Posts

Its Monday, a day where the blues can seem all too real. Fear not because there are a lot of things you can do to avoid feeling blue primarily practicing self-care. One aspect of this means really caring about what you put into your body.

Forget fad diets and temporary fixes if you choose deeply nourishing foods instead of depriving yourself of a list of foods you can’t have you will feel fulfilled in every way helping to alleviate the cravings and avoid the pitfalls that come with a poor diet and lifestyle.

What you eat also affects your immunity, your mood, your sleep patterns and of course your weight. So even though it can be tempting to indulge in processed, high carb and sugary foods on dark cold nights it will only lead to dark days because your body needs good nutrition to be happy and every cell counts!

So what do we need to do during colder months? Well we need to eat more cooked and warming foods, include more soups and stews in our diets, use more spices, eat seasonal veggies and fruits, eat a rainbow, have more wholegrains and of course get more rest. I’ll be sharing some recipes over the next couple of weeks so keep an eye out.

There is another major reason though for cravings and overeating, which is outside of our control and that is we have less sunlight in winter. This can cause some people to suffer from SAD or seasonal affective disorder. It is said that up to 20% of people can suffer from seasonal depression or mood change so lets look at ways that we can help ourselves fell better naturally with diet and lifestyle choices.

probiotics, terranova, selfcare, winter, nutrition, BLUE MONDAY, SPIRULINAGET OUTDOORS

Making sure you get some natural light during the day is really important during the winter months. A lot of people leave their houses when it’s dark and return after work when it’s dark. If you are working in an office environment, stores, hospitals etc with artificial lights you might go all day in the winter with no natural light of any kind. For this reason it’s really important that you get outside during your breaks for a short walk. Wrap up warm and take a short walk at lunchtime when the sun (if we have it) is brightest.

probiotics, terranova, selfcare, winter, nutrition, BLUE MONDAY, SPIRULINA, meditation, mindfulness, kids meditationsMEDITATE

Taking as little as 5 minutes to work on your inner world each day can have an enormous difference on your health. Meditation has so many benefits including stress reduction, better mood, better sleep. It boost immunity, helps with craving and personally I find it gives an overall feeling of inner peace. Check out my guided meditations here or if you are a mum join my Minding Mum group for weekly live meditations and don’t forget that kids can join in too!!

PICK THE RIGHT CARBS

Less sun means a drop in your “feel-good” hormone serotonin, which can cause depression and food cravings. To help combat this you can boost your serotonin with healthy complex carbs like wholegrain breads, brown rice, veggies like sweet potato, corn and pumpkin, beans, lentils and peas. Your children will probably be craving carbs too so try and steer them away from the bad carbs like white breads, rice and sugar. These foods have little or no nutrients and they actually wipe your energy levels. They can also contribute to SAD and mood swings and can be a factor in brain fog and your ability to concentrate. Tryptophan also coverts to the neurotransmitter serotonin so increasing foods like eggs, nuts, turkey, banana, seeds and spirulina may improve depression symptoms too.

probiotics, terranova, selfcare, winter, nutrition, BLUE MONDAY, SPIRULINA

SPICE UP YOUR LIFE

You can thank the Far East for the sensory delight that spices bring. Spices not only introduce vibrance and colour into your diet but they also boost immunity and circulation during the winter months. Cook with onions, turmeric, cinnamon, chili peppers, cardamom, curry, cayenne pepper, ginger and garlic to add a little warmth to your meals and to help winter proof your body from the inside out.

probiotics, terranova, selfcare, winter, nutrition, BLUE MONDAY, organic turmeric powder, SPIRULINAEAT FOR IMMUNITY

The guys you need on your team here are vitamin C, Zinc and probiotics yes you heard me probiotics. Not all bacteria are bad in fact we have millions of bacteria in our gut that help us to stay healthy by stimulating the immune system and helping with the absorption of essential nutrients. To help these guys grow in numbers and keep your digestive system healthy feed them with foods like kimchi, live yogurt, kefir and kombucha or you can take a supplement too Terranova probiotics are great.

probiotics, terranova, selfcare, winter, nutrition

Another tip to help families boost their immune systems is to eat foods that are rich in antioxidants such as vitamin C and beta-carotene (vitamin A). So citrus fruits are fab as well as broccoli, sweet potato, spinach and cabbage, green leafy veg and frozen peas.

sweet-potato-1241696_1920I find frozen peas great for kids and they can be added to most meals. These foods are front line defense against colds and infections. Zinc is important too so again your green leafy veg, pumpkin and sesame seeds, lentils, tofu, almonds and wholegrains. Chicken, eggs, fish and dairy products also contain zinc. Zinc is responsible for 100’s of biochemical functions in the body and because of nutrient losses in the soil these days and in food processing deficiency or depletion can be common. Among its many important functions one in particular is that it is part of alcohol dehydrogenase, which helps the liver detoxify alcohols so post christmas this could be useful!

OMEGA 3 AND VITAMIN D

Recent research demonstrates that the consumption of omega 3 fatty acids and Vitamin D can play a role in reducing depression. Studies have found that people who consume fish frequently exhibit fewer depressive qualities than those who didn’t consume fish. Essential fatty acids EFA’s are a crucial part of a healthy diet, because our bodies cannot make them. When the word essential is used in a nutritional context it means that the body cannot synthesize (make) it itself and it must therefore be obtained from the diet.

If you eat oily fish twice a week it will provide a healthy dose of omega 3. However a massive 89% of Irish people are not consuming sufficient oily fish in their diet so there is often a need to take a good quality supplement such as *Eskimo Brain 3.6.9 which combines the unique stable fish oil, *Eskimo-3, high in DHA, with plant oils omega-6 and omega-9 along with Co-Q10 and vitamin D3.

eskimo_brain_caps vit dVitamin D is the sunshine vitamin so no prizes for guessing why we don’t have enough in Ireland. This sunshine vitamin is gaining a lot of attention recently (www.vitamindcouncil.org) and may be the most important “missing vitamin” for your brain and mood. It regulates the conversion of tryptophan into serotonin so as you can see nothing works in isolation in our bodies. It’s a proper team sport internally and for all our systems to function correctly they really need each other, which is why a large and varied diet is important. You can your vitamin D levels checked by your doctor but Irish people have been shown to be quite low especially during the winter months. Low levels have been connected with S.A.D and therefore supplementing can help ease symptoms and improve your mood.

B COMPLEX VITAMINS

B Complex vitamins help your body convert proteins from your diet into the neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine, etc.) needed for mood and energy.  B-complex vitamins also support heart health and improve your response to stress and help boost energy levels.  While most B vitamins have some benefits for mental health, in terms of depression, the most important B vitamins include vitamin B6, B9 (folic acid) and B12. Looking to supplement, check out Terranova B Complex.

probiotics, terranova, selfcare, winter, nutrition, BLUE MONDAY, organic turmeric powder, water, hydration, SPIRULINAHYDRATE

Did you know that it is just as easy to get dehydrated in the winter as it is in the summer? Staying hydrated is so important because we lose water all the time even through breathing. Just think of your breath in those frigid temperatures!! Some of the effects of dehydration are a slower metabolism, fatigue, muscle pain and dizziness. By the time you are actually thirsty your body is actually well on its way to being dehydrated. So here are my top tips:

  • Start each day with a glass of warm lemon water or  warm water to get your digestive system moving and rehydrate after a nights sleep
  • Always carry water in your bag, have it on your desk and in the car.
  • Set hydration reminders in your phone 3 times a day. This is just a gentle nudge!
  • During the winter months hug a mug of soothing and calming herbal teas, hot cocoa, warm apple cider and my winter warmer in the recipe section.
  • During exercise sweating releases potassium, sodium and calcium- which are known as electrolytes- these are not found in water so you need to replace these in winter months too; coconut water or ¼ of Himalayan salt in preworkout smoothies or juices is a good idea
  • Eat your water in soups, stews and hydrating fruits and veggies like cucumber, celery and pears

If you have any tips please comment below. I would love to hear from you,

Ali xxx

Any products with a star * beside them means that I am collaborating and working with them. I am the brand ambassador for Eskimo Omegas

AND THE WINNER OF A YEARS SUPPLY OF LIFE DRINK IS:

winner, life drink, terranova, competition, giveaway, be complete

AINE MULLEN!!!!!

HUGE CONGRATS! I HAVE BEEN USING THE LIFE DRINK FOR A COUPLE OF YEARS NOW AND I LOVE IT!!! Let me know how you get on with it.

ALI XXXX

FROM TRAVEL SICKNESS TO ANXIETY TO SWOLLEN ANKLES I’VE GOT YOU COVERED!!

Travel Sickness

Nelsons_Travella-72tabs-€5.99-

If you are going to travel, don’t’ forget to include some basic essentials: long journeys are generally not enjoyable; however, for those that experience the symptoms of travel sickness they can be even more unpleasant. To help relieve these symptoms, remember to pack Nelsons Travella. (€5.99) It contains a unique combination of seven homeopathic remedies, each specifically chosen to help bring soothing relief for the unpleasant symptoms associated with travel sickness.

 

Planning a boat trip?

Sea-Band_Adult-€9.95

Sea-Band (€9.95) is the natural way to relieve motion sickness (GREAT FOR MORNING SICKNESS DURING PREGNANCY TOO). Sea-band operates by applying pressure on the Nei Kuan acupressure point on each wrist.
They are also suitable for children and help with motion sickness in the car, boat and are great for kids Find out more here Sea-Band

 

Holiday Anxiety and Fear of Flying

Rescue-Remedy_Spray2-20ml-€12.50

Feeling anxious or overwhelmed are common symptoms of holiday travellers, especially for those who fear flying. The thought of sitting trapped in a plane for even a couple of hours can be a terrifying prospect.

Rescue Remedy (€12.50) taken on the day of the flight can be very helpful in dealing with feelings of anxiety and panic. A few sprays or drops can be taken as often as required during the flight until the person feels calmer and in control. It is also safe to take alongside other medications.

 

Swollen ankles and tired legs

AVogel_Venagel-100gr-€16.75 (1)

If your dream holiday is either to explore a city or simply relax don’t forget to nurture your legs. Swollen ankles can be an unwelcomed side effect of flying, especially on long flights. After a long day sightseeing you may also experience tired and aching legs.

Apply A.Vogel Venagel (€16.75) made from Horse Chestnut as it will cool your legs and help to reduce the swelling and sense of fatigue. Drink plenty of water and try to put your feet up at least once a day.

 

Sun care from head to toe

Parasol-Suncare-factor20-100ml€21.50-200ml€38.99

Irish skin is not generally accustomed to sunshine, so protecting your sensitive skin from the harmful effects of the sun’s rays is very important. I have just returned from Spain and I used Parasol (€38.99) for the first time.

I found it great and it is also an Irish brand. It has an innovative broad spectrum with a photostable filtering system. One application per day protects you from harmful UVA and UVB rays, while still letting the sun rays through to give you a lasting tan. Parasol is non-staining, waterproof resistant and includes a wide range of sun factor screens, making it ideal for the entire family.

Optima-Aloe-Pura_Aloe-Vera-Gel-100ml-€4.45After a long day outdoors, you can apply Optima Aloe Pura Vera Gel,(€4.45) a cooling and soothing 100% organic gel which helps to moisture and restore dry and damaged skin.

Smile your way through summer with Optima Aloe Dent Lip Balm,(€3.83) a natural lip balm with UVA and UVB protection. The Tea Tree oil and lysine based formula provides rich and soothing protection for dry & cracked lips from sun exposure. It also helps to prevent the dreaded cold sores I get. Taking Lysine tablets every day when you are away will also help!

Naturtint_3-in-1-Restructuring-Spray-30ml-€9.99 (2)

Your hair may also need some special attention. Naturtint 3-in-1 Restructuring spray (€9.99) is essential for anyone who colours their hair as the three active ingredients are designed to rebuild & repair, strengthen & protect and maintain hair colour. Spray onto dry ends throughout the day, to keep your hair hydrated and glossy (free from parabens, silicone and SLS).

 

First aid kit

Higher-Nature_Citricidal-45ml-€13.52

Whether going camping or travelling to less developed destinations,Higher Nature Citricidal (€13.52) with grapefruit seed extract is a natural disinfectant and antiseptic for external and internal use.

It has the ability to support the digestive system and taken every day while on holiday, it may help prevent any unwanted bacteria from taking hold, avoiding traveller’s tummy problems. A few drops can cleanse utensils and wash fruit & vegetable safely. It is also a powerful ally for all pregnant women, allowing to prepare a healthy and fresh meal, such as salad during summer time.

Probiotic Complex terranovaBecoming ill with a tummy bug or infection can really ruin a holiday so be prepared and don’t forget to pack a good probiotic. I absolutely love Terranova’s products for so many reasons. The owner of the company Stephen Terrass is such an inspiration. There are no binders or fillers used in any his products. I took these on my holidays and for a week after I returned home!!

Above all have fun. As well as letting the sunshine in, let your inner sunshine glow. Be happy, be healthy and be you xxx

h

 Most of my time is spent studying and researching these days and the deeper I dig into the world of supplements and health foods the more concerned I become. My aim is to find out what really works and why! More importantly we all need to know what is in our supplements as most have binders and fillers that are not good for us. Most of my pregnant friends take Stephens prenatal Vitamins as they have no binders or fillers and they work!!

TERRANOVA PRENATAL MULTIVITAMIN

Q
The Prenatal Multivitamin was one of the first products you launched when the company started in 2009. Considering how many prenatal products there already were on the market, why did you feel that formulating yet another one was such a priority?

STEPHEN:
In addition to genetics, the quality of nourishment of the pregnant woman is undoubtedly the most critical factor in the health of the developing foetus. Even those in the medical establishment who are less aware of the need for supplements in the general population will acknowledge the need for them in pregnant women. There is such a wide variation in both the nutrient levels and the variety of nutrients in prenatal multivitamins and I wanted to formulate a product which provided a wider selection of nutrients, and in potencies which were optimal without being excessive and which were appropriately balanced.

The degree of ‘purity’ of the physical environment that the foetus is exposed to is also crucial. But one major problem with prenatal supplements prior to Terranova has been the fact that with only a few exceptions worldwide, such products were almost invariably laden with numerous manufacturing additives. Ironically, the most common additive, magnesium stearate, which appears in the vast majority of supplements is known to interfere with dissolution of active ingredients and may impair absorption or bioavailability of nutrients! It is so essential that the foetus and the mother get the most out of the nourishment that is being consumed, and yet almost every prenatal product had at least one additive which made this more of a challenge!! In addition to this, NO manufacturing additives are beneficial to the health of either the foetus or the mother and  ALL of them are counterproductive to the goal of avoiding impurities in the mother’s body. I decided from the very beginning that EVERY Terranova product was going to be 100% additive-free, and not surprisingly, the fact that the Terranova Prenatal Multivitamin was going to be additive-free was especially satisfying on a personal level.

Q
Understandably, pregnant women will often consult their obstetrician about prenatal nutrition before deciding what product to take. Is the Terranova Prenatal Multivitamin likely to face resistance from more conservative OBs?

STEPHEN
This is a valid question, because even those women who are avid supplement users will quite rightly be hesitant about what and how much to supplement when pregnant. In truth, there are many adjustments that should be made to one’s supplement programme when one finds out they are pregnant. Women SHOULD discuss this with their OB, and Terranova Prenatal Multivitamin was specifically formulated in a manner that respects the concerns of conventional OBs while still allowing for completeness and purity. In other words, we use potency levels which are not only safe, but which we believe are almost certainly consistent with the expectations of the typical conventional OB for a prenatal multivitamin.

Q
You include several wholefood ingredients in every one of your vitamin products, including the prenatal formula. What purpose to these serve in the Prenatal Multivitamin?

STEPHEN
Yes, all our nutritional formulation include what is know as a ‘Magnifood complex’. This is normally a blend of wholefood and botanical ingredients,many of which are freeze dried and organic – but in order to ensure the safety in pregnancy of all the ingredients, the Magnifood complex in Terranova Prenatal Multivitamin is comprised of only whole foods and with no herbs. These wholefoods are combined with the vitamins and minerals that you see listed on the label. Magnifood is designed to enhance or assist in the absorption, bioavailability, stability, metabolism and function of the vitamins and minerals in each product. The goal in the way Terranova products are formulated is to create an intensely synergistic formulation that is highly effective, remarkably versatile, gentle, balanced, 100% active, free from unnecessary ingredients and above all, safe. With almost every Terranova product, more than half of the weight of the product is whole foods.

Q
Folic acid is, of course, the most widely publicised and researched nutritional need in pregnancy. I notice that you list ‘Folate’ on your label instead of folic acid. Can you explain the significance of this?

STEPHEN
Folic acid is basically a synthetic version of the folate that is found in foods. Folic acid is not found in nature, and the human body cannot use folic acid as it is – it must first be metabolised into it’s active methylfolate form in order to provide it’s benefits. However, recent research has uncovered a shocking statistic that between 9-15% of the population have a genetic mutation which significantly impairs their ability to metabolise folic acid. In addition to this mutation impairing the health benefits of folic acid, folic acid which cannot be metabolised properly is thought to build up in some people leading to toxicity. When we became aware of just how prevalent and how significant this genetic mutation was, we immediately scheduled the removal of standard folic acid from ALL of our products which contained it and replaced the folic acid with methylfolate, the form which is already active and is not affected by this mutation. As far as I know, we were the first major company in the UK and Ireland to replace folic acid with methylfolate in all products. Not surprisingly, this issue takes on special significance in pregnancy because of the proven role that folate status has in the prevention of neural tube defects.

Prenatal Multivitamin Complex Veg Caps €11.85 available from most good health food stores
new - PRENATAL MULTIVITAMIN COMPLEX 50