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Beware of your alcohol intake as Christmas approaches

Christmas is nearly here again, and it comes with merrymaking which involves a lot of food and drinking.
This is the tendency to overindulge in alcoholic drinks, please do watch what you drink and the quantity you drink.

If you drink a large (250ml) glass of wine, your body takes about three hours to break down the alcohol
If you drink a pint of beer, your body takes about three hours to break it down. A pint of strong lager is equivalent to three units, so this will take a longer time.
That said,  other factors will affect the time it takes the drink to break down in your body.
Some of these factors are as follow:

1. Whether you are male or female
2. Your weight
3. Your age
4. How full your stomach is, having food in your stomach, slows down the effect the absorption of alcohol, thus reducing its immediate effect
5. The strength of the alcohol, obviously spirits are much more potent
6. Your stress levels.
As you can see, ‘one size does not fit all’ so know yours.

Do not get caught drink driving, it is not worth it. A friend of mine got stopped a day after he had been drinking, and he was well over the limit and got banned for 12 months. Now he has to cycle to work in the cold because he could not afford to pay for a taxi all the time. You wouldn’t want to be in the same soup. Why not get a taxi, it does cost initially, but well worth it.

More than 70,000 people every year are caught drink driving. If you fail a roadside breath test and are found to be over the limit, you could have a criminal record. A criminal record would affect so many things, including a refused entry into another country. It could even end you up in jail, depending on the circumstances. Being over the limit could result in a fine as well a ban.

So the watchword is don’t drink and drive, keep safe.


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Almonds, its nuts and milk are a good source of protein

Nuts, seeds, beans, lentils and whole grains are all good plant sources of protein, especially if you are a vegetarian. Most vegetarians think they might be missing out on protein, But as long as they consume milk and dairy products, they are bound to get a good supply of calcium and protein. However including, pulses, eggs, nuts, sprouted beans, and seeds make up for the animal protein. Almonds are just one of such nuts. We are going to single out almonds for now.

The almond is a species of tree native to the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent and North Africa. Almond is also the name of the edible and widely cultivated seed of this tree.
Although almonds are high in calories and considered “energy-dense” (as all nuts are), they provide a whole range of critical nutrients and chemical compounds

Almonds are considered dry drupes so they first must be extracted.
In the medical world, almonds nutrition is most praised due to the presence of monounsaturated fatty acids, dietary fibre, antioxidants, vitamins like riboflavin, and trace minerals such as magnesium.
Almonds are a type of drupe nut, which means along with other nuts like macadamias, pecans and walnuts, they have multiple layers that enclose a single, hard seed in the center.

Adding a few almonds to your cereal, or just having a handful to nibble, will do you good. Almond milk is also a good source.

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Quick fix diets or extreme diets as some would call it, is never the answer.
Big changes you will find, are nearly always hard to manage, they become unsustainable which is why there is ‘yo-yo dieting’
We tend to put too much strain on ourselves, for it to be sustainable it has to be gradual and an exercise regime factored into it. As much as 10% reduction in weight could still have a significant benefit on our health.
No one is perfect and so, you need not be perfect. We are entitled to a little treat now and again as long as we go back to tracts.
Remember that as your weight drops you benefit from changes in other ways, such as lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure or better blood sugar control if one is diabetic.
Small changes add up to become big changes, it all starts with making small but significant changes. Like using skimmed milk instead of full cream milk or sugar –free instead of sugar added drinks or yoghurts. Choosing unsaturated fat instead of butter or ghee, and using smaller plates and bowls to reduce portion sizes. If you have to use oil in cooking, for example, it is prudent to measure the oil with a spoon and not just pour from the bottle.

Reduction in bits is all it takes, for example, if you wish to quit adding sugar to your tea, an outright stoppage might prove difficult but if the quantities are reduced gradually say from a full teaspoon to half and then gradually giving up.It then more likely to become sustainable
So finally it is the little things that matter.

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As we approach winter and the weather gets colder we tend to have hot drinks like tea, and most of the time which normally comes with cakes, biscuits scones and the like.
Don’t be fooled into a false sense of security into thinking there are healthier cake or biscuits. Most of them would either be high saturated fat or sugar.
Bread-style bakes such as fruit bread, malt loaf, current buns crumpets, bagels and English muffins are usually healthier than cakes and biscuits.

Biscuits that snap like ginger biscuits, rich tea, are lower in fat. It is the fat, that gives them the crumble texture such as shortbread or cookies.
Soft pretzels have become very popular and are lower in fat, but could still be high in salt and sugars too.
It is important to check the food labels, what some refer to as the traffic lights, red obviously signifying danger. ‘’Sharing is caring’’ share a scone or a piece of cake instead of having it all to yourself.

Choose smaller individual packets of biscuits instead of a big packet.Just watch what you are eating, moderation is that watchword. Tea without sugar if you can, or a sweetener if you can’t.


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Children’s weight matters


The UK is becoming one of the most obese countries in Europe.
According to statistics, nearly 17% of children in the West are currently obese.
If the trend continues it is predicted that by 2020 one in five boys and one in three girls will be obese. We are not only talking about ‘baby fat’ which they grow out of but what happens after that period is over.

The way things are going, 40% of seven-year-olds and 70% of obese adolescents will grow up to be obese adults.
So how do we find our way around this, Firstly there is no need to jump up and rush your child into a weight loss programme., but rather, rather get them to be more active. Engage them in sporting activities, like cycling, swimming, football etc. or join a sporting group.
It is recommended that children get an hour of moderate exercise every day.
Additionally, when choosing food for children we should also read the food labels same as adults Choose products with less sugar, and salt, avoid fast foods, rather cook from scratch.

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Its about calories not carbs, be ‘calorie aware’

If we wish to win in any weight loss scheme, the basic truth is that we have to burn off more energy. This has to be done in an accurate and effective way as possible, we need to count the calories. To assist in the fat burning process, we recommend the subscription to Fat Burners & Thermogenics.


Be it food or drink, there is no point in just eating anything to fill our stomachs.The questions we need to ask is, is what you are eating healthy, balanced, has proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. In addition to this, we need to look at labels, how much fat, salt, protein, and carbohydrates are in what we are eating. We need to watch the so-called ‘traffic lights’ on food labels, on packages. Red signifies ‘danger’ in effect you have to be ‘calorie aware’


Other tips on healthy eating.
1. It is very necessary to cut off the fat on any  meat we consume

2. Do not subscribe to diets that require you to omit an entire food group or eat a miracle diet. As already stated in earlier articles, there is the need for a balanced diet.
3. any diet programme which does not recommend some form of exercise is not the best.

4.  any good weight loss programme should be gradual if it is to be sustainable.There is no quick fix when it comes to weight loss, you need to work at it, and would not happen overnight.

5.To top it off, let me emphasise the need to cut down on food portions, which is crucial to weight loss. 

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Know Your Vitamins and Mineral sources, as well as benefits


Vitamins and minerals are needed in the body in small amounts to enable it to grow, develop and function.
A diet that has plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, and unprocessed foods, should provide ample amount of vitamins and minerals.
A lot of the nutrients are lost through, processing, freezing, and canning.


Fruits and vegetables also lose some of their goodness through whilst left standing in the bowl

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Most people can get their relevant vitamins from they eat every day, as long as it is balanced.

Below are a list of vitamins and their sources as well as the benefits attributable to them.
Vitamin. A
Source: Eggs, butter, fish, oils, green and yellow fruits and vegetables, liver
Essential for: strong bones, good eyesight, healthy skin, and healing

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
Source: Plant and animal foods, especially wholegrain products, brown rice, seafood, and beans

Whole meal bread
Essential for: Nerve function, conversion of blood sugar into energy
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
Source: Milk and dairy produce, green leafy vegetables, liver, kidney, yeast,
Essential for: Cell growth and reproduction and production of energy.
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
Source: Meat, fish and poultry, wholegrain peanuts and avocados

Essential for: Digestion, energy and the nervous system
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)
Source: Organ meats, fish, eggs, chicken, nuts and wholegrain cereals
Essential for: Strengthening immunity and fighting infection, healing wounds
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine acid)
Source: Meat, eggs, wholegrain, yeast, cabbage, melon, molasses
Essential for: healthy immune system, production of antibodies, white blood cells, new cells
Vitamin B 12
Source: Fish, dairy produce, beef, pork, lamb, organ meat, eggs, milk
Essential for: Energy and concentration, production of red blood cells, growth in children
Vit C
Source: Fresh fruits and vegetables, potatoes, leafy green herbs and berries
Essential for: Healthy skin, bones, muscle, healing, eyesight, and protection from viruses

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Vit. D
Source: Milk, and dairy produce, eggs, fatty fish
Essential for: Healthy teeth, bones, vital for growth.
Vit E
Source: Nuts, seeds, eggs, milk, wholegrain, leafy vegetables, avocados, and soya
Essential; for absorption of iron, and essential fatty acids slowing the aging process.
Vit. K
Source: Green vegetables, milk products apricots, wholegrain, cod liver oils
Essential for: Blood clotting

Source: Dairy produce, leafy greens, vegetables, salmon, nuts, root vegetables, tofu
Essential for: strong bones and teeth, hormones, and muscles, blood clotting, regulation of blood process

Source: Liver, kidney, cocoa powder, dark chocolate, shellfish, pulses, dark green vegetables, egg yolk, red meat, beans, molasses
Essential for: supply of oxygen to the cells and immune system
Source: Brown rice, soya beans, nuts, wholegrain, bitter chocolate, legumes
Essential for: Transmission of nerve impulses, development of bones, growth, and repair of cells, development, and function of enzymes, and metabolism in general

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Source: Avocados, leafy green vegetables, banana, fruit and vegetable juices, potatoes, and nuts
Essential for: maintaining water balance, and nerve and muscle function


As we get older, our organs function less efficiently, absorption of essential nutrients and minerals become less.
It is, therefore, necessary to take in supplements to make up for the loss.
A few tips on to retain nutrients, vitamins, and minerals during cooking.
So now the question is how we get the most out of the food we eat.
The way we cook determines to a large extent, whether we preserve the nutrients or destroy them.
Cooking certainly affects the calorie content and its nutrients.
If we steam our vegetables, stir-fry, or cook only briefly in a microwave, we would retain the nutrients.
On the hand when we cook the process would allow the nutrients to seep into the water.
Also when we add, oils, fats, lard or butter to whatever we are cooking, the result is that we add more calories.
Similarly adding sugar or honey to whatever we are cooking constitutes adding more calories and carbohydrate value.
Soups, stews, and casseroles tend to preserve more of their nutritional values, as vitamins and minerals are retained in the broth.
Grilling your meat on a tray would allow the fat in the meat to drip off.
Finally, the shorter the cooking time the more nutrients will be retained, and the less fat and sugars added the better.


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What we mean by servings


We have talked about the food pyramid and how it benefits you. So now how do we make it work for us?

The biggest problem with any diet seems to be the portion sizes. We are eating far too much, we need to weigh and to measure every last grain, but the following would guide us.


A single serving, for instance, is not a bowl heaped full of rice or pasta, or a steak the size of a dinner plate. Recently We in the UK have been consuming considerably large portions, plates are far too big.

A Serving of fruits ( should be as follows)

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medium apple or satsuma (200g. about the size of a tennis ball)

a medium banana (150g.peeled, should fit the average side plate)

a half cup(100g.) of chopped fruit or berries

a quarter of a cup of fruit juices

A serving of bread, cereal, rice or pasta


1 slice of bread or 1/2 a bagel or roll

30g. of cereal

50g. of cooked rice or pasta ( the size of a child’s clenched fist

A serving of vegetables is :

a cup of raw, leafy greens ( about the size of a woman’s clenched fist)

a quarter  of a cup of vegetable juice

a large piece of broccoli ( about the size of a light bulb)

a half cup of chopped  vegetables

1 baked potato ( about the size of a computer mouse)

A serving of milk, yogurt or cheese is :

1 cup(236ml) of milk or yogurt

28g. of cheese( about the size of your thumb)

a slice of cheese ( the size of a floppy computer disc)

a half cup of cottage cheese 57g.

A serving of meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs, nuts is:


85g. lean cooked meat, poultry, or fish ( the size of a deck of playing cards)

1 medium  pork chop

1 small hamburger

1 fish fillet

half of a chicken breast or a medium chicken leg

1 medium egg

half a cup of cooked beans

2 tablespoons of peanut butter( half the size of a golf ball

a handful of nuts or seeds


Having known your serving, the next step would be to calorie count. We shall discuss this in the next topic





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Eating a balanced diet re The food pyramid

Most of us must have  heard of the  Mediterranean diet, and the suggestion that it is the way forward in healthy eating. This type of diet is mainly fruits and vegetables , with sea food. Reason being that people living in the Mediterranean region tend to live longer due to their choice of food. Similarly, people in in the Far East whose diet is also made up mainly of sea food and vegetables and pulses tend to have higher rate of life expectancy.
However, in the western world like America and some parts of Europe where the consumption of red meat is high, have the tendancy of developing heart diseases, leading to a shorter life span.
In conclusion, as a result of research which clearly points to the fact that eating food high in saturated fat leads to a shorter life span, not to mention the lack of exercising, we have no longer any excuse for not leading healthy life style. We more or less choose the kind of life we want to lead. The suggestion is to follow a food pyramid. S  what is a food pyramid

The Food Pyramid is designed to make healthy eating easier. Healthy eating is about getting the correct amount of nutrients – protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals you need to maintain good health.

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Foods that contain the same type of nutrients are grouped together on each of the shelves of the Food Pyramid. This gives you a choice of different foods from which to choose a healthy diet.

Food Pyramid

Following the Food Pyramid as a guide will help you get the right balance of nutritious foods within your calorie range. Studies show that we take in too many calories from foods and drinks high in fat, sugar and salt, on the top shelf of the Food Pyramid. They provide very little of the essential vitamins and minerals your body needs. Limiting these is essential for healthy eating.

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Your liver and you


The major functions of the liver are  as follows, the making of bile salts, making heparin for regulating blood clotting, filtering of blood, attacking harmful bacteria, and bowel toxins as well as removal of unused hormones and cholesterol from the blood

The liver is also involved in metabolism of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins as well as vitamins and minerals


Quote from MedlinePlus

‘’Your liver helps your body digest food, store energy, and remove poisons. Liver function tests are blood tests that check to see how well your liver is working. They check for liver damage and can help diagnose liver diseases such as hepatitis and cirrhosis. You may have liver function tests as part of a regular checkup. Or you may have them if you have symptoms of liver disease. Doctors also use the tests to monitor some liver diseases, treatments, and possible side effects of medicines.
Liver function tests measure certain proteins, enzymes, and substances, including:

· Albumin, a protein that the liver makes
· Total protein (TP)
· Enzymes that are found in the liver, including alanine transaminase (ALT), aspartate transaminase (AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), and gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT)
· Bilirubin, a yellow substance that is part of bile. It is formed when your red blood cells break down. Too much bilirubin in the blood can cause jaundice. There is also a urine test for bilirubin.
· Prothrombin time, which measures how long it takes for your blood to clot. Prothrombin is made by the liver.’’


These are a number vitamins and foods that would boost the performance of the liver; like,  liver pate, liver sausages and vitamin A

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Why it is healthier to cook from scratch


Researchers have always claimed that coronary heart diseases, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes have increased dramatically, due to unhealthy lifestyle choices.
Our consumption of processed foods tends to be the main cause. Most processed foods are high in salt, sugar, and fat as well chemicals, preservatives. The aim is to make it tastier and therefore attractive. Food labels could be misleading as well. Whilst the labels would display foods having say less fat, they could still be high in sugars and other additives to make them taste nice.
The government has recently talked about establishing a Sugar Tax with the expectation that it would drive manufacturers to apply less sugar in their products.

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We gain weight when we regularly consume more calories that we burn. Through bodily function and physical activities, we lose weight, and the more active we are the more we lose.
Research proves that more people are over weight than under weight.
In the UK nearly 60% of adults are over weight or obese.
So what causes weight gain

1. consuming too much food, we tend to have much bigger plates these days.
2. Eating unhealthy high fat foods or foods high in sugar
The thing is, the body tends to store the excess carbohydrates or sugar into fat. Some foods have so much more calories than others, so the need to make the right choices when it comes to food.
Alcohol for instance is high in calories, and should be consumed in moderation.
Medical Reasons

Balanced diet

Weight gain could be attributed to medical reasons,
1. An under active thyroid gland, this means the thyroid is not able to produce enough, thyroid hormones, to regulate metabolism, this is most common in older women.

Generally, as we age we lose muscle, due to inactivity, meaning we burn less, to reduce muscle loss we need to stay active.
So the watch word is to stay active. More to come….

Contains high fibre levels
Includes essential nutrients to support healthy, lasting weight loss
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Contributes to the maintenance of lean muscle and promotes weight loss