Tweaklet #47 – Magnesium

It’s not essential to understand the role of vitamins and minerals but there is one macro mineral that is very useful to be aware of – and that’s magnesium.

Magnesium is an integral part of over 600 reactions in our body, including the metabolism of food, the transmission of nerve impulses, the synthesis of fatty acids and proteins. It helps balance our blood sugar and maintains the electrical impulses in our heart. Magnesium is critical for the mechanical functioning within tissues such as nerves and muscles and blood vessels.

We need to consume about 100 milligrams of magnesium per day. Unfortunately Magnesium levels are at much lower levels in our soil these days…..and Chemicals like chlorine and fluoride deplete it as do the regular intake of caffeine and sugar.

So what’s the food solution to keeping our magnesium levels up? Spinach, bananas, almonds, cacao  or really good dark chocolate, and seeds like Pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, chia, hemp and flax are all excellent sources of magnesium and easy to include in our diet.

Just at an every day level magnesium is really helpful. It plays a major part in balancing out anxiety and depression, it helps with the symptoms of PMS, helps calm those restless legs, eases muscle cramps and migraines. Magnesium also helps with memory retention and can assist with leveling out breathing problems and arrhythmia.

You can of course look at a magnesium supplement, if you think you are deficient or want to boost your levels, but I find that just making some of these food tweaks really make a difference to me. Well food is always a good place to start don’t you think?

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Tweaklet #46 – The Startup Diet

Today’s Tweaklet is a request from friends in the startup world. Anyone involved in setting up a new business will relate to the challenges a start-up places on all areas of your life, especially your diet.

Whether your new venture is already underway or just literally at Start-up stage, you are undoubtedly faced with a lot of demands on your time and energy. All your mental and creative focus is being channelled into the business. You’re time poor, constantly tired, probably staring into an empty fridge and grabbing fast food to keep you going.

In fact, most fast foods are so high in carbohydrates and sugar that they are actually going to deplete your energy and only add to your brain feeling foggy and your body feeling sluggish.

So here are some simple tweaks you can make. You may have very little time but at least once a week shop for things like healthy snacks………raw almonds, hummus with celery and carrot sticks, blueberries, apples, bananas, pots of good quality yoghurt or kefir.

For main meals, you can buy an already roasted chicken if you eat meat, and/or some already cooked vegetables or salads. If you’re going to buy pre-prepared meals look for fresh frozen meals rather than packet meals.

Eggs are a good standby. Hard boil a few and keep them in the fridge at work for a snack.

Stay away from colas and sodas and ice tea (both the diet and regular versions), and keep control of your caffeine intake. All of these drinks rob you of energy and brain function and contrary to popular belief, do not keep you going, they significantly disrupt your blood sugar and your digestion.

Opt for water – sparkling or still. Try some herbal tea – hot or cold.

If all of that is too hard, then invest in a good smoothie or liquid nutrition program. Beware though of “diet” programs and high protein shakes.

I have compared many of these and the only one I recommend is Arbonne’s 30 Days to Healthy Living which gives you quality liquid nutrition that you just shake up with water, as well as blood-sugar balancing drinks and detox teas. Arbonne is all-natural and highly certified and ideal for anyone who is time-poor needs loads of focused energy or who needs to re-set their system.

So, my start-up friends, there are some tiny food tweaks. I wish you every success in your business, just please look after yourselves along the way as I want to see you next time here on Tweaklets.

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Tweaklet #34 – Nuts

Don’t you love nuts? They’re high in fibre and protein. They’re full of Heart-healthy fats. Yum!

So which are the healthiest nuts, and are some better for you than others?
Well, almonds top the list. I keep packets of almonds everywhere as they are just a great snack for every occasion. You don’t need many to stave off hunger pangs and keep your energy levels up.

Other excellent healthy nuts are Brazil nuts……cashews….hazelnuts……macadamia nuts……..pecans……walnuts and …….pistachios.

Peanuts are actually a legume as they grow underground and they tend to get a bad wrap but they’re healthy too when you buy them raw in the shell and pop them out to snack on.

When it comes to nuts raw is best but you can try out all different ways to roast them yourself at low temperatures.

You can make nut milk. Almonds are particularly good for this. You can soak them in water overnight and the next day peel them, blitz them in a food processor and squeeze through a muslin cloth. There’s a separate Tweaklet about this.

Nut butter is great for using as a paste or a butter in savoury and sweet dishes. It’s a very easy process of roasting some raw nuts then blending them with something like coconut oil and a natural sweetener if you wish. Again I’ll do another Tweaklet on this process.

I love making pesto with fresh basil or rocket and walnuts – blending everything together with garlic, olive oil and sea salt.

Nuts glorious nuts! So versatile!

Let me know your favourite nut recipe and if you want any from me I’d be happy to share.

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