Do you remember the morning of January 1st 2013… we assume it came part and parcel with a stinking hangover right? Then your family came round wanting to spend New Years day together and all you could think of was crawling under your duvet praying that the room would stop spinning, and knowing that there is not enough paracetamol in the world to stop this pain in your head.
Well to stop this happening all over again, our friends at Very Wise Nutrition have been doing their research and have some handy hints to get you back to your A-Game come 2014.
So here we go….
When it comes to drinking, it’s all about damage limitation, look after your body and your body will look after your hangover. Shona Wilkinson, Head Nutritionist at www.nutricentre.com shares her top tips to hangover-proof your Christmas!
Power on with Protein!
“Before heading out, make sure you eat a meal containing lots of protein (fish, meat, nuts, seeds, eggs, tofu) before you go out. Protein takes a long time to digest so it helps to line the stomach. Also as a preventative measure, take a milk thistle tincture before you party as this helps the liver deal with the toxins that will be introduced to the body. Before bed, have a snack to help balance blood sugar levels – try marmite, humous or peanut butter on wholegrain toast, ‘’ explains Shona
Woken up looking like the bride of Dracula with last night’s make-up smeared all over your face? Let the power of fruit enzymes get your skin glowing in no time! MyChelle’s new festive White Cranberry Cleanser, £8.50 from www.nutricentre.com naturally exfoliates, cleanses and brightens. Willow Bark and Totarol™ help bring balance to oily and blemish-prone skin conditions. Pomegranate, a super fruit rich in antioxidants and naturally exfoliating fruit acids, protects against environmental aggressors, while keeping pores clear and skin calm.
Resist that fat Cola and try a natural nutrient booster instead. Shona suggests ‘’In the morning, have a smoothie made of banana, kiwi, flaxseed, cinnamon and spirulina and omega 3. This will ensure a good supply of vitamins and help balance blood sugar levels.’’ Add some Omega 3 to make for the ultimate hangover smoothie, VeryWise’s new OmegaWise with mango and peach tastes great and contains your RDA of Omega 3 and Vitamin D, £8.80 from www.verywisenutrition.co.uk
According to Shona, ‘’Alcohol destroys your body’s vital energy boosting and nervous system protecting B vitamins. Ensure you keep your B levels topped up the day before a big drinking session with a B complex’’Quest’s new Mega B 50, £6.69 for a month’s supply from www.nutricentre.com
We asked Shona some questions on hangovers to help separate the fact from the fiction…
1. Can food really help with a hangover or is it a myth?
Hangover symptoms show that the body is suffering from dehydration, mineral loss and low blood sugar, as well as the presence of toxic metabolites of alcohol. We can use food to prevent or reduce hangover symptoms, because certain nutrients are used for the body’s detoxification processes. We can use food and drink to counteract dehydration and nutrient loss caused by drinking, as well as to support balanced energy levels.
2. What should you eat before you go out and why?
The best foods and drinks to focus on are those which promote liver function. Firstly ensure you have protein (eggs, meat, fish, beans and lentils) because some amino acids facilitate detoxification, particularly of acetaldehyde which is thought to be a cause of unpleasant hangover symptoms. Secondly ensure you have antioxidant-rich fruits, fresh vegetables and leafy greens because they offer protection from free radicals which are considered another cause of hangovers.
Overall, it’s important that you do eat before drinking to slow the absorption of alcohol and additionally reduce the irritation that it causes to the stomach. Include healthy fats such as an olive oil dressing to slow absorption of alcohol, thereby slowing the work for your liver.
3. What should you eat the next day and why?
Start the day with a protein- and nutrient-rich breakfast. Ideally choose eggs, because they are rich in cysteine which is needed to break down acetaldehyde. Try a healthier cooked breakfast of poached eggs, green leafy vegetables, grilled tomatoes and wholegrain bread. Keep your energy up by having plenty of slow release carbohydrates from wholegrains and vegetables.
Keep well hydrated by drinking plenty of water, or even better drink coconut water as it’s naturally rich in electrolytes which helps to better hydrate you – like a sports drink but without artificial sweeteners. You could also have a fruit smoothie. Alcohol consumption results in dehydration which contributes to symptoms such as headache and fatigue, so this is very important.
4. What foods and drinks should you avoid (before and after drinking)?
Before, during and after drinking it’s best to avoid sugary foods and drinks, because alcohol consumption tends to play havoc with energy and blood sugar control. Refined sugars will compound this problem so it’s better to focus on protein and unrefined carbohydrates which release glucose slowly.
After drinking it’s best to avoid caffeine because it could worsen the dehydration. Finally, after drinking the stomach may be irritated so it’s best to avoid very spicy or fatty fried foods. It’s not wise to start drinking alcohol the next day because it prolongs the period of time for which your liver is processing alcohol.
So there you have it, get yourself ready for a new year without the hangover hang-ups!!!
Already planning your New Years resolution? If so, maybe a health kick is top of your list, and we’ve found a brand new product that may be able to help you start 2014 with a healthy bang!
We hear all about the health benefits of omega-3, we think we know where it comes from, fish, oily food etc, then we get told something different, and basically we get all confused…one of the biggest problems is knowing how much makes a difference to our lifestyles? I mean, do we need to eat ten fish a day to get enough Omega 3 in our diets? Who knows, its all a very big head ache!!
Luckily, one brand of health oils has done all the thinking for us (phew!) VeryWise is new range of delicious tasting multi-nutritional health oils, which are designed to deliver high levels of omega-3 goodness, in a convenient and great tasting shot.
How does it all work?
VeryWise oils use a proprietary process called WisdOM-3TM, where the omega-3 fats are broken up into tiny droplets, mimicking the action of the digestive juices. In this form, they have been found to be much more absorbable– even up to 100%. VeryWise oils are the only products on the market which are manufactured using the unique WisdOM-3™ process, which make it ultra absorbable in the body, more so than any other omega product on the market.
Right.. thats the science bit, now how good does it taste?
They are then flavoured with natural fruit extracts to make creamy and tasty syrups that have no fishy smell or taste, but provide all the same benefits as fish oil. VeryWise supplements therefore provide an excellent alternative for children and any adult who finds it difficult to take standard fish oils, particularly those who may have issues with absorption of fats. Unlike some health oils, which taste less than desirable, all VeryWise products have been carefully flavoured, to ensure that they are great tasting for both adults and children when taken directly as a shot (or from the spoon) – or added to any cold drink such as water, fruit juice or milk.
So what do we get in the pack and how much do I need to fork out?!
The VeryWise range includes six oils which are all individually targeted towards specific health needs (e.g. brain health, joint health, heart health, metabolism, energy, and general health) and accordingly have their very own prescriptive mix of added nutrients including vitamins, minerals, natural extracts, plant sterols and energy boosting natural additives. The VeryWise range can be a great ‘all-in-one’ answer for those of us who don’t want to take several different supplements.
The six VeryWise products in the range include:
OmegaWise, omega-3 fish oil, plus vitamin D for general wellbeing, £8.80 for 150ml
JointWise, omega-3 fish oil, plus vitamin D, glucosamine and rosehip, £9.80 for 150ml
BrainWise, omega-3 fish oil, plus vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, K and folic acid, £9.80 for 150ml
CardioWise, omega-3 fish oils, plus plant sterols, vitamins, CoQ10, £12.90 for 150ml
MetaboWise, omega-3 fish oils, plus plant sterols, vitamins, CoQ10, £12.90 for 150ml
EnergyWise, medium chain triglycerides, B vitamins, cartanine, taurine and caffeine, £4.95 for 150ml
When can I get hold of some?
Verywise hits health food stores nationwide in January 2014, perfect for that post Xmas health kick. Need to keep up to date with when it officially hits the shelves, or want to find out more? Then click here.
The long running campaign to get children of Britain eating more healthy food has taken another step up the ladder. Over 100,000 school children will get the chance to eat more fruit after 600 schools signed up in the last few days to River Cottage and Crowdfunder UK’s Fruitshare campaign.
From its initial launch it took under two hours, for 550 schools across the country to successfully sign up to receive a free pack of four fruit trees after food campaigner Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall announced the scheme during his new River Cottage To The Core TV series which aired on Wednesday 16 October.
And now that the free packs of trees, donated by the Woodland Trust, have been allocated, schools across the UK are signing up to crowdfund more fruit trees themselves.
Schools are signing up to Crowdfunder UK’s site, which is giving schools the opportunity to raise amounts of £270, £130 and £70 to receive packs of 20, 10 or five trees – funded by their communities, local business, parents and PTA associations. Over 50 schools have already signed up to crowdfund trees.
Crowdfunding relies on people pledging money in return for rewards. Crowdfunder UK, in partnership with Plymouth University, has teamed up with Abel and Cole, the organic veg-box company, The Woodland Trust and River Cottage to provide great rewards to encourage people to back the school-led campaigns.
Using his celebrity chef status for a good cause, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall said: “I am on a mission to make the most of fruit, so what better place to start than with our kids. If we can get them to propagate a positive relationship with fruit, it could be a love affair that lasts a lifetime.
Gathering local communities and businesses to use Crowdfunder.co.uk to raise funds to get growing fruit trees is a brilliant way of demonstrating what can happen when a group of people get together to achieve something great.”
Once again, our health, fitness (and travel) guru Katrina Santos-Baron (www.katscapades.net) shows us how to live healthier…and maybe lose a few pounds in the process! So have a good old read, take the points on board, give it a whirl and let us know what you think!!
One fitness quote said, ‘it takes 4 weeks for you to notice, 8 weeks for your friends and 12 weeks for the rest of the world’. I started a Weight Loss Challenge last March but had a major relapse when I had friends come to stay for two weeks! (oops!) I almost gained what I just lost, so I discovered the importance of juicing and decided to do an Alpha-reset (5-day juicing detox) to get back into shape. Juicing has been a habit since then. Along the way, I’ve learned a lot of things, and discovered my passion for running. So taaaaaaaaadaaaaaaaaaa, I’ve lost over 5.6 kilos and just above 10cm (3.9 inches) around my waist. Yaaaaaaaaaahooooooooooooooo!
I’m so loving a healthy lifestyle. For me, it’s not just a fad or an excuse to sometimes splurge in the organic section of the supermarket. It’s way beyond counting calorie intakes or trying to join the ‘green’ club. It’s giving utmost value to ourselves, like valuing something that you’d been meaning to have and finally got it (just like when I received my first Chanel bag – it was treated like a V.I.P.!). Taking care of our body is a must, it’s the only one we have!
I was never really a fan of crash diets. I was too skinny before anyways. In fact, I used to eat a lot! Like 3 cups of rice and meat plus a lot of sweets on one sitting three to four times a day! However, as they say, our bodies start to change as we reach the age of 25. Though I believed I had a healthier lifestyle since I moved to London (except for the cake moments with my best friend – which occurred on most days of my London life, ooops), I kinda felt this body-changing-after-25 particularly when I got married two years later. The joys of cooking and discovering amazing eating places, plus the ‘dining bond’ with my hubby (with no exercise) during the first 8 months of our marriage resulted to unpleasant muffin tops! And there I was, tempted to try different crash diets but I thought best not to. Motivated to lose weight eventually paved the way for me to really get hooked into maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
I recently had some dietary advice from a Monaco-based nutritionist that really helped me on my fitness journey. I admit that I’m not 100% following it (I’m still human by the way), but it’s good to have it at the back of my head which acts like a little voice whenever I’m about to cook, do my grocery shopping and as I put my trainers on. I shared it with some of my friends and they’re happy with the results. This may not be new to you – I’ve known some of the items he shared before I met him but it didn’t just remind me, it also made me more aware about the importance of what we eat and do to how it affects our body
THE GOLDEN RULES OF NUTRITION
Do not ever starve yourself. When you starve, your metabolism slows down. You might be losing weight but gaining more afterwards, also known as the yo-yo effect. Like what C. Helgoe said, ‘if weight loss is your only motivation, and you jump into the latest fast being used by Hollywood stars getting ready for Oscar gowns, your program is likely to backfire’. Remember, your diet should be eating more of the right foods at the right time.
Eliminate flour, gluten and junk in your meals. I know this is super hard, eh?!
NO to dairy products – milk and cheese, huhuhuhu…. Goat’s cheese is ok (it’s not from the cow :p)
Here’re the good news – carbs are ok! YES! But only until 2pm.
Eat fruits only in the morning as most fruits have high sugar content.
Salt = Cellulites. Yikes!
NO to GMO too – choose organic.
Drink protein shakes for breakfast (could be mixed with fruits) and drink another one in the evening (without the fruits)
Fats will only be burned after 40 mins of cardio since the first 40 mins are only for sugar-burning
Get at least 8 hours of sleep for cells to regenerate properly (natural anti-aging)
[Goes without saying] Drink loads of water
Don’t forget the veggies!
LET THE MONACO DIET BEGIN:
So here’s how my daily diet and activity looks like:
Between 6:30 to 7:00am: It’s cooking time! So meanwhile, I’m drinking Juice PLUS+® Complete Vanilla or Chocolate Shake. I like it how it is so I only add water. Maybe one day I’ll try making smoothies with it.
About 7ish: My hubby and I normally have eggs for breakfast. Eggs are packed with protein and healthy fats – good for muscle growth and burning body fats partnered with superfood – avocado and spinach served with green juice on the side.
Once in every 2 weeks, I make tapsilog (a Filipino dish composed of beef, eggs and fried rice but I cook it a non-stick frying pan – so no oil or sometimes a tiny bit of organic olive oil). Oh, try frying tomatoes with olive oil and basil – they go well with the eggs too!
Between 8am to 11am: I have some fruits on my working desk.
Around 12ish: I’m happy with a salad especially during the heatwave in the Riviera. Have you seen my crispy lettuce with strawberry salad dressing? If not, please click here. Sometimes I eat rice or whole wheat pasta with protein and fiber (so that’s meat and veggies). I also try adding some twists to the traditional dishes such as including spinach to spag bol sauce for instance served over gluten-free pasta or zoodles (zucchini-made-like-noodles). Who says healthy food is boring and tasteless?! I disagree! 🙂
When my hubby gets home at 5pm: We have an early supper mostly composed of protein and fiber (I also cook with carbs for his packed lunch the next day but I try not to eat carbs during this time, til 2pm, remember?!). Sometimes I make another glass of fresh juice.
Between 7pm to 8pm: Trainers on, off we go running. Since it’s been too hot lately to run by the beach, I’ve been running lately at the treadmill (3 – 4 times a week). If we get hungry after the run, we just boil 2-3 eggs each eating only the white. Bye, bye yolk!
9pm: Juice PLUS+® Complete Vanilla or Chocolate Shake
10ish to 11ish: Bed time!
Cheat day once a week is OK but if you sweat your ass off the gym and become aware of what’s good for the body and not, you’ll still resort to eating more of the right food and feel [a bit] guilty if not, therefore limiting unhealthy intake (if I used to eat up to 6 cupcakes at one sitting, now, 1 cupcake is enough during my cheat day).
When trying to lose weight, it is also important to think of these:
Why are you doing it. It’s an awesome feeling being able to fit into the clothes you want to wear, waking up with a flatter tummy, notice your skin looks younger and glowing everyday without putting on cosmetics, being able to run faster and be more mentally alert during working hours. As for me, I DON’T WANT TO BE SKINNY, I WANT TO BE FIT. I’d like to prepare my body as healthy as possible – who knows, we’ll have a baby soon? 🙂
Keep a diary of your progress. I did 🙂 It didn’t happen overnight, didn’t happen over a period of 10 days as well. It took me months and learned a lot along the way (and still learning!). Aside from my messy notebook, I also documented my progress @katscapades in Instagram and thru my previous blogs:
Do the alternatives. Take the stairs instead of the lift, walk to the grocery instead of taking the car or bus, go for a fresh morning walk instead of snooze-snooze-go-away bed mood. Just be active. Move a lot. Y’know what I mean 🙂
Read the labels. Geesh, I really do spend time reading labels (in French) at the supermarket!
Be fun and creative! Sooner or later, you’ll discover that healthy chef within you.
Nobody’s perfect. You may feel you’re behind your regime but don’t panic – slow progress is better than no progress at all.
Connect with like-minded people. Share and start inspiring others too – it’ll make you feel like a million-euro-monaco-baby!
Take the holistic route. Have a balanced diet, regular exercise, fill your life with laughter and love. La vie est belle!
Cheers to a healthier us! xoxo
P.S. I just called it the ‘Monaco diet’ since the nutritionist is based there. Results on individuals may vary, consult your doctor first. But overall, I recommend a healthy lifestyle 🙂
We all like to treat ourselves to those naughty chocolates, or occasional portion of junk food…however the implications that follow can really be quite damning! Can we have both and have a guilt free conscience? Jo Talbot, Content Editor at http://www.prezzybox.com (@prezzybox) looks a little deeper into the situation for us…
With obesity and its related diseases continuously increasing, we’re forever being told to eat good foods, and judged for craving the bad – no wonder why our brains are pre-disposed to feelings of guilt whilst gorging on that chocolate bar…. But why should we have to live like this? There’s no doubt that our bodies need the right vitamins and minerals, but that isn’t to say we can’t indulge on our favourite treats without hindering our health. Want to know a secret? WE CAN HAVE BOTH! You just need to know how to control your relationship with food – it really is that simple.
By control I don’t mean obsessing over when you can treat yourself. By control I don’t mean logging your foods, counting calories and feeling a twinge of guilt when you fancy a good old British fish and chip dinner. Everybody views food in different ways – whether you’re overweight and on a diet, going to the gym, body building or none of the above, there is a unique way that each and every one of you will view a plate of the same food and by controlling your relationship, you need to let go of it all. That’s sounds like a contradiction, but there’s some interesting science behind it that you may not already know.
Each of the different people I have mentioned above can eat the same food, yet digest it in totally different ways. There is a reason for this – our thought process. Much like the opposite with smiling and laughter, our body cannot distinguish between a genuine stressful situation or an imagined one – each stressor, whether it be guilt, or body shame, will inhibit the function of your digestive system along with other bodily functions – don’t forget, your brain and your thought process is extremely powerful in your health and well-being. There is something that scientists and psychologists call the biopsychosocial model, introducing the notion that all 3 of the biological, psychological and social aspects of your life are interdependent, thus one will affect the other 2 in every single way. Take for example you’re eating a “bad” food. You’re signalling to your brain that you shouldn’t be eating it (psychological input). This consequently adapts the biological mechanism in such a way that it won’tdigest the food completely, as you’re telling your body with your thoughts that it shouldn’t be there. What does this result in?? The guilt will cause increased levels of cortisol (our stress hormone) leading to store more of the un-metabolised food as body fat. Please note, this happens when we eat a healthy meal too – if you’re unhappy, you will inhibit digestion.
So how can we increase feelings of happiness? As noted above, your brain is incapable of distinguishing between a fake or genuine smile. Take a pencil and hold it in between your teeth without it touching your lips. Do it for as long as you like, and before you know it, you’ll feel 10 times better. Alongside this, learn to love what you eat! Refrain from worrying about things not worth worrying about, enjoy your food and smile more. Happy eaters are happy people, so go and eat all the ice-cream you want. Just make sure you enjoy every second of it.
Undergraduate Psychology and Mental Health Student – The Open University.
Institute for the Psychology of Eating by Marc David
Even though breakfast is the most important meal of the day (what…you didn’t know that?!) Many of you are making your excuses that you’re too busy for lunch also (so like, when do you actually eat?!) So we turned to our health guru Katrina Santos-Baron to see if she could advise on something healthy and delicious that is worth stopping work for! And here we are…!
Hi Snoochers! Here’s a quick recipe post. I don’t know what to call this dish (maybe Sesame Seared Tuna with Grilled Garlic-flavoured Aubgergine) but since I’d been having sushi for the past two nights, it kinda inspired me to make a tuna dish and it turned out like this:
I can’t get enough of eating fish lately. Let me share this quick and easy recipe:
Marinate the tuna steak with 2 tsp of soy sauce, 2 tsp of toasted sesame oil, juice from 1 lemon, 1 garlic clove chopped, 1 green chilli chopped, 1″ ginger chopped and pinch of pepper. Put it in an airtight container and leave it in the fridge for at least 3 hours. I was suppose to cook this last night but we went to a sushi bar so mine was marinated overnight.
Take the marinated tuna from the fridge 10 minutes before cooking so it gets to room temperature. Season it with sesame seeds.
Pan-fry it using olive oil for 30 seconds each side to leave the middle a bit pinkish/raw (make sure you use good quality tuna). Set it aside with the plain rice.
In the meantime, grill 1 aubergine cut into slices and sprinkled with garlic powder. Oh, don’t forget to drizzle some olive oil. I think I grilled it for about 5 minutes. Once cooked, place it with the tuna and rice.
Put the leftover marinade sauce into the pan for under 2 minutes (make sure it’s just the sauce and no bits of garlic, chilli or ginger)
Pour it over the fish, aubergines and rice. Garnish with chopped green onions. Serve hot.
This dish is so yummy and filling. I am confident that I can do 5km run later tonight 🙂
And all you busy workers can make it for your packed lunch too!
She never fails to get us eating the yummiest and healthiest food… so if you’re over heating (not over eating) this weekend, then its time to try this delicious recipe from our resident health guru…you can find this and much much more on her site Katscapades
Let’s talk about freshness baby! Due to the popular demand (naks), here’s the quick and easy recipe for the Crispy lettuce w/ cherry tomatoes, feta cheese, herbs & my own #homemade strawberry salad dressing for lunch.
Super fresh organic lettuce is a must (to get the crispy feeling)
Cherry tomatoes ❤
Feta Cheese in Olive Oil with herbs (those you get in jars) or you may use parmagiano regiano as an alternative
Ingredients (Homemade Strawberry Salad Dressing):
1 cup of fresh organic strawberries
2 tsp of bio (organic) apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp mustard
2 tsp of bio (organic) olive oil
Prepare the salad: lettuce, cherry tomatoes and feta cheese.
Drizzle some of the olive oil and herbs from the feta cheese jar into the salad
On a separate bowl, crush the strawberries using fork (I also used a spoon) then add the apple cider vinegar, olive oil and mustard. Add more of the ingredients based on your desired taste.
My my, isn’t the world changing, first there was the iPod, then there were Google Glasses, and now, keep your eyes peeled, as this summer, JuiceBurst will re-launch as the world’s first digitally interactive soft drink. Blippar technology will have fruit literally bursting off a shelf near you!!
With an impressive 14 flavours to choose from, there is a JuiceBurst to suit everyone – from tried and tested Apple & Orange to the exotic Mango and surprisingly tasty Apple and Rhubarb. Each 500ml bottle offers a delicious shortcut to one of your five a day, and priced at no more than a bottle of fizzy drink, JuiceBurst is actually really good value for money.
LETS GET INTERACTIVE!
To have the full JuiceBurst experience, simply ‘blipp’ the bottle and you’ll be taken into an interactive world, where the fruit literally bursts off the label and out of your phone / ipad. You’ll be invited to play the fruit machine game where you could be in with a chance of winning your own stash of JuiceBurst.
So what are you waiting for go and pick up your futuristic fruit drink now – and let us know how you get on!!
Our travel writer Katrina Santos-Baron took a break from travelling to glamorous locations and instead spent the last week on a health trip that didn’t even require her to leave her home town! She shared her findings with Snoochie Boochies to show the benefits of tackling weight loss and healthy living through juicing, and more specifically the Alpha Step: 5 Day Reset.
Two months ago, I decided to go on a Weight Loss Challenge as I wanted to lose 5 kilos (11 lbs) that I gained over the last few months. I started it as I was coming into the realisation that married life is not an excuse to gain more inches around the waist! And I found along the way, that there’s more to life than just losing those ‘muffin tops’ I gained from a happy marriage *giggles* and fitting once again into my size 8 dresses, jeans and stylist’s clothes, what actually happened was that I rediscovered the beauty of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. And who wouldn’t want to wake up with a flatter tummy?!
Looking back at my diet, I realised I was eating a lot of oily and processed foods, particularly when my husband and I had a few friends over from our native Philippines. (I was cooking a lot of Filipino delicacies, such as binagoongan, ginataang alimasag, sinigang, rice and all for 2 weeks – not to forget the deserts on top! – oh, good times). I applied the polite portion principle though. During this time, I noticed that my skin started to breakout and I almost gained what I just lost. Phew… So, being inspired by some of my fitness partners, I bought a juicer and I started juicing various produce.
I can officially announce that my juicer has been the busiest machine in my kitchen! I’ve been experimenting lots of different mixes, I find it de-stressing. My husband and I have moved on to replacing one meal with 1-2 cups of freshly made juice (mostly dinner) and this has been going on for few weeks now. Over this time, I noticed that I’ve lost 3 kilos and few cm off my waistline. Yahoooooo! Well that comes with also working out almost 5 days week, a holistic approach is the key!
I also noticed that with juicing, my skin got clearer with a pinkish glow effect, and I am more energetic especially when I do my usual fitness exercises.
Its not just me who has seen the benefits:
One of my friends who inspired me to start juicing also shared her juicing experience:
“I have been juicing on and off for almost a decade already. But seriously juiced (everyday) just this year. Our family doctor recommended a recipe to make us healthier and have glowing skin noticeable in just a week. So we tried it – it was great! We went back to it this year and I really noticed a big difference in my energy levels so continued my research (since that recipe tasted horrible) and found a whole heap of new recipes to try.
Since I started juicing, I noticed I got more energy and my skin was just glowing. There is that rosy pink glow to it. I can do so much more in the day than I used to. The energy is the most important change that I noticed. I became stronger. Also, I am a frustrated runner. My knees hurt everytime I tried to run, even for just a few seconds. But more recently I am able to do a minute of running, alternating with brisk walking then running again. I’m faster now. I’ve always known it has got to be the juicing. And just today, I discovered that cucumbers help lubricate your joints. I juice cucumber a lot, so now I know why all of a sudden I can run for a bit longer. I got hooked. And been sharing the benefits of juicing to my friends since.”
You can see why my friend is my juicing guru. We’ve been talking about different types of juicers (centrifugal vs masticating juicers and how we can’t wait to get our hands on Hurom HU-700), various juice mixes and health advice.
The Alpha Step: 5 Day Reset
As I got more serious about juicing I’ve started an Alpha Step: 5-day Reset. This means that I’ll be eating no food for a period of 3 days but instead, replacing all the meals with 100% fresh veggies and fruit juice every 3 hours up to 6 times a day and consuming 10-12 cups daily, then slowly introducing protein on Day 4 & 5 then back to eating clean and regular exercise.
Here’s a helpful quick-start article by Drew Canole about this – please click here. I don’t think I have the symptoms of poor digestion as mentioned in the article but I believe my body deserves a break from heavy food intake. Drew also stated that, “Alpha Step”…is the beginning step in any new workout regime or fitness goal. Okay, game.
So here’s my Alpha Step Diary:
The day before:
I started to read few articles and blogs about Alpha Step so that I get a clear understanding of what am I getting myself into. I got really excited, unfortunately, and planned my grocery shopping for the following day.
This is it. Day 1:
I had warm water with lemon as usual (let’s call this L-H20 and this is different from squeezing lemon on drinking water under room temperature; to cut the long story short, the difference is the water temperature)
I had a banana-kiwi smoothie for breakfast since bananas do not go in the juicer. I blended it well to ensure that it’s less thicker than a normal smoothie, almost close to the juice texture.
I quickly went to the shop nearby and picked few essentials
I’m glad I had a good 60-min cardio at the gym last Saturday as this programme prohibits excessive exercise / lifting weights for 5 days. I just did few squats at home.
I did the normal no.2 in the morning (sorry I had to write this in case this changes along the course)
Three hours later, I juiced 4 celery stalks, 4 carrots, 2 red apples, half beet root and a handful of spinach
My next juice was 4 big tomatoes and 2 small carrots – kinda sour…
I was drinking loads of water squeezed with lemon all day
I felt kinda dizzy, maybe that’s my body adjusting or I was just spending too much time infront of the computer, anyways, I kept on reminding myself – I can do it. Here’s my work desk with my juice (sorry it’s a bit cluttered, I usually clear it up after):
I really wanted to stuff my mouth with the leftover M&Ms.. Lol.. But I thought, it’s not worth it!
My husband picked me up to do grocery shopping and we spent nearly £85 on produce! Okay, this is not a cheap diet but I know it’s a good health investment.
I got a bit hungry so I made beetroot, carrot and cucumber juice – not my favourite mix so I had water with lemon immediately
This is the most challenging bit: cooking salmon and aglio e olio for my husbands dinner. Okay, okay, okay… I had to hold my breath and focus on my goal: detox to lose unwanted fats and be healthier. Fine.
Of course I had to go to the loo frequently due to the amount of liquids drank all day (not to do no.2 – just want to make it clear)
For the first time in months, I felt sleepy at 9:30pm and went to bed early.
Ain’t That Easy. Day 2:
Weight: 56.5 kilos – I already lost 1.2 kilos
I had the same in the morning: L-H20 plus banana and kiwi juice-like smoothie
I didn’t take any fiber supplement as advised and there wasn’t a change in my toilet routine, I was still able to do no.2 at around the same time (sorry, it’s gross but I have to include it)
I juiced greens for lunch: broccoli, bell pepper, granny smith apple, cucumber, celery and parsley.
The dizziness had gone and I felt energetic. However I am paranoid of the pimple-popping-detox-result. I’ve read few blogs and they’ve experienced severe breakouts during the juice fast. Thankfully, no red spots on my skin yet. I guess that’s because I’ve been juicing already and been avoiding greasy junk food prior to this.
The green juice made me full for the next few hours until late in the afternoon. I’ve been eating Juice Plus Chewables (made from real fruits and veggies in chewy form – it melts before it even goes down to the esophagus so I guess it’s okay).
Another challenge: I prepared roast chicken, potatoes with onions, red and yellow bell peppers for my husband’s dinner – now that made me hungry! I was okay the whole day until this came along! I thought it was going to be easy but it made me crave for hot food! The whole house smelled of roasted chicken and I realised this is not easy.
So I made a juice: half of a red bell pepper, 1 apple, 2 carrots and 2×1″ ginger. I don’t know what I was thinking – it really tasted awful. I only had few gulps and I had to bin it… I felt really bad, I hate wasting food!
To give myself a little treat, I made my one of my favourite mixes – beet, carrot and apple, my comfort juice (others call it the ‘Miracle Drink’) and went to bed at past 10ish
I’m Still Alive: Day 3:
Yes, I’m still alive! lol. The thought of ‘no food’ was a bit scary to begin with but thinking of all the benefits from juicing and upon reading the testimonials, obviously this plan is created for a nourishing detox and I woke up happier this morning. It’s the last day anyway and tomorrow I can insert egg whites in my diet, then fish the day after.
This morning, I weighed 56.1 (dropped almost 1 lbs), lost 2.6cm off my waistline and no breakouts – yahooooo!
After the usual L-H20, I had a smoothie made of 2 bananas and a cupful of strawberries for breakfast and that kept me full for hours (I’ve been drinking water with lemon in between as well)
Normal toilet routine – meaning my digestion is still good 🙂
Got a bit hungry so I prepared a juice made of 1 pack of asparagus, 2 tomatoes and 1 carrot.
At around half 5 in the afternoon, I made an orange juice (using 6 oranges). Did you know that oranges are good for the skin? That’s one beauty secret revealed!
I wanted to join my husband in the gym at around 7ish but I opted not too since the plan prohibits excessive exercise as I mentioned earlier. I also have loads of unfinished work to do anyways…
Like in the past two days, the most challenging bit comes when I prepare dinner for my husband. I cooked Spaghetti Bolognaise (another favourite). I thought to myself, “It’s okay, Kat. Few more days and you can eat a polite portion of SpagBol. You’ve come this far, so don’t give up”. Hope you don’t get me wrong, I’m not depriving myself – I’m detoxing just for 5-days!
For dinner, I made 1 beet root, 1 carrot, 1 apple, 1 cucumber, 4 celery stalks and handful of parsley.
Smiling on a Gloomy: Day 4:
I woke up on a gloomy and rainy morning but I feel lighter. I went to the bathroom and I weighed 55.3kgs (1.7 lbs lost) and dropped 1cm off my waistline. No breakouts on my skin apart from a dried tiny spot on my forehead (I had this before I started the Alpha Step!)
I had 4 boiled eggs whites on a empty stomach replacing one juice consumption. I was so excited to have egg whites. I seemed like I’ve never felt as excited as this about egg whites in my entire life! That was filling and I had a good burp (excuse me!).
Banana, strawberry and kiwi smoothie for brunch at 11:45
I realised my no.2 didn’t take place (I hadn’t taken any fibre supplement yet)
I made another green juice: 3 celery stalks, 1 cucumber, parsley, broccoli and 1 lemon. Tangy, tangy…
I had another 2 egg whites for dinner 🙂
I was sleepy at around 10ish but was watching a movie with my husband, so ended up staying awake until about midnight. I was a bit cheeky and tried one of his M&Ms..but apparently, I was surprised that I didn’t like the taste – I can sorta feel the green juice on my tongue mixed with chocolate, nasty. Anyway, at least it puts me off from getting another one.
I Survived! Day 5:
Last day of my Alpha Step. It’s so sunny outside so I wore my trainers and went for a quick walk around the neighborhood. But before that, I had 3 boiled egg whites for breakfast. I weighed 54.8kgs (1.3 kilos / 2.9 lbs lost) and dropped another 1cm off my waistline. I feel that my energy’s back to normal, actually I can run but I just thought maybe I’ll give it few more days.
After the walk, I grabbed a freshly made juice from a local juicing cafe. It’s called Sun Kissed made of mango, orange, pineapple and passion fruit It was so refreshing!
I was a bit stressed for missing out my normal morning toilet routine yesterday, glad it went back to normal today (see I told you, it has to be documented!)
For lunch, I juiced 3 apples and 2 carrots.
After hours and hours of writing reports, etc for work, my husband and I went to the gym at 6:30pm. I had a banana before (that’s not part of the programme, I just had one). My friend, was also there and we did 30-min cross training session, 30-min cycling session and spent 4-mins rowing.
For dinner, FINALLY!!!! Tadaaaaaa…….
Okay, it may not look that exciting for you but I was so looking forward to eating dinner with my husband. Since Monday, I was just having juice while he was eating the food I cooked. He had rice with this fish but I just had the fish meat (I seasoned this fish with tomatoes, shallots, spring onions, lemon, ginger, pinch of salt and pepper and little olive oil popped in the oven for 15 mins covered with foil then another 15 mins without – just in case you want to find out the recipe).
My conclusion on the Alpha Step detox
That’s my Alpha Step experience, the first detox program that I’ve tried. I lost 3 kilos (6.61 lbs) and about 4cm off my waistline. I originally wanted to become skinnier, basically get my pre-married shape back but really beyond that, I did this because I want to be healthier (shredding off those unwanted ‘muffin tops’ is a BIG bonus, wink*… plus the glowing skin). Of course I won’t binge on food after fasting for 5 days. Slowly, I’ll go back to eating clean foods and will avoid junk food as much as possible.
If you are looking for a detox programme without losing the important nutrients needed by our body, I think this one is for you. Don’t worry about not having carbs, it’s just 5 days anyway! Just make sure you consult your doctor first especially if you are undergoing medication.
I suggest that before you do this, get a juicer and insert this juicing habit in your daily life. Try replacing one meal, preferably at night, with 1-2 cups of freshly made juice like what I’d been doing before this detox program (and will be doing after). Then see if you think you are ready for the Alpha Step. Otherwise, juice anyway. And keep juicing, baby!
Here are quick tips about juicing:
Have the right mindset. Be beautiful inside and out.
It ‘s really important that you connect with the people who are also into this. It’s helpful to follow blogs, Facebook pages and Instagram posts. I’ve downloaded ‘The Everything Juicing Book’ by Carole Jacobs and ‘The Funk Fresh Juice ebook’ by Jason Vale in my iBooks.
Get a good juicer. Currently, I am using an Electrolux centrifugal juicer since I didn’t really know what to get at first. Now, I’m saving up for a Hurom slow juicer (it’s about £360!). Also consider if it is easy-to-clean as you must clean your juicer every after use.
Make sure you wash your fruits and veggies properly, you’ll never know! Also it’s better to use a plastic chopping board instead of a wooden one. Do not chop meats using this chopping board – get a separate one for that.
Do not store produce in the fridge for long. They only last for few days. I know it will take you several trips to the grocery weekly but believe me, it’s all worth it. Plus you get to burn those extra fats by walking to the supermarket!
Be prepared for frequent toilet visit.
Even busy people can make this a healthy habit.
Juice greens! Juice those superfoods that you can’t eat – at least you can cover your nose when you drink!
Juice less fruits at night – they’re good during the day or before the work-out. How about a refreshing apple-carrot juice after a 5km run?
Drink your juice immediately, you don’t to lose those nutrients!
Drink warm water with lemon first thing in the morning – it alkalizes your body.
If you feel you haven’t juiced enough, try Juice Plus Chewables (I used to eat Haribo gummies whilst working, now I replaced it with these all-natural fruit and veggie chewies)
Get a juicing journal or save your juicing mixes in your iPhone notes. I like taking pictures too.
Try, experiment, enjoy!
Just think of your health, really. That’s about it. Benefits will follow 🙂
When you think of the word smoothie a few brands probably pop into your head – more often than not, its Innocent Smoothies. Believe it or not, but this ‘Innocent’ brand has been around for 14 years, and ever since its conception, the ethos behind Innocent is to do products in a truly good way – to make products that taste good, that do people good and to do good in the wider world too. With these values, it’s not hard to see why Innocent has become one of the UK’s most well-known and loved brands, bringing health and goodness to all its customers in a small bottle.
Now that Innocent is well and truly established, it has the ability to expand beyond its product range and really try to make an active difference in the wider world, and in 2013 this starts with a series of Innocent Inspires events. These events are a series of five evenings where all of Innocents key values are brought to life in one place. Yesterday, for the kick off event, it was brought to life in a church hall, cleverly transformed into a school gym with a difference.
This was known as Chapter One: How to live well and die old. This event was all about health, how we can live healthier lives and eventually live longer. To say this event was inspiring is an understatement. Considering the rubbish weather we’ve been having lately, smiles are hard to come by, but the moment we arrived at Latimer Road station, we were greeted with big smiles by an Innocent representative donned in flourescent head-gear and that was just the start! As we reached the hall, the helpful staff (and you really do get the unusual feeling that everyone who works for Innocent loves their job!) took our coats and showed us the way to a healthier lifestyle… it was upstairs.
What innocent did was create an atmosphere that made exercise fun. Becky our reporter will tell you a thousand times how she hates exercise, so it’s no wonder she was the perfect choice to send along! From delicious smoothies handed out as you entered the room to yummy plates of hummus and vegetables and teams of Innocent staff just waiting to get you involved in mini exercise events such as the ‘toilet squats.’ It really made the idea of eating and living healthier that little less daunting. Once everyone had gathered, it was time for the main event. Three inspirational speakers.
Legendary Olympian and extreme adventurer James Cracknell, was the first to take to the stage, he talked about the power of human will, about overcoming the odds and how everyone can really achieve great things if they put their minds to it. In short form, this sounds quite patronising and like a cheesy American life coach trying to sell you the solution to a happier life, but with someone like James Cracknell (who was armed with videos and photos of all his outstanding achievements) you realise he was an ordinary person, who embraced his drive and focus to achieve great things. Taking the audience on a journey from the Olympics to the Antarctic, we all quickly realised that he really had done it all, and with that he was someone to aspire to be like, to learn from and to feel very lucky to be in the presence of.
Next up was an equally inspiring person, but in a completely different way. Charlie Dark is the founder of Run Dem Crew, an ex DJ who took solace at night with his passion for running and a want for a healthier life. He turned this passion from something he did for himself, to something he involved his friends with and now something that inspires hundreds of people. Charlie’s aim is to get the younger generation off their backsides, doing something active and finding a community they can trust in which helps inspire, guide and encourage. What Charlie spoke about was team work, and how helping others is far greater than just helping yourself. Running, is the perfect example of this, a solo sport, where the majority strive to achieve personal bests. With Run Dem Crew, its not all about PB’s it’s about supporting each other and embracing the fact that you reached the finish line, not how quickly you did it in. Through this it seems very apparent that a lot of people in London are now enjoying the sport of running, but they’re also meeting new friends, feeling better about their lifestyles and encouraging others to do the same.
Finally, we had Dr Pixie McKenna from Embarrassing Bodies and other health programmes. She took the audience through the top ten things that can really affect our health, and was the perfect end point to the other talks. Dr Pixie talked through in a very down to earth manner, how the smallest of changes could have a more positive impact on our lives. For instance, breakfast really is the most important meal of the day and without it you risk becoming obese in later life, fish is incredibly important in our diets – we need Omega 3 which our body doesn’t produce itself, and how 30 minutes of exercise a day can make you live a longer and healthier life.
We caught up with Dr Pixie and also Charlie Dark as part of our v-log we created for the event. Why don’t you check it out below. And if you want to find out more about the Innocent Inspires events (and we really recommend that you do) you can do so here. The next Innocent Inspires event will feature supermodel Erin O’Connor and will be all about Ethics, so make sure you book your place now!