Category Archives: Diet

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Better sleep: Tips to get you through the night

Sleep diary – Keep a note pad next to the bed.  Make a note of how you sleep each night.  It is also helpful to pen down persistent ideas in the mind. Sometimes writing down the things that are bothering you can help clear the mind and encourage sleep.

diary

Soft music – Good if makes you relaxed. If music keeps you alert then it’s probably better not to use it.

musci

Relaxation training – avoid intrusive and arousing thoughts. Guided imagery or meditation can be helpful.  Sometimes recounting the plot of a novel or a movie can help to distract from intrusive thoughts and encourage the falling-asleep process.

relax

Avoid daytime naps – If you really feel drained then try 10 minutes of meditation. If you do fall asleep make sure it is limited to 10 minutes. Handy to set a timer just in case you do (mobile phone or even egg timer).  Naps are fine if they don’t interfere with even night-time sleep.

day-nap

Eliminate stimulants – coffee, tea, soft drinks, large amounts of sugar in the evening.

coffee

Try to maintain regular bed/wake schedule – 7 days a week, not just 5 days a week. For example, go to bed a 10 pm wake up at 6.30 am for all 7 days.

regular-bed-time

Create a dark sleeping environment, heavy curtains and ear plugs perhaps, or a noise-cancelling device if there are disturbing external noise issues (eg pool pump, trucks, dogs barking or very-early bird chorus).

dark-curtains

Limit alcohol or just eliminate altogether.  Booze makes you sleepy initially but causes agitation later on in the sleep cycle.

alcoholo

Get regular exercise, but avoid exercising 5 hours before bed.  Intense exercise is better, something that gets you puffed and sweaty.   Increased Cytokines increase non REM sleep – the restorative stuff.

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb., -- 2nd Lieutenant Lindsey Myhr, 55th Maintenance Squadron accessory flight commander, pedals a bicycle inside the Offutt Field House here in preparation for her next triathlon Nov.5. A basic triathlon event consists of a 1.5-km swim, a 40-km bike-ride, and a 10-km run. The biggest triathlon event, the Iron Man challenge, consists of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 miles on bike, and a 26.2 mile run.

Use bedroom only for sleep and sex (behaviour conducive to sleep), although for some reading in bed or watching TV sends them to sleep.

Love People Couple Fingers Hands Together Family

 

Don’t look at the clock.

bed-side-clock

Reduce electrical devices. Switch off TV at the wall, shut down social media.

old-telly

Well ventilated room. Fresh air, consider having a fan.

well-ventilated-room

Tart cherry juice (unsweetened)  has been shown to be helpful in increasing length and quality of sleep.

cherry

Eat foods high in tryptophan.  This converts to melatonin.  Melatonin is your night time sleep hormone.  Turkey and chicken are high in tryptophan, as are seeds, nuts and soy.

soy-tryptophans

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Does alcohol turn into sugar? Well, not really. But there are calories. Metabolic pathway explained.

2-beer-bottles
The Christmas party/New Year festivities and the silly season is here, and it usually involves a few drinks.  You might find it interesting to know how your body processes alcohol, and why it might pack on a few extra kilos.

– Alcohol (ethanol) is a toxin and is given metabolic preference by the body, to be broken down before other foods and drinks.  The liver can break down, on average, a standard drink an hour.  Any more than this, we get a little tipsy, and then drunk.  This is because the liver can’t keep up with the intake, and the alcohol starts making its way through our body.–

– Food eaten with booze takes second place. The body will break down the alcohol first and then the food.

– If there is a lot of booze consumed with food, the body will breakdown the food you have eaten into fat and store it in your body – common storage areas are tummy and hips!

– That “beer belly” is not really beer causing the bulge.  It’s the food that the body hasn’t needed to use for immediate energy, as it was too busy breaking down the alcohol.

 

wine-glass

Alcohol, at no stage of being broken down, turns into sugar!
This is in reference to pure alcohol.  Wine and beer do contain small amounts of sugar from the fermentation process of the raw ingredients used to make it. I.e, wine is made with grapes that contain fruit sugars.

Keep in mind too, that soft-drinks added to liquors for long drinks, do contain high levels of sugar, as well as undesirable chemicals.

 

Below is the main chemical pathway for breaking down alcohol.

Ethanol (alcohol)  -> Acetaldehyde  -> Acetate  -> water and CO2

  • Acetaldehyde is a toxic by-product and known carcinogen. Thankfully this by-product is short lived
diagram-of-alcohol-metabolism

image source : http://hams.cc/metabolism/

At each stage of the reaction, bonds are broken and energy released.  Alcohol does provide calories, which is probably why it dulls the appetite.  For example you may have come home starving for dinner, had a beer and then not felt it was so urgent about eating after that.

Energy value of:

Alcohol (ethanol):            29 kilojoules/gram

Fats / Lipids:                    37 kilojoules/gram

Carbohydrates:                 17 kilojoules/gram

Protein:                             17 kilojoules/gram

 

Alcohol is often referred to as “empty calories”.  Meaning, it has no micro-nutrients in it.  Micro- nutrients are things like vitamins and essential amino acids.  Alcohol does provide energy, however, on its own it is not enough to sustain life for any length of time.  Too much alcohol will damage the body in a number of ways, as well as not providing the basic nutritional needs.

Everything in moderation.  Good food and good drink.  Just not too much.
Except fun and laughter; it’s priceless and calorie-free!

 

“One martini is just right; two is too many, three is not enough.”    James Thurber

“Moderation in all things, especially moderation.”   Ralph Waldo Emerson

Reference: http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/AA72/AA72.htm

Friday, May 6, 2016

Green tea cognitive dysfunction

maxresdefault

A small study didn’t find any signification change in cognitive function at the end of a 12 month trial. However, it did show the reduction of oxidative stress in the elderly.

If you need an anti-oxidant and you like tea, go green.

http://nutritionj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12937-016-0168-7

Monday, April 18, 2016

Heart and mind – a closer link than you think

Aorta and the heart

brain

 

Dementia is a disease of the brain.  It’s the slow decline of the brain’s ability to remember and process complex tasks.  When severe, cognitive impairment limits memory and language to a point where daily living tasks can no longer be performed.

Research has found that the heart has some influence over this.  The aorta, the biggest artery in the human body, is found to be a buffer from the pulse of the heart as it sends blood up to the brain. This protects the small and intricate blood vessels of the brain.  Damage to the blood vessels will reduce the oxygen and nutrients from reaching the vital parts of our white and grey matter.

For most of us the aorta functions beautifully through our lifetime.  It has a fantastic elastic quality that swells about 15% with each heartbeat.  In the cases where the blood vessels are damaged by plaque and other wear and tear, the aorta loses some of this elastic quality.  The pulse from the heart then travels more directly to the brain and can cause slow damage to the small blood vessels. It makes sense that dementia affects the older population more than the younger.  Our vital structures gradually wear and become less efficient over a lifetime.  The more you invest in your health now, the more it pays off later in life.

So look after your heart.  Eat unprocessed foods, rich in vitamins and fibre, avoid smoking, and exercise regularly.   A few alcoholic drinks are ok, but remember that large amounts can cause necrotic damage to the heart tissue.  Enjoy everything in moderation.

Look after your heart and look after your brain.

Source: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1445-5994.2011.02645.x/full

Sydney Alumni Magazine: issue 03 – semester one 2016. P.26

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Bread can be ok

bread

*Gluten doesn’t necessarily need to be the bad guy. Fructans in wheat and other carbohydrate products seem to be more of an agitator the gut.

*Modern bread making is accelerated and with lots of additives thrown in.

*A large number of people avoid gluten that don’t necessarily have an intolerance or celiac disease (auto-immune condition resulting in inflammation of gut)

*Traditional long sour dough bread making lets the fermentation process happen in the way it was traditionally done for centuries. A large part of the population can tolerate this.

http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/diet-and-fitness/going-against-the-grain-why-breaddenial-is-bad-20160411-go3f6c.html

 

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Dried fruit and nuts are great

“Trail Mix” (dried fruit and nuts) is very good for you. Research is suggesting cadiometabolic benefits, reduce cardiac risk factors and improved glycemic control. Dried fruit and nuts have a long shelf life and very portable. Next time you need a snack – reach for the bag of almonds and sultanas and not the chocolate bar.

http://nutritionj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12937-016-0142-4

 

 

trail mix

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Life long skier still going at 95, very impressive

Klaus Obermeyer , 95 and still skiing

Amazing story. Klaus Obermeyer,  life long skier and still doing it well.
He is  95, still gets out on the planks , does martial arts daily (akido), swims, tries to eat vegan (but cheats a little) and still runs a business. What an amazing bar he has set … also inspiration it can be done.

Read full article 

Friday, November 27, 2015

Weight loss helps clear up clogged arteries

AS

 

Its pretty much what you would expect. Eat better food and do regular activity and you will reduce negative effect of plaque building up on the pipes of your body. Which is a good thing. Atheroscleorisis is a major risk factor for heart disease and heart attack. Having a heart attacks has been described as a “crushing chest pain with a feeling of impending doom”. Sounds like something to be avoided.

In this study they found that the damage happening to arteries could be improved or revered with weight loss. This also led to reduced use of medication to treat the problem

Reach for the green beans and broccoli instead of the French fries

http://www.nutritionj.com/content/14/1/120

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Antioxidants stop the training effect of exercise – Oxidative stress can be a good thing

wrench rust

Recently I heard on a radio science show something very interesting regarding antioxidants. Apparently they negate the training effect of exercise. One of the usual goals of exercise is to become healthy, stronger and more capable. We do this by over loading the muscles, causing slight damage and then when they repair they come back stronger. In damaging the muscles we cause oxidative stress. As it turns out the, we need these free radicals to stimulate the body’s own antioxidants and cause the wonderful training effect of exercise. If you train and take antioxidants supplement you won’t get this effect and you won’t change physically.  If you want to get buff, throw away the pills and get some tasty, good whole foods.

https://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/antioxidants-and-exercise-more-harm-than-good/

http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2014/11/12/4124033.htm

 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

How To Know When Acupuncture Is Working

pain relief and wellness clinic

Acupuncture is not a one-shot deal. It works cumulatively, meaning one treatment builds on the next.

There are certainly instances of acupuncture producing immediate results. However, this is more an exception than the rule—and when it happens, the results tend to be short lived.

If you want lasting results from acupuncture, especially for a chronic condition, you must commit to the process.

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