Homemade hummus can be enjoyed with your homemade tortilla chips, or you could use carrot sticks, peppers, celery sticks, or anything else of your choice. Simply drain and tip the chickpeas into a food processor, add some garlic, tahani, and a squeeze of lemon juice. You should also add 1 tablespoon of oil and a little salt before blitzing. Mix it yourself, getting the hummus from the sides of the bowl, and blitz again to ensure a good consistency. You can taste it and add something extra if it needs it! 

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  1. Banana Ice Cream

This is a super easy recipe that will satisfy an ice cream craving in no time. All you need is one frozen banana and one regular banana. Blend them together until they are the consistency of ice cream, and voila! You can also add protein powder or another flavouring if you wish. 

  1. Fruit Smoothie

Fruit smoothies can be customised to suit your needs. All you need is fruit, veg, maybe a protein powder, a nut butter, and any other additives you fancy. Here’s a recipe for a peanut butter banana one with a twist:

  • One banana
  • One scoop of vanilla, banana, or peanut butter protein powder (optional)
  • A milk of your choice (oat and coconut work well)
  • A spoonful of peanut butter
  • A small handful of kale leaves 
  • Vanilla essence (optional) 

All you have to do is blend together, and if you want it extra cold, add ice! 

  1. Sweet Potato Chips

Sweet potato chips are ridiculously easy to make. Chop into discs, add to your air fryer, and wait until cooked! You can also add oil, salt, pepper, and other seasonings. 

  1. Cinnamon Dusted Apple Chips 

Cinnamon dusted apple chips are the perfect snack for fall. Simply cut an apple or two into bite sized chunks and place them in your air fryer drizzled with a little oil. You can then cook for 10 minutes until crisp. When done, toss them in cinnamon and enjoy! You can literally use this recipe on any other vegetables, so get experimental with your veggies and your herbs and see what you can come up with! 

If you’ve been trying to think of ways to curb those cravings at the weekend, don’t do anything silly or extreme. Fads never work in the long run. Instead, have lots of the above ideas in your back pocket so you can whip them out whenever you need to. You’ll be getting plenty of nutrients and you’ll feel so much better for it. Enjoy and thanks for reading!

How to Help Minimize Your Blog’s Environmental Impact

It’s something we don’t always think about, but using power has an effect on the environment, as does nearly everything we do. From the paper we use to the equipment we buy, what we consume and what the companies we shop from do with the things we trade in or recycle matters.

So when it comes to blogging, we have to think about the impact it has on the environment. Starting a website that is “green’ has to do with a lot more than just choosing and purchasing a domain name. It has to do with how your site is hosted, where servers get their energy from, and even how and where you blog.

Here are some effective methods to help minimize your blog’s environmental impact.

Check Out Your Host

Not all hosts are created equal. First of all, there are two different types of hosting, and each comes with its own environmental cost. The first is shared hosting, which is the most common and environmentally friendly type, at least on the surface. This is when your website shares server space with other websites. As long as you don’t have a huge amount of traffic, it will serve your needs, while reducing the amount of power you generate, saving environmental pollution from the production of non-renewable energy.

The other kind of hosting is dedicated hosting, which means your site has its own server. This, of course, takes more energy than sharing a server with others, but if you have a lot of traffic to your site and want to minimize downtime, it is essential.

The important thing is to know where your host gets their server space. Some have their own servers, others use Microsoft, Google, Oracle or Amazon Web Services (AWS) servers. Many of these large server farms consume large amounts of energy, but many of them are also powered by solar, wind, or other forms of clean energy.

There’s nothing wrong with getting a large amount of server space for your blog; in fact, I sincerely hope that your blog becomes so successful that you have to upgrade to a dedicated host, but by being conscious of who you choose to work with, and thoroughly researching their production methods, you stand a much better chance of staying in the green, as far as the environment’s concerned.

Look into Self-Service

Of course, you can host your own blog if you have access to your own server. Many larger companies have this option, but if you have a way to power your own server with renewable energy, you can self-host and ensure that your blog has as little impact on the environment as possible.

Though this is often the best method for ensuring you’re being environmentally friendly, there are two distinct disadvantages. First, there is a much higher initial cost unless you have another use for the server besides your website. You can of course offer server space to other websites if you have room, but if you want to live by your principles of responsible conservation, it will take additional time on your part to ensure that the people whose sites you host are eco-friendly as well.

The second issue is that, if you do not have another use for your server, you could be wasting a lot of natural resources by hosting your own site, resources and power that could better be used elsewhere, even if they are “green.” The operations and maintenance of a server makes this cost prohibitive for many users. It’s definitely an option to consider, but objectively, if you’re spending more to setup and maintain your blog than you are making, you’re going to lose your capacity to live, and that will affect your future conservation efforts as well.

Use Clean Energy Yourself

This was mentioned above, but I can’t repeat it enough. If you can use clean energy yourself, in your home, your business, and all other facets of your life, you will have a smaller impact on the environment and so will your blog. An electric car that is charged by solar power when you are at home saves a huge amount of the emissions that gas powered vehicles generate.

The same can be said for powering your laptop, tablet, and phone. Solar charging helps prevent pollution in a big way, and might even be a viable everyday solution for all of your home power needs, depending on where you live. Even if you can’t use solar energy 100% of the time, using it when and where you can will go a long way in cutting back your contribution to environmental degradation.

Consider clean energy options whenever possible to reduce not only your blog’s environmental impact, but your personal one as well.

Update Your Equipment

Sounds a little backwards, right? Wrong. Newer equipment uses less energy, has longer battery life, and even emits fewer emissions over its lifetime. This is true even for eco-friendly products that were produced even just five years ago.

Since your blog will need some great photography to distinguish itself, prioritize buying newer cameras, made from recycled materials, as much as is feasible. Going even further, if you want to avoid producing more waste through the production of a new camera, consider using stock photos of nature to illustrate the beauty of the earth, and why you’re committed to protecting it, rather than shooting your own photos.

Don’t stop just with upgrading your gear; be aware of what happens to your old equipment. The US throws away hundreds of tons of electronics a year, much of which can be recycled. Check with the company you purchased from about recycling programs (Apple has some good ones) and be sure your old device either goes to a new home, or that the parts get melted down and reused as much as possible.

Newer equipment will make you and your blog more efficient, and reduce your impact on the environment.

Work from Home

This is something most bloggers do anyway, but if you work for a marketing agency or a writing company, work from home as much as your employer will allow. Most of these companies have remote workers regardless, and encourage remote work simply because it saves the company money as well.

There are other ways you can help though. Conduct interviews from home using video chat. Avoid travel when you can Skype or Facetime with someone, and use other methods of research. When you do need to travel, use green transportation when available, and limit your forays to only what is essential.

Your blog has an impact on the environment, but with a few simple tactics, you can minimize the effect you have and be kind to the Earth while you spread the word about green energy and protecting the world we all live in.

How to Help Minimize Your Blog’s Environmental Impact

Setting yourself a personal challenge of some kind is a great way to focus your mind and channel your efforts towards achieving a particular goal. If you can do this while raising money for a charity that is special to you, this is even better! The question remains: what fundraising challenge should you set yourself? Well, there are all kinds of options out there so it is worth thinking hard before you settle on one that is right for you. Here are just a few ideas to spark off your imagination!

Run a Marathon

Probably the most common fundraising challenge that people set themselves, running a marathon is undoubtedly an incredible feat of endurance. You will need to be committed to months of training, in which you set aside hours of time so that you can keep building up your distances. If you are not a regular runner or gym goer, you will probably want to go for a shorter distance, but giving yourself a target to aim for gives you a great challenge and an incredible feeling of accomplishment at the end.

Take on a Physical Challenge

If running is really not your thing, there are plenty of other physical challenges that you could set yourself. Just a few different options include climbing, cycling, hiking or canoeing. Choose a particular challenge that you would like to tackle; it may be that there is a hiking trail that you would like to complete or a river that you would like to cross. Taking on some sort of physical challenge is a great way to capture the imagination of potential fundraisers.

Go on a Journey

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Choose a particular journey that has some sort of personal significance to you and take this on using a mode of transport of your choice; whether this on foot, by bike or by car. You can take an epic charity road trip. Ultimately, you can choose the distance you would like to cover, and you could even set yourself a time limit to ramp up the challenge.

Overcome a Fear

If, for example, you have a huge fear of heights and build yourself up to taking part in a skydive or bungee jump, not only is this an incredible accomplishment for yourself, you also have a great story to tell which will certainly inspire people to donate to charity. Obviously, you won’t be able to leap headfirst out of a plane straight away, but you can gradually build up to this over time until you are able to overcome your fear.

Climb a Mountain

Another classic challenge that people set themselves is to reach the top of a famous peak. It all depends on how high the mountain is before you know how much training and effort you will need to put in to reach the top. There is nothing like the feeling of satisfaction and personal accomplishment when you can stand at the top with your arms aloft!
  

When you think about exercise, it’s so easy to assume that it has to be pushing yourself to your limits, feeling the burn and getting really sweaty and out of breath. But while that kind of activity is great, there are plenty of reasons why you might want something a little more mellow. Perhaps you’ve been inactive for a while and are building up your fitness from scratch, or maybe you have a health condition that takes high impact and high energy activities off the table. You might already do a lot of cardio, but are looking for something during your ‘rest days’ which is a little lighter. If so, you’ve come to the right place, here are some examples of low impact activities you could try.

Golf

Many people find that golf is a fantastic way to get some fresh air and some light exercise. There’s a fair bit of walking involved (even if you use a golf cart) and swinging the club helps to work out your muscles. Golf has been shown to improve balance, strengthen muscles and it’s generally a enjoyable hobby that doesn’t require you to break a sweat or push yourself too hard.

Swimming

Swimming is ideal for anyone who struggles with high impact activities because the water supports your weight. But as long as you can swim, it’s suitable for anyone and burns a crazy amount of calories. Swimming uses and tones just about every muscle in the body and there’s plenty of ways it can be adapted for those with disabilities. If you never learned how to swim when you were young, set a goal to do it as an adult. There are lots of clubs that can teach you in a safe and enjoyable way, then you can head down to the pool whenever you like.

Yoga and Tai Chi

Some of the benefits to both yoga and tai chi include increased flexibility, improved muscle strength, improved bone health, better posture, boosted immunity and even drained lymph which reduced swelling and inflammation. They might be very different practices but there are plenty of similarities. While both strengthen the body, they’re also very focused on calming the mind and so are great from a mental health point of view as well. Both activities are something that all ages and abilities can enjoy, since you can start small and build your way up.

Walking

Walking is perhaps one of the most underrated exercise. As well as being a great way to get from A to B, walking is low impact while burning calories and building lean muscle. It’s easy and accessible and something most people can do, it’s free and you don’t need any special equipment. Check out walking trails which often run alongside cycle trails. You could go on family walks or hikes with your dog. You could go on romantic walks down the canal, on the beach or to the park with your partner. Once your fitness builds, start walking places which have more hilly terrain for a harder workout.

Finding ways to look and feel younger after retiring is a common desire for many seniors. Fortunately, you can still maintain a youthful complexion, exude essence and style, and have a healthier body as a senior. Explore these ways that you can look better in retirement and enjoy yourself during your golden years.

Get a Beauty Makeover

If you want to look and feel younger, you can get a makeover. Opting for a shorter hairstyle and softening your hair color can do wonders for increasing vibrancy. If you have been wearing your makeup the same way for the past decade or more, then it is time to switch it up for a fresh start.

Choosing makeup and lipstick colors that are harmonious with your complexion is important to appear more youthful. Consider visiting a cosmetic counter for beautiful makeover ideas to make your complexion look brighter and more rejuvenated. Using firming eye cream can improve the appearance of fine lines and bags under the eyes, while using an herbal-infused mask once a week can tighten facial skin and make you feel more confident in your appearance.

Spruce Up Your Wardrobe

Changing the way that you dress can shave pounds and years off of your appearance. AARP suggests that wearing matching, tailor fitted clothes, or donning a pink scarf can take a decade off of your age. Bring out the natural rosiness of your skin by avoiding dark and drab colors, and remember to choose brighter shades to illuminate yourself and look your best in retirement.

Go Stress-Free Today

Smiling and feeling happy makes you look more beautiful, pleasant, and enjoyable to be around. One way that you can look better in retirement is to reduce the level of worry and stress present in your life. Practicing daily meditation, prayer, and yoga are some ways that you can release the frustrations of daily life and feel more stress-free. Maybe you need to get out instead of staying in so find a hobby. Getting a bike and go for a ride can give you a one person escape from the world anytime you want to just relax and go for a ride. The more that you practice letting go of things that you cannot change and changing the things that you can, you will feel much better about yourself and your existence.

Engage in Regular Exercise

Without a doubt, regular exercise is a must for looking your best, staying energized, and remaining healthy in retirement. Aerobic exercise increases blood flow to the skin, resulting in an increased supply of oxygen and vital nutrients that improve your complexion and make you heal faster. Some exercise ideas for seniors include swimming, walking, and light aerobic activity in short intervals. Consider working out with a friend or joining a local gym with a senior population that is interested in looking and feeling good, just like you.

Consume a Balanced Diet

What you choose to eat every day has a direct effect on your appearance, so it is important to consume a balanced diet. Everyday Health states that nutritious foods reduce your chances of developing chronic diseases as you age, and it elevates your energy, which can make you naturally more vivacious. Although nutritional needs do vary among seniors, eating more vegetables, fruits, small portions of lean meats, fish, beans and whole grains are especially helpful. When you eat healthier, it is easier to keep the pounds off and avoid developing life-threatening health conditions that negatively impact your appearance.

The older that you get, the more important that it becomes to develop life-saving and beauty-magnifying habits with a sound diet, regular exercise, and a worry-free mind. Maintaining your beauty regimen and using products that nourish your skin is important for reducing anti-aging and appearing years younger. Every day that you make the choice to do something positive to make yourself look and feel good, your natural beauty and inner glow will shine through.