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  1. How to break free from sugar addiction and quit sugar for good I’m sure you’ve heard all about how bad sugar is for you. It seems to be all over the news and media these days. Do we need sugar? No, the sugar we need to fuel our cells is glucose. Sugar is made from a combination of glucose & fructose. Glucose is needed by our cells but fructose has to be converted to glucose by the liver in order to access it. There is not one singular chemical process in the body that is needed by sugar. When we eat lots of calories that are high in fructose our liver stores it as fat. Excessive fructose is linked to many illnesses such as: Obesity Diabetes Inflammation High blood pressure Acne Heart disease Dementia Depression Infertility Cancer How does sugar work in the body? When we eat sugar (in the form of healthy carbohydrates i.e. glucose) our bodies send a signal to release a hormone called insulin. Insulin’s job is to get the sugar that’s floating in our bodies into cells, specifically muscle tissue and the liver for storage. However, with processed foods and sugars the process is different. Processed foods and artificial sweetness have fructose in them. Fructose reacts very differently in our bodies. When we consume fructose, Is fruit bad for you? Fructose in processed foods (sugar, sweeteners, cakes, biscuits, ice cream fizzy drinks) reacts very differently than fructose found in whole fruit. Whole fruit contains fiber, vitamins, and minerals and is an essential part of our diet. While some people recommend limiting fruit. In my personal opinion, fruit is an extremely healthful food that can and should be eating in abundance. What are the benefits of quitting sugar? Aside from the obvious health reasons, by quitting sugar you can expect to: No more brain fog Fewer aches and pains Weight loss Mindful eating Increased alertness Reduced anxiety and depression Better health Clearer skin How much sugar do should we have? As little as possible! The world health organisation guidelines have now been halved, recommending that we eat no more than 5-10 teaspoons per day. What about artificial sweeteners? Some of you may think that having artificial sweeteners is a good substitution. The problem with sweeteners is that our bodies have no idea what to do with these chemicals. Sweeteners are usually 100-1000x sweeter than actual sugared so insulin is secreted in large doses, making you feel more hungry, consume more calories and store more fat. Artificial sweeteners are addictive and make you crave more sweets. It messes with our hormones so we don’t receive the signal telling us we are full. Studies that show that rats who were fed artificial sweeteners ate more food, increased body fat and had a slower metabolism in just two weeks than rats who were fed sugar-sweetened foods. It is actually better to eat actual sugar than have artificial sweeteners! Safe sweeteners include: Monk fruit Stevia Rice malt syrup These sweeteners don’t spike your blood sugar as much and are very low/contain no fructose. From a personal point of view, I also use dried fruit (raisins, dates, apricots) and natural sweeteners such as date syrup as they contain valuable minerals, fibre and they taste good. I just don’t go overboard. Tip – stay away from agave nectar, the vegans alternative to honey. Agave is extremely high in fructose containing 70-90%. This is not a health food! Does quitting sugar help you lose weight? Many people have reported losing weight and there is a lot of good evidence that supports weight loss when we quit sugar. Reason 1: By eliminating sugars we naturally eat better, less processed foods overall. This reduces the consumption of excess calories. Reason 2: The impact sugar has on our bodies and most importantly our hormones. One of the hormones greatly influenced is insulin. And by reading above you will know how insulin is a fat storing hormone. What is the best way to quit sugar? The key to quitting sugar (and feeling ok doing so) is to keep blood sugar levels stable. You will also need to eat foods that are nutrient dense to avoid cravings and help with detoxification. The foods must also support your hormones, specifically insulin, cortisol, ghrelin, and Leptin. These are the hormones responsible for regulating appetite, efficient metabolism, and fat storage. Can I quit sugar cold turkey? A lot of people try to quit sugar by going completely cold turkey. However, I think it varies from person to person. Sugar is an addiction. In fact, It has been shown to be 9 times more addictive than cocaine. The sugar industry spends A LOT of time, research and money to find the perfect ‘bliss point’ in our brains that will stimulate us to keep eating the sweet stuff. That’s why going completely sugar-free is the best recommendation. Because you will be withdrawing from an addiction. However, I feel its important to ‘prep’ ourselves before taking on this challenge. And believe me, its a challenge! I always like to do things in a more gentle way, especially when it comes to our health and wellbeing. How to quit sugar plan 1) Decide how long you will quit sugar for. Although you don’t ever need to eat sugar again, there is an initial ‘detox’ period that will happen when you stop eating sugar. Many experts believe it will take about 8-12 weeks for your blood sugar to stabilise and to go through the detox period. What to expect: headaches, pain flares ups, acne, lethargy, and irritability! Usually, detox symptoms last up to a week but it greatly depends on how ‘clean’ your diet is to start with. 2) Clean up your diet. Week 1-2: Remove obvious sources of sugar (added sugar in coffee, sugary cereals, chocolate, fizzy drinks, jams, and spreads). Remove all processed foods, artificial chemicals, preservatives, and sweeteners. This involves correctly reading food labels and basically not eating anything in a box, can, packet or anything ready made. You will also need to be vigilant when eating out and choosing low/no sugar options. Week 2-4: Start to remove hidden sources of sugar. Sugar is lurking in so many places including crackers, pre-made smoothies, and juices, packaged health foods, dried fruit, granola bars, even dairy-free milk. (if you’re still eating a small amount of meat in your diet, sugar can be found in meat slices, processed animal products and added to some cheese) By allowing this transition time your body will be able to adapt better and have much fewer detoxification symptoms. 3) Sleep more Sleeping more, especially through the ‘detox’ period can greatly improve your chances of sticking to a sugar-free diet. When we don’t sleep enough we affect our hormones that control our appetite. Studies show that when we sleep less we turn on the hormone that makes us hungry and turns off the hormone that makes us feel full. That’s why we tend to crave more sweet foods when we’re tired. Get at least 8 hours of sleep per night, particularly in the first week of eliminating sugar. 4) Load up on vegetables (Especially non-starchy) Veggies are rich in fiber which helps slow absorption of sugar in the bloodstream. Adding non-starchy veg to eat with every meal can stabilise blood sugar and help keep your energy balanced. Veggies are rich in antioxidants which can combat detox symptoms helping you cope more easily. See here for a full list of starchy veg includes See here for a full list of Non starchy veg includes: 5) Read labels How to read labels for sugar: Choose foods with less than 5g of sugar per 100g. This equates to one teaspoon Liquids shouldn’t contain any sugar so don’t buy any juices or smoothies that have any sugar. Be careful with “sugar-free” labelling. This may mean that table sugar is removed but artificial sweeteners have been added. 6) Habits and the 3-day rule One of the most common issues that people have is trying to stay sugar free. As with any addiction, the physical craving only lasts a few days in our bodies. This means that the craving thereafter is more habitual than anything. That’s why the first few days are the hardest. However, once you get past those first 3 days you will find your willpower much stronger. This video is an interesting watch for habits and breaking unhealthy habits (LINK) 7) Don’t have it in the house Our environment is the most difficult to control. When we go out we might be tempted by cookies, cakes, and pastries. But our home is somewhere we can have full control. It goes without saying that when we have something in the house we are far more likely to eat it. If this is not accessible to you and something that a partner or kids have in either Get them onboard and eliminate sugar together as a family. Make the food less visible to you. Hiding it away so you won’t have to see it will keep it at bay. 8 ) Eat fat and protein – (particularly for breakfast) When we quit eating sugar we often feel like we are “missing” something. That something should be replaced with protein and fat. Fat and protein (good types) are very satiating and fat particularly gives us a “mouth feel” that we can feel is lacking when we stop eating sugar. What’s more is that protein and fat stabilise our hormones and switches on the hormone that tells us were full. Breakfast is particularly important as our insulin is most sensitive in the morning after a night of fasting. If you start the day with something sugary you will more likely crave sugar for the rest of the day. You don’t need to have excess here but aim to add a portion of healthy fat & protein to each meal. E.G Breakfast: Swap porridge for porridge and maple syrup for porridge with almond butter and hemp seeds. Lunch: Swap a salad and vegetable soup for a hearty salad with roasted chickpeas, avocado, and a tahini dressing. Serve with a lentil soup if still hungry. Dinner: Swap veggie fried rice dish for brown rice, edamame, tofu, loads of veggies and cashews. 9) Eat enough at meal times I ALWAYS see this with women who want to lose weight and have sugar cravings. I know it seems backward but the less you eat doesn’t mean the more you will lose weight. Calories aren’t created equal. The nutrition density of food and how our bodies process them is what matters. If you reduce calories you will simply feel more hungry, slow your metabolism and signal the stress hormone cortisol (linked to increased inflammation and belly fat). I promise that your body will thank you if you start eating until your actually full (not how much you think you should eat). 10) Be careful with caffeine Caffeine is a stimulant and while some people can tolerate small amounts others cannot. For some (including myself) When I have caffeine I lean on to a more anxious state, I get a high followed by a crashing low. The crashing low is what makes us need sugar (or caffeine) to lift us back up again. If you find you’re sensitive to caffeine, avoid altogether or stick to one per day to keep blood sugar levels stable. 11) Exercise Exercise greatly improves insulin sensitivity. It helps to use the glucose in our bodies, reducing the need for excess insulin production. Exercise releases endorphins too that make it easier to make better food choices When we feel good, energetic and already started a good habit we are more likely to follow through on making better decisions. For tips on how to start exercising, watch this video here 12) Supplements There are definitely supplements that can help with reducing sugar cravings. Two of the best are Chromium – fat metabolism and stabilises blood sugar L-Glutamine – Assists with gut health and sugar cravings 5HTP – an amino acid that helps curb cravings The spice cinnamon is also very helpful for reducing sugar cravings. Sprinkle of oats, soups, and roasted veggies or stir into an unsweetened plant-based yogurt Take these supplement throughout your sugar detox (8-12) weeks until the need for sugar has been reduced. 13) Drink water – not juice Hydration is particularly important during detox stages as it helps promote the elimination of waste and naturally reduces cravings. Just one can of fizzy soda contains 6-8 teaspoons of sugar!! But juice isn’t a healthy option either. Juice has been shown to be a healthy addition to our diet but pure fruit juice reacts in the same way in our bodies than drinking a can of soda. If you want something other than water to drink to try a green juice (or even better a green smoothie, loaded with veggies, non-sweetened herbal and fruit teas and fruit infused water) How do I stop myself from eating sugar 14) Plan for emergencies It’s going to happen at some point. The craving is too unbearable or maybe you have got through the detox but still want to live a little and enjoy occasional dessert but you don’t want to fall down the sugar hole. Have healthy treats on hand. This can be things such as low sugar: Energy balls Dessert smoothies Chia pudding Banana oat cookies Healthy baked muffins Oatmeal bars Get a few recipes and try them out! Make it an enjoyable process! If you don’t do this, at some point you will want something and not have anything healthy available. This could backtrack your progress a lot. You can get lots of inspiration for healthy dessert recipes and snacks here. 15) Eat more fruit Contrary to what some others may suggest. I’ve found that eating whole fruit can help reduce sweet cravings. We can naturally satisfy our sweet tooth by eating “sweet” foods such as whole fruit and sweet vegetables (squash, carrots, sweet potatoes). If you eat fruit, try to eat it with protein and fat (or with/after meals) to keep you fuller and your blood sugar levels more stable. Do you have to be sugar-free forever? Personally, I believe in eating a low sugar diet most of the time. I probably eat more sugar than recommended because I eat plenty of fruits and have healthy desserts and dark chocolate a few times per week. I also eat out quite a bit on weekends so I can’t measure how much I consume then but I generally eat low sugar foods (I rarely order a dessert). This isn’t because I feel like I have to but when you eat a low sugar diet, in general, you tend to find sugary foods overly sweet. Being plant-based obviously helps a heap too. It naturally restricts what I eat when I go out. No animal containing desserts and treats for me! I also don’t believe in 100% compliance with anything. I genuinely prefer to have healthy low sugar foods because I crave them and love them and fried processed foods make me feel unwell now. However, it’s not always available to have healthy foods and I would rather go out and enjoy myself with good company and have added sugar on my foods than never go out at all. Conclusion If you find you have an uncontrollable need to eat sugar all the time then I suggest you try a low sugar diet and see how much it affects you. If you relapse and consume sugar then go without any sweet treats for 3 days. Add extra protein, fat, and veggies and let your body recalibrate. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. That’s very difficult to maintain and very unlikely to achieve. However, following a low sugar diet and taking a little reset every now again when your cravings get the better of you will greatly improve your health, skin, and mood. What’s the best tip you’ve tried that helped with sugar cravings? Leave them in the comments be sure to share this post with anyone you know who struggles with sugar! The post HOW TO BREAK FREE FROM SUGAR ADDICTION & QUIT SUGAR FOR GOOD appeared first on Holistically Lizzie. View the full article
  2. How to make healthy meals quickly when you don’t have time You’ve just come home after a long day of work, maybe the kids need seeing too, maybe the house could do with a clean. You have demands calling you from all directions. “Mum, where’s my Lego?” “Mum, I need help with my homework.” “Mum, what’s of dinner?” Ah yes, and then we have to cook a healthy meal for the family! I know how you feel. I am lucky that I work from home but I also have a toddler to take care of 24/7, a house to run, a family to feed all while being pregnant. It’s exhausting. Our health often come at the bottom of the many to do lists. So, from a personal perspective, how do I manage to always eat healthy? To always have 3 meals (and snacks) that are healthy, nourishing and work for my goals? Today, I will give you my best tips on how to make healthy meals quickly. #1 Plan You absolutely must start planning your meals. Here’s why. Less time. I know it takes a bit of time to plan the meals initially but honestly, it takes so much less time throughout the week nipping to the shops to buy something because there’s nothing in. Money It will save you so much money because you wont need to do multiple shops. Whoever goes to the shops and just picks up only what they need? You can make multiple meals from the same ingredients. This stops you from buying more ingredients for a new meal each night of the week. Decision fatigue Everyday we have decisions we need to make. The problem is that we can only make a certain amount of decisions based on willpower. e.g. I should eat something healthy for breakfast. By the end of the day we start to get decision fatigue and our willpower starts to slip. This is why we find it so hard to make healthy choices when we are third after a long day. It’s just so much easier to give in and have something we know isn’t healthy. Less annoying I get so fed up of having to think every day what we were all going to have to eat. When you plan ahead you know what you are having. What to do Plan what day you will go food shopping Plan what day you will write a food menu for the week BEFORE you go food shopping Pro Tip – I never leave meal planning and food shopping for the same day. There’s limited time to go food shopping so trying to come up with a healthy plan before takes time, which I don’t have. If I don’t have the weekly food plan ready and I buy on impulse I always have to return to the shops at least 2 times that week. For me, Thursday night I do the food menu planning while watching the TV after my little one has gone to sleep. I prefer to make it entertaining so I don’t mind doing it. I write out the following: 3 lunch ideas 3-4 dinner ideas 1 soup 1 salad dressing I then write out day by day what I will eat. (Note that this changes a lot because I may end up going out or there might be something leftover that needs using. But I have my foundations.) I also note if I will eat out that week, for example lunch out on Friday and Saturday. So I know I have 2 meals I don’t need to cater for. Weekends are the busiest time for me and when I don’t want to do any cooking so I always plan something and have it ready before the weekend. You can do the same with whatever days are your busiest. A typical day Breakfast Breakfast for me is either oats or a smoothie so I don’t need to plan that. Lunch Even though I work from home, I nearly always have a salad for lunch. (A ginormous salad that really fills me up) Dinner For dinner, I will have a main meal such as stir fry, curry, bean stew, etc. Snacks I like to make a savoury and sweet snack for the week as I’m starving while pregnant. (Pick one.) Savoury ideas: Soup Hummus and vegetable sticks Crackers and salsa Nut butter and celery Handful of nuts and seeds Sweet ideas: Energy balls Chocolate brownies Muffins Fruit Smoothie Pro tip – If you are not pregnant or breastfeeding or have no existing medical issues, I encourage you to stop snacking and stick to 3 meals per day for better digestion and efficient fat burning. Download this free printable to get you started #2 Keep it simple This may seem way too much to do already but bare with me! We usually rotate the same meals over and over again. Pick your favourites and stick to them. Finding one new meal to cook per week is great for your recipe repertoire and can give your taste buds a kick resulting in a home cooked meal over a takeaway. You don’t need to cook elaborate meals in order to be healthy. In fact, the simpler and quicker is the best option for me and many others. A simple plate of brown rice, warmed kidney beans, shredded lettuce, chopped tomato and diced avocado will do the job. Find meal ideas that you like and find healthier versions of them, (you can find loads of inspiration here on my pinterest boards, don’t forget to follow!) #3 Eat the same meals. This may seem boring but if you make something tasty you don’t mind eating it a few times. For my salad I usually have the same one (adding/swapping leftovers each day) and I eat that all week. For Dinner – I will cook enough for 2 meals worth and rotate them in the week. Sometimes that’s not possible, e.g. I wouldn’t want to cook 2 days worth of stir fry because it might go mushy. But I would chop the vegetables at the same time and have it ready for another night in the week. Pro tip – Choose 1 easy dinner as a back up. After planning, for example, 3 main meals (stir fry, curry, bean stew) I then make note of a super simple meal i can throw together. This could be a microwaved sweet potato, topped with black beans, frozen peas and tahini. This is something I know I can buy in but requires no cooking. #4 Cooking In order to be healthy, you have to be prepared to cook and there’s just no way of getting round this one. If your new to cooking, have a look on Pinterest for inspiration and try one new recipe per week. Keep meals simple with minimal ingredients. The more you cook the easier it will be able to put meals together quickly and easily. #5 Healthy convenient foods Keep a stocked fridge and freezer so that you always have something on hand to throw a quick meal together. Look for healthy convenience foods such as: Soups (add extra beans and some veggies for a filling meal) Frozen vegetables (add to soups, stews and curries) Frozen fruit (add to smoothies, oats and for baking) Hummus/salsa (for snacks, thin hummus with water and use as salad dressing) Healthy fillers such as oven baked falafels #6 Meal prep You knew this was coming. Again, there’s no way of getting round this one. Do you have to prep your entire weeks worth of meals and snacks and have them ready in containers in the fridge? NO. If you are new to food prepping, try doing 3 days at a time. For example, Saturday and Wednesday. Even 2 days at a go is better than nothing. The main point is to always, always, always, have a meal ready for a) your busiest time b) the current day If you don’t have anything healthy ready, guess what? Your probably not going to eat something healthy. My meal prep tips Breakfast – overnight oats are my thing. They are quick and easy and you can make them the night before. I put oats in milk overnight with either chia seeds or flax seed and sometimes some frozen berries. The next day I top it with fruit, nut butter and seeds or nuts. Lunch – buddha bowl. I nearly always have a big buddha bowl. They take 5 minutes to assemble and, are really tasty and keep me full for hours. I include the following: Veggies (as many as you like) At the beginning of the week I chop up a variety of vegetables (carrot, pepper, beetroot, onion) I chop lettuce daily as that needs to be done last minute. Carbohydrates (pick 1-2) Brown rice Quinoa Sweet potato Protein (pick 1-2) A tin or 2 of beans Pan fried tofu Tinned lentils Falafel Fat (pick 1-2) I simply add this last minute. Avocado Seeds Chopped nuts Tahini dressing Additions: Fruit – dried or fresh Spices – paprika, curry, cumin Fresh herbs – coriander, mint, dill Roasted veggies – cauliflower, pepper, broccoli, onions Each day I then assemble everything in a big bowl, top it with some dressing and I’m done. You can also have soup/crackers if you feel more hungry. Dinner – I don’t prep everything but I cook 2 meals at the beginning of the week for my dinners and 2 meals mid week. That way I can rotate these meals all the way through to the weekend. #7 Always add fruit and veggies How to take your healthy up a notch and get quicker results. Whenever you make something to eat, always eat it with a side of vegetables or salad. Choose green vegetables or non starchy vegetables as much as possible. A few days a week, finish your meal with fresh fruit instead of dessert. For example, Bean chilli and sweet potato wedges, served with sweetcorn and a side salad Lentil dahl and rice with steamed green beans Mushroom and beans on toast with a side of grilled tomatoes Don’t make it complicated, a simple side of sliced tomatoes will suffice. End the meal with fresh cut up fruits such as sliced melon, grapes, berries, mango, oranges Frozen fruit can also be used, just thaw out for 15 -20 minutes first for an icy treat. Still need inspiration? Try these quick and easy recipes to get started: Rice Cooker Mushroom Risotto by Sweet Simple Vegan Loaded Mexican sweet potato skins by Deliciously Ella Quick Easy Vegan Ramen by Choosing Chia Creamy red lentil dahl by A Virtual Vegan Some no-recipe suggestions: Baked potato wedges, salad and avocado Tray bake – Combine various vegetables (onions, broccoli, sweet potato) on a tray with spices of choice. Serve with chickpeas and a drizzle of tahini. Mixed salad with assorted vegetables (cucumber, tomato, shredded red cabbage) humous and baked sweet potato with balsamic vinegar. Humous and grated carrot on a wholemeal sandwich, side of salad and an apple. Soup – onion, garlic, leftover veggies, red lentils/tin of beans, veggie stock, and dried mixed herbs. Pour over quinoa. So there you have my best tips for eating quickly and healthy when you have absolutely no time. I know some of these tips requires work before hand but I promise you will save so much time, effort and energy in the week. Not to mention you will feel better, have increased energy and even lost a few pounds! If you liked these tips, let me know in the comments which tip you are going to try this week. What helps you prepare meals quickly? Share below The post HOW TO MAKE QUICK HEALTHY MEALS WHEN YOU DON’T HAVE THE TIME appeared first on Holistically Lizzie. View the full article
  3. WHAT I ATE IN A DAY 20 WEEKS PREGNANT (HEALTHY & VEGAN) I get asked SO many times what do I eat everyday. Although I am breastfeeding (yes still!) and I’m pregnant, I do not think it is an excuse to throw in the towel and start eating rubbish. I had a bad start with my eating habits in my first trimester as I had terrible nausea. Bit of a fancy way to say I ate crap All.the.time. Since the nausea passed I was able to return to my normal eating habits, although slightly modified for my pregnancy. Note that I make the best choices when possible. I do however, give myself platy of leeway, especially on the weekends. I prefer to eat healthily all the time but thats not always possible (especially where I live) Sometimes I want some treats and I don’t deprive myself. I plan my meals every week to save time, money AND to avoid the question “what are we having for dinner tonight” This week I took a lot of recipes from Dr Fuhrman Eat to Live Cookbook which you can get here Here is day 1 in my what I eat in a day while 20 weeks pregnant Sunday BREAKFAST: Smoothie: 1 small banana, frozen spinach, frozen courgette, vegan chocolate protein, frozen cherries (1/2 cup), 1 TBL almond butter, 2 TBL ground Flax seed, almond milk LUNCH: LARGE salad – lettuce, quinoa, chickpeas & mango & chopped veggies (carrot, cucumber, spring onion) 1/2 diced avocado Ceaser dressing from the Eat to Live Cookbook Grapefruit 1 banana & 1 heaping TBL almond butter SNACK 1 Apple Carrot sticks DINNER Ate out at a Vietname restaurant Coconut, tofu & root vegetable curry (This is a very similar recipe) Stir fried spinach Steamed brown rice DESSERT 4 fresh figs Small packet of dark chocolate covered rice crackers NOTES FOR THE DAY: I dont normally go out to eat in the week but I was exhausted from being up for a week with a sick toddler and to be honest, I couldn’t be bothered to cook or to wash the dishes! Dark chocolate covered rice cakes are my weakness! I don’t buy them regularly as I will eat them all. But when I do, I get portioned out packets and enjoy each bite! I am having more treat foods since my pregnancy but I try to not go overboard. My nutrition is still extremely important to me! The more I eat healthy foods, the less I want unhealthy foods. I promise the same will happen to you if you do the same. Do you find this useful? Id love to share more what I eat in a day posts with you. Let me know in the comments if you’d like to see more of these The post WHAT I ATE IN A DAY 20 WEEKS PREGNANT (VEGAN) appeared first on Holistically Lizzie. View the full article
  4. 10 Powerful Reasons Why Women Should Start Yoga Today As a yoga teacher, I can’t recommend yoga enough. There are so many benefits that yoga can offer. From a personal point of view, yoga has helped me through anxiety, chronic back pain, childbirth and getting my pre-baby body back. No wonder I love it. And if you’re after Madonna’s arms, yoga can help with that too! What yoga can do for your body? Yoga has SO many benefits including the ones listed below. What’s special about yoga though is that it works the mind AND the body. Specifically, yoga can still the mind, something I think many of us have problems with these days. via GIPHY How many days a week should you do yoga? Yoga can be fast, slow, strong or relaxing. So you can do a cardio yoga one day, a strength-based another and a slow relaxing one on the weekends. The more you practice yoga the more benefits you will see in your everyday life. Aiming for 3 times a week is a great start! Can you lose weight by doing yoga? Absolutely, in fact, I did a post all about it here Is yoga a good workout? Hell yeah! And anyone who tells you different ain’t doing it right. While some forms of yoga can be relaxing and a great way to improve flexibility and reduce stretch (yin yoga). The styles (vinyasa and ashtanga included) are great for muscle tone and burning calories. How long should a yoga session be? A yoga session can be as little or as long as you want. What’s more important is consistency. It’s better to do 5 minutes every day than 1 hour per week. Can everyone do yoga? Yes, yoga is suitable for all ages and through all life stages (pregnancy, kids, energy, pain, illness, elderly). There really is a yoga class for everyone. What are the main benefits of yoga? Here are the 10 benefits of yoga and why women should do it every day. #1 Yoga increases strength, physical endurance & flexibility all in one workout! Not many workouts can offer that. When we are more flexible, we can activate our muscles better and get a better range of motion in our joints (In simple terms, a flexible body makes our workouts more effective! Yay for less workout time and more sleep said every single mum. #2 Decreases anxiety, stress, and depression. #3 Increases happiness, positivity, improves mental wellbeing #4 Alleviates pain in the body in a safe and gentle way. Neck pain? Theres a video for that. #5 Great for spine care and protects the back from injury #6 Lubricates joints and protects body from injury. Helping you stay supple and strong for the later years of life #7 Corrects bad posture Essential for everyone, but especially us mums. Goodbye back pain from breastfeeding, carrying kids around and doing #althethings #8 Reduces the appearance of cellulite! By helping with lymphatic drainage (getting the waste out your body) improving circulation and boosting immunity in the process POW! SUGGESTED: HOW TO GET RID OF CELLULITE FOR GOOD #9 Stabilises blood sugar by lowering cortisol (the stress hormone) Keeping your hungry moments at bay #10 Helps you lose weight, especially the mum tum. All thanks to the hormone insulin, which is drastically lowered helping you to lose those last few pounds and de-bloat (now theres a nice perk Who wants bonus tips?! #11 Having a baby? Yoga can help with that too. Yoga is fab as it helps stretch out those aches and pains whilst keeping your body strong and stable. Hip openers prepare you for the birth too .. if you know what I mean #12 Yoga fights wrinkles! Yes, it’s true. Ever heard of face yoga? Its a form of yoga that helps the face stay youthful & glowing. Sign me up! #13 Helps tone bingo wings. Yes, we are lifting and carrying kids but toned arms are hard to get! Enter yoga. Yoga over any other exercise has given me defined arms and increased my upper body strength. Wow, 10 amazing reasons why you should be doing yoga. So start today! If you need help getting started, check these video ideas out. YOGA FOR WEIGHT LOSS:10 FREE VIDEOS FOR A TONED BODY 10 AMAZING YOGA YOUTUBE VIDEOS FOR BEGINNERS Tell me, what has been the biggest benefit that you have noticed from practising yoga? Let me know below. The post 10 POWERFUL REASONS WHY WOMEN SHOULD START YOGA TODAY appeared first on Holistically Lizzie. View the full article
  5. 10 Ways To Have A Clean And Organised Home (Even when you have no time!) It’s been shown that a clean and tidy home reduces stress, helps with weight loss, increases productivity and has a direct impact on our mental wellbeing. I confess, I used to be a messy person. Never dirty, but extremely messy. My stuff was everywhere, all- the- time. I never understood because I never liked having mess around me but I never found a ‘method’ that worked for me. Fast forward today and I am such a clean, tidy and organised person! I literally LOVE being organised. Yes I am that annoying person. But it has totally changed my life and I’m not exaggerating. When my home was messy, I felt more stressed, anxious and completely overwhelmed. Since following these 10 steps I have completely changed my habits and I feel more peaceful and calm. #1 Declutter & minimalise I promise, decluttering and minimising your home will improve all areas of your life (no I’m not exaggerating). At least every 6 months go through a selected space (E;G wardrobe) and declutter. Throw out or give away things that you have not used within the last 6 months to 1 year. Any longer than that and you are not going to use those items again. #toughlove Ideas of things to declutter: Clothes, shoes, accesories Kids clothing Kids toys Kitchen utensils and appliances The junk cupboard. We’ve all got one you know what I mean! #2 Organise your new space Only do this after minimising and decluttering your space. Hang up the items of clothes you love. Keep the trinkets on display that will make you happy each time you look at them. #3 Konmari it In her bestselling book, the life changing magic of tidying up. Marie konmarie teaches you how to bring joy in your life through decluttering and properly organising your things. This works so well that thousands of people now use her method and have completely changed their lives- all from tidying up! You can get her amazing book here. In the book she outlines the best way to fold clothes. When you fold clothes this way you will gain more space and you will be able to see everything you have making mornings quicker. My toddlers draw below. Rather than laying clothes flat, I can see everything that she has which is much easier for me and means that she’s not wearing the same clothes over and over #4 Find a space for everything The key to having a clean house is everything must have its own place. Do you find that there is particular area in your house that gets used as a dumping ground? Mine is the kitchen counter. Use storage solutions (see tip below) so that when your putting your things away, you know exactly where they need to go. #5 Clear worktops One of the biggest things that makes a house look instantly tidier is keeping the worktops clear of clutter. I used to have all sorts of papers, pens, hair bobbles and batteries lying around my kitchen counter. My solution? I bought a simple A4 sized tray that fits on my counter. Now everything is in one place and my worktops are clear. #6 Have collecting baskets Ever found yourself going up and down the stairs constantly to put things away?! If so, invest in baskets now! In my house we have a basket in a few areas of the house. I have one in the kitchen where I put in everything that needs to go away down stairs. Through the day instead of placing things on worktops or spending my life climbing the stairs I just use this “collector”. At the end of the day I put it all away in one go. I also have a basket at the bottom of my stairs for the things that need to go upstairs and one at the top of the stairs for things that need to come down. I use these cheap and minimal looking ones (all in white) from IKEA #7 Organise storage If there is one thing you must do for a clean and tidy home, get better storage! Before I moved into my house I used to shove my stuff away in wardrobes or in a big mess in a cupboard and I never knew were things were. When you have sufficient storage you will have a tidy home. If there is one place that is the queen for storage solutions its ikea. And ikea proves that you don’t need tons of space in order to have great storage. #8 Get easy to use cleaning equipment I dont know about you but I never WANT to hoover or mop. But i do it everyday and now I don’t mind it. Why? I have a hand held easy to use hoover that I nip around in the main areas of my home that gets used everyday (kitchen, living room, dining room, hallway, toy room and entrance). I do this daily, it takes 10 minutes. You may thing that a hoover wont make a difference but I promise it does and it will! You’ll find that you are more likely to hoover regularly than if you had to lug around a heavy hoover with cables everywhere. Sounds snobbish but it totally works! #9 Don’t let things build up One of the key things of keeping a clean and tidy home is to keep on top of things on a daily basis. I definitely used to be the type of person that left overhang for the weekend and my house looked like a mess and I felt like I was spending my entire weekend cleaning #livingthegoodlife Now, I tidy everyday. I put things back as I go. I put a load of washing on every day and I tidy my daughters toys away at the end of every day. #10 Have a good night routine I LOVE a good morning routine but having a good night routine can really help set there tone for your day. Imagine waking up and coming down to a clean, tidy home. Imagine how much calmer and less stressed you will be than waking up to dirty dishes and mess everwhere. Here are some ideas to include when the kids go too bed Clean dishes, dry dishes & put them away. The beauty lies in getting them out of sight for the following day. Put dishwasher on Wipe worktops and tables down Tidy bits of a mess that have accumulated in your living room, kitchen and main areas Put dirty clothes in a washing basket Hang up clean clothes. Do not put drape them over a cupboard! #Guilty Tidy kids toys away Want to take it a step further? Get clothes and kids clothes ready for the next day Pack lunches if needed Pack bags if needed Fluff cushions on sofa. I know this one is ridiculous but I love coming down the stairs in the morning and seeing everything looking nice! So there you have it, my best tips to ensure you have a clean, tidy and organised home all the time. Little daily tasks really add up, so start today! What are your best tips to keeping a clean and organised home, especially with little ones around? Leave your best advice in the comments The post 10 WAYS TO HAVE A CLEAN AND ORGANISED HOME (EVEN WHEN YOU HAVE NO TIME!) appeared first on Holistically Lizzie. View the full article
  6. Anti-inflammatory foods. The top 10 foods that fight inflammation Inflammation has been linked to being the root cause of all disease. Studies have shown that inflammation can cause various health issues including: High blood pressure Joint pain Anxiety Migraines Cancer Asthma Alzheimer’s disease There are many ways in how we end up with an inflammatory body, such as: Environmental toxins Stress Poor diet Benefits of an Anti-inflammatory Diet Adding in anti-inflammatory foods in your diet regularly can do wonders for your health and body. You can expect benefits such as: Weight loss Better digestion Less joint or body pain Clearer skin Improved mood What is the best natural anti-inflammatory diet? The best anti-inflammatory diet is one that is removed or low in: Processed and refined foods. Saturated and trans fats Refined sugars Simple carbohydrates Dairy Processed meat Eat an abundance of foods that include: Antioxidant-rich fruits & veggies, Healthy proteins Complex carbohydrates Omega 3 fats Herbs & spices which foods cause inflammation Sugar, artificial sweeteners such as high fructose corn syrup Gluten Vegetable and seed oils that are high in omega 6 Trans fats Processed soy Nightshade vegetables can be problematic for some individuals Caffeine Alcohol It’s important to note that by simply adding more anti-inflammatory foods to your diet will not cure a chronic inflammatory condition. For this, certain foods need to be removed and there must be significant diet and lifestyle changes. But its definitely possible! 10 Best Anti-inflammatory Foods #1 Green vegetables (kale, collards, spinach, cabbage) There’s a reason why green vegetables are top of the list. Green veggies- particularly leafy greens contain high amounts of anti-inflammatory flavonoids and are rich in antioxidants. #2 Pineapple Pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain which is proven to be a powerful anti-inflammatory. Pineapple eases digestive issues and even improves fertility! #3 Berries Blueberries in particular, are full of antioxidants and are high in vitamin C and K. They help reduce inflammation in brain cells and improve vision. #4 Turmeric Curcumin is the active ingredient found in turmeric. Turmeric is an impressive anti-inflammatory that improves joint pain and actively improves skin conditions. Use with black pepper to increase absorbency. #5 Ginger Known for its abilities to soothe digestive upsets, ginger is shown to reduce inflammation, relieve pain and boost circulation. #6 Nuts and seeds rich in omega 3 (flaxseed, chia seed, walnuts) Contain high amounts of omega 3, an essential fatty acid that greatly helps to lower inflammation in the body. Nuts and seeds improve digestion, lower cholesterol and make your hair skin and nails glowing and strong! SUGGESTED: 9 SIMPLE & EASY WAYS TO IMPROVE DIGESTION #7 Garlic A natural antibiotic boosts immunity lowers blood pressure and even wards off hair loss. #8 Avocado If you want dewy gorgeous skin start eating avocados! Right in omega 3s, fibre and chock full of nutrients. #9 Onions Boosts immunity and reduces inflammation. This humble veggie not only adds tons of flavour but contains antiseptic, antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. #10 Beetroot A blood cleanser that helps to detox the liver. Beetroot fights inflammation, prevents signs of ageing and boosts energy. Supplements Although food sources are preferred and should be included, having a good quality supplement can really take your health to the next level Turmeric (One with black pepper to triple the absorption such as this one) Greens Powder Topical Magnesium Vegan Collagen Best anti-inflammatory cookbook If you are looking for anti-inflammatory cookbooks that have plenty of great tasting, take a look at these top picks. I’m curious, have you ever gone on an anti-inflammatory diet? If so, how did you get on? Feel free to leave any tips or resources in the comments below. The post TOP 10 FOODS THAT HEAL THE BODY AND FIGHT INFLAMMATION appeared first on Holistically Lizzie. View the full article
  7. Today’s post is how to have a healthy pregnancy specifically in your second trimester. There’s also a video for this post which you can watch here: SUGGESTED: How to have healthy pregnancy: 1st trimester tips I’m sure many of you can relate to being relieved that the first trimester OVER! As you’re energy stats to increase and you can start making better food choices, the second trimester is the perfect time to take your health up a notch. 9 ESSENTIAL STEPS TO HAVING A HEALTHY PREGNANCY IN YOUR SECOND TRIMESTER GET OUT and WALK Get out and about as much as you can, go for walks and just get outside. Walking is great through your whole pregnancy But now is the perfect time as its when your likely to have the most energy and when you’re going to feel the most comfortable. It’s also a really good time to do all your baby shopping so get shopping! This is when pregnancy starts to get more exciting and its great preparing for your little one while you’re feeling your best. INCREASE EXERCISE Start to add exercise if you’ve not started already. As you’re feeling better and your strength and energy increase you can increase the intensity or amount of exercise you are already doing. For me, I felt terrible during the first trimester so doing exercise was just an absolute no-go and walking was my absolute limit. In my second trimester, I started to incorporate more exercise. Note that if you haven’t done any exercise before then i suggest speaking to your doctor just to get an all clear that it safe to do so. Try asking for some recommendations or speak to a certified personal trainer that specialises in prenatal exercise. Safe pregnancy workouts in second trimester What exercise can I do while pregnant? Theres lots of exercises that you are able to still do while pregnant. Focus more on lower body strength which will help you prepare you for the birth. Adding upper body strength will give you strong arms to hold your baby (you will need it ) An area often neglected is the core. This is still important to work on to help with the labour and helping your stomach get back to normal after. It will also help with back pain and help support your back during the labour and after your baby is born. Great exercises to include: Walking Yoga Swimming Low impact aerobics Modified strength training Places to find free workouts GOOGLE – “prenatal exercise” “pregnancy workout” PINTEREST- Absolute goldmine of resources. You can check out my entire board on safe pregnancy workouts here (link) YOUTUBE – Here is a post on free prenatal workout videos that you can try today (link) Pregnancy workout DVD DVDs – I tried these two and really liked them. They were quick and effective but not too tiring Also, this one and this one gets excellent reviews on amazon Other recommendations PERSONAL TRAINER – prenatal and postnatal certified PRENATAL EXERCISE CLASSES – a great way to meet other mums PRENATAL YOGA – excellent to focus on body and mind for your pregnancy and birth What NOT to do in the second trimester of pregnancy? Do not push yourself during any stage of pregnancy. When I talk about increasing exercise, the aim is to feel good during and after our workout. Make sure that you can maintain a conversation throughout your workout. Do not do more or set more challenging goals while pregnant. Focus on feeling fit and healthy! EAT IN ABUNDANCE What should I eat in second trimester? Eat a wide range of whole plant-based foods. Focus on eating nutrient-dense foods that supply you and your baby with nutrients. Have a balanced diet and don’t worry about gaining weight. When you have a healthy diet from mainly whole plant-based foods you can eat in abundance. Fill your plate with: Fruits -All Vegetables – All Wholegrains – brown rice, sweet potato, quinoa Increase protein – tofu, tempeh, plant based protein powders, beans, lentils, seeds, nuts Increase healthy fat – avocados, nuts, seeds, tahini, coconut, nut & seed butters What not to eat in second trimester? Avoid as much as possible processed, packaged and nutritionally ‘dead’ foods artificial colourings and flavourings If you are not plant based be sure to avoid the following foods Obviously there will be times, probably more than usual when we eat not so good for us foods and thats totally ok. Its life and you cant eat healthily100% of the time. Just use common sense and eat better foods when possible. EAT THE GOOD WITH THE BAD I hate labeling food as good or bad, but this really helped me throughout my pregnancy and helped me not blow out of control (because I do have quite a big sweet tooth!) Whenever you eat a ‘treat’ food always eat something healthy with it. For instance, you want chocolate. Eat some chocolate but have fruit with it is well. The fruit contains fiber and vitamins and will fill you up more lessening the chance of a full on chocolate binge! DON’T GIVE IN TO CRAVINGS ALL-THE-TIME This will definitely be easier if you already had a clean and healthy diet to start with. Your food preferences WILL change and quicker than what you think. When you eat more of the good stuff you’ll naturally stop craving so much of the bad. Think of a time when you got into a habit of eating one bad thing, then the next day you had that craving and so on and so on until it forms a HABIT. Good news is that you can add new healthy habits just as quickly. In pregnancy there are times when you just think, what’s the point. You feel tired and stretched and you think who cares! Who cares if i eat more cake, no one is going to notice! But thats not the point You are going to get cravings of some sort even if they don’t feel like actual pregnancy cravings (which are a lot more intense). But you know you can have a control over them to some degree. It’s not an excuse being pregnant to just go bananas. via GIPHY You are creating a baby inside you so always remember you want to nourish your baby, that’s the whole idea. Bottom line: Don’t give in all the time because sometimes cravings are not real pregnancy cravings, it’s just because you feel like it. It’s more of an excuse when your pregnant to give in and have whatever you want. Remember that you’re creating that healthy baby and let that be your driving force. ADD HEALTHY ALTERNATIVES This one is so easy to do! When you’re having cravings, think about what you’re craving and just have a healthy alternative. So if you’re craving a bag of fries, or craving chocolate cake, theres tons of recipes, just make a healthy alternative and that way at least your satisfying your cravings and you’re not doing as much damage. Suggested post VEGAN Healthy alternatives to junk food SNACK, SNACK and SNACK SOME MORE Throughout my pregnancy I found that it was really beneficial to snack more often & I encourage you to do the same. Being pregnant takes a huge toll on your body and your energy levels. You will be feeling more hungry, there is no doubt about it. Personally I just couldn’t feel full, no matter what I did. So snack often. Healthy snack ideas Fruit Nuts, seeds Trail mix Energy balls Toast and avocado Humous and carrots Chia pudding Falafel Wrap Coconut or almond yoghurt Smaller portion of main meal Low sugar cereal bars Healthy snacks on the go Have snacks already prepared so you’re not likely to just buy on impulse or just grab something while you’re out because you’re starving. Low sugar cereal bars Vegan protein bars Fruit Trail mix Suggested: Pregnancy Wellness Course: The complete guide to health, fitness & nutrition for a healthy mum and baby TAKE THE PRESSURE OFF With all that said, its so important to enjoy your food and enjoy what you’re eating. You are pregnant. This is a time when it’s so hard on your body, its going through such a massive change. Mentally you’re going through a massive change so just enjoy yourself. It’s not the time to be thinking of how fat you think you look or if you can’t get your body back after the baby. You’re pregnant and creating a life. That’s so much more important! As long you’re being reasonable and sensible and you’re eating as healthy as you possibly can, then you’ve accomplished that goal. EMBRACE YOUR BODY Last but not least, learn to love your body more. There’s far too much pressure on women to get their bodies back after they had a baby. I felt most confident that I ever did when I was pregnant, especially my second trimester because it was the first time when Id really seen my body change. When you feel your baby growing inside of you and kicking, all those exciting things just think your body is an absolute miracle and it’s so amazing to go through this journey. Pregnancy is an incredible journey so love yourself and appreciate your body for what it’s able to do. Go out for a walk, eat healthy, because you CAN and because it’s good for you and good for your baby. Embrace the fact that you’re pregnant and that you’re doing such a brilliant job and how amazing it is to create a life inside of you. SUGGESTED: How to have healthy pregnancy: Third trimester tips If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out my youtube channel and subscribe so you get notified of all my future videos. The post HOW TO HAVE A HEALTHY PREGNANCY IN THE SECOND TRIMESTER appeared first on Holistically Lizzie. View the full article
  8. THE BEST SIMPLE & HEALTHY KID FRIENDLY VEGAN DINNERS Helping kids to eat dinner can be a real #momstruggle. Helping them to eat healthy plant-based foods can be a total nightmare. Sometimes we need new inspiration and some tried and tested recipes to help us along. I am always trying to think of new meals to feed my toddler but it often gets neglected and we end up eating the same things on repeat. I wanted to compile a list of recipes that were healthy and kid-friendly but that were quick and easy to make and required minimal ingredients. Not to mention husband approved too. Luckily, I’ve got #27 plant-based dinners that will feed the whole family while keeping everybody happy and healthy. BUTTERNUT SQUASH MAC N’ CHEEZE EASY VEGGIE VEGAN PIZZA WITH 20 MINUTE CRUST THE BEST VEGAN BURGER VEGAN SLOPPY JOES THE EASIEST VEGAN LASAGNE BETTER THAN CHIPOTLE VEGAN BURRITOS VEGAN FRIED RICE VEGAN MUSHROOM PIE 1 HOUR VEGAN SHEPHERDS PIE VEGAN CHICKPEA MEATBALLS SWEET AND SOUR TOFU COCONUT RED LENTIL DAHL VEGAN BAKED BEANS LOADED VEGAN NACHOS 30 MINUTE VEGAN ALFREDO 15 MINUTE PEANUT NOODLES PERFECT OVEN BAKED FRIES VEGAN CREAMY TOMATO PASTA VEGAN QUESADILLAS EASY CARROT DOGS VEGAN MASHED POTATOES AND MUSHROOM GRAVY How amazing do these recipes look mamas! Which one do you think you will try? If you have any other recipes that go down well with your kiddos I’d love to know. Help a mum out The post THE BEST SIMPLE & HEALTHY KID FRIENDLY VEGAN DINNERS appeared first on Holistically Lizzie. View the full article
  9. YOGA FOR WEIGHT LOSS: 10 FREE VIDEOS FOR A TONED BODY It seems everyone these days have heard about the benefits that yoga has to offer. Yoga has grown in hugely in popularity. In fact, one in 3 americans have tried yoga at least once and there are thought too be over 300 million practicing yoga across the globe! However, there still seems to be some debate on whether you can lose wight by doing yoga. One that I can personally confirm as true! Yoga has helped me tone and tighten my body in ways other types of exercises never have and I’ve tried A LOT! CAN YOU LOSE WEIGHT BY DOING YOGA? Yes absolutely! There are so many of styles of yoga to practice ranging from slow and relaxing to sweaty and athletic. And although some yoga styles may not be as vigorous as others, yoga has other advantages over hard hitting exercises. Increase insulin sensitivity – the more effective way for the body to use insulin lower cortisol – the stress hormone that holds on to fat greater range of motion in joints – leading to better muscle activation increased mindfulness – more likely to make better choices throughout day CAN YOGA HELP YOU LOSE BELLY FAT? Yoga can definitely help with belly fat and theres science to prove it! Yoga lowers cortisol levels (the fat storage hormone linked directly to belly fat), increases metabolism and balances hormones for a healthy happy tum. Many yoga postures use lots of core muscle strength for stability. Coupled with all the planks used in chaturanga and you’ll have those abs poking through in no time. However, keep in mind that no matter how much yoga you do, your diet is the main key to losing belly fat is through your diet choices. SUGGESTED: HOW TO LOSE WEIGHT ON A VEGAN DIET You might also notice that you don’t get that ravenous hunger feeling after yoga that you might get after something such as running. DOES YOGA TONE YOUR BODY? When practicing a more vigorous or strength based yoga style, your muscles are gonna be burnin’! It doesn’t need to be a fast-paced class either. Holding poses for a greater length of time allows your muscles to grow. Muscle is less dense than fat so you will actually slim down as you tighten and tone more. Aim to practice 4-5 times per week for best results. 10 FREE YOGA VIDEOS FOR WEIGHT LOSS AND A TONED BODY Yoga for weight loss – 40-minute fat burning yoga workout Morning yoga for weight loss -20 minute workout fat burning yoga meltdown, beginner & intermediate 30 minute power yoga for tight abs and a firm butt Tara stiles: Yoga weight loss & balance workout Yoga for weight loss: Yoga with Tim WHAT IS THE BEST YOGA FOR WEIGHT LOSS? Keep reading until the end! Easy yoga workout: Fat loss & flexibility Yoga weight loss challenge! 20 minute fat burning yoga workout beginners & intermediate Beginners power Vinyasa yoga class full length weight loss hatha twists 37 minute yoga for weight loss with fight master yoga IN CONCLUSION WHAT IS THE BEST YOGA FOR WEIGHT LOSS? Including an aerobic type of yoga is important for weight loss as any aerobic activity helps to burn calories. Therefore vinyasa, ashtanga and power yoga are all great styles to try. For muscle building and toning, the above styles plus any strong style of yoga that uses a strength focus, such as haha yoga is equally important in achieving a lean and toned body. Rest, flexibility and muscle recovery will help to stabilise hormones, help you perform better in your yoga classes and help with mindfulness greatly assist in weight loss too. In conclusion, practising a wide variety of yoga styles either daily or 3-4 times per week. Coupled with a healthy diet will give you amazing results and very quickly. Have you tried yoga before? If so, did it help you to lose weight? Share your tips for the readers below. The post YOGA FOR WEIGHT LOSS: 10 FREE VIDEOS FOR A TONED BODY appeared first on Holistically Lizzie. View the full article
  10. Surprising differences between a vegan and plant-based diet you need to know What is a vegan diet? Vegans eat plant foods and do not eat anything that comes from an animal or contains animal by-products. The focus is to create no harm to any living being. A vegan doesn’t wear materials such as leather, wool & silk. Hair, skincare, and cosmetics are cruelty-free and not tested on animals. A person may decide to go vegan for various reasons including ethical (animal welfare), health reasons, or environment benefits. What foods can you eat on a vegan diet? CARBOHYDRATE: Wholegrains Bread Pasta Fruits Vegetables PROTEIN: Beans Legumes Soy Products Meat substitutes DAIRY: Dairy free yoghurt Dairy free cheese Dairy free ice cream Dairy free desserts Nutritional Yeast FAT: Nuts Seeds Avocado Oils OTHER: Vegan junk & processed foods Vegan superfoods Sweeteners such as sugar, agave nectar, maple syrup & coconut sugar Vegan doesn’t mean healthy! Vegans can also eat ANYTHING that doesn’t contain animal derivatives such as vegan donuts, french fries, and vegan cheese. Although mock meats, processed foods, and oreos (yep, they’re vegan!) can be a great transition food they do not boast health properties. This article by PETA shows the Top 20 accidental vegan foods What foods can you NOT eat on a vegan diet? meat poultry Fish including shellfish dairy (butter, cream, milk) eggs animal by products such as honey, beeswax, gelatine & rennet Can you eat honey if you are a vegan? No, honey is an animal by product and has ethical and environmental implications. You can read all about honey here. Can you eat bread on a vegan diet? Bread such as brioche is made with butter and eggs and are not suitable for vegans. Commercial supermarket bread can also contain whey (milk) and eggs although many are not which is why it’s so important to read labels. Freshly baked bread usually contain the ingredients they are supposed to such as flour, salt, yeast and water are vegan-friendly. How do you get protein on a vegan diet? Protein is found in nearly every plant food and should never be a cause of concern. Who do you know that has suffered a protein deficiency?…..I’m still waiting. For high protein plant foods see this post here link other post. What is a plant based diet? Plant-based or whole food plant based (WFPB for short) is a diet that consists of whole plant foods. Unlike a vegan diet, people who choose to go plant-based usually do it for health reasons and so avoid any processed plant foods. What can you eat on a plant-based diet? wholegrains beans & lentils fruits vegetables nuts, seeds, avocado, cold pressed oils superfoods natural sweeteners such a raw honey, maple syrup & coconut sugar What can you NOT eat on a plant-based diet? Depending on how strict a person decides to be but plant-based foodies usually avoid or limit the following. Refined sugar any processed foods additives & preservatives gluten Is honey plant based? Yes, although a good quality raw honey is normally used. Commercial honey that you find in supermarkets is processed and usually doesn’t even contain much if any honey! Is peanut butter plant based? Yes, but aim to pick a brand that doesn’t contain sugars, oils, and additives such as this amazing one YUM! What are the benefits? TOO many to list here. SUGGESTED POST: 10 life changing benefits of going vegan that will blow your mind What is the difference between vegetarian and vegan? Vegetarians avoid all animal flesh such as meat and fish but still eat eggs and dairy. Do you lose weight on a vegan diet? Since going vegan myself (along with SO many others) I have absolutely lost weight…and easily! I no longer count calories or limit my portions and I am leaner than ever. Note that I follow a whole foods, no oil, vegan diet. You can learn more about how I can help you to lose weight here. SUGGESTED POST: – How to lose weight on a vegan diet: 10 powerful tips I hope that clears things up a bit, being vegan or plant based can feel quite confusing in the beginning but once you get the hang of things I promise theres no going back! Are you plant based or are you vegan and why did you chose to do it? Let me know in the comments below! The post SURPRISING DIFFERENCES BETWEEN A VEGAN AND PLANT BASED DIET YOU NEED TO KNOW appeared first on Holistically Lizzie. View the full article
  11. Everything you need to do in your first trimester (plus free checklist!) Finding that you’re pregnant can be one of the most exciting and life-transforming moments in your life. However, there are so many things to do that it can suddenly feel quite overwhelming. My first baby was born in a foreign country, away from my family and friends and I felt as though I had no idea what I should be doing. But I’m here to say don’t worry! It’s not as difficult as you think it might be. Just follow this list and don’t forget to print it out so you can tick off everything you have done. Let’s get straight on to the tips! 1) TAKE A PREGNANCY TEST & CONFIRM! I know captain obvious, but just because you feel like you might be pregnant, our lovely female bodies can do crazy things so please make sure that you take a test to find out for sure. I take these ones and 100% recommend them as they give you the earliest reading. 2) BOOK AN APPOINTMENT WITH YOUR DOCTOR Schedule in to see your doctor so that you can arrange the right healthcare and prenatal route that will work best for you. Depending on when you go to see your health care provider, they may do a scan where you get the first glimpse of your baby and hear their heartbeat. This is usually between 8-12 weeks. Your doctor should tell you what screening tests you will be having and when you will need to have them. It can be a bit overwhelming in the beginning so make sure to write anything down. They may also provide healthy eating advice and general lifestyle advice. You will also want to make a list of questions to ask your doctor on your first prenatal visit. 3) CHECK YOUR INSURANCE See what you are covered and not covered for. This also applies to any medical interventions that may happen. You may not plan for a c section but does your insurance cover it if you need it? 4) TAKE PRENATAL VITAMINS I take food based vitamins because they absorb so much better and are more natural than synthetic vitamins. They also don’t leave a taste when you start to get morning sickness and nausea. These ones are AMAZING and have excellent reviews for being gentle on the tummy. If you are short on money these ones provide all the right vitamins and minerals but are not food based. 5) THINK ABOUT YOUR BIRTHING OPTIONS You have booked in with your doctor already and maybe even had some initial tests done but you can always decide to have a different birthing route. Do you want a midwife-led birth or do you want a doula for you? In a bath? At home? Squatting? Listening to music? It’s never to early to start revising your options. 6) TELL YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS Such an exciting moment to share with your loved ones. Some people wait until after the first trimester when miscarriage rates are higher to tell but others do it straight away, it is entirely up to you and your partner. There are so many options to make it fun for everyone and to create a lasting memory. Here are 72 unique pregnancy announcements worthy of your news 7) GET A BELLY BAND These nifty bands give you extra room in your trousers and jeans for when you’re not quite ready for maternity clothes. You can also get bra extenders like these amazing ones here. 8) INVEST IN MATERNITY CLOTHES You can’t just get bigger sized normal clothes. They are unflattering and downright uncomfortable. You will go through a period where you feel a bit meh and stylish maternity clothes can boost your self-esteem. Suggested: view where to find stylish and affordable maternity clothes post here. (POST) 9) EXERCISE Contrary to belief exercise helps promote a healthy body and baby and is an essential component in pregnancy. Many ladies get scared (and I know exactly how you feel) but exercise isn’t going to give you a miscarriage. But don’t overdo it, your body will instinctively know what is too much. If in doubt walking and yoga are both brilliant option. 10) TAKE A PRENATAL CLASS Yoga is not only great for helping to ease any stress and anxiety that you may have but it also prepares your body for the birth. Being supple and flexible can greatly assist in the delivery of your baby. Plus you’ll get to meet some other mums who are going through the same things as you. 11) JOURNAL Pregnancy is such a precious time in a woman’s life. Even with all the ups and downs, make sure you keep a journal of all the little things that happened, scans, first kicks, etc. It makes a wonderful memory after. I highly recommend getting an actual pregnancy journal. The first time around I tried to use a nice notebook but found that I didn’t really use it and it ended up getting filled with food shopping lists. This time, I really want to record my pregnancy and there is no better way than doing so than in one of these GORGEOUS journals. 12) REST & EAT If you have no idea what to eat to grow a gorgeous healthy baby (and look and feel amazing yourself), then you can read these previous posts on healthy plant-based diets. How to have a healthy pregnancy: 1st trimester tips The ultimate guide of how to go vegan for beginners Easy no oil hummus (high protein) 15 healthy plant based proteins and delicious ways to use them And if you would like extra help, contact me here for private and group coaching. AND don’t forget to print out your free checklist here I hope you liked these tips and equally enjoyed the free printable checklist. How amazing are those colours! Do you have any tips to offer? Id love to hear them so please leave them in the comments below. The post EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO DO IN YOUR FIRST TRIMESTER (PLUS FREE CHECKLIST!) appeared first on Holistically Lizzie. View the full article
  12. 10 Life changing benefits of going vegan that will blow your mind Admittedly when I first heard of veganism I thought it was some sort of weird & extreme cult. The stereotypical images of tie-dyed, long-haired hippies are now paving the way for lifestyle bloggers, social media inspirations and even celebrities like Alicia Silverstone, Johnny Depp (hubba hubba), Serena Williams & Andre 3000 Heyyy Yaa But maybe you are wondering… Are vegans healthier? From the list of benefits below, you will clearly see that vegans have a more health-promoting diet than meat eaters. In fact, statistics show that mortality rates are substantially lower in vegans than meat eaters due to a diet higher in fiber & antioxidants and lower in saturated fats If you still need convincing, get this AMAZING book #preparetobeamazed Who is a vegan diet good for? A vegan diet is great for anyone! There are numerous wonderful books & studies that show how going vegan can reverse heart disease, reverse diabetes, prevent obesity and even stop cancer Not only is it safe to be vegan but you will THRIVE! Vegan diet benefits & disadvantages There are absolutely NO disadvantages to this diet. If you want to Look & feel amazing then this is the diet for you! Okay being realistic the 2 things I found to be annoying are Eating out. Note that I can always find something even in a nonvegan friendly country. But it would be nice to have more choice! Other peoples concerns/reactions. I haven’t personally experienced anything negative and if I did #whocares #1 VEGAN SKIN BENEFITS Due to the high amount of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in a vegan diet, expect your skin to transform! Animal proteins kill for a gorgeous glow and promote an aging face Get ready for GLOWING SKIN ACNE & ACNE SCARS DISAPPEARING FEWER WRINKLES PLUMPER & SMOOTHER SKIN #2 HAIR & NAIL GROWTH I tried to grow my hair for my entire life up to my mid-twenties and no matter what I did it ALWAYS stayed the same length *sigh* Since going vegan my hair DOES NOT stop growing. It’s actually too long. I know #girlproblems And even though my toddler pulls it out all day long, it still stays strong, Amazeballs With so much goodness in your body expect strong and flexible nails too! Here is a pic that shows my current hair length #3 IMPROVED HEALTH When I went vegan it was more for health benefits and judging from the list below you can see why A vegan diet: LOWERS BLOOD PRESSURE LOWERS CHOLESTEROL GIVES 40% REDUCED RISK OF DEVELOPING CERTAIN CANCERS STOPS OBESITY Reduces the risk of: CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE STROKE TYPE 2 DIABETES DEMENTIA Not only that but it’s estimated that vegans live 6-10 years more than non-vegans! WOWZERS For more health reasons to go vegan read this post #4 WEIGHT LOSS ON A VEGAN DIET Celebs are growing the trend of veganism because it’s an easy way to lose weight and get in shape Vegan diets are: NATURALLY LOW IN CALORIES LOW IN FAT HIGH IN FIBER RICH IN WHOLEGRAINS, LEGUMES, FRUITS & VEGGIES CONTAINS NO TOXIC HORMONES One of the issues, when first starting to go vegan, is the volume of food you need to consume. Whole plant-based foods are naturally low in calories and saturated fat so you need to eat a ton to have adequate calories. A vegan diet is the most sustainable solution to losing weight. No calorie counting, no restriction & no deprivation! A vegan diet is much higher in fiber than a standard meat-eating diet that constipation will be a thing of the past! *Hello flat belly* Also, because of the quality of the foods eaten vegans are naturally leaner. Thus making it easier to stay in shape and stay leaner – without exercise hallelujah You can learn more by reading this life-changing book here #5 ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS Not only is going vegan incredible for your health & waistline but its the best option for the plant too! Livestock uses a whopping 45% of the worlds entire land By giving up meat & dairy you: REDUCE WATER CONSUMPTION BY 3700 GALLONS PER PERSON PER DAY 1 POUND OF MEAT PRODUCES AS MUCH WATER AS SHOWERING FOR 6 WHOLE MONTHS! 55% REDUCTION IN CARBON FOOTPRINT Did you know that: MORE & MORE SPECIES ARE BECOMING EXTINCT DUE TO A MEAT EATING DIET THE GRAIN USED FOR FEEDING LIVESTOCK COULD CURE WORLD HUNGER # 6 FEEL HAPPIER Going vegan changes your mood very quickly. When I first went vegan I noticed an impact immediately Eating more carbohydrates (something we are scared of in the west) provides a boost of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that elevates mood and alleviates depression. Vegans often feel more connected with themselves, nature and the planet. Veganism is a platform for self-growth Because weight loss is easy on a vegan diet you can also expect to have a better relationship with food and your body. As vegan foods are the ones we are designed to eat, it is much easier to listen to hunger and fullness cues more #7 BETTER IMMUNITY I used to catch everything going and get sick easily but since going vegan my immune system is amazing and I very rarely get sick! Going vegan makes you more conscious about your health in general. Because you are eating such nutritious foods you tend to avoid an unhealthy lifestyle overall #8 IMPROVED ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE Eating carbs and fuelling your body correctly will give you ENERGY to exercise Worried about losing muscle on a vegan diet? Don’t! Check out these incredible vegan athletes who have all reported better physiques & quicker recovery times since starting a vegan diet. #9 PREVENT ANIMAL CRUELTY All animals are sentient beings. They have thought and feelings just like we do. By becoming vegan you can save animals & prevent cruelty Being mistreated is a total understatement for what is actually going on. And yes this applies EVERYWHERE in the world! THE ANIMALS RAISED WE RAISE FOR EATING ARE DISTRESSED & DISEASED AND LIVE IN THE MOST HORRIFIC CONDITIONS ANIMALS FEEL PAIN AND GET SCARED MANY ANIMALS DIE OF FEAR & SHOCK JUST ON THE WAY TO THE SLAUGHTERHOUSE 150 BILLION ANIMALS ARE SLAUGHTERED EACH YEAR FOR FOOD SUGGESTED: TOP 15 DOCUMENTARIES THAT WILL MAKE YOU GO VEGAN #10 HELP LOVED ONES Going vegan will get you a lot of reactions but one of the most positive benefits I have noticed is that I have inspired those around me to adopt a more plant-based diet. When you go vegan you will inspire others & improve their lives What supplements should I take as a vegan? When choosing supplements ALWAYS buy from a reputable brand that is high quality. Never use a generic supplement. They don’t work and are full of fillers. Get the ones that work and really feel the results. All vegans need to take a vitamin B12 supplement. B12 is a bacteria and not derived from animals. Animals ingest this bacteria, so those on a meat-eating diet will consume B12 – although many are still deficient. I always suggest taking a good quality multivitamin such as this one regardless of what type of diet you are on. You do not need to take any special isolated vitamins and minerals (unless you have a disorder that requires you to do so) A well rounded whole foods plant-based diet will cover all the vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats & carbohydrates you need! Probiotics are essential for keeping a bloat free & flat belly. These one are THE BEST For omega fats, 1-2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed will give you adequate amounts So what are you waiting for! What benefits have you noticed since becoming vegan? leave your answers for others in the comments below The post 10 LIFE CHANGING BENEFITS OF GOING VEGAN THAT WILL BLOW YOUR MIND appeared first on Holistically Lizzie. View the full article
  13. If you’re looking to lose weight in a healthy, sustainable and delicious way then switching to a vegan or plant based diet can literally melt the pounds away. A vegan diet is naturally much lower in fat and calories gram per gram compared to a traditional high meat diet. Thats why we get to eat so much HOORAY! However, being ‘vegan’ or ‘plant based’ isn’t magic and there are plenty of mistakes I see people make over and over again. They eat such a healthy diet but can’t seem to lose those last stubborn pounds. By following the below recommendations and tips, you can be sure to lose weight effectively, even if you are already slim and looking to define your shape. #1 EAT WHOLE & UNPROCESSED As much as it pains me to use the term ‘clean eating’ it is applicable in this case. Many people when first going vegan (myself included) get very excited about all the vegan compliment foods that there are See this post for 44 Accidentally Vegan Snack Foods Its amazing and its definitely good when you are transitioning but these foods are full of chemicals, hidden salts, sugars and artificial weirdnessness which have a detrimental effect on your weight and your health. So although these foods can have a place in your diet the bulk of your meals and snacks should come from whole plant based foods. Want my top resources for everything healthy and vegan? Sign up below for free #2 SAY NO TO OIL This may come as a surprise for you. Oil has been tooted to be the new health food, especially with low carb diets on the rise. Although some oils have certain health benefits, if you have stubborn weight that just wont budge and you want to feel more energised, I highly recommend cutting out all oils from your diet. Worried about missing out on vital nutrients? Don’t! Fat, in its whole food form (avocado, nuts, seeds) have health given properties and are an essential part of our diet for both health and weight reasons. Oil on the other hand is a processed food. All the valuable vitamins, minerals and fibre and have been stripped away from the whole food source to leave a pure fat. Stuck with how to cook? See this post by fatfreevegan which explains substitutes and techniques for fat free cooking #3 EAT MORE FOOD, I MEAN IT! Eating too little is one of the main reasons why people cant lose weight and tend to gain weight just looking at food We have been told repeatedly that to lose weight we must decrease calories and exercise more. This is simply NOT the case. What we need to understand is that FOOD IS INFORMATION Lets compare broccoli and french fries. 500 calories of broccoli would not absorb and digest the same as 500 calories of french fries, common sense right? Certain foods boost hormone activity in the body by: Firing up metabolism, Balancing satiety and hunger signals Keeping our energy stable. This helps us feel energised, stay slim and make you glow from the inside out! It cannot happen with foods that are nutritionally dead. ACTION Ditch the calorie mindset, its the quality of food that makes the most difference not the quantity. #4 LOAD UP ON CARBOHYDRATES via GIPHY Now I bet you cant believe I’ve just said those words in the same sentence can you?! Googling how to lose weight, you will see that there are billions of searches. No wonder is so confusing! one of the most popular ways to lose weight now is eating a low carb high protein and high fat diet. However, this can be detrimental to your health and your weight for many reasons Lets start with some basic facts: The tip of our tongue has a taste for sweet Our teeth are designed to chew carbohydrate rich foods (we do not have teeth to rip apart an animal and chew raw meat) The entire digestive system secretes enzymes that help process and digest carbohydrates. Our colon is 20 feet in length (not like a lion that has a colon length of 5 feet this is so the lion can tolerate high levels of protein to eliminate it as quickly as possible The FIRST and MOST PREFERRED use of energy comes from carbohydrate – NOT FAT and NOT PROTEIN Our nearest primates eat carbohydrates ALL DAY Breast milk is naturally very low in fat and protein and is the most nutritionally dense food we can have as humans! Do i even need to go on? Lets look from a hunger perspective: when we fill our plates with carbohydrates in the form of fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains and starches we feel full. If we deprive ourselves and eat a meal high in animal protein then we may feel satisfied but we usually need to eat more because our bodies haven’t been satisfied from carbohydrates. This usually leads to us needing coffee and 3pm biscuits to give us a false boost of energy. ACTION Eat a variety of whole plant foods. Focus on a high carbohydrate and low fat diet (trust me it works!) Get the complete resource guide for the best healthy plant based recipes, nutrition lectures and favourite bloggers for free here #5 GET A THYROID TEST SO many women have thyroid problems. This happens for many reasons, including the high levels of xenoestrogens and other hormone disrupted that we are now exposed to. The thyroid primarily effects weight and metabolism. So if you have: Weight gain or difficulty loosing weight Fatigue Intolerance to cold Dry hair and skin Brain fog And your eating a healthy whole food plant based diet and a low stress lifestyle. Then consider getting a thyroid test done In the book The hormone cure, Dr sara gottifred (a hormone expert from Harvard) gives fantastic natural treatments in how to help low thyroid function. You can get the book here. BEST THINGS TO DO: Eat a plant based diet Cook vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and beets as they are easier on the thyroid than raw vegetables Practice yoga Use stress reduction techniques such as mindfulness and meditation WORST THINGS TO DO: Eat a diet high in meat and animal products using too much plastic, BPA free products and harsh home cleaners Living in a stressful and anxious environment Have poor sleeping habits # 6 DONT OVER DO THE WEEKENDS Now I’m not trying to be a party pooper here but eating a healthy diet really means changing your entire lifestyle. Lose the mindset of being good all week so you deserve a treat. YOU ARE NOT A DOG Engulfing yourself in a healthy lifestyle does take time but it does happen the more you do it. The more you eat natural, unprocessed whole foods the more you will keep choosing them again and again. We can’t be 100% perfect all the time, I mean thats impossible. But moderation can hang as a loose term for some. What you consider moderation may be the stumbling block that you are facing with reaching your ideal weight. ACTION REALLY try to limit the treat foods as much as possible until you reach your desired weight and FOCUS on all the foods that are nourishing for your body. Don’t try to completely avoid all unhealthy foods as that can create unhealthy patterns. And for goodness sake, DO NOT cave in and start on monday! # 7 DETOX FROM THE INSIDE OUT So we know that what we put in to our bodies is so important but an area that often gets neglected is what is coming out of our bodies. Constipation can sound harmful enough but did you know that when we don’t go the loo, we actually recirculate waste and that waste goes back in to our cells. The cells that build up the rest of our bodies! so people can literally be full of !*&% A clean body also works more efficiently. Think about cleaning a really dirty blocked sink. The water will flow easier, it will come out cleaner and it will work more effectively. By eliminating properly and cleaning our insides we can help all the waste leave our system. Contributing to a more healthy lean body, clearer mind and glowing skin ACTION Book yourself in for a colonic hydrotherapy treatment If thats not available to you, try an at home enema system. Its not as thorough but it will definitely help Magnesium oxygen supplements can be useful to take at night to help move things through the colon #8 USE CALORIE DENSITY Studies suggest that most people eat the same weight of food every day. So to eat the same volume of food and be able to lose weight, we must eat calorie dilute whole foods. Aim to eat as much food as we want from the GO section whilst considerably limiting the amount of the STOP foods The more you eat this way, the quicker you will reach your goal weight. To maximise weight loss, you can also eat your meals in order of calorie density, for example: Starter – Salad, vegetables or fruit Main – 1/2 plate of vegetables Dessert – Finish with Fruit #9 EAT SIMPLY Eating more simply can also help shift those last few pounds. Firstly, when we eat more simply we are helping our digestive system by not over burdening it with different varieties of food. Carbohydrates, fats and proteins digest at different rates, so if put everything in at once we are overtaxing our digestion. The key to a perfect digestion (and healthy metabolism) means eating simple foods but eating more of them. Also, its easier to have simple cooked meals you can put together easily. So if you don’t have much time or there isn’t much food in the house you are not tempted by takeaways. Lastly, eating more simply gets monotonous. Because food is less enjoyable we tend to eat less over all ACTION Although trying new recipes is a great way to stay on track (and beats boredom), try eating more simple meals throughout the week and see if it affects your weight. #10 ADD MORE MOVEMENT If you’re not yet exercising then now is the time to start. Some of us may feel that because we are eating a good diet already that we do not need to do any form of movement. But this could be the change you need to drop those last few pounds. Notice the word movement. Movement, a very different word from exercise, should be built in to every day life and there is absolutely no exception to the rule. Daily movement is what adds up the most and has the most calorie burning effect (than a burst of exercise at the gym). Movement is natural for us, it stimulates our digestion, helps with blood flow and keeps our joints lubricated (as well as the thousand other benefits) Walking is a fantastic form of movement and is so underrated. ACTION Aim to walk 10,000 steps + per day. Start with 2 times 20 minute walks per day and increase from there. So there you have it, 10 powerful tips to boost weight loss on a vegan diet! I’d love to know what is your favourite tip! Are there any you are going to try. As always, let me know in the comments below. The post HOW TO LOSE WEIGHT ON A VEGAN DIET: 10 POWERFUL TIPS appeared first on Holistically Lizzie. View the full article
  14. Veganism is growing more and more popular and for great reason. Whether you are doing it of health reasons, environmental or as an ethical point of view, going vegan literally changes your life. Interested to know my story? You can read it here BUT, going vegan can seem like an extreme shift with your current eating habits. Maybe you have decided that it is something you are truly interested in but you have absolutely no idea where to start and all you think about is.… WHAT THE HELL DO I EAT?! Since I have been vegan for a number of years, Ive compiled my top tips to get you in the right mindset to ensure you succeed. #1 RESEARCH Knowledge is power. You mustn’t underestimate how powerful this step is! Being armed with the right knowledge will help clarify your WHY. It will keep you motivated when temptation is lurking and it will help with those around you who are suddenly now concerned about you’re new diet. The BEST way to do this is to emerge yourself in as many resources as possible. OPT IN #2 ELIMINATE There is not a one size fits all approach to this unfortunately. Maybe you are someone who can easily make the change over night and do a full 360. However, for the majority, taking a gradual approach is far easier and will avoid relapse. TIP – You don’t need to tell anyone what you are doing. Some people will not understand and may be upset that you are making better changes for yourself. Not sure where to do first? You can start the gradual approach in this order: Remove all obvious meat sources Remove all obvious fish sources Remove obvious dairy sources Remove hidden dairy sources Remove animal by products such as honey Clothes, fabrics and skin/hair care can be swapped in whatever way is easiest for you TIP – Don’t forget to clear away anything that isn’t vegan friendly from your fridge, freezer and cupboards. What isn’t available, won’t get eaten! #3 CHANGE YOUR MINDSET Being vegan can sound scary at first but trust me its SO MUCH BETTER! Firstly, think about all the foods that you CAN have rather than the ones you can’t. There are SO many foods beside meat and cheese! Add new foods to your diet rather than taking away, eventually you will have so many good nutritious foods on your plate that you will crowd out the nasties. As everything in life, The more you learn and practice veganism, the easier its gets For whatever craving you have I promise there is a vegan alternative. Haggis, bacon and creme eggs included! SUGGESTED: 15 HEALTHY PLANT PROTEINS AND HOW TO USE THEM # 4 READ INGREDIENTS When going vegan, you will be shocked when you start reading ingredient labels. Personally, I find milk and its by-products to be the sneakiest culprit. PETA do a wonderful comprehensive list of all animal derived foods which you can find here. However, to narrow down on the everyday staples, avoid the following: milk, whey, casein, lactose honey, beeswax, pollen gelatin, confectioners glaze lard keratin, musk, pearl, glycerol vitamin D, cod liver oil # 5 USE TRANSITIONAL FOODS You will be AMAZED by how many awesome vegan products are out there. See this post on 44 accidental vegan snacks Although some of these may still be processed and unhealthy (including fake meat products), in the beginning they provide a great substitute. Here are some everyday items that are more healthy and easy to replace DAIRY ALTERNATIVES MILK Always opt for unsweetened varieties, preferably organic and do not contain added oils. Nut Varieties such as Almond, Hazelnut, walnut, brazil… you get my point soy – I find this tastes the best in a cuppa Oat, Rice, Hemp, Flax & Coconut are also great CHEESE There are many recipes out there for non – cheese – cheese via GIPHY Many cheese recipes are made from nuts, soy or any other concoction vegans can be creative with. Suggested: Vegan cheese post If cheese is your thang I recommend the books This Cheese is Nuts Chloes Vegan Italian kitchen Alternatively you can buy vegan cheese substitutes (because lets face it were all busy mamas here!) Brands such as Daiya, Violife and most supermarkets now stock its own range! YOGHURT Again tons of varieties such as soy, nut and my personal favourite coconut ICE CREAM Soy (so delicious) soy dream, rice dream almond dream & booja booja (THE BEST ONE EVER & SO HEALTHY!) Even more amazing, did you know theres something called nice’ cream? Its basically a healthy ice cream using bananas that takes less than 5 minutes #mumpoints Suggested: NICE CREAM RECIPE ROUNDUP POST If you’re vegetarian and still believe dairy is still ok, watch this video #6 BE PREPARED This is absolutely key! PREPARATION IS KING QUEEN! When you know what you are going to eat and you have those foods readily available you are much more likely to stay on track. Organise what you are going to have in advance. You don’t need a full weeks worth of meals prepared, but having a few days worth and some quick meal ideas will dramatically increase the chance of success. STAY ORGANISED Make sure you’re stocked up on items you know you can eat.Theres nothing worse than being hungry and trying to resist cravings MEAL PREP Not knowing what to eat AND not having any food in are both a recipe for disaster. Make meal planning simple and enjoyable. You don’t need to over complicate things. Overwhelmed by food choices? Stick to simple meals and allow yourself time to adjust to new recipes and meal planning. #7 INCLUDE ETHNIC FOODS Such as Thai, Mexican, Indian, Ethiopian & Chinese. Most ethnic foods have tons more variety and lets face it…taste way better than standard western cuisine! Plus many vegetarian options don’t contain dairy so they are already vegan. Food pic #8 ENJOY EATING OUT Yes you can still eat out on a vegan diet! Vegans are well catered for these days. Tips for eating out successfully: Choose ethnic restaurants first over standard British/American outlets. If you really think there might not be anything on the menu, don’t be afraid to call beforehand and REQUEST A VEGAN DISH. Chefs cater to allergies and dietary requirements on a daily basis. Choose a variety of sides and starters and make your own meal. This is sometimes better than the vegan option! Research and choose a place before you go so that you know you are catered for Use the happy cow app for vegan friendly places in your location. This has helped me out on numerous occasions. #9 DO A VEGAN CHALLENGE OR TAKE A PLEDGE Im sure some of you have heard of Veganuary, aiming to help people go vegan through the month of January. The following websites also offer challenges you can take for free. This can provide much needed motivation when starting out The Vegan Society PETA GO VEGAN #10 GET SUPPORT If you need support, real life or virtually, then get it. Its so easy these days with that little thing called the internet. Being part of a community can really help when you have questions or you need some encouragement. There are some people in the vegan community that get a bit high strung on exactly what vegan diet is right (high carb low fat, no fat, high fat, raw, starch based etc etc) But there are PLENTY of people out there that are very supportive. Be part of this friendly and inviting community right here on the blog *WINKS* Facebook groups to join Vegan UK McDougall friends Vegans United Veganuary Holistically Lizzie #11 Go VEGAN, SAVE MONEY Theres a misconception that being vegan and eating healthily costs more money. In fact its quite the opposite, my food bill has dropped so much by being vegan. I cant imagine what it would cost to eat animal produce! Youtube video cheap lazy vegan #12 TAKE THE RIGHT SUPPLEMENTS You certainly don’t need meat to get adequate amounts of calcium, healthy fats, iron and protein. More so, you will THRIVE on this diet However all vegans need a b12 supplement. I also recommend people to take a good quality multi vitamin and a probiotic. #13 REPLACE BEAUTY PRODUCTS Eventually there will come a time when you will want to change your existing make up, skin & hair care products for a cruelty free option, Although, this part of veganism isn’t my strongest suit, ill link some experts below BEAUTY/HAIR/SKINCARE The ultimate guide to cruelty free & vegan make up brands 2017 by Cruelty Free Kitty. This post complies a huge list of popular make up brands and lists those that are vegan. Her website is chock full of information on vegan & cruelty free products so I highly recommend taking a look. Ive recently found this blog and its super cute! Honesty for skin has a wealth of information on science backed skin care. She shares lots of fantastic tips, articles & resources. Vicki from Ethical Elephant has a great easy to read blog that answers questions on all things beauty, hair & skin so you know how to shop cruelty free. FASHION Elisa runs the popular blog style on vega. She has a cruelty free, ethical fashion and lifestyle blog. She has a great post on vegan fashion for beginners which is a great read Finally … # 14 DO NOT PREACH! If you have decided to go vegan then a huge congratulations to you because honestly, you will never look back. However, this is your journey and no-one likes the ex smoker who is critical of anyone else who smokes! LEAD BY EXAMPLE You will inevitably want to tell everyone how amazing you feel, how much weight you’ve lost, how all of your health problems have subsided and how much more connected you feel. But this is not how we learn people! we learn by modelling others behaviours of those we admire. Once upon a time you were not vegan but you are here now, let others find their path too! Of course if you know someone is interested then by all means give them the information and direct them here too for some inspiration. Link to resources opt in Insert quotes, pics, links and videos The post THE ULTIMATE GUIDE ON HOW TO GO VEGAN FOR BEGINNERS appeared first on Holistically Lizzie. View the full article
  15. Apple cider vinegar (a.k.a ACV) the amazing, miracle, health tonic. I have been drinking ACV for the past 2 years and noticed some great results (WEIGHT LOSS, BETTER DIGESTION, CLEARER SKIN) but I had no idea how beneficial it is and how many ways there are to use it, until I began this blog post. It really is magic in a bottle. But this isn’t some new trend. The benefits of apple cider vinegar goes way back in history. Even hippocrates was a great believer in its health properties. A google search can bring up 100’s of remedies and uses for this powerful liquid. Here are some top picks including how to use each one. #1 REGULATES BLOOD SUGAR Studies have shown that ACV lowers fasting and after meal and glucose levels alongside an increase in insulin sensitivity (in those with type 2 diabetes). HOW TO Drink 2 tablespoons in a glass of water before meals #2 ASSISTS WITH WEIGHT LOSS Ascetic acid, a component found in ACV has been shown to suppress appetite, boost metabolism and curb cravings. Those who consume it regularly have greater fat loss as a result of an over all calorie reduction HOW TO Take 1 Tablespoon in water before meals to increase satiety. #3 CLEARS BLEMISHES ACV removes dirt, kills bacteria, balances skins PH and improves the appearance of acne scars HOW TO Dilute 1 cup water with 1 tablespoon of ACV and wipe face with cotton ball Read here for more tips! #4 SOOTHES SUNBURN Works by neutralising burns while helping to soothe inflamed skin HOW TO Add 1/4 cup to cool bath and soak. For extra nourishment follow with a generous slather of coconut oil #5 MAKES HAIR SHINY via GIPHY Not only does ACV stimulate hair growth, but it removes product build up making hair more soft and shiny. HOW TO Rinse hair with 2 parts water and 1 part ACV. Pour over hair and massage making sure to rinse after….don’t worry the smell will go! #6 FIGHTS COLDS AND FLU By relieving sinus and congestion issues. ACV also boosts the immune system HOW TO GET THE RECIPE HERE #7 LOWERS CHOLESTEROL Studies show a reduction in the build up of plaque in arteries. Also, helps to combat oxidative stress while balancing the good and bad cholesterol in the body HOW TO Take 2 tsp in a glass of water x3 times daily #8 FIGHTS ACID REFLUX It is common to think that acid reflux is a result from too much acid, however the reverse is true. Too little or ‘weak’ stomach acid is one of the main reasons acid reflux appears. ACV combats this by adding more acidity which prevents a back flow of acid in the digestive system. HOW TO Add 1-2 tBL in a glass of water before meals. Take 1 spoonful when an attack strikes for immediate relief SUGGESTED READ: 9 SIMPLE AND EASY WAYS TO IMPROVE DIGESTION #9 BOOSTS DIGESTIVE HEALTH Balances PH levels in body and contains natural digestive enzymes that assist the digestive system to break down and absorption food properly. HOW TO Take 1 tablespoon in a glass of lemon water X3 daily #10 RELIEVES CONSTIPATION ACV contains pectin, a fiber that helps to bulk up stools. Due to its high levels of magnesium, it has a natural laxative effect and gently assists with sufficient elimination. HOW TO Take 2 tsp in water first thing in the morning and last thing before bed #11 WARDS OFF ALLERGIES Allergies stem from multiple reasons. However, ACV is unique in that it boosts lymphatic system, circulatory system and digestive system. All of which are needed for a healthy immunity that can mitigate allergic symptoms. ACV also helps reduce mucus production HOW TO Take 2tsp in water x3 daily You can also use in a neti pot (link) to clear nasal passage. Dilute ACV with water before using #12 ECO FRIENDLY ALL- PURPOSE HOUSEHOLD CLEANER Create a toxin free home with a natural multi purpose solution. ACV contains antimicrobial and antibacterial properties which fight harmful bacteria. HOW TO Mix equal parts water & vinegar. Optional to add lemon juice or essential oils (link to oils) #13 NATURAL TEETH WHITENER via GIPHY ACV can even help to freshen breath and naturally whiten teeth. HOW TO Rub on teeth after cleaning rinsing mouth after with water. Because ACV can be hard on enamel, aim to do sparingly. #14 DETOXES ENTIRE BODY Acts as a powerful detoxifier flushing out toxins from the body. Assists in cleansing the kidneys and liver. ACV also lowers PH in the body making it more alkaline HOW TO #15 REDUCES INFLAMMATION Contains high levels of vitamin c (LINK) which helps boost immunity and fight stress. A rich source of probiotics (LINK), ACV contributes to a healthy micro biome which studies observe a great correlation with inflammatory conditions. HOW TO Add juice of 1/2 lemon, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 2 tsp ACV and 1 tsp honey to a glass of water. Drink multiple times throughout day #16 EFFECTIVELY CLEANSES LIVER For efficient fat burning we need to look to the liver! ACV balances acidity and has a detoxifying effect on the liver, helping to flush out nasty toxins HOW TO Enhance liver detoxification with this DETOX ELIXIR Get FREE recipes, articles & tips! Signup now and receive an email once I publish new content. I will never give away, trade or sell your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time. #17 SAFE FRUITS AND VEGETABLES CLEANER ACV boasts a cheap, reliable wash for fresh produce fruits & vegetables. HOW TO Mix 4 Tablespoon of ACV to 1 gallon of water. Use when needed #18 COMBATS UNPLEASENT SMELLS & ODOURS Acts as a natural deodifyer while freshening air and eliminating odours HOW TO Mix equal parts of water and ACV to a spray bottle and spritz around room #19 ALL NATURAL PET CLEANER & FLEA REPELLENT Freshens coats, clears ear infections and can even used as a safe flea and tick repellant HOW TO See THIS post on ACV uses for pets #20 SOOTHES SORE THROAT Because of its acidic environment, ACV helps to kill germs, clears phlegm and mucus and is an al round great immunity booster! HOW TO Use as a gargle mixed with salt. Add 1 tsp each of water and honey and dilute in warm lemon water and drink For more tips click here #20 LOWERS BLOOD PRESSURE Acetic acid in ACV has been shown to lower blood pressure and assist in keeping the heart healthy. HOW TO Take 1 Tablespoon 3x per day in a glass of water #21 CURES CANDIDA (YEAST OVERGROWTH) Candida imbalances cause a whole host of problems including sugar cravings, fatigue & thrush. Luckily ACV contains enzymes that kills of yeast while encouraging healthy bacteria. HOW TO 1 tsp – 1 TBL before each meal, preferably on empty stomach Get FREE recipes, articles & tips! Signup now and receive an email once I publish new content. I will never give away, trade or sell your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time. #22 IMPROVES/BOOSTS CIRCULATION Helps varicose veins, fatigue and muscle cramps by stimulating circulation. HOW TO Dilute with water and rub in a circular motion on places that need a boost. Optional (but recommended) to add a pinch of cayenne pepper (LINK) #23 ELIMINATES DANDRUFF ACV helps by reliving itchy scalp and balancing PH levels essential for assisting with dandruff removal. HOW TO Mix equal parts of ACV and water to a spray bottle. Spray liberally on scalp. Wrap hair in towel and leave for 30 minutes before rinsing. #24 1 SECOND DEODORANT By balancing PH in body, ACV can be used as a cost effective deodorant. HOW TO Simply pat on the armpits for an all natural deodoriser. #25 ALLEVIATES MORNING SICKNESS via GIPHY For those of us who have been there (EMOJI) I’m sure you’re willing to try anything! HOW TO Add 1 tsp in a glass of water mixed with a bit of sweetener for taste #26 DIMINISH APPEARANCE CELLULITE Helps to reduce the appearance of cellulite by increasing circulation and breaking down fat cells. HOW TO Rub in circular motions after (LINK)dry body brushing for maximum effects. OR Orally ingest 2 Tablespoons with a glass of water, 3 times daily #27 CURES RAZOR BURNS AND CALMS REDNESS ACV is antibacterial, antimicrobial and anti fungal! Use this post shave to soothes post shave redness and spots. ACV is also a HOW TO Dilute with water and dab on with a cotton ball. #28 REMOVES CRADLE CAP Even though its natural, sometimes that stuff can linger forever! Heres an easy and SAFE alternative HOW TO Dilute with water and rub on babies head where the cradle cap is #29 HELPS WITH PMS & ALLEVIATE MENSTRUAL CRAMPS Relieves bloating, irritability and due to its high calcium content, it is particularly good for cramping HOW TO Add 1tsp of ACV to a glass of room temperature water and drink 3 times daily #30 HEALTHY COOKING BENEFITS ACV has many cooking benefits and can be used in multiple ways! HOW TO SALAD DRESSINGS (in place of balsamic vinegar) ON COOKED GRAINS (with tamari (link) and spices (link) MIX WITH BAKING POWDER (to help cakes rise better) WHAT BRAND SHOULD I BUY? The key to obtaining these amazing benefits is to make sure you get the right kind of apple cider vinegar Pick one that is RAW, UNFILTERED and has “THE MOTHER”…. Yes you read that right! “THE MOTHER” is the cloudy bit that is at the bottom. The bottle will also be labelled so there shouldn’t be any confusion. TIP! Make sure you shake the bottle before using to disperse the mother! WHAT MAKES IT SO GOOD? Apple cider vinegar contains VITAMINS MINERALS ORGANIC ACIDS AMINO ACIDS LIVE ENZYMES PROBIOTICS So, quite literally its a liquid multivitamin that keeps us healthy, energetic and glowing! Have I missed one out? Leave me your best suggestion in the comments below! The post 30 proven health benefits of apple cider vinegar (& how to use it) appeared first on Holistically Lizzie. View the full article