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 #39 – Yoghurt

So you’re shopping in the supermarket and you decide to do a little survey in the yoghurt aisle. What are you likely to see? Mostly likely more women than men buying yoghurt and it turns out there is some genetic bias to support this notion, apart from the fact that men want to appear more macho by buying meat and spicy foods.

Women instinctively understand that yoghurt can be beneficial for their specific needs – like preventing vaginal infections. People who eat yoghurt generally understand that this fermented dairy food is packed with probiotics, the good bacteria that maintains a healthy gut.

What you might not know is that it is also a balanced source of protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. And when made from grass-fed cows or goats milk, then yogurt’s nutrition is maximized. We’re talking omega-3 fatty acids, whey protein, calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin D, vitamin K2, enzymes and probiotics.

Of course we want to choose our yoghurt carefully. We need to read our labels and watch out for added hormones, sugar, artificial additives, colours or sweeteners that are used to make most store-bought yogurts.
Remember there are options – kefir is an excellent fermented yoghurt drink and labneh, which is soft cheese made from yoghurt – is another good source of probiotics.

So….. men with your yoghurt phobia, I doubt I’ll convince you to brave the yoghurt aisle any time soon but…… you could consider being pioneers and take to the kitchen and make some labneh or buy some kefir. Go on, I dare you!

And ladies, you just keep doing what you’re doing, just remember to check labels and, as always, buy from the best source.

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Tweaklet #37 – Fermented Foods

If you’ve been tuning into Tweaklets for a while, you know I often talk about gut health and what a difference a healthy gut makes to our overall health.

Well, today I have another good way to improve our digestion, boost our immunity and help with our weight, which is by eating fermented foods. Those familiar with the concept of fermented foods will cheer and those new too it will shudder. Food that’s been fermented?

I know I get it, I shuddered too!

Fermented foods contain a whole lot of good bacteria (otherwise known as probiotics)….. and research suggests that these mighty microbes help look after our gut.

Here are some fermented foods you can have fun making.

Sauerkraut… t’s not just something you have with German sausage, it’s been around for thousands of years. All it is, is cabbage and salt. Choose a good quality sea salt and add it to your cabbage and then massage the cabbage very well until breaks down and releases all its liquid. Then you simply put it in a well-sealed jar, put it in a dark place in the cupboard and leave for a couple of weeks. It’s delicious and versatile and so good for your gut!

If you like spicy food then try kim chi, the Korean equivalent of sauerkraut. There are many different recipes for this that range from simply adding chilli to a sauerkraut recipe, to the more authentic style that includes adding Asian radish, ginger, green onions, nori, and garlic.  It’s a really interesting process to watch and learn.

Other top fermented foods included Kefir – a fermented yoghurt drink….. Kombucha – a tangy fermented tea. …….Miso – a fermented paste made from barley, rice or soybeans which can be used as a soup or dressing………Tempeh, which is similar to tofu but fermented………and yoghurt.

Fermented food is all about boosting our gut and digestive function and that means better immunity and all-round better health!

So take a look at some recipes and see if one of them appeals to you. Just don’t do what I did and forget about some jars of sauerkraut I made, only to find them a VERY long time later in the back of the cupboard.

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Tweaklet #33 – Dairy

Most of us have grown up drinking milk and yet cow’s milk is one of the most common causes of allergies.

About 65 percent of us, isn’t that a staggering number, has a reduced ability to digest lactose and suffer from a variety of issues when they have dairy – stomach bloating…….respiratory problems……digestive issues……skin problems…..and increased inflammation. A lot of that has to do with dairy increasing mucus production……urghhhh we definitely want to avoid mucus!

So, understandably more and more people are seeking out dairy-free options and there are plenty. We’re not talking artificial substitutes either, there are loads of plant-based options to choose from that still provide calcium and other vital nutrients.

So to have a go at being dairy-free you stop eating milk, cheese, butter, cream cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream, custards, ice cream, sorbet, whey and casein (KAY-seen).

What you can try instead are goats milk, this is still dairy but has much lower levels of lactose. Then there’s coconut milk……..almond milk………and kefir. Kefir and similar products are actually dairy but are fermented but the fermenting process changes the chemical make up making it much friendlier to our bodies.

You can have a lot of fun making your own nut kinds of milk. It’s a really simple and rewarding process and I’ll do a Tweaklet on how to make them soon.

I am not lactose intolerant but I do suffer from bloating and with some respiratory issues when I overdo dairy. I certainly feel a lot better when I keep it to a minimum and even better when I cut it out for periods of time. Why not try experimenting with not having dairy and just see if you notice any difference in your body.

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