Haley, Recipes

Spaghetti squash is one of those vegetables that people know or hear about but never seem to get to know. We think pumpkin or butternut, but never spaghetti variety.

Well, it’s time we broadened our cooking horizons and introduced a new player to the team. 

Spaghetti squash is literally as its name suggests, a squash, that when cooked turns into spaghetti-like noodles. Ideal for those with a gluten or wheat intolerance and pasts is a no-go. Or those that are wanting a lower-carb option for their bolognese. 

In this recipe, however, I have modified a pretty popular home-style dish by swapping out one carbohydrate for another. Don’t get me wrong, stuffed, baked, potatoes are great, but it’s autumn and the spaghetti squash is in season. Plus it’s a perfect way to try out a new ingredient. So let’s get to it.

Serves 2-4 | Prep time 15 minutes | Cook time | 60 minutes total

Ingredients

1 Spaghetti squash
1/2 C water
1 Tbsp Olive or coconut oil
1/2 red onion, diced
1 C kale or cavalo nero, chopped fine
2 garlic cloves. chopped fine
1/2 red capsicum, diced
1/2 C peas
1/2 fresh chilli, chopped fine (optional)
1 C grated cheese
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
2 Tbsp fresh herbs of choice
Himalayan salt and black pepper to season

Method
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 190c.  
  2. Slice the spaghetti squash in half lengthways and season the inside with salt and pepper. Place seasoned side down in the baking dish and pour in the water. Place in pre-heated oven for 50-60 minutes or until tender when pierced.
  3. While the spaghetti is cooking prep your vegetables. 
  4. To a pan over medium heat, add in oil, onion and garlic and saute for one minute. Add kale and capsicum then saute for a further 2-3 minutes until softened. Season with a little salt and pepper. Remove from heat and into a large mixing bowl. Add peas, fresh herbs, 3/4 of the cheese and wholegrain mustard then mix to combine.
  5. once the spaghetti squash has cooked, remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
  6. Once cool to the touch, use a fork to scrape out the spaghetti strands and add them to the bowl of ingredients. Mix everything together.
  7. Spoon the mixture evenly back into the squash skins and top with the leftover cheese. 
  8. Place them back into the same oven for 10 minutes or until cheese has melted. Top with more fresh herbs and a side of pesto.

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Health, Our Thoughts, Stu
Did you know that people who suffer from periodontal disease (gum disease) have a higher risk of
strokes and coronary artery disease? Gum disease is often triggered by plaque overload!

Oral plaque does affect the heart. This is why proper oral care, which minimizes the presence of
plaque, is so vital to staying healthy over the long term. Today, we are going to share more information
about the connection between plaque and the heart, as well as oral health care tips which will help
you to reduce the risk of stroke and coronary heart disease.

There are two possible reasons why plaque is linked with the risk of heart issues. One possible
reason is that the germs which trigger gum disease put toxins into the bloodstream and these toxins
contribute to the formation of fatty plaques within the arteries. Deposits made from plaque may trigger
serious issues such as blood clots. Blood clots negatively impact blood flow.

The second possible reason is that bacteria provoke the liver organ to produce proteins in higher-
than-average amounts. These proteins cause inflammation in the blood vessels. This may set the
stage for a stroke or a heart attack.

Do You Have Periodontal Disease?
When tartar and plaque aren’t removed, they become harmful. If you suspect that you may suffer
from periodontal disease, you should schedule an appointment with a local dentist.

Dr. Johay Amith from Dental Today says, “If you don’t have dental coverage, look for community
services. Some dentists will charge on a sliding scale based on income, in order to help those in need
by making the cost of dental care more affordable”.

If you see signs including chronic bad breath, gums which move away from teeth, a bad taste in the
mouth, gums which are reddened, tender and swollen and separation or loosening of permanent
teeth, it may be an indicator that periodontal disease may be negatively impacting your oral health. If
you find that your teeth seem to fit together differently when you bite down, periodontal disease may
be the reason why.

In addition, if your dentures don’t fit properly (as they used to), you will benefit from visiting a dentist
and finding out if gum disease is changing the way that your dentures fit. Gum disease is often
triggered by too much plaque so, it’s important to try and reverse periodontal disease as soon as it
strikes. It’s never too late to see a dentist. A lot can be done to improve oral health, whether you are
experiencing gum disease or another oral health issue.

Dental plaque contains bacteria. To combat the growth of plaque, get your teeth cleaned by a dentist
every six months and brush and floss twenty minutes after every meal. Other forms of dental care
may be needed. However, only a licensed dentist will be able to recommend the right processes. This
is why regular dental examinations and cleanings are so important.

Take Good Care of Your Teeth
There is a lot you can do in order to minimize the presence of plaque. Aside from brushing and
flossing regularly and seeing your dentist for check-ups and cleanings, you may want to avoid sugary
foods and acidic foods. Both negatively impact oral health. Consider supplements which are proven
to improve oral health. Examples include probiotics and fish oil. Lastly, eating an apple a day will be a
great way to clean your teeth when no toothbrush is handy.

Now that you know how plaque affects the heart, why not improve your oral care routine today and
book an appointment with your dentist?

Authors Bio:
Robert Hudson is studying a bachelor of Communications and majoring in journalism. He has a
passion for health and comes from a family of dentists. For the last 6 years, he has lived in New
Zealand and is determined to continue living in this beautiful country. If you have any questions or
would like to connect with Robert please message via Google
0

Health
Did you know that people who suffer from periodontal disease (gum disease) have a higher risk of
strokes and coronary artery disease? Gum disease is often triggered by plaque overload!

Oral plaque does affect the heart. This is why proper oral care, which minimizes the presence of
plaque, is so vital to staying healthy over the long term. Today, we are going to share more information
about the connection between plaque and the heart, as well as oral health care tips which will help
you to reduce the risk of stroke and coronary heart disease.

There are two possible reasons why plaque is linked with the risk of heart issues. One possible
reason is that the germs which trigger gum disease put toxins into the bloodstream and these toxins
contribute to the formation of fatty plaques within the arteries. Deposits made from plaque may trigger
serious issues such as blood clots. Blood clots negatively impact blood flow.

The second possible reason is that bacteria provoke the liver organ to produce proteins in higher-
than-average amounts. These proteins cause inflammation in the blood vessels. This may set the
stage for a stroke or a heart attack.

Do You Have Periodontal Disease?
When tartar and plaque aren’t removed, they become harmful. If you suspect that you may suffer
from periodontal disease, you should schedule an appointment with a local dentist.

Dr. Johay Amith from Dental Today says, “If you don’t have dental coverage, look for community
services. Some dentists will charge on a sliding scale based on income, in order to help those in need
by making the cost of dental care more affordable”.

If you see signs including chronic bad breath, gums which move away from teeth, a bad taste in the
mouth, gums which are reddened, tender and swollen and separation or loosening of permanent
teeth, it may be an indicator that periodontal disease may be negatively impacting your oral health. If
you find that your teeth seem to fit together differently when you bite down, periodontal disease may
be the reason why.

In addition, if your dentures don’t fit properly (as they used to), you will benefit from visiting a dentist
and finding out if gum disease is changing the way that your dentures fit. Gum disease is often
triggered by too much plaque so, it’s important to try and reverse periodontal disease as soon as it
strikes. It’s never too late to see a dentist. A lot can be done to improve oral health, whether you are
experiencing gum disease or another oral health issue.

Dental plaque contains bacteria. To combat the growth of plaque, get your teeth cleaned by a dentist
every six months and brush and floss twenty minutes after every meal. Other forms of dental care
may be needed. However, only a licensed dentist will be able to recommend the right processes. This
is why regular dental examinations and cleanings are so important.

Take Good Care of Your Teeth
There is a lot you can do in order to minimize the presence of plaque. Aside from brushing and
flossing regularly and seeing your dentist for check-ups and cleanings, you may want to avoid sugary
foods and acidic foods. Both negatively impact oral health. Consider supplements which are proven
to improve oral health. Examples include probiotics and fish oil. Lastly, eating an apple a day will be a
great way to clean your teeth when no toothbrush is handy.

Now that you know how plaque affects the heart, why not improve your oral care routine today and
book an appointment with your dentist?

Authors Bio:
Robert Hudson is studying a bachelor of Communications and majoring in journalism. He has a
passion for health and comes from a family of dentists. For the last 6 years, he has lived in New
Zealand and is determined to continue living in this beautiful country. If you have any questions or
would like to connect with Robert please message via Google
0

Nick, Stu

Tips for Preventing Foot and Ankle Injuries

Foot and ankle injuries are common in sports, especially in winter sports such as rugby, netball, and soccer. But you can reduce the risk of injury by taking some simple precautions.

Use strapping or a brace if you have sprained your ankle before

If you have sprained an ankle before, getting your ankle strapped (or wearing an ankle brace), will greatly reduce your chances of re-spraining your ankle. This is particularly important if your previous ankle sprain was recent.

Warm up prior to training and playing

Get to training and games early so you have time to do a thorough warm-up. If you are well warmed up you are less likely to get injured. Warming up is particularly important when it is wet and cold through the middle of winter. ACC’s SportSmart website (https://accsportsmart.co.nz/warmup/), has some excellent warm-up routines specific for rugby, netball, league and touch rugby.

Condition your ankles for your sport

Doing some drills at training that are specific for your sport to improve your balance and strength will help reduce the chances of foot and ankle sprains. An example of one of these drills would be regularly balancing on one leg with your eyes closed for 30 – 60 seconds to improve balance. At Olympic Physiotherapy we can design a specific programme of exercises to help you improve your balance and strength specifically for your sport. Netballers may like to visit Netball New Zealand’s website (http://netballnz.co.nz/useful-info/netball-smart), which contains some excellent drills and training advice with regards to injury prevention.

 Choose shoes that are specifically for your sport

Wearing shoes that are designed for the specific demands of your sport is very important. Cross trainers are an overall good choice, however, it is best to use shoes designed for your sport. Nike Free Runners are not sports shoes!

Replace your shoes regularly

You should have started each season with a new pair of shoes, and replace them during the season if they show signs of wear and tear.

Listen to your body

If you experience foot and ankle pain at training or during a game, stop until the pain subsides. If the pain persists, you should ice the painful area and make an appointment at Olympic Physiotherapy for assessment of your injury and appropriate treatment before returning to your sport.

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Stu
Whether you’re a competitive athlete, weekend warrior or just enjoy walking the dog, good physical fitness is important to most of us. Injuries can be frustrating particularly when we have worked hard towards reaching our goals; whether it be tramping to Everest base camp, running a half marathon or keeping up with your kids activities. Some knowledge about our own body can go a long way towards helping us to perform better whatever the activity. This is where a Muscle Balance Assessment (MBA) can assist, particularly if you are tired of those repetitive strains and niggles that continue to hold you back. The MBA is a one hour long appointment and takes your history of previous injuries into account in conjunction with an in depth analysis of: – Muscle length/tightness and strength or weakness in key areas. – Poor movement strategies – Poor technique in sports specific areas These results are illustrated in a report format and exercises to remedy any adverse findings will be taught at a follow up appointment. We are happy to liaise with Personal Trainers, Coaches, Pilates Instructors, Doctors and the like, to ensure a team approach with you being the number one focus! “The idea is to provide you with an effective group of exercises designed to complement your current program or just simply as a preventative regime.” The MBA is also an excellent idea for adolescent athletes who are striving to make the jump from school sports to more competitive senior levels. The aim is to identify potential issues before they become a problem and to ultimately assist and improve overall performance.
0

Health
Did you know that people who suffer from periodontal disease (gum disease) have a higher risk of
strokes and coronary artery disease? Gum disease is often triggered by plaque overload!

Oral plaque does affect the heart. This is why proper oral care, which minimizes the presence of
plaque, is so vital to staying healthy over the long term. Today, we are going to share more information
about the connection between plaque and the heart, as well as oral health care tips which will help
you to reduce the risk of stroke and coronary heart disease.

There are two possible reasons why plaque is linked with the risk of heart issues. One possible
reason is that the germs which trigger gum disease put toxins into the bloodstream and these toxins
contribute to the formation of fatty plaques within the arteries. Deposits made from plaque may trigger
serious issues such as blood clots. Blood clots negatively impact blood flow.

The second possible reason is that bacteria provoke the liver organ to produce proteins in higher-
than-average amounts. These proteins cause inflammation in the blood vessels. This may set the
stage for a stroke or a heart attack.

Do You Have Periodontal Disease?
When tartar and plaque aren’t removed, they become harmful. If you suspect that you may suffer
from periodontal disease, you should schedule an appointment with a local dentist.

Dr. Johay Amith from Dental Today says, “If you don’t have dental coverage, look for community
services. Some dentists will charge on a sliding scale based on income, in order to help those in need
by making the cost of dental care more affordable”.

If you see signs including chronic bad breath, gums which move away from teeth, a bad taste in the
mouth, gums which are reddened, tender and swollen and separation or loosening of permanent
teeth, it may be an indicator that periodontal disease may be negatively impacting your oral health. If
you find that your teeth seem to fit together differently when you bite down, periodontal disease may
be the reason why.

In addition, if your dentures don’t fit properly (as they used to), you will benefit from visiting a dentist
and finding out if gum disease is changing the way that your dentures fit. Gum disease is often
triggered by too much plaque so, it’s important to try and reverse periodontal disease as soon as it
strikes. It’s never too late to see a dentist. A lot can be done to improve oral health, whether you are
experiencing gum disease or another oral health issue.

Dental plaque contains bacteria. To combat the growth of plaque, get your teeth cleaned by a dentist
every six months and brush and floss twenty minutes after every meal. Other forms of dental care
may be needed. However, only a licensed dentist will be able to recommend the right processes. This
is why regular dental examinations and cleanings are so important.

Take Good Care of Your Teeth
There is a lot you can do in order to minimize the presence of plaque. Aside from brushing and
flossing regularly and seeing your dentist for check-ups and cleanings, you may want to avoid sugary
foods and acidic foods. Both negatively impact oral health. Consider supplements which are proven
to improve oral health. Examples include probiotics and fish oil. Lastly, eating an apple a day will be a
great way to clean your teeth when no toothbrush is handy.

Now that you know how plaque affects the heart, why not improve your oral care routine today and
book an appointment with your dentist?

Authors Bio:
Robert Hudson is studying a bachelor of Communications and majoring in journalism. He has a
passion for health and comes from a family of dentists. For the last 6 years, he has lived in New
Zealand and is determined to continue living in this beautiful country. If you have any questions or
would like to connect with Robert please message via Google
0

Stu

platesHow Meditation and Mindfulness Can Help

Plate spinning is a circus manipulation art where a person spins plates, bowls and other flat objects on poles, without them falling off. Plate spinning relies on the gyroscopic effect, in the same way a top stays upright while spinning. The actual art of plate spinning is not too dissimilar to what many of us try to do in everyday life. Stay upright while running to and from meetings; focusing on multiple goals; KPI’s; more meetings; remembering to have lunch; looking after staff; remembering to respond to that email from 3 weeks ago; booking the insurance for that holiday in 2 months time… And the list goes on! In the beginning, spinning plates can be fun, give us variety in our day, and can be quite rewarding as we manage to pull off achieving multiple goals in a day or a week. But after a while some things are forgotten, unfinished and become stressors in our already busy lives. To add to this forever growing to-do list, we have our smartphone constantly in our pocket, vibrating, ringing and reminding us of how many plates we actually have up in the air at one time. We have got into the habit of constantly checking our phones for new emails, Facebook status updates, Twitter feed, missed message and calls. Once upon a time we would leave work and begin to switch off. That phone from back in late 90’s and early 2000’s didn’t have data or a screen that could read more than 1-2 lines of text for that matter. By the time we reached home we would be ready to change down another gear, chat with family, sit down and watch a favourite TV programme, read a book. Ultimately, we would log out, switch off and unwind from the day we had just finished. What if we could use this technology we have now, to take time out of our day to switch off for very small periods of time and reset our minds? All of a sudden some of the plates we thought were important would vanish. Our minds would become more focused. Stress levels would decrease. Things would become clear and simple. Real focus and clarity would begin to creep in and we would all look much less like a circus act trying to spin a whole lot of unbalanced plates in mid-air while running down the road! I have been doing yoga for about 18 months now. It gives me both physical benefit from the stretching and strengthening of muscles, and the mental benefit of clearing my mind from the day-to-day clutter it accumulates. But I wouldn’t have time most days to do a class in the middle of the day, even though this is when I would benefit most. So recently, my very mindful, present and yogic partner put me onto the idea of downloading a meditation app for my smartphone. So I did! Since then I have been endeavoring to use the app at least once a day for 10 mins. I find it’s great for removing all those redundant thoughts and stressors which simply get in the way of me achieving what is important to me in my day. The app I am using at the moment is Headspace which has various guided meditations to suit you. So, my advice to you: click on the app store, search for ‘Headspace’, download, put your earphones in and press play! It’s only 5-10 mins out of your day, and the change that it can bring is absolutely incredible. Just do it!

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Stu


Do you ever wake up in the morning to your alarm blaring? You get an initial fright, press snooze, drift in and out of sleep with thoughts of your to-do list for the day coming at you like trucks on a busy highway? Or are you awake 15 minutes before your alarm in anticipation of the day ahead and thinking back to those same ominous trucks from the day before that you didn’t manage to clear from you ‘brain highway’?


Brain highway. That’s what I like to call our conscious/ unconscious thought process. The hundreds, if not thousands of thoughts that pass through our heads everyday. Research shows that we actually have 2500-3300 thoughts every hour! Most of these thoughts pass through fleetingly and move on into the background. But some tend to stick around for a bit running tight circles in our head with their foot on the accelerator and blaring their horn, like a big scary truck! Just picture that. A big scary truck doing tight circles around you while blaring its horn at you! You can do nothing but notice it. In fact you are more than noticing it at this stage, the truck is huge in your field of vision and blocks everything else out. All you can do is concentrate on this one seemingly horrible, scary thing in front of you! Everything else that you were doing a few seconds ago is completely blocked out and your body starts getting into fight or flight mode. Your stress hormone cortisol starts to rise. You start to sweat and get anxious.


What if I told you that you could take control of this situation. You could get that nasty truck back on the highway with the other trucks and cars and off into the distance. As a physiotherapist I teach people every day how to perform exercises to strengthen a muscle or tendon in their body. They go away, do the exercise for a specific amount per day and week then come back with less pain and more strength. We can apply the same model to our brain and thoughts. The brain is the muscle and the stressful thoughts being the injury or niggle.


I was going through a particularly stressful time with my business at the same time. Thoughts were rife, my highway was the size of a Los Angeles freeway. The five-lane variety! Because my mind was so busy with trying to wear the many hats of a business owner working on and in my own business, I couldn’t decipher, allocate and file each task in its order of importance. I would get anxious, worried, angry, frustrated, down and tired trying to do it all!


This thought process and a little nudging from my partner got me started on a little app called Headspace. I made a conscious decision to take control of my thoughts, to give my head a little… space! I’m great at getting to sleep at night. I’m asleep within about 10 breaths of the light going out. It’s 4.30/5am that my mind decides to wake up with a jolt. Thoughts, concerns, stories left over from the day before. Scenarios played out in my head, which have not even happened yet. Numbers, figures, reports, forecasts… you get the drift. So this was my plan. I would start meditating 5 minutes after my alarm went off every morning. Just 10 minutes of headspace. I started with the intro pack, a nice way to dip my toes into the world of meditation. Two sessions in and no epiphany, no higher level of consciousness. I thought, this meditation thing doesn’t work, it’s a hoax! But a little voice inside me kept saying, just another session, keep it up. So I did. Five sessions in and I was still doubting. But on returning from work one day after maybe my tenth session my partner asked me how my day was? A very normal question which a few weeks previously would have got my heckles up, got me all frustrated with a short answer in tow. Not this time though. ‘It was good thanks, it was very productive, clear and I had lots of fun’ was my reply! Such a contrast from my previous mindset. Life was good again even though I was still dealing with the afore-mentioned stressor. I had clarity of thought and was less distracted, which led me to be much more productive in my day.


A few months later with the acute stress over I managed to meditate 100 days in a row. Pretty awesome for a guy who had no idea what meditation meant a few months prior.


Moral of the story: “Meditation” the art of calming and focusing the mind, give it a go! What’s the worst that could happen? 

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Tania

steve-jobs1 We all need a reset sometimes. Life is busy; we slip into comfortable habits. We no longer think about why we’re doing what we’re doing. It’s just habit. This can be great for some parts of our life. Lots of successful people (take Steve Jobs for example) wear the same outfit every day to save them time in the mornings. It helps to give them more brain power to spend on other things. More important things. But in some cases, before you know it, you’re sticking with a habit which seemed like a good idea when you picked it up but that really doesn’t serve you now. Maybe it’s even holding you back from being your most authentic you. And this is where a reset can come in, shake things up, make you reassess things and then build up some new habits that do serve your lifestyle now. At Wellness HQ we definitely slipped into a bad habit trap around food recently. Full-time jobs + side hustles + training + time with friends. Excuses arose and before we knew it, it was the same staples for dinner all the time or the dreaded takeaways. Once you’re in there, in that space of bad habits, it can be really hard to make the shift away. Sometimes you need that extra push; something to help make that mental break so that you can start afresh. There are lots of ways to creating a reset.

– Pledge to do something every day for a month. Hold yourself accountable and let others know so that they can support you in this. Knowing that you’ve only got to get through a month, that your new habit has an end date, can make things seem more much achievable rather than stating that you’ll do something every day for the rest of your life, or never again forever. Most likely once you’ve made it through the month it will have stuck enough that you can keep going.

– Start small and manageable. By achieving small wins you can help motivate yourself to take bigger steps. Want to stop spending so much money on takeaways? Pick a night that you know you have the time + energy to cook and start there. Once you see how easy + fun it is one night a week, look at adding another night.

– Get outside of your comfort zone. Physically removing yourself from the spaces that cause the bad habits can help create that mental shift. Maybe it’s a weekend away so that when you come back to your home you can look at things with fresh eyes. Maybe it’s taking a different path to work so that you’re not tempted by the coffee shop with those delicious brioches.

– Get the support you need. Find out what is holding you back (what is really holding you back) and address that. For me recently it was a lack of inspiration about what to cook. I know that the internet is full of great recipes but that was too much for me to take in. So we started getting My Food Bag to help give me more inspiration around new food to cook (like that delicious looking salad just there). Or perhaps it’s a new Keep Cup to inspire you to make coffee at home.

We all need a fresh start sometimes. Here’s hoping you start building a new, amazing habit today.

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Bess

Winter means gentle snowfall, roasting chestnuts around the fireplace + children laughing with their little sleds in pompoms and mittens… right? Maybe somewhere that happens, but right here it is feeling a bit more like cold + damp feet, sniffing noses + a bit too much red wine on Friday (or every!?) night… I have always found winter tough and I would preferably hibernate the whole season through. My health, desire to move + food choices can deteriorate during the colder months. I definitely thrive in the summertime and maybe you are the same. I have had to learn for myself (and also as a health professional) ways to get through winter with glowing health, not just surviving until the first sign of the Pohutukawa. Here are some quick nutrition + health tips to help you stay on top of your health this winter:

Plan your attack.
It’s pretty difficult to stick to a plan when you don’t have one. There are enough distractions in life to throw you off: chocolate around the office, last minute 5pm drinks, Saturday brunch. Why not plan your meals and at the same time, plan your exercise for the week? Sounds simple, but if you plan 100% + achieve 80% then you’ve just taken a big step towards a healthier you. I would suggest that is a pretty darn good reason to take the time to plan, purchase + make food ahead for the week.

Tighten up home + snacks.
I try to make sure that 80% of my food is as homemade, fresh + plant-based as I can. When I say that, I’m not trying to be pretentious. I just look in the fridge, figure out when I can get to the grocery store, start my meals with vegetables and build in protein, fat + flavour from there. This way, when I do go out for social food or drinks, it’s more of a treat because I haven’t allowed constant high energy foods + alcohol to become my norm. Be mindful where it matters.

Bulk up on Vitamin C, typical.
We think Vitamin C when we think ‘winter health.’ Well, Vitamin C is a powerful superhero. It can protect against immune system deficiencies (very important against attacking colds + viruses), at the same time Vitamin C can help heal wounds: we need this vitamin for growth and repair. Vitamin C cannot be stored in the body, hence the ongoing need for it in our diet. A powerful antioxidant that can protect your cells from ongoing damage. Vitamin C can support adrenal function by increasing your metabolic energy AND decrease elevated stress hormones. Not bad hey? Whilst eating those zesty little orange pills tastes awesome + reminds me of my childhood, one can EASILY get enough Vitamin C from the diet… Citrus fruit, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, kiwifruit, capsicum. Smash these daily to get your kick.

GARLIC.
garlicFirst factor: you won’t be getting many kisses if you follow this, meaning you won’t receive any of those nasty germs floating around. Not sure if that is a win or a loss actually. Second factor: allicin is a compound found in garlic that is found to have antiviral + antibacterial properties. Allicin also increases natural killer cells in the body that go around destroying pathogens. Garlic is a great defense to attacks on your immune system, especially when eaten raw. So that first factor might come into play even more so now…

Challenge yourself + also high five yourself.
The health you desire will not come overnight if you haven’t kept on top of it. And that’s okay. Start now. Have a goal or two. Maybe it’s a 4-8 week goal or one simple regime you will stick to. Maybe removal of a certain food for the addition of a healthful one. Applaud your achievements + get a supportive person to get alongside you. We have pretty full lives these days – busy is the new cool. But really, you will likely do so much better physically, financially, emotionally + socially if you take care of your body. Not selfishly, but so your wellness + strength is a tool.

Have a selection of HEALTHY comfort foods.
tomyumsoupThis is my favourite, probably because I just love food. I have a few comfort foods that I turn to that are nourishing, warm, tasty + filling. And they don’t drip with cheese, oil or sugar icing. Write your own list – here’s one of my winter favourites Tom Yum Soup, to get you started.

Alcohol – DARE TO TAKE ON DRY JULY.
Don’t skip over this one! Even I am hesitant to write it because I do not want to be a hypocrite. Your liver does so much overtime work when you constantly pour alcohol through it. It draws water from other body systems to do so. Alcohol leaves you sluggish, tired + saps your vitality. I find this especially noticeable in winter when a few too many red wines by the heater take place. Nice temporarily, but I challenge you to take up the challenge of Dry July. You might find an upsurge in energy, an easier weight loss + more dollars left at the end of the month too.

I’ll do it if you do it.

Find movement you LOVE.
DR danceIn summer I love to swim, run, paddle board + frolic in the fields, but in winter I am more similar to a slothful bear. What happened? Outside becomes a lot less pleasant to be out in + our bodies are colder – they need more motivation to move (don’t insert the logical “but your body will warm up” answer here please). Nights come quicker, mornings brighten later. So for all these excuses, find a movement you love. I love dancing – an indoor activity! Barre, yoga, pilates, gyms, exercise classes + dance classes are EVERYWHERE. You can often just do a 3-month membership at many health clubs. Maybe you are still keen to run, but need the motivation: grab a friend to exercise with (there’s a cafe on every corner if you need a hot drink afterwards) or sign up for Run Squad with Stu Ross (no, I am not being paid to mention this!). We always think “let’s get fit for summer”, but why not stay fit all year round? Your mind + body will thank you. Dopamine + serotonin levels are increased with blood pumping exercise; don’t let winter depression beat you. I just did a 60min barre cardio workout. I wanted to die, my face was so red, but gosh I feel like I can sucker punch this day with a smile on my face.

These are just simple tips, but when you put them together they become a solid resource kit for you to keep well over the winter.

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