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Tackling anxiety

By Posted on 1 m read 4 views



The Problem: You often feel anxious, with negative thoughts and a racing heart. Frequently, your stomach feels queasy and occasionally you stop in the middle of the room and can’t remember what you’re doing. More and more, you find yourself in tears over the smallest things.

Mental Diagnosis: Anxiety. If the problem is ongoing, you could be diagnosed with GAD – generalised anxiety disorder. Your doctor will probably be keen to establish whether or not there has been any event in your life that may have triggered the psychological change, a death, break-up or another tragic event. If so, a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder may be made.

Treatment for anxiety is wide ranging, from relaxation techniques and counselling to cognitive therapy and learning about what you are dealing with so you can problem-solve when anxiety arises. With anxiety, knowledge is definitely power.

Tranquilisers or antidepressants may be recommended by your GP, but usually only as a temporary measure while you’re getting your life back on track with other therapies.

Physical Diagnosis: Anxiety can have a dietary cause. Inadequate intake of B vitamins and calcium can promote anxiety and magnesium deficiency can certainly contribute towards anxiety, particularly noticeable when added to PMS. 

Anxiety can also potentially contribute towards bladder infections and, interestingly, a bladder infection can, in turn, trigger anxiety. The biochemical reaction can also work on the gut and bowel, leading to symptoms of IBS, bloating and diarrhoea.

Discover four breathing techniques that help reduce stress.



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How to set the correct weight loss goal

By Posted on 2 m read 4 views

If you choose an unrealistic number your chances of sucess dwindle and your changes of feeling like you’ve failed your weight loss goals dramatically increase. So rather than choosing digits at random, grab the measuring tape and do some calculations.

Start small

“The first thing to say is that if you are very overweight, success should not be judged on meeting some idealistic goal weight,” says practising dietitian and nutritionist Dr Joanna McMillan.

“By losing only seven per cent of your body weight, you dramatically reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and other chronic diseases associated with being overweight.

“Small, achievable goals are much more inspiring. Once you get there, you can always make another, but setting the bar too high often ends up being demoralising.”

Monitor progress

She suggests using measurements to monitor progress and setting goals other than weight.

“Ideal weight ranges use BMI and that has inherent problems,” the Sydney based expert explains.

“It doesn’t assess how much muscle and body fat you have. A better measure is your waist measurement. Low risk for women is a waist less than 80 cm, and they are at substantial risk if over 88 cm. For men, those cut-offs are 94 cm and 102 cm.”


Those last few kilos…


Also consider why you want to lose weight. And do you actually need to? Those last two or three kilos may never fall off if you are already at the right weight for your body. Maybe you have plateaued for a reason.

“A good way to determine this is to shift your mindset from weight to health,” Lewis says.

“Examine your habits and make personal and permanent changes to what and why you eat for reasons of health and let weight loss happen if it’s right for you – how liberating!”

NEXT: Be inspired by real-life body transformations


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Fitness model healthy food swaps

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Bianca Cheah 


Fitness website founder and model  // and

“I eat a high-protein, low-carb diet. I don’t eat dairy foods like milk, cheese and yoghurt. Chicken and fish are my top protein picks and with them I always eat plenty of fresh vegetables – particularly the vegies in season as they are grown more naturally. I eat very little sugar and minimise intake of carbs as they make me feel bloated and lethargic. I avoid processed foods, which really make me feel hungover. Vegies are on high rotation in my diet; the fresher the meal, the better I feel. I feel good knowing I’ve nourished my body with a huge vitamin boost, but I also believe it’s really important to allow yourself treats in moderation, otherwise abstaining can lead to binge eating. I like to snack on chocolate-covered goji berries, which are full of antioxidants.” 

Cow’s milk 


Lactose-free almond or soy milk

Green vegies 


Green juices (broccoli, broccolini, spinach, cucumber)




Dried fruit  


Fresh fruit

White carbs 


Quinoa, brown rice, sweet potato

Bland food 


Flavoursome food (spices)

Fruit juices





Biodynamic and organic red wine



Steamed broccolini

Milk chocolate


Chocolate-covered goji berries


Sophie Guidolin


fitness blogger  //

“I overhauled most of my habits, which meant I cut back on sugar, reduced my intake of carbs, started avoiding processed foods, reduced my intake of preservatives, colours and additives, added more lean protein, reduced my intake of dairy foods and ate a bigger variety of vegetables.”

Liquid kilojoules (cordial, soda, milk)





Protein brownies

Flour pancakes


Quinoa pancakes



Low-carb cake (e.g. coconut flour)

White rice




Emily Skye 


Fitness model  //

“I don’t eat sugar except for a little natural sugar in fruits and vegetables and barely eat any starchy carbs, but I have more meat and a wider range of fresh vegetables and salads. I avoid gluten and wheat and I’ve cut right down on dairy products except for natural yoghurt and cottage cheese as they’re lower in lactose, which I’m sensitive to. I avoid processed foods, artificial colours, flavours and preservatives. Swap low-fat foods, which usually contain a lot of salt, sugar or other additives and chemicals, for full-fat foods, which can be more filling and often contain less additives.”



Pure water

Processed carbs


Complex carbs (brown rice, quinoa, oats, sweet potatoes)

French fries


Sweet potatoes

Burger buns


 Portobello mushrooms 

White rice



Lasagne sheets






NEXT: Craving fast food? Here are few sneaky fast food alternatives



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5 ways to promote a healthy brain

By Posted on 2 m read 5 views

Brain health - study desk - Women's Health and Fitness magazine




Meditation improves memory, increases brain size, improves cooperation between brain hemispheres and enhances emotional intelligence according to the Exploration of Consciousness Research Institute. A separate study published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience concluded that participating in an eight-week meditation training program was evident in brain function outside of meditation sessions.

TRY IT: High Performance Coach Stephanie Kakris, who teaches meditation, recommends starting with a guided meditation using an app such as Relax and Rest, which gives five-, 13- or 20-minute options with music or nature sounds.

Whether cerebral exercises have any long-term effect on mental performance remains inconclusive, but play has been shown to hone brain processes neglected in routine-driven adult life. “The main problem is that although people can train themselves to do better on particular tasks, the performance improvement rarely generalises to other tasks and abilities,” says professor Nick Haslam, of the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences.

TRY IT: Neuroscientists have designed a series of games called Lumosity to help challenge certain parts of your brain. The online and smartphone resource let’s you exercise core cognitive abilities whenever and wherever you like.

There’s no greater smart sabotage than undersleeping. Conversely, fixing your sleep habits can give you an instant thinking edge. “Being well rested means you will use your cognitive skills more efficiently because tiredness, anxiety and stress interfere with mental clarity, focus and concentrated effort,” says Prof Haslam.

TRY IT: Sleeping for as little as an hour less than you need to each night incrementally nets a costly sleep debt according to studies at University of Pennsylvania and the Walter Reed Research Institute. Participants who slept for six hours a night for a fortnight exhibited cognitive parallels to being legally drunk. Aim for eight hours.

Vigorous physical exercise has been shown to have long- and short-term brain benefits. Findings published in Behavioural Brain Research suggest certain hormones, which are increased during exercise, may help improve memory and processing speed.

TRY IT: Get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity into most, if not all, days of the week. You can break it into short bouts such as three 10-minute sessions each day. 

If you’re the adventurous type, Anaconda is here to help you gear up with the latest sports, health and fitness gear. Give your brain a refreshing boost by getting fresh air and stimulate your brain’s function and boost development.

Networking serves as intensive training in social intelligence. “A big part of success in life is the ability to build strong interpersonal relationships – be they in a netball team, a family unit or at work,” says Kakris.

TRY IT Mixing with new people, ideas and environments exposes you to new ideas, ways of thinking and perspectives, which can expand the framework within which you think. Face-to-face is ideal, but social media can also serve as a sort of cognitive gym according to Florida behaviour therapist Andrea Kuszewski.

Here are 5 other tips to keep your brain healthy.



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How to count macros

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Step 1: 

Adopt A Macros Ratio

Most experts who use macros suggest dividing the Big 3 macronutrients into these ratios:

»Protein: 35% or 40%

»Carbs: 50% or 40%

»Fats: 15% or 20%

Try this approach and then tweak to find what works best for you.

Step 2: 

Set Your Kilojoule Intake

Work out how many kilojoules you need to maintain or lose weight, depending on your goal.

Step 3: 

Calculate Grams 

»Carbs: 1 gram = roughly 16 kJ (4 calories)

»Protein: 1 gram = roughly 16 kJ (4 calories)

»Fats: 1 gram = roughly 37 kJ (9 calories)

Step 4: 

Allocate macros

Work out roughly how you want to divvy your macros into meals over a day. “I usually suggest that the higher energy carbs are eaten earlier in the day,” says personal trainer Daniel Tramontana, from Vision Personal Training at Brighton, Victoria. “Then later you can eat carbs in the form of fibrous vegetables and salad foods. I encourage people to eat protein at every meal, based on their body weight, and to have their healthy fats in later meals to assist the absorption and conversion of the nutrients.”

Want to know more at macros and how to fine-tune your approach? Grab the November 2016 edition of Women’s Health and Fitness Magazine for more.



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Mindful chocolate eating

By Posted on 1 m read 6 views

Store Keep chocolate at room temperature. High quality chocolate should never be stored in the refrigerator; in the mouth, cold chocolate does not release the flavours and aromas as quickly as room temperature chocolate. 

Cleanse Before your chocolate fix, eat a piece of apple or small piece of bread to cleanse the palate of other flavours.

Smell Involve your sense of smell, touch and sight in the tasting process. Before eating, look at the chocolate, appreciate the shine and colour. Break off a piece and listen to the sound. High-quality chocolate produces a sharp, crisp sound when it breaks and a clean edge. Rub the chocolate with your fingers  (it should feel smooth), which will start to release the odours and enhance flavour intensity. Smell the chocolate and try to define different aromas. 

Suck Place the chocolate in your mouth and let it melt without chewing (it will melt at 32 degrees Celsius. Let the flavours release and be aware of the flavours (notice whether they’re the same as the ones you smelled). 

Finish Once the chocolate has melted completely, be aware of the ‘finish’. It should not be bitter or unpleasant on the palate. New flavours may emerge.

NEXT: Here’s how to avoid mindless eating.



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5 reasons why smoothies are good for you

By Posted on 2 m read 10 views


1. Liquid meals contain fewer calories than solid food

It’s surprisingly easy to ‘overeat’ when you’re liquefying your food. While you’d struggle to scarf six bananas, the same quantity of fruit blends to a deceptively small smoothie. Rather than throwing ingredients in a blender ad libitum, measure ingredients beforehand in accordance with what you’d reasonably eat if you sat down to a solid meal. Tip: mix you choice of milk 50:50 with some chilled water, you won’t taste the difference but it will help with your calorie intake.

2. They are better for you

The health credentials of liquid meals ranges from uber-healthy to little better than a burger. Without added flavour, wholefood smoothies can be bland, so they often get a kick along from additives such as honey or nut butter. While a small amount is fine, a liberal serve can turn a healthy liquid meal into a glorified thickshake. 

3. They keep you fuller for longer

Satiety is primarily determined by a meal’s effect on both blood sugar and gastric emptying. Generally, protein is the most satiating macronutrient while fat slows gastric emptying, prolonging satiety. Fibre slows glucose release into the bloodstream, averting the sudden hunger that occurs when insulin sweeps sugar from the bloodstream after a high-GI hit. Tick these boxes, and a liquid meal can be just as filling as a solid meal. Conversely, a drink devoid of protein and fibre and fat can leave you as hungry as you were despite having consumed the calorie equivalent of a full breakfast. Try nut butter, an egg or some good quality protein powder. For savoury liquid meals, steamed and cooled shredded chicken or beef and steamed and cooled sweet potato or pumpkin can serve as protein and fibre sources. 

4. You need to use fruit  

While fruit is the go-to wholefood for blended meals, vegies are worthy contenders – even for sweet smoothies. Using a blender ensures that vegies’ nutrients are kept intact – unlike with juicing. Smoothie-friendly vegies include spinach, kale, cos lettuce and watercress. Superfood powders such as spirulina, maca powder or a greens powder are another way to add nutrients to a liquid meal.

5. You need to eat food 

Just because it’s in liquid form doesn’t mean a meal can’t be balanced. If you don’t have time to sit down for breakfast, throw the ingredients you’d usually serve in a bowl in the blender – think raw oats (carbs), milk (calcium and protein), berries (antioxidants) and cinnamon. For protein, you can add yoghurt and protein powder. Tip: Blend brekkie the night before, place in a jar or bottle with a secure lid and leave in the fridge. In the morning, shake and drink. You can even add a teaspoon of coffee.

Check out these delicious, super healthy smoothie recipes today.


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Zdrowa polska kuchnia

By Posted on 0 2 m read 368 views

Może was zdziwić tytuł tego artykułu. Polska tradycyjna kuchnia jest często widziana jako wysokokaloryczna, ciężka do strawienia i ogólnie raczej szkodliwa dla zdrowia. Ciężko zaprzeczyć tym twierdzeniom, jednak niektóre z tradycyjnie w niej używanych składników są niezwykle zdrowe. W tym artykule postaram się je pokrótce wymienić.

Kasze (jaglana i gryczana) – Te dwa rodzaje kaszy doskonale się uzupełniają. Kasza jaglana to świetne źródło witamin(np. z grupy B) i minerałów, w tym też lecytyny, mającej zbawienny wpływ na pamięć i pomaga unormować cholesterol. Zawiera łatwo przyswajalne białko, spowalnia starzenie się organizmu i pomaga w przeziębianiach. Kasza gryczana to natomiast świetne źródło minerałów, przeciwutleniaczy(działa więc świetnie na krew) i składników przeciwnowotworowych.

Buraki – Łatwiej byłoby napisać, na co buraki nie mają pozytywnego wpływu, niż wymienić to, na co mają. Dobry wpływ na układ krwionośny, działanie przeciwnowotworowe, unormowanie cholesterolu, obniżanie ciśnienia, lepsza przemiana materii, lepsze wydolność organizmu, to wszystko i wiele więcej można odnaleźć w tym niepozornym warzywie. Najwięcej korzyści przynosi picie soku z buraka.

Aronia – Gigantyczna ilość antycyjanów zawartych w aronii powoduje, że jest ona świetna w zwalczaniu wolnych rodników, co w efekcie spowalnia starzenie się organizmu, chroni przed nowotworami i wspomaga układ krążenia. Pomaga ona też w regeneracji po wysiłku fizycznym. Jest świetnym źródłem cennych minerałów i witamin. Nie jest ona może aż tak popularna w polskiej kuchni, jednak w Polsce produkuje się jej ogromne ilości.

Siemię lniane – Siemę lnianie powinno znaleźć się w każdej diecie. Wśród jego licznych zalet można wymienić zbawienny wpływ na układ krwionośny. Jest to również doskonałe źródło kwasów omega-3, ma niezwykle dobry wpływ na trawienie i przewód pokarmowy. Pomaga z regulacją cholesterolu w organizmie.

Czosnek – Każdy z nas wie, że zgodnie z dawnymi wierzeniami czosnek odstrasza wampiry. W dzisiejszych czasach lepszym jego zastosowaniem jest użycie go jako pogromcy przeziębień. Jego działanie przeciwbakteryjne powoduje, że doskonale wspomaga on kurację na wiele chorób. Jednak warto go spożywać również będąc zdrowym. Ma działanie przeciwnowotworowe, pomaga z cholesterolem i nadciśnieniem, ma doskonały wpływ na układ oddechowy i moczowy.

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