Nutritionist and health expert Elizabeth Peyton-Jones shares her easy-t0-follow advice to achieve a lean, fit, healthy and youthful body for 2015
1 For a Morning After detox
Get your body going, by starting every morning with a glass of lemon and water to flush the system. Add ginger if you have joint pain or stomach problems, and an additional ¼ tsp turmeric in warm water if you have bad skin or inflammatory disorders. Throughout the day, drink herbal teas, almost all the classic kitchen herbs are medicinal in one way or another. Rosemary is delicious and is very good for circulation and memory. Sage is fabulous for sore throats and hot flushes in menopause. Basil is part of the mint family and as well as being antibacterial also has a wonderful uplifting smell. (Note: ginger is ‘heating’ so if you are of a very warm constitution use turmeric alone.)
2 Balanced meals
To help control cravings and get to your optimum weight and to feel sated at meals, have a carbohydrate in the form of a vegetable; protein in the form of plant or fish; and fat in the form of essential fatty acids.
3 Green juice
To maintain a healthy alkaline state, if you can’t manage to have a balanced diet, make sure you have a green juice instead of drinking tea in the afternoon. It will leave you feeling full and energised.
4 Think alkaline
To help your body stay young, fresh and vibrant think ‘alkaline’. Your body works best at a slightly alkaline pH. Acid foods such as meat, diary, grains, sugar, alcohol, caffeine imbalance our alkaline state. Unless we are eating a more alkaline diet to combat this, to become more alkaline the body will draw minerals from the bones, hair, teeth, nails, as well as cause joint aches andpains.
5 Quit sugar
To help maintain discipline and keep your body lean, spend one day a week eating no sugar at all. That means no fruit, fruit juices, cakes, biscuits, sweets, alcohol, dairy (lactose is sugar), starch, potatoes, grains, bread or anything with ingredients ending in ‘ose’ (which denotes sugar). Ditch the fizzy drinks and instead make your own vegetable juice or lime, mint and water. For snacks, go for plain unsalted/roasted nuts, seeds, oat or seed crackers, kale chips or raw chopped vegetables. If you have a sweet tooth, have rice cream vanilla pudding made with almond milk, vanilla, cinnamon and loads of coconut butter to give it that creamy taste.
6 Use herbs when cooking
To develop your taste buds and help ween you off high salt/sugar tastes, add herbs into your dishes instead of salt or pre-made flavourings. Try cayenne pepper, seaweed, basil, sage, oregano, thyme, cumin, coriander, turmeric, fennel, ginger. Experiment with the spices in your cabinet. They are therapeutic, great for the stomach and many have an antiseptic quality.
7 Regulate your PH level
To check if you’re lacking in hydration, pinch your skin on the back of your hands and if it is standing up like the pyramids then you need to take PH drops or oxygen drops, all of which can be bought in health food stores. Stop drinking your dehydrating coffee and loading up on salt and sugar. This may sound boring and like a broken record, but it will begin to show you how much one substance effects so much.
8 Check your allergies
Low-grade inflammation in the body can be caused by foods you are eating every day, even in small quantities. If you have skin conditions, dry skin, bloating, constipation, joint pain or bad temper the chances are you are inflamed, allergic and irritated! If you eat you get a runny nose, sneezing or coughing, these are indications that you are allergic to whatever you are ingesting at the time. It will help guide you in what to eliminate.. Cut out any foods, which you may be allergic, to for five days. Then reintroduce them one at a time. If you get a reaction, make a deal with yourself to stop eating them, or indulge just once a week. The suffering may be worth the enjoyment for you in the long run.
9 Exercise for 20 minutes a day
To tone your muscles and strengthen your mind, exercise for at least 20 minutes a day, making sure your heartbeat is raised when you do so. Make sure you stretch out your muscles afterwards.
10 Get enough sleep
No matter what you eat, if you are stressed and agitated and not sleeping you will not lose weight. You will add fat around your middle and hip area and it will drive you crazy because you will be doing all the things to lose weight but won’t be able to shift it. The reason being that Cortisol, the stress hormone, is responsible for our sleep pattern but also the fat around our middle. So de-stress. One way of de-stressing is to feel good about yourself. Attempt to feel good at the end of each day. Do this by going to bed with a gratitude list in your head. No matter how bad your day, you still have things to be grateful for. A thought that makes you smile lowers stress and makes you feel good about yourself. To add to the feel good factor, put some lavender under your pillow, have a bath, the body drops temperature in order to sleep so if you are hot you will drop your temperature more quickly and feel rested.
For more health and diet tips and to buy Eat Yourself Young, visit epjhealth.com