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 #32 Cinnamon – World’s No.1 Spice

Let’s take a look at what is generally referred to as the world’s Number One Spice – cinnamon.

Cinnamon has been used medicinally for thousands of years and in cooking it’s sweet and warming and delicious.  It’s well known for its protective antioxidant properties, but also for being antibacterial, antifungal and anti-diabetic!

Cinnamon actually comes from the oily part of a tree so the popular powdered form is actually tree bark. Interesting huh? And of course, it’s really easy to get and so easy to use, just try to get it from a good source and keep replacing it periodically so that it retains its freshness and potency.

And cinnamon really is potent! As little as half a teaspoon a day can positively affect blood sugar and cholesterol…..digestion and overall immunity.. Cinnamon is also effective in reducing the risk of heart disease……., diabetes……and cancer.

You can keep infections and viruses at bay and maintain healthy brain function through the inclusion of cinnamon in your diet.

When we were talking about cutting out sugar cinnamon is one of the spices that can be a helpful replacement, adding loads of flavour and warmth to food without needing to sweeten it.

Grated fresh cinnamon is great but cinnamon sticks also add real depth of flavour to sweet and savoury dishes or add one to hot water to infuse for a hit of cinnamon tea. Ground cinnamon is wonderful and not just for sprinkling over desserts or oatmeal or yoghurt, it’s also excellent to sprinkle into savoury dishes like soups and stews.

You can also buy cinnamon capsules and as an essential oil.

So, I invite you into the wonderful world of cinnamon and all its medicinal and foodie delights.

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Tweaklet #29 Butter – It’s back!

There has been a lot of debate over the years about whether butter is good for you. Now that science wholeheartedly supports the notion of healthy fats, where does butter fit into the equation?

Butter, particularly that created from grass-fed cows (as opposed to grain-fed cows), is a very healthy addition to your diet. Good news butter is a good fat! It contains about 400 different fatty acids and a nice dose of fat-soluble vitamins too. The type of fatty acids in butter has been proven NOT to be associated with cardiovascular disease and, as we’ve talked about before, fats don’t make you fat!

Butter is a Saturated fat, which makes some people nervous, but again, good news! When it’s obtained from healthy sources and eaten in moderation, butter, like coconut oil, provides the body really good fuel and it helps stabilise blood sugar. Other components in butter have also proven to be immune boosters and disease fighters.

When butter received bad press many people turned to margarine but there is NOTHING natural about margarine. It was created in a lab and predominantly made of unhealthy trans fat, which clogs arteries, lowers GOOD cholesterol and raises BAD cholesterol. Plus anything unnatural isn’t recognised by the body and it simply can’t process it. PLEASE, and I am pleading with you, don’t eat margarine!

Instead, look for good quality, grass-fed butter or if you’re a non-dairy person choose coconut oil or ghee. Both are excellent healthy, natural alternatives.

It’s fun exploring these tiny food tweaks that can make all the difference to your health!

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Tweaklet #27 Green Tea – For a Longer Life

Let’s talk green tea!

Firstly, it’s considered by many to be the ultimate ANTI-AGING drink! The reason being that the leaves contain a super high level of antioxidants. According to dozens of studies, these antioxidants, coupled with a range of other healing compounds, have the effect of reducing your risk of developing heart disease and strokes because it lowers blood pressure and cholesterol. It also helps to reduce the inflammation that causes arthritis. It boosts bone density and helps prevent  eye disease and……… well……green tea is just a great all-rounder that can help us live longer, healthier lives.

I drink green tea, well……because I like it. But I’m not sure I always liked the taste of it. I suppose I started drinking it because it was supposed to be good for me and over time I’ve come to really enjoy it. The other thing I like about it is knowing that the kind of anti-aging compounds that are in green tea are the same, only more powerful, as the ones found in some of my other favourites things – blueberries…….dark chocolate …….and red wine!

Even though it contains small amounts of caffeine, green tea has been associated with more health benefits than many of the healthiest foods available to us. This puts green tea into superfood contention! Yep, it’s official….this is another SUPERFOOD alert!

If you are not yet a fan of green tea, join me for a cuppa and give it a try.

Thanks for watching Tweaklets – these tiny food tweaks that can really make a difference to your health.

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Tweaklet #26 Bread, Dangerous Bread

I’m heading into dangerous territory today to talk about one of my favourite foods – BREAD.

Bread….and all its other cousins…… pastries…… pizzas…….crusty rolls……crunchy baguettes……donuts……muffins……pancakes…..crackers……mmmmm….the list of yummy baked comfort food goes on….at least for me! And I know a few of you out there probably feel the same.

Bread is genuinely addictive as the wheat in bread triggers receptors in the brain, similar to addictive drugs! Then there’s the high carb content which spikes our blood sugar, creates bloating and fat around our middles and plays havoc with our digestive system. Believe me, bread lovers, this is terrible news to me too!

But we have to face facts modern wheat just isn’t what it used to be. And it’s not just about the gluten content. Some gluten-free bread alternatives are made with high-glycemic starches that skyrocket your blood sugar even faster than wheat!

So where do we turn, when we want a luscious slice of buttery toast or a crunchy cracker? Well, there are people working really hard to find healthy wheat and gluten-free alternatives.

One book I particularly like is from Kelley Herring. Kelley has spent 10 years developing a guide to grain-free, low carb bread. I’m having great fun trying out her recipes! They are delicious and she’s got every type of bread covered – loaf breads, flat breads, breakfast breads, rolls and buns, crackers and crusts.

Bread lovers take heart we can still enjoy our favourites, we just need tweak them a bit. I hope you enjoyed today’s Tweaklet!

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Tweaklet #25 The Cruciferous Family: Superfood Crusaders!

What did our mothers always tell us? To eat our greens….right?? Which I guess either made you love them or hate them.

These days it seems that whether we like them or not, green vegetables are pretty essential. And the ones in the cruciferous family……the WHAT family, I hear you say? I’m just showing off because I’m learning about them too.

The cruciferous family includes green vegetables like Broccoli…..cauliflower……cabbage……Brussel sprouts…..Asian greens like Bok Choy and pak choy……rocket or arugula……kale….collard greens….mustard greens……radishes…….watercress……kohlrabi and quite a number of others.

Why are members of this family such superfood crusaders? Well because they work so hard at defending our health.

They reduce inflammation…..regulate blood sugar and enhance heart health……They balance our hormones and help us lose weight.

They are full of fibre but low in carbs so they’re great for digestion and keep us fuller for longer.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t always listen to my mother, so if you haven’t been eating as many greens as you should then when you up your intake you could expect to experience a bit of wind……flatulence I mean…..but it will pass…..so to speak……so stick with it and start noticing the difference that these little superfood crusaders are making to your health.

Thanks for watching todays Superfood Tweaklet! We’re all doing our best to Tweak our health aren’t we.

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