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Nikki Yazxhi

Try some of these simple little lifestyle tweaks and you’ll look, and feel much healthier, BIG-TIME.

1. GO TO BED EARLY – and lose weight
Going to bed earlier than usual can help you lose weight. Why? When you’re tired your adrenal glands function under stress, and in turn effect your kidneys making you retain fluid and looker puffy. When you’re rested, your organs function more effectively – making you look and feel thinner. We also tend to eat much more when we haven’t had enough sleep and when you’re tired you reach for caffeine, refined carbohydrates and sugar to give you an energy boost – all of which can add on the extra kilos.

2. EAT A VARIETY OF FOOD – and protect your long-term health
You need a variety of foods to deliver the nutrients you need from you diet to protect your against illness such as heart disease and cancer. Aim to eat different coloured fruits and vegetables – and at least one new food a month. Try to buy cookbooks that motivate you to explore new foods and flavours.

3. LIFT WEIGHTS – and strengthen your bones
If you’re in your 20’s and 30’s you’re at greater risk of developing the bone thinning disease osteoporosis than ever before. Resistance training, ie lifting weights, increases lean muscle which works to help strengthen bone mass and therefore prevent osteoperosis. It’s also crucial you eat plenty of calcium rich foods. Good sources of calcium are: tahini: almonds, tofu, kelp and sheep and goat milk which are digested and absorbed by the human body far quicker than cows milk.

4. HAVE A BERRY SMOOTHIE – and boost your eyesight
Treating your eyes to a berry smoothie can help counteract the strain constantly working on your computer. Why? Blueberries are high in vitamin C and are also packed with flavonols, which protect the sensitive cells of the eye. The best way to get your berry dose is to have blueberry, blackberry or red current smoothie. Blend a handful of berries (if you can’t find fresh ones, check your supermarket freezer for frozen ones) with a banana and a splash of milk. Blend until smooth. It’s berry good.

5. EAT AN APPLE – and neutralise pollution
Our environment is exposes our bodies to an increasing level of toxic minerals, drugs, chemicals and heavy metal compounds and these pollutants leave us feeling fatiqued, sluggish and susceptable to illness. Apple pectin acts to cleans the body’s digestive system by removing toxins and therefore preventing degenerative health problems such as cancer, thus promoting good health. Someone living in a highly polluted environment, such as Sydney, should aim to eat at least two apples per day. In addition, apple pectin appears to be beneficial for the heart as it may reduce cholesterol levels and prevent fatal heart conditions such as atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).

lifestyle changes

6. DRINK TEA – and boost your immune system
Swap your daily coffee for tea to help protect your body against the damaging effects of free radicals. Tea is a rich source of antioxidants known as flavonoids, which play a big role in protecting against some cancers and cardiovascular disease. Just one cup of good quality tea provides around 200mg of flavonoids and drinking three cups a day over two weeks will increase the amount of flavonoids in your blood by 25 percent.

7. FLOSS YOUR TEETH – and protect your heart
Flossing your teeth every day is the best way to prevent gum disease and protect your heart. What’s the connection? If gum disease is left untreated it can lead to inflammatory reactions in the body that can trigger heart disease and stroke.

8. WASH YOUR HANDS – and prevent colds and flu
Mircro-organisms that cause colds and flu lurk on every surface, but they need access through broken skin or in the mucous membranes of your eyes and nose, to infect you and make you sick. Washing your hands during the day helps to prevent infection as you rub your eyes and nose constantly without even knowing it. But don’t get too fanatical about washing your hands – you don’t want to strip the skin and destroy the acid mantal because it will make you prone to other infections. And always remember to nourish your hands after washing.

9. CHANGE YOUR POSTURE – and avoid back pain
If you always carry your bag on your right shoulder, make an effort to swap sides 50 per cent of the time. Repetitive actions, such as carrying your bag in the same shoulder, can cause muscle weakness and imbalance that leads to back pain. And if you always cross your legs, make an effort to sit with both feet flat on the floor to keep your body in balance.

10. RELAX FOR 15 MINUTES – and reduce blood pressure
Relaxing for at least 15 minutes a day reduces blood pressure, breathing and, in the long run, reduces your reactions and how you deal with stress. Try this yoga technique to calm and focus your body and mind:
1. Sit or lie somewhere comfortable.
2. Breath slowly in and out through the nostrils.
3. Try to draw the breath deep into the abdomen.
4. Focus on the sound “soo” as you inhale.
5. Focus or quietly repeat the sound “humm” as you exhale.
6. If the mind gets distracted, gently bring it back to the exercise.
7. Practice for 5-15 minutes.

11. EAT PROTEIN – and boost your energy
Protein stimulates the brain chemical dopamine that keeps you alert, so give your brain a boost by eating some protein with your lunch – like a chicken or tuna salad. Go for complex carbohydrates (wholegrains or vegetables) over the refined relatives (white flour and sugar), they’ll provide you with sustained energy as opposed to a quick hit followed by a rapid slump.

12. EAT GOOD FATS – and look and feel great
Experts now agree that eating fat is essential in maintaining optimal health, healthy skin, hormonal balance and a good metabolism. Good fats that is, which are found in fish, nuts and seeds, avocados and cold pressed oils – avoid fried foods and saturated fats {these sit on the other side of the health fence}. Saturated fats raise cholesterol, increase triglycerides and choke arteries. Heated oils are equally unhealthy providing the body with unwanted free radicals.

13. SAY NO TO SUGAR – and slow down ageing
A diet too high in sugar or simple carbohydrates may have a negative effect on how skin looks and how fast it ages. The skin is made up of structural proteins like elastin and collagen fibres. We know that sugar, in the human body, can attach itself chemically to a whole variety of elements – including proteins. The more sugar you have in your body, the more you force a chemical reaction causing sugars to attach to proteins – and this is very detrimental to the skin.

14. SLEEP ON YOUR BACK – and stop wrinkles
Some people who are really heavy sleepers, frequently sleep for long periods of time, or on one or the other side of their face, wake up with vertical wrinkles – “sleep wrinkles”. You never get vertical wrinkles from natural forces. Wrinkles always form perpendicular to the way muscles move. By sleeping on your back, you don’t have so much “squishing” or “squashing” of your face. It’s not that easy to do, but you can train yourself and there are pillows to help you do so.

15. GIVE UP FAT-FREE FOOD – and stop over-eating
You can eat as many carbohydrates as you want, and still not be satisfied, whereas it only takes a little bit of protein or a little bit of fat to satisfy the centre in the brain which sends out the message ‘I’m hungry’.  For instance, if you eat a scoop of regular ice cream, your craving for fats immediately goes down because your body receives a signal that you’ve given it some fat and your hunger is less. Many people, however, would choose low-fat frozen yogurt over regular ice cream, because they think it’s healthier, but it’s a general misconception. Usually fat free products are higher in both sugar and kilojoules, and, ultimately, are not giving you the same sense of fullness and satisfaction, so you’re likely to eat more of them.



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