Apple Cider Vinegar – What’s the deal?

There are lots of myths available online regarding Apple Cider Vinegar. The hype that surrounds how useful it can be in everyday life has been somewhat exaggerated! We decided to have a very quick look at three of these claims regarding Apple Cider Vinegar – Is it all BS?

Apple Cider Vinegar does have some pretty potent functions in our diet! Assuming our diet is already pretty good. In other words, Apple Cider Vinegar is not a magic solution, but it can help us when used correctly.

While some of the items noted in the list below are interesting, it should be noted there are lots of ways to stay healthy, and our own research has proved that Apple Cider Vinegar has advantages but it is a long way from the solution to a poor diet.

Do your own research to understand if Apple Cider Vinegar can help your diet.

So let’s take a look at what precisely the experts say it can do in our diet:

1. It can help you stay full for longer

A small study we found online reported a test subject of 12 people who consumed vinegar before eating a breakfast, which was made up of white bread, felt fuller longer than those who only ate bread! The study, however, noted that a few hours later both parties were equally hungry. The study if applied to those who ate a healthy breakfast may have more interesting results.

2. Help keep breath fresh

The antibacterial properties of vinegar can kill microorganisms responsible for bad breath. So if you run out of mouthwash, it’s always an alternative. However, experts warn it’s no better than other methods of keeping breath fresh, and there are other alternative solutions out there that can do a better job of keeping your mouth minty clean, rather than vinegar fresh!

3. Can help reduce bloating

Some research has shown that because Apple Cider Vinegar can aid digestion, as it speeds along the digestion process, thus limiting the amount of acid reflux a person may get. However, some research counters this belief, so our suggestion would be to test this theory yourself, before reaching for the antacids.

4. Reduces sugar crash

One of the reported benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar is the reduction of a sugar crash. Again, a good diet would negate this possibility, to begin with.

 

CBD Oil 101

This is a guest post By Terry Healy

So, what exactly is CBD oil?

CBD has exploded onto the market over the past year or so. It is becoming increasingly popular. The positive reviews that a simple Google search shows up are astonishing. It is now being used by children and adults for a variety of reasons. In this very brief article we will cover the basics.

Cannabidiol, or CBD for short is made from Hemp, which is a variety of Cannabis Sativa plant species that is grown specifically for food use. More than 85 different cannabinoids have been discovered in cannabis, but CBD is one of the most beneficial. CBD does not have a psychoactive effect due to only trace amounts of TCH (tetrahydrocannabinol) that’s in medical marijuana. What CBD does have is a remarkable painkilling effect.

CBD is entirely legal and widely available in health food shops and can be purchased online and delivered directly to your door.

How Does CBD Work?

Experts claim that CBD interacts with receptors in your brain and immune system. Receptors are small proteins attached to your cells that receive chemical signals from different stimuli and help your cells respond. This creates anti-inflammatory and painkilling effects that help with pain management. This means that CBD oil may benefit people with chronic pain, such as chronic back pain.

  • CBD oil is natural, safe, and side-effect-free for most users.
  • For many users, the pain relief from CBD oil is so powerful that it is
    possible to get off of medication.
  • CBD oil is affordable.
  • CBD oil can help with a lot of different conditions.

Some benefits of Cannabidiol:

  • Treat pain from many sources: Back pain, neck pain, surgery or trauma. CBD oil may also reduce the inflammation and pain associated with arthritis.
  • Restore balance to mood.
  • Treat Epilepsy.
  • Help with Anxiety.
  • Clear up acne.
  • Combat insomnia.

And many more…

From a personal point of view, we have spoken with several users of CBD who have noticed the considerable effect of the oil in treating anxiety and back pain.

Will CBD oil get me high?

No. CBD oil contains high amounts of CBD, but only trace amounts of THC. It is THC, not CBD, that produces a high. There simply isn’t enough THC in CBD oil to get you high.

What about dosage?

We have experience with two brands.

Cibdol swiss purity. This comes in 2.5% (mild), 4% (Normal) and 10% (High). Cibdol has excellent reviews and has been well researched and studied. It is produced in Swiss laboratories, purified, consistent and fully decarboxylated. We were recommended to start with the 4%, but please speak with whomever you are purchasing from for advice.

Cibdol in our local health food store was priced as follows:

  • 2.5% – 25Eur
  • 4% – 35Eur
  • 10% – 75Eur

Dosage: 3-4 drops, 3 times per day. Do not exceed the recommended daily dose.

Website: https://www.cibdol.com/

Celtic Winds Crops. An Irish brand. Available as 5% and comes in 10ml and 30ml sizes.

Start with a half full dropper, then 3/4 and then the entire dropper is what we were adviced. Again please ask your supplier for dosage information.

CBD Concentrate is produced from the seed of Irish Hemp grown by Celtic Wind Crops in the Cooley Mountains of Co. Louth. No Herbicides or Pesticides are used in the growing of the crop and the raw seed is cold pressed and concentrated using no additives or preservatives.

Pricing in our local store:

Multi-Complex Hemp CBD Oil Concentrate – 10ml – 30Eur

Dosage:: Take o.7ml (=1 squeeze of the dropper) once per day sublingually. Do not exceed the recommended daily dose.

Website: https://celticwindcrops.com/

Rare but possible side effects:

  • Mild stomach pain (very rare).
  • A sedative effect in high dosages.

The side effects experienced today are only witnessed in very high dosages.

Suggestion:

  1. Always consult your GP if you’re on existing medication before considering the use of CBD.
  2. Do not stop taking prescription medication and using CBD as a replacement without consulting a healthcare professional.
  3. Do plenty of research.
  4. Speak with the staff at your local health shop, they tend to be very knowable and can give good advice.

We would love to hear what you think of CBD Oil if you have tried it. Please use the contact page here to get in touch.

Ways to Challenge yourself in 2018 – A List

Looking to challenge yourself in 2018? One way to do this is to set a monthly goal. Think of something you always said you would get around to, but always found an excuse not to do it. Then do said task for a full month. We asked around the office, hoping to come up with 50 such tasks, but came up with 26.

This author has already started with number 1 – give up alcohol (for a month). Check out our list below, and see what you think!

 

  1. Give up Alcholol for a month.
  2. Read every day for a month.
  3. Read at least 50 books (non-fiction) in 2018.
  4. Take a photo-a-day for a month and post to Instagram.
  5. Do some form of exercise every day for a month (walk to the shops does not count).
  6. Take a sabbatical from my day job and do something entirely different for a  month.
  7. Have a goal for each day and aim to complete that goal, whatever else I do.
  8. Cut out coffee for a month.
  9. No Netflix for a month.
  10. Eat at least one piece of fruit a day.
  11. Lean a bit of Spanish.
  12. Fasting. Do a fast to understand – so many things.
  13. Cut out Chocolate/Crisps/Sweet things for a month.
  14. Reduce coffee intake (yes! The second mention of coffee, but I drink too much.
  15. Be nice.
  16. Don’t dwell on what others say – feck em.
  17. Walk to work.
  18. Mindfulness
  19. Go outside comfort zone at least once a month.
  20. Pay me first. You should always pay yourself first before you pay your bills.
  21. Buy a new Kindle so that I can do ‘number 3’ in the dark.
  22. Develop new (good) habits.
  23. Delete Facebook. But, actually, for me, Facebook seems to have evolved to such a time-waste – silly news stories… etc…
  24. Don’t stress.
  25. Get up at least an hour before I need to.
  26. Eat more yoghurt with probiotics.

The 3-day gym split for beginners.

With it being January our fitness guru has put together some useful information if you are looking for a routine to get you started.

So, is this routine suitable for me?

This 3-day split is aimed at beginners, both male and female, those returning to the gym after an absence from training or looking to bring some structure to their existing gym routine. Being just 3 days of the week, it is very manageable, and you will have sufficient recovery time.

What does the schedule include?

You will workout Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The weekend and days in between you’ll rest. By rest if possible try and get some exercise in, just not a gym workout. Go for a walk with the dog, a cycle, play some sports, eat well (plenty of protein-based foods) and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.

This gym routine should last you for 8 weeks or so before switching things up.

On Monday you will workout:
Back and Biceps.

On Wednesday you will workout:
Chest and Triceps.

On Friday you will workout:
Legs and Shoulders.

What are the exercises I’ll be doing on these days and how should I do them correctly avoiding injury?

Firstly, our focus is on the technique, not the weight on the bar or machine we’re using. Proper technique is EVERYTHING. If you are serious about building some muscle or getting definition, proper technique will prevent injury and get the best results.

Remember to warm up by doing some light cardio. Stretch before and after each workout and rest for apx 40 seconds between sets.

Back and Biceps:
Wide Grip Pull Up – 3 Sets, 8-10 reps.
The deadlift – 3 Sets, 8-10 reps.
Seated Row – 3 Sets, 8-10 reps.
Barbell Curl (Standing) – 3 Sets, 10 reps.
Hammer Curl (Dumbbell) 3 Sets, 10 reps.

Chest and Triceps:
Barbell Bench Press – 3 Sets, 6-8 reps.
Incline Dumbbell Press – 3 Sets, 10 reps.
Dumbell Flys – 3 Sets, 6-8 reps.
*Skull Crushers (EZ-bar) – 2 Sets, 6 reps.
Barbell tricep extension – 3 Sets, 6-8 reps.

*Please use no weights on the bar if trying for the first time…”skull crushers”.

Legs and Shoulders:
45 Degree Leg Press – 3 Sets, 10 reps.
Barbell Squats 3 Sets, 6-8 reps.
Leg Curl – 3 Sets, 10 reps.
Barbell Military Press 3 Sets, 6-8 reps.
Dumbbell Lateral Raise – 3 Sets, 8-10 reps.

For those that don’t live near a gym, or would prefer to workout at home keep an eye out for our upcoming article on a comprehensive home workout with no free weight requirements.

Guidance and form advice. Source -Thanks To Bodybuilding.com

If you are unsure about any aspect of these exercise then consider asking the personal trainer n your local gym for advice. YouTube also has some great tips, advice and form instructions so simply just search YouTube for the particular exercise you want help with.

Back and Biceps:

  • Wide Grip Pull Up

Take a wide grip on a pull-up bar, hanging freely with your arms extended. This will be your starting position.Pull yourself up by flexing the elbows and adducting the glenohumeral joint. Do not swing or use momentum to complete the movement. Attempt to get your chin above your hands.
Pause at the top of the motion before lowering yourself to the starting position.
Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

 

 

  • The deadlift

Approach the bar so that it is centered over your feet. Your feet should be about hip-width apart. Bend at the hip to grip the bar at shoulder-width allowing your shoulder blades to protract. Typically, you would use an alternating grip.
With your feet and your grip set, take a big breath and then lower your hips and flex the knees until your shins contact the bar. Look forward with your head. Keep your chest up and your back arched, and begin driving through the heels to move the weight upward.
After the bar passes the knees aggressively pull the bar back, pulling your shoulder blades together as you drive your hips forward into the bar.
Lower the bar by bending at the hips and guiding it to the floor.#

 

  • Seated Row

For this exercise you will need access to a low pulley row machine with a V-bar. Note: The V-bar will enable you to have a neutral grip where the palms of your hands face each other. To get into the starting position, first sit down on the machine and place your feet on the front platform or crossbar provided making sure that your knees are slightly bent and not locked.
Lean over as you keep the natural alignment of your back and grab the V-bar handles.
With your arms extended pull back until your torso is at a 90-degree angle from your legs. Your back should be slightly arched and your chest should be sticking out. You should be feeling a nice stretch on your lats as you hold the bar in front of you. This is the starting position of the exercise.
Keeping the torso stationary, pull the handles back towards your torso while keeping the arms close to it until you touch the abdominals. Breathe out as you perform that movement. At that point you should be squeezing your back muscles hard. Hold that contraction for a second and slowly go back to the original position while breathing in.
Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

  • Barbell Curl (Standing)

Stand up with your torso upright while holding a barbell at a shoulder-width grip. The palm of your hands should be facing forward and the elbows should be close to the torso. This will be your starting position.
While holding the upper arms stationary, curl the weights forward while contracting the biceps as you breathe out. Tip: Only the forearms should move.
Continue the movement until your biceps are fully contracted and the bar is at shoulder level. Hold the contracted position for a second and squeeze the biceps hard.
Slowly begin to bring the bar back to starting position as your breathe in.
Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

 

  • Hammer Curl (Dumbbell)

Stand up with your torso upright and a dumbbell on each hand being held at arms length. The elbows should be close to the torso.
The palms of the hands should be facing your torso. This will be your starting position.
Now, while holding your upper arm stationary, exhale and curl the weight forward while contracting the biceps. Continue to raise the weight until the biceps are fully contracted and the dumbbell is at shoulder level. Hold the contracted position for a brief moment as you squeeze the biceps. Tip: Focus on keeping the elbow stationary and only moving your forearm.
After the brief pause, inhale and slowly begin the lower the dumbbells back down to the starting position.
Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Chest and Triceps:

  • Barbell Bench Press

Lie back on a flat bench. Using a medium width grip (a grip that creates a 90-degree angle in the middle of the movement between the forearms and the upper arms), lift the bar from the rack and hold it straight over you with your arms locked. This will be your starting position.
From the starting position, breathe in and begin coming down slowly until the bar touches your middle chest.
After a brief pause, push the bar back to the starting position as you breathe out. Focus on pushing the bar using your chest muscles. Lock your arms and squeeze your chest in the contracted position at the top of the motion, hold for a second and then start coming down slowly again. Tip: Ideally, lowering the weight should take about twice as long as raising it.

 

  • Incline Dumbbell Press

Lie back on an incline bench with a dumbbell in each hand atop your thighs. The palms of your hands will be facing each other.
Then, using your thighs to help push the dumbbells up, lift the dumbbells one at a time so that you can hold them at shoulder width.
Once you have the dumbbells raised to shoulder width, rotate your wrists forward so that the palms of your hands are facing away from you. This will be your starting position.
Be sure to keep full control of the dumbbells at all times. Then breathe out and push the dumbbells up with your chest.
Lock your arms at the top, hold for a second, and then start slowly lowering the weight. Tip Ideally, lowering the weights should take about twice as long as raising them.
Repeat the movement for the prescribed amount of repetitions.
When you are done, place the dumbbells back on your thighs and then on the floor. This is the safest manner to release the dumbbells.

  • Dumbbell Flyes

Lie down on a flat bench with a dumbbell on each hand resting on top of your thighs. The palms of your hand will be facing each other.
Then using your thighs to help raise the dumbbells, lift the dumbbells one at a time so you can hold them in front of you at shoulder width with the palms of your hands facing each other. Raise the dumbbells up like you’re pressing them, but stop and hold just before you lock out. This will be your starting position.
With a slight bend on your elbows in order to prevent stress at the biceps tendon, lower your arms out at both sides in a wide arc until you feel a stretch on your chest. Breathe in as you perform this portion of the movement. Tip: Keep in mind that throughout the movement, the arms should remain stationary; the movement should only occur at the shoulder joint.
Return your arms back to the starting position as you squeeze your chest muscles and breathe out. Tip: Make sure to use the same arc of motion used to lower the weights.
Hold for a second at the contracted position and repeat the movement for the prescribed amount of repetitions.

  • Skull Crushers

Using a close grip, lift the EZ bar and hold it with your elbows in as you lie on the bench. Your arms should be perpendicular to the floor. This will be your starting position.
Keeping the upper arms stationary, lower the bar by allowing the elbows to flex. Inhale as you perform this portion of the movement. Pause once the bar is directly above the forehead.
Lift the bar back to the starting position by extending the elbow and exhaling.
Repeat.

 

 

  • Barbell tricep extension

To begin, stand up holding a barbell or e-z bar using a pronated grip (palms facing forward) with your hands closer than shoulder width apart from each other. Your feet should be about shoulder width apart.
Now elevate the barbell above your head until your arms are fully extended. Keep your elbows in. This will be your starting position.
Keeping your upper arms close to your head and elbows in, perpendicular to the floor, lower the resistance in a semicircular motion behind your head until your forearms touch your biceps. Tip: The upper arms should remain stationary and only the forearms should move. Breathe in as you perform this step.
Go back to the starting position by using the triceps to raise the barbell. Breathe out as you perform this step.
Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Legs and Shoulders:

  • 45 Degree Leg Press

Using a leg press machine, sit down on the machine and place your legs on the platform directly in front of you at a medium (shoulder width) foot stance. (Note: For the purposes of this discussion we will use the medium stance described above which targets overall development; however you can choose any of the three stances described in the foot positioning section).
Lower the safety bars holding the weighted platform in place and press the platform all the way up until your legs are fully extended in front of you. Tip: Make sure that you do not lock your knees. Your torso and the legs should make a perfect 90-degree angle. This will be your starting position.
As you inhale, slowly lower the platform until your upper and lower legs make a 90-degree angle.
Pushing mainly with the heels of your feet and using the quadriceps go back to the starting position as you exhale.
Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions and ensure to lock the safety pins properly once you are done. You do not want that platform falling on you fully loaded.

  • Barbell Squats

Begin with the barbell supported on top of the traps. The chest should be up and the head facing forward. Adopt a hip-width stance with the feet turned out as needed.
Descend by flexing the knees, refraining from moving the hips back as much as possible. This requires that the knees travel forward. Ensure that they stay align with the feet. The goal is to keep the torso as upright as possible.
Continue all the way down, keeping the weight on the front of the heel. At the moment the upper legs contact the lower legs reverse the motion, driving the weight upward.

 

 

  • Leg Curl

Adjust the machine lever to fit your height and sit on the machine with your back against the back support pad.
Place the back of lower leg on top of padded lever (just a few inches under the calves) and secure the lap pad against your thighs, just above the knees. Then grasp the side handles on the machine as you point your toes straight (or you can also use any of the other two stances) and ensure that the legs are fully straight right in front of you. This will be your starting position.
As you exhale, pull the machine lever as far as possible to the back of your thighs by flexing at the knees. Keep your torso stationary at all times. Hold the contracted position for a second.
Slowly return to the starting position as you breathe in.
Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

 

  • Barbell Military Press

Start by placing a barbell that is about chest high on a squat rack. Once you have selected the weights, grab the barbell using a pronated (palms facing forward) grip. Make sure to grip the bar wider than shoulder width apart from each other.
Slightly bend the knees and place the barbell on your collar bone. Lift the barbell up keeping it lying on your chest. Take a step back and position your feet shoulder width apart from each other.
Once you pick up the barbell with the correct grip length, lift the bar up over your head by locking your arms. Hold at about shoulder level and slightly in front of your head. This is your starting position.Lower the bar down to the collarbone slowly as you inhale.
Lift the bar back up to the starting position as you exhale.
Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

  • Dumbbell Lateral Raise

Pick a couple of dumbbells and stand with a straight torso and the dumbbells by your side at arms length with the palms of the hand facing you. This will be your starting position.
While maintaining the torso in a stationary position (no swinging), lift the dumbbells to your side with a slight bend on the elbow and the hands slightly tilted forward as if pouring water in a glass. Continue to go up until you arms are parallel to the floor. Exhale as you execute this movement and pause for a second at the top.
Lower the dumbbells back down slowly to the starting position as you inhale.
Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

 

 

For those that don’t live near a gym, or would prefer to workout at home keep an eye out for our upcoming article on a comprehensive home workout with no free weight requirements.

We hope that this article will help you reach your gym goals. Drop us an email and let us know what you think.

Man Flu – There is real Science to back it

Oxford defines Man Flue “as a cold or similar minor ailment as experienced by a man who is regarded as exaggerating the severity of the symptoms”.

But according to a recent report by Kyle Sue, a clinical assistant professor in family medicine, there is a science to Man Flue. To assist in his report he looked at animal models, and found that females fared better when infected with the flu – that is to say that their immune response reacted differently.  Could it all be down to hormones?

In his report, published online (PDF) he reports:

“Some evidence clearly supports men having higher morbidity and mortality from viral respiratory illness than women because they have a less robust immune system. However, conclusions may be limited by author bias, inclusion of some low level
evidence, and not reporting a critical appraisal of the studies
cited.”

What to do?

The report which is worth reading in full here, suggests that ” perhaps now is the time for male-friendly spaces,
equipped with enormous televisions and reclining chairs, to beset up where men can recover from the debilitating effects of man flu in safety and comfort.

Why I drink Green Tea (between pints)

Green Tea

(I stopped drinking alcohol in January 2018)

I was out with a few friends recently at a sports bar and we were enjoying a few (responsible) drinks, however when it came to the next round of drinks, a good friend of mine who had just had a pint of Guinness, was getting a pot of Green Tea with lemon.

How strange I thought! And of course, my interest peaked. Why would you do this?

Well, he claims if he has a cup of green tea in between alcohol it reduces the effects of alcohol on his body. – He does not get any hangover! And what I loved about all of this, he did not care what others thought, because this worked for him. But does it actually work?

It seems there may be some method to his madness.”Green tea is not fermented and is produced by steaming fresh leaves at high temperatures. During this process, it is able to maintain important molecules called polyphenols, which seem to be responsible for many of the benefits of green tea.” In fact, a study found that while “alcohol administration caused an increase in the liver and serum lipid peroxidation products, measured as thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances. However, green tea prevents the changes observed after ethanol intoxication. Green tea also protects membrane phospholipids from enhanced peroxidation. These results indicate a beneficial effect of green tea in alcohol intoxication.”

There are a number of other benefits to drinking Green tea. But be warned, if you are used to having milky tea with sugar. Remove that notion from your head, completely. Do not expect this taste. In my experience, expecting a certain flavour from a beverage, only to taste something completely unexpected, will cause you to never try it again.

How do you start with green tea?

  • Never add milk to Green Tea
  • Never add sugar to Green Tea
  • Do add some lemon or ginger.
  • Do take your time, sip slowly and enjoy it’s unique taste

Sources

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12126490

Why you should drink more

I don’t advocate drinking more, but there is one obvious exception. Drink More Water.

The benefits of drinking water have been known for years. More recently, those who are trying to maintain or reduce their body fat have been drinking more water to increase the duration of the next meal – in other words to are trying to eat less.

Of course, excessive water is not good for you either, so be careful there too! But how much, is too much water? How much should the average person drink, that is a question that apparently, varies depending on your needs, and activity level, I suggest you check out this website which has more information on this. Your body is roughly 70% water, your blood and every cell in your body are composed of water. For this reason, you need water to function correctly.

For this reason, I always carry a reusable bottle of water with me, and fill up where I see a water filter or have access to cold water! Below are 4 simple reasons why you should, if you are not already drinking more water on a daily basis

4 Reasons to drink more water

Headaches – If you are not drinking enough water you can get headaches. For example, as I understand it, Alcohol causes your body to produce more urine. In turn, urinating more than usual can lead to dehydration. If you suffer from headaches, make sure you are getting enough water! In fact, a good friend of mine, who runs her own blog claims that she no longer stocks headache tablets because she always ensure’s she has her daily water intake!

Better Skin – Remember we humans are made up of water, It’s the best anti-ageing treatment around!

Mood – You feel fresher and cleaner inside when you have had enough water and of course your mood even improves, you may even find yourself going for a run!

Availability – You should feel thankful that you can easily buy/fill up your cup with clean fresh water, there are many in the world who cannot access clean water easily or at all. Enjoy it – it’s (often) free.

Superfoods for Men

Superfoods, is a wonderful term! A food unlike any other, here to answer all your dietary requirements and solve all your ailments . Recently, Channel 4 (Ireland/UK) have launched a TV documentary centered around so called Superfoods. And I’ve learned something! Most foods are good for us – but at certain degrees, some have almost no benefits at all, others, which are marketed as superfoods, contain less nutritional value than those that have been previously coveted. None the less, it is an interesting exercise to highlight my favorite Superfoods for Men. So, what is the definition of superfoods? Basically – it’s a marketing term. But, we can turn this on it’s head, and give it value!

You could describe a superfood, as a food that offers a substantial nutritional or health benefit, over commonly consumed foods, a food that is often high in anti-oxidants and may offer anti-aging benefits.

Below are Superfoods for Men, which I have found a great benefit to things like general health, good skin, but also tackle other issues like; improve your mood, and supposedly help with depression, among others.

Olive Oil

Olive oil is oil that is pressed from olives, the fruits of the olive tree, A study published in the scientific journal Diabetes Care has  showed that a Mediterranean style diet rich in olive oil reduced the risk of type II diabetes by almost 50 percent compared to a low fat diet . Olive oil also can help lower your LDL (bad cholesterol) and raise your good HDL levels. Extra virgin olive oil is mostly used as a salad dressing and as an ingredient in salad dressings.

Quinoa

Quiona, I have often supplemented for rice. It is high in protein, fiber, magnesium, B-vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin E. I first heard about it in the United States, where it has boomed in popularity, but  has been consumed for thousands of years in South America.Perhaps the most striking health benefit provided by quinoa is its overall nutrient richness. When the nutrient composition of this food is analyzed in depth, the results are unusual and striking.

Coconut Water

It is said to hydrate better than water after a sports event, and maybe it does, maybe not, it still tastes great and is good for you! Coconut Water naturally low in calories, naturally fat- and cholesterol free, more potassium than four bananas! If you need a boost before and after a workout and plan on having a red bull or something similar – read the ingredients and then read the one ingredient in coconut water. On a recent trip to Asia, I was lucky enough to drink this direct from the coconut! What a treat!

Dark Chocolate

I love dark chocolate, it has a very rich and slightly bitter taste, and goes great with my coffee. Health wise dark chocolate has compounds that are biologically active and function as antioxidants. These include polyphenols, flavanols, catechins.

Bananas

I used to have a banana every day. They are nutritious, give me a great energy boost, tasty and filling and contain lots of potassium. Are they a superfood, in my opinion. Yes. Humans share 50% of our DNA with a banana. If that’s not a sign we should be eating them, then I don’t know what is. Bananas are rich in fiber, antioxidants and several nutrients. An average banana contains about 105 calories

Matcha Tea

OK! This is a new one to me, but it looks very exciting, having watched the TV Superfoods on Channel 4 (Ireland/UK) I was very impressed by it’s benefits.  My takings from it’s benefits all come down to this. Matcha Tea, comes from the same plant as green and black tea. This is very surprising, but apparently, the shading of the plant and it’s treatment that gives us Matcha Tea.One of the major health benefits of Matcha tea is that it delivers a mega dose of antioxidants in every sip. According to the latest innovation in antioxidant research, Matcha is packed with exponentially more antioxidants than any other ‘superfood’.

Almonds

I love almonds, almond butter is almost as good as peanut butter. The benefits? Cholesterol reduction is the most celebrated health benefit of almonds, but there are many other health benefits of almonds. Almonds are also  low in saturated fatty acids, rich in unsaturated fatty acids, and contain filling fiber, unique and protective phytosterol antioxidants as well as plant protein.

Sources

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=142
http://draxe.com/1almonds-nutrition/

3 Astonishing Things That Happen When You Give up Alcohol

I have picked 3 astonishing things that happen when you give up alcohol. Why these three? Because, these are the three main benefits I found as a result reducing my alcohol intake. In my previous post I discussed 10 tips for reducing alcohol intake and right off the cusp of that post, I thought these 3 astonishing things that happen when you give up alcohol would be the most appropriate. So here we go with number 1. Continue reading “3 Astonishing Things That Happen When You Give up Alcohol”

10 tips to quit drinking alcohol

Below I have compiled 10 tips to quit drinking alcohol. I hope you find them useful and remember, that are many other things you can do and many tips you will come across yourself on your journey. Feel free to share them with me in the comments section. So lets begin looking at 10 tips to quit drinking alcohol!

  1. Do not keep alcohol in your house if you really want to quit drinking alcohol. I found over the years, if you do not have a beer in the house, you can’t drink it. DOINK! Sounds obvious, but if you’re anything like me and you have some in the house, you will always say, well there’s some there, I’d love some and why not. In fact you will find your brain will help with this rational very well and will encourage you to have one, sure why not. I say it again don’t keep alcohol in the house if you are easily tempted.
  2. Everyone makes mistakes, and if you have decided to quit or reduce alcohol and somehow feel like you have failed, you went on a bing or have have a few bad days, for whatever reason don’t feel like you can’t pick up the pieces again…. I mean the idea here, at least in my case, was to improve my general lifestyle, and every effort I made, and that you will make, can only have a positive effect on life! Stay positive, hold your head high and simply start again. Everyone makes mistakes during this process!
  3. Drink plenty…of water (…sorry…). You most likely will have heard this advice before, but heed it! Most of us do not drink enough water, and we need it to survive even more-so than food! What I did was – I bought a 1 litre bottle of water and reused it, I keep it at my desk in the office, as reminder of how much I have had that day or had not. It is said, the drinking action is helpful to reduce your desire for alcohol, but I did not find this true for me at all. What I did find however, about drinking more water, is it made me feel more healthy, not just in the ‘I’m doing what I am supposed to’ way but, it also set me in the right frame of mind, and pointed me in the right direction when taking into account a healthy diet. And talking about a healthy diet…
  4. Adopt a healthy diet. You knew it was coming, and yes, here it is! And it can be very hard to maintain, simply do this gradually, find healthy fruits and vegetables that you like and go from there. Make meals yourself from real foods, not foods that ‘may contain what it is supposed to be’ or is flavoured something or other. Start what what your mom used to make or told you to eat, she won’t send you down the wrong path!
  5. Go for a run. Ok! Maybe running is not for you, but what ever is your exercise of choice – do it. But if it is running, google ‘runners high’. Much better than that buzz from alcohol, and it’s healthy, a healthy buzz! Who knew!
  6. Stay out of situations where you will be tempted, until you are ready. I, still have the occasional drink, as I noted on my introduction page, my aim was to enjoy a beverage when I wanted it, but not to rely on it as some sort of solution. While you are still adapting to the process of reducing your alcohol intake or quitting it completely, do not place yourself in a situation where you would be expected to have a beverage, for me, that was certain friends who could not comprehend on any level why I was not having a beer. What was wrong with me? The truth is, for some people, they too feel uncomfortable with their relationship with alcohol and feel somewhat vindicated if you break your pledge and join them.
  7. You are in control when it comes to quit drinking alcohol! Always remember, it may be hard to find the power at times, but it is always there. I have found the ‘physical walk away’ solution worked very well for me. If I was out with friends and uncomfortable about being bothered to have a drink, when I had one, and was satisfied with that, or I was at home and really badly needed a drink, but did not want one, I just went for a walk cleared by head, it does wonders. Remember you have to approve anything that goes inside your body, you are in control!
  8. Remember why you are doing this. It has to be for you! It’s, of course, great to have a reason, for your family, for work, but for me these were the positive impact of reducing my beer intake, but not the reason. You have to want to do this for yourself, if you do not value yourself, how can you expect others to?
  9. Waking up without a hangover. If, like a friend of mine, you’ve had a minimum of one glass (probably closer to two glasses if he was truly honest, and those where large glasses!) per night, you will forget what it’s like to wake up:
    1. On-time for work.
    2. Without a hangover or headache.
    3. Have bathroom trouble – yes no one likes to talk about this one, but it is the free prize at the end of many glasses of beer or wine!
  10. Quit drinking alcohol! Plan your day and move things around, make life interesting and be positive. Little things here and there and a few big things can have a very positive impact on your life, so do them!
  11. Stay tuned to my blog, I have been a little vague here and there on some of my tips on quit drinking alcohol, but I hope to expand many of these tips where possible. I hope these helped, and yes, it was kind of … 11 tips, but 10 is a nice round figure.