News — happiness

Five Reasons to Work Out (not related to weight loss or appearance)

 

 

The number one reason that people workout is to lose weight or to look good, but the truth is that there are so many other benefits of moving your body and being physically active. Once you start to shift your mindset to one that’s more focussed on feeling good rather than looking good, you’ll start to see exercise as more fun and enjoyable which will help you get into a healthy cycle of motivation, energy and accomplishment.

 1. Improves your mental health

Exercise releases endorphins which are neurochemicals that affect our brain and our mood. Regular movement helps to regulate our moods, relieve anxiety and depression, boost our energy and improve our focus.

 2. Improves your sleep

Better sleep helps with stress management, boosts our mood and gives our brain quality time to reset, which helps with learning and memory.

 3. Self-esteem

Regular movement that you love doing helps to release all those happy chemicals. Getting stronger and fitter helps us to feel proud, accomplished and empowered.

 4. Improves your long term health

Regular physical activity gives us a healthier heart (reduces our risk of cardiovascular diseases), stronger lungs (reduces our risk of cardiorespiratory diseases), improves our posture (which improves our confidence), improves our bone health (reduces our risk of injury) and gives us a better quality of life.

 5. Boosts your lymphatic system

The lymphatic system is a network of tissues, vessels and organs that help to rid the body of toxins and unwanted materials. Movement and contractions of the muscles stimulate the lymphatic system to pump fluid around your body, which helps to cleanse, detox and boost your immune system. A healthier immune system means less colds and illnesses and a reduced risk of cancer and other diseases.

 

So find your groove with the type of movement that you love doing and you will see how wonderfully beneficial moving your body can be!

 

 

Author:
Lisa Cutforth
B.Sc Nutrition with Psychology (Dual Degree)
Consulting Clinical Nutritionist to The Banyans Wellness Retreat
Owner and Managing Director of Wholesomeness

Self-Care to-do List: Self-care ideas for when you have 5, 15 or 30 minutes

 

It’s true, taking care of yourself is the kindest thing you can do. Nurturing your body, mind and soul with self-care activities helps to add a sense of calm to your life, recharges your mental batteries and helps to create joy within yourself.

There are four different types of self-care:

Physical: taking care of your physical body (e.g. physical movement, stretching, healthy food).

Emotional: activities that help you connect, process and reflect on your emotions (e.g. kindness, stress management, journaling).

Social: activities that nurture your relationships with the people you love (e.g. time together, having strong support systems)

Spiritual: activities that revolve around your values (doesn’t have to be religious, can also be activities that nurture your internal thinking or your sense of perspective). For example: time alone, meditation, time in nature).

You may find it easier to look after certain aspects of your self-care than others, but it is important to create a balance by working on them all.

Do you allow yourself “me” time each day? Indulging in just 15 minutes of self-care a day can make a huge difference. We’ve put together a list of different self-care activities you can do – for when you have 5, 15 or 30 minutes of spare time.

Self-care for when you only have 5 minutes:

  • Take a few deep "self regulating" breaths...with a longer exhale than inhale..like a long slow sigh
  • Self check in - check in with yourself - “how are you feeling?”  - label a feeling. 
  • Listen to your favourite song
  • Stretch your body
  • Sit in the sun
  • Smile!
  • Compliment someone
  • If you need to, have a good cry (and use the expensive tissues!)
  • Give a loved one a hug
  • Forgive yourself for what you couldn’t do today

 

Self-care for when you only have 15 minutes:

  • Sit down, and have a tea, coffee, water and chillax
  • Read a chapter of your book
  • Organise your desk
  • Pat a furry friend
  • Pamper yourself (shower/bath with candles, give yourself a mani/pedi, wash and blow dry your hair) 
  • Call someone you love
  • Watch a funny YouTube clip
  • Make your bed – fresh sheets!

 

Self-care for when you have 30 minutes:

  • Take a walk outside - or a run or a swim
  • Cook a new recipe - find one that can be prepared in a short time
  • Take a nap
  • Do a guided meditation
  • Do a gentle yoga class
  • Unplug from technology and do an activity that involves repetition to promote calm (e.g. folding laundry).
  • Make something without caring if it’s “good” or not (e.g. knitting, baking, painting)

 

 

Author:
Lisa Cutforth
B.Sc Nutrition with Psychology (Dual Degree)
Consulting Clinical Nutritionist to The Banyans Wellness Retreat
Owner and Managing Director of Wholesomeness

15 New Year's Resolutions for Your Health!

 

Author:
Lisa Cutforth
B.Sc Nutrition with Psychology (Dual Degree)
Consulting Clinical Nutritionist to The Banyans Wellness Retreat
Owner and Managing Director of Wholesomeness

Supercharge Your Brain Function with these 4 Powerful Plant Foods

 

We know that our diets play a significant role in our overall health and wellbeing, but did you know that there is also a powerful link that exists between the food we eat and our brain health? 

Recent research in the last decade has shed light on the incredible benefits of certain foods that are rich in plant phytochemicals on aspects of brain function, for example sharpness, mood, memory and critical thinking.

Because oxidative stress and low-grade inflammation are major risk factors for cognitive decline, nutrient-dense, brain-supporting plant compounds play an important role in helping to supercharge our brain function and rewire it into high performance mode. Eating a diet rich in nourishing brain foods also helps to eliminate brain fog, protect against brain diseases and balance out neurotransmitters (which influences other parts of our health as well).

So if you’re looking for a mood-boost, better focus, or a little extra sharpness, try reaching for these snacks instead…

Blueberries

Blueberries and other berries like strawberries, raspberries and goji berries are jam-packed with protective antioxidants and flavonoids. A 2010 randomized, double-blinded placebo-controlled trial found that when older adults consumed 1 cup of blueberries per day they experienced significant improvements in certain aspects of cognition, for example long-term memory. A few years later, a study found cognitive performance improvements across all measures in children, even just a few hours after consuming a blueberry meal.

Walnuts

Walnuts are bursting with ALA, the omega 3 fatty acid and super-antioxidant that works to scavenge free-radicals and repair and protect cell membranes in the brain. A study among college students in 2011 revealed that regular consumption of walnuts had a significant improvement on inference capacity, or critical thinking.

Grapes

Grapes are an amazing source of vitamins K and C (important nutrients for tissue health), resveratrol (a powerful anti-inflammatory plant compound) and antioxidants. In fact, the majority of antioxidants in grapes are actually found in the skin and seeds of the grape. Research has found that the consumption of grapes can influence performance across a wide range of tasks, in particular quicker response times.

Cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts)

A small bowl of green veggies may not be the most sought-after snack, but benefits to brain performance could definitely be worth it…According to one recent study, consumers of cruciferous vegetables were found to perform better in several cognitive tests than non-consumers. Cruciferous veggies as well as other dark green leafy vegetables are natural superstars in the nutrition department because they’re literally bursting with healthy nutrients and vitamins. In fact, ½ a cup of kale has 50 times more lutein than an egg (lutein is a naturally occurring carotenoid that has been found to have an incredibly powerful role in neutralizing free radicals, reducing oxidative stress and lowering inflammation). Whenever we get the chance, we pack our meals with some brain-boosting green veggies, making them the perfect work lunch to support your brain for a productive and supercharged work afternoon J

References:

Lamport DJ, Lawton CL, Merat N, Jamson H, Myrissa K, Hofman D, Chadwick HK, Quadt F, Wightman JD, Dye L. Concord grape juice, cognitive function, and driving performance: a 12-wk, placebo-controlled, randomized crossover trial in mothers of preteen children. Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Mar;103(3):775-83. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.115.114553. Epub 2016 Feb 10. PMID: 26864371.
Miller MG, Hamilton DA, Joseph JA, Shukitt-Hale B. Dietary blueberry improves cognition among older adults in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Eur J Nutr. 2018 Apr;57(3):1169-1180. doi: 10.1007/s00394-017-1400-8. Epub 2017 Mar 10. PMID: 28283823.
Pribis P, Bailey RN, Russell AA, Kilsby MA, Hernandez M, Craig WJ, Grajales T, Shavlik DJ, Sabatè J. Effects of walnut consumption on cognitive performance in young adults. Br J Nutr. 2012 May;107(9):1393-401. doi: 10.1017/S0007114511004302. Epub 2011 Sep 19. PMID: 21923981.
Whyte AR, Schafer G, Williams CM. Cognitive effects following acute wild blueberry supplementation in 7- to 10-year-old children. Eur J Nutr. 2016 Sep;55(6):2151-62. doi: 10.1007/s00394-015-1029-4. Epub 2015 Oct 5. PMID: 26437830.

Clever Ways to Reuse Your Wholesomeness Containers

 

Did you know that our meal containers are recyclable and reusable? We know that recycling is great, but reusing is even better. Reusing is a great way to repurpose something that otherwise would have just been sent to the recycling bin…simply reusing an item can help reduce energy, prevent pollution, and reduce waste all at the same time.

So, why not preserve the life of your Wholesomeness containers a little bit longer by finding some creative uses to reuse them around your house…we’ve put together a few different ideas below. We hope this list helps to inspire your own repurposing efforts at home!

1. Start your own seeds

Our meal containers could make great seed starting containers. Simply drill a few holes in the bottom for drainage, add some soil and some seedlings (e.g. tomatoes) and watch your mini garden grow.

2. For the artist inside

Use your Wholesomeness container lids as paint trays to blend colours, or use the containers to keep colours separate. Simply snap on the lid to keep the paint from drying out.

3. Kids organisation

If you have kids, you know that simple food containers are soo handy for keeping things organised, contained and out of arms reach. Use them to store the kiddies craft supplies, board game pieces, or electrical cords and chargers. Plus, they’re stackable, lightweight and portable, making organising a breeze.

4. Ask your local kindergarten, primary school or arts centre

If you are still in surplus, ask your local community if they need any donations. There are high chances that they do!

5. Fridge organisation

Use your Wholesomeness meal containers to hold and organise bits and bobs in your fridge, for example bunches of herbs, blocks of cheese, or small individually wrapped packaged snacks that you need a place to stash them. You could use them to help you plan food rotations, by labelling day 1 to 4. Stick labels on them and stack them up for that Instagram-worthy, organised fridge look! 

There are lots of other ways to put our containers to good reuse around the house. We hope these clever repurposing ideas have inspired you, or maybe you have some other ideas we have forgotten about! Be sure to let us know 🙂

 

 

 

Author:
Lisa Cutforth
B.Sc Nutrition with Psychology (Dual Degree)
Consulting Clinical Nutritionist to The Banyans Wellness Retreat
Owner and Managing Director of Wholesomeness and Wholesomeness-on-Roma