Gut Health

Think you have a bad gut? We talk about ways to improve your gut health and why good gut health is important!

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Our gut health is really important to us as without a good gut we cannot fight disease and digest food properly. And it helps us live longer lives. For everyone, it can help reduce IBS symptoms.

According to Salt of the Earth this is where 70% of the immune system lies. This is where we make hormones, make nutrients, detoxify enzymes and neutralize pathogens. If our body can’t do these then it’s not working properly.

Good gut health helps us to lose weight more efficiently and effectively. We feel lighter on the inside and outside with good food that we supply to the gut.

So what is the gut microbiome?

The Gut Microbiome is our second brain. The gut helps us to power our body and bacteria plays a vital role in maintaining our body. It helps us to digest our food and to excrete waste. It also helps to absorb nutrients and it can be found in our digestive system. A bad gut microbiome is equal to more stress and anxiety.

Eat this not that says that you need good bacteria to get rid of the nasty stuff. And we don’t actually lose our gut- you just need to make more good bacteria which is in the next section.

What symptoms can I experience with bad gut health?

These are just some of them and remember if you experience any of them you should see a doctor as they can help you to improve your gut health.

  • Bloating in the abdomen
  • Gas and wind
  • Severe pain especially in the chest
  • Constipation and diarrhea
  • Blood in stool
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Stomach ache
  • Vomiting
  • Haematemesis
  • Halitosis
  • Hiccups
  • Bad taste
  • Belching and burping lots

What foods are friendly for the gut and what is not so friendly for the gut!

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Not so friendly on the gut

  • Too much stress
  • Lack of sleep
  • Too much alcohol
  • Too much-processed foods such as going out all the time
  • Too much meat and not enough vegetables.
  • Too much added sugar

What is good for the gut

  • Kefir
  • Probiotics such as kimchi
  • Lots of vegetables and fruit- we should be getting about 30-40g of fiber each day.
  • Pickles
  • Miso
  • Sauerkraut
  • Probiotic yogurt
  • Kimchi
  • Kombucha
  • Tempeh
  • Sourdough bread according to Health 

If you have a lot of gut problems you should see your doctor. This article is just a guideline of how you can improve your gut health.


Gambling and how much Australia spent on it

Gambling is a serious problem in Australia and it affects our mental health.

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Photo by Negative Space on Pexels.com

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, $24 billion is lost each year on gambling.  Dopamine hit is what the gamblers feel when they gamble all the time. We are the world’s biggest gamblers in Australia as reported by the Sydney Morning Herald in 2015.

But why do we gamble so much?

Gambling is a huge addiction. When we gamble we are happy and when we hear the bells sounding a win we are happier. Dopamine is that pleasure sensor which equates to happiness. People gamble to ignore problems at home or sometimes at work. Or they gamble because they’re lonely.

Normally though it is those without money such as those on welfare that gamble because they want more money.

What are the consequences of gambling too much?

  • You can lose your house
  • You may lose your Centrelink benefits- your welfare is not meant to be spent on gambling
  • You can lose your family and friends
  • You lose too much money. In 2016-2017 alone Australians lost about $208 according to this savings report.

How should we identify someone with a gambling problem?

Ways in which to do this:

  • If they are being argumentative all the time
  • If they ask for money and they lie about why they need huge amounts to family and friends
  • If their bank account is overdrawn by millions
  • If they are sad all the time

What the Government should do?

The government should limit the pokies to the casinos and also limit the number of bets that a person can place at each casino.

There should be tighter laws and regulations with gambling and they should not allow any place to have pokies. In Western Australia, the only place to have pokies is in a casino.

In Melbourne, there are lots of pokie places everywhere and one Crown Casino.

What should we do

People should walk away from a gambling place if they are addicted to gambling and are trying to stop. If you live near a gambling place you could think about moving house.

Get another hobby or a part-time job as these will take up your time.

Those on low incomes should think about other ways to earn money so that they can get off Centrelink. For example, health coaching or community work is a great way to meet people.

For those that need help, there is Gamblers helpline where all information is confidential and it’s free to call them. There may be some gamblers support groups in Australia that can help you deal with your problem.


Should females take supplements

The answer is yes, mainly but it depends on the person. This year Melbourne Marathon has more female runners running the marathon than any other year. So we look at this question during the peak period: should females take supplements?

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We got that answer from Womensrunning.uk.

There are so many supplements on the market and for some, it might mean taking drugs. But its perfectly legal to take supplements to help you with your running journey. It depends on the distance that you are training for! If you are training for a half or a full marathon then I say go for it. But if you are going for a shorter distance you don’t really need to.

Women’srunning says that runners should use supplements wisely and with food. Runners should do their research before buying the latest supplements. Everyone is different and what may work for one person may not work for others.

We need our iron and magnesium but other than that we mainly get it from food. Potassium might be a hard one, but we get that one from food.

Females need about 18g-25g of iron. We lose iron through sweat, blood and the foot strike movement. We can get iron through our food, but for vegetarians and vegans, this might not be enough for us. Healthpremiere says that our iron deficiency can be quite low therefore a supplement is beneficial. Verywellhealth supports this claim in saying that we don’t meet them and iron is essential for athletic performance.

Runningshoesguru mentions creatine, but we actually don’t need that if we’re maintaining the average pace. But they do mention whey which is a critical part of building muscle after a race or hard workout. We get enough amino acids from food.

We lose potassium through sweat and sometimes menstrual blood. Potassium is a mineral needed to get rid of the cramping that we feel. We need about 4700mg of it.

Magnesium is a must as it helps your muscles and body to relax after tough workouts.

Calcium is another for vegans that don’t eat dairy. But for the rest of us, it’s fine as we get enough dairy through food.

Caffeine and our coffee fix is one that is mentioned by many running blogs and the like. We need that for our energy fix. But we don’t need those fat-burning things as they do no for us in the long run. With those fat-burning things, all you do is borrow energy and then you’d have to pay that back.

For others don’t overload on supplements unless you are doing a marathon. And we don’t need creatine and pre-workout drinks. They do more harm to us than good.


Waste not want not July

We explain what Waste not Want not July is!

This month we went on a Waste not want not month where we used everything that is recycled. This month was also Plastic-free month which was promoted by the HBC blogger group in London and it can be brought to Australia.

 

Waste not want not month aims to reduce household waste and expenditure by looking at ways in which we can reuse things. Waste not Want not is about reusing things which we already have.

For example, we can save on plastic cups by bringing our own and its the same with bottles. The landfill has so many plastic bottles in there that it’s not funny.

We can also save on plastic bags by bringing our own to the supermarket. A reuseable bag at Woolies and Coles is about 15c.

Now Coles is once again doing its Little Shoppers event where parents can collect little miniature shopping items when they spend $30 or more which angers us as Coles has not learned from the last little shop.

Any food which we do not eat and is unopened can go to a local charity to be used. And there was plenty that was donated. And we also ate some recycled food at the local charity and reconnected with those less fortunate. The less fortunate have nothing to live on whilst the big chains are grabbing our money for food. There were a couple of less fortunate people on the doorstep of Woollies wanting food and they are familiar faces to me.

It’s the same for clothes.

At the Bunnings pop up we learned to make a rope macrame (or plant hanging as you might call it). This was so much fun.

We watched “World’s Strictest Parents” where the troubled teens were sent to a new country to live with strictest parents for a week and see how they lived. These teens helped those people that are less fortunate. And then in return, they learned something that can be taken back home.

We recycled an old dress and wore it again to something rather than shelling out nearly $200- $600 for something which would be only worn once. We didn’t buy anything brand new that month.

Instead of paying for meals outside we used our vouchers for that. And we used some Buy one get one free voucher.

So Waste not want not July has been a really good month. We have learned lots and had lots of fun doing it. I’d really recommend doing this if you want to save on the costs of living and the environment


Should diet products be regulated in Australia?

And the answer is yes. Diet products should be regulated in Australia.

Need to lose weight quickly with just that diet pill or shake? Then think about this issue carefully.

We see these weight loss programs everywhere. They are on billboards, TV, everywhere. And people sell them on the street sucking people into money. I was in Herbalife and trying to sell it. It was tricky. You had to go to all these meetings and things and it was draining. Not only that it was hard to convince people as to what is in the products.

For such a time I was in the weight watchers program and whilst it was awesome and I made a few friends the points were hard to calculate

And that program did encourage little exercise each day and not the 150 mins of vigorous activity. I then found out through my health profession.

What is in these so-called diet pills and shakes?

We really have no idea what’s in them. I know that Maltodextrin is sugar and so is dextrose but other than that there is no clue, except for whey and protein. Some of them have green tea extract! And some even have caffeine in them. We would only review the ones that are safe and that are used properly with exercise and a good diet.

These health and diet products can be dangerous for us all if not taken the right way. The ABC warns that a man in Western Australia who lost his liver after taking supplements. In Hawaii, a woman dies after taking diet pills.

Thus Fitness Australia bans anyone recommending supplements to clients. Instead, if clients ask about supplements we would tell them to do their own research and consult their doctor about it.

Some of the snack foods that these diet companies like Optimum Nutrition and others have are perfectly harmless. In fact, they are fun to eat after a workout. But some of the amino acid drinks must be used with caution.

Food and exercise is the best way to lose weight as well as patience. And 1200 calorie meal plans don’t work in most instances. No one diet is the same, everyone is unique. Everyone has their own way of eating and doing things.

So the diet industry should be regulated to say that if you do enough exercise or are an extreme marathoner you can take supplements to help with your diet. But supplements don’t replace your diet like they say that they do. They just merely complement your diet.

Endurance athletes will always need supplements and thus is why I recommend the Precision Nutrition course!

 


Why wearing high heels is bad for your health

People such as flight attendants, some office workers, fashion models, sex workers, etc wear heels as part of their job. But did you know that high heels are bad for you if you wear it all the time?

There is a lot of write up on this issue online.

woman wearing brown and black leopard print platform ankle strap stilettos

Photo by Snapwire on Pexels.com

They may look great but they cause ultimate discomfort depending on how high the heel is. The higher the heel the more discomfort.

For such a time when I was doing food blogging, I used to wear heels all the time. I had to go to classy places where heels and nice shoes were a must. I was lucky I did not get any of those knee problems and other foot problems as I only worked four days a week and it was a short stint. When I changed jobs and started working as a health blogger, I got to wear my comfy shoes everywhere.

Wearing heels all the time changes the position of the foot and the knees. You’re also prone to more sitting and less standing. Over time you’ll develop Achilles tendons in the foot and the foot will be prone to more swelling. Women’s Health says that you’ll have more trouble walking when you kick those heels off for the day.

If you wear heels, you’ll be more prone to accidents and falling. Wearing heels places so much pressure on the top part of your foot and so you would have to balance.

Wearing heels can be bad for your posture. Over time you become a hunchback and will have some back issues. Verywell says that you would need to lean forward to compensate and balance properly. MSN also supports the theory saying that they change the centre of your gravity.

Wearing heels can damage the nerves and tendons in your legs. Over time you’ll have shortened legs and you may need to wear orthotics. SELF says that wearing heels can also give you knee problems in the long run. Wearing heels can also give you bone problems if you don’t eat enough calcium per day.

Wearing heels can give your corns and calluses and you can’t get rid of them.

The solution:

Don’t wear your heels all the time unless you have to go to some classy place. Even then don’t go to classy places all the time.

If you have to wear heels to your workplace, like Andy in the Devil Wears Prada does, ask your boss politely if you can wear flat shoes. Most of the time they will say yes if you tell them why and how it will benefit them.

We are trying to campaign for people that work in the modeling industry to not wear high heels to fashion shows as they kill. The models often have to balance and they don’t look too happy about that. In fact, they look rather uncomfortable.


The Big Umbrella

Want some free food but the local Salvos has run out? Here’s how!

The Big Umbrella is a charity which runs to help the homeless with food and all. Here they feed the homeless every Wednesday night and Thursday night but are looking to expand to other days. With the growing amount of people being homeless is not hard to want to expand to other days. But they just don’t have the funding nor the resources.

They feed the homeless using rescued food from OzHarvest and other cafes like In a rush and Nashi. They have volunteers who are from corporate Organizations such as Viridian Advisory.

Its always been very busy and it’s a good vibe mostly down there. It’s also good for corporations to see the ugliness of mental health as there are sometimes some mentally challenged people down there. But if there is a fight it usually gets sorted out pretty quickly.

But other corporate organizations can sign up too. Signing up is via email.

And sometimes if there is enough pantry food, the homeless can also get whatever they want. I’ve gotten biscuits and lots of other pantry snacks.

They also have a burger truck that sells food on match days at their home at Marvel stadium. Here people can buy a burger and chips and donate to those in need. They have been successful in their campaign so far with their burger days being a huge sellout.

Their hot food is really lovely. On their giving days, they do dim sum and chips. As a homeless person, it would be nice to have some hot foods.

For the volunteers, cooking and serving the pancakes is really fun. Here you get to ask people how many pancakes they want and what toppings they want! There are different toppings from fruit to Nutella.

All the ingredients for the pancakes are bought.

Many people from the Salvos goes there for their feed. The Salvos feeds up to two hundred people in any given night but they usually run out of food around about 7:30pmish. They are limited in what they can give. The Salvos can do with your donations and if you buy a book from us the Salvos will get your much love and support.

On Wednesday and Thursday nights you can find them outside of ACMI where the Greyhound Tour Bus is. And they start from about 7:30pm until the food runs out. They are free for everyone and they would appreciate it if those that are more fortunate buy a burger and chips on their Footy days.


Why diet is more effective for weight loss

I got the idea from steel back your health.

This idea that diet is more effective for weight loss than exercise is because 80% of our health is on nutrition. And 20% is on exercise.

Obesity rates are rising in the world today. According to CBS News, 2 billion people are now overweight. Now the highest obesity rates are in the Middle East and North Africa with 60-65% of their population being overweight.  Diabetes is on the rise and we believe in preventative health. Other chronic diseases are on the rise such as cardiovascular disease and heart disease among others.

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We are what we eat. In ancient times people used to eat just fruits, grains and meats. These were foods for survival. Nowadays we eat whatever is in the convenience store and we don’t eat many vegetables.

The modern diet is full of processed foods that we eat all the time. Think sugar, deep-fried foods, etc. These foods are addicting so people don’t just stop at one. Carbohydrates and added sugars raise our blood sugars up and trigger a release of the hormone called Insulin.  Hence this is why type 1 and 2 diabetes are on the rise. We tend to also drink more alcohol and coffee rather than water. They dehydrate us rather than hydrate us. We don’t move a lot. In fact, we are more sedentary with cars and office jobs. This is why we are getting sicker and sicker.

We do however need our fats. They help our hormones to survive. But they need to be the healthy ones, aka the Meditteranean diet where olive oil and salad is king. As well as fish. If we feed the body good fats then you’ll train it to become fat adapted. But if you keep giving it processed foods and the high-fat foods, the body will not have access to the fat stores and you’ll end up gaining weight

Protein and good fats keeps us fuller for longer.

Exercise is not efficient for losing weight

You cannot out-exercise a bad diet. You have to want to change your diet in order to lose weight. People think that after an exercise you can eat all the calories that you have burnt. This is exacerbated by the fact that we now own Garmins and Fitbits which counts your steps, so people think well done for getting there. This is so not true. If you eat all the calories you have burnt you won’t lose weight. You need to have a small deficit to lose weight. You do have to eat something but it should be nutritious rather than calorie-dense.

A little bit of cardio each week helps so long as you are doing some resistance training too. We should be aiming for 150 mins of intense exercise each week. Cardio can be things like going for a run or spin cycle.

In the long run, nutrition wins. But you can also do some exercise to help you lose the weight along the way as resistance training will help you get there. Resistance training is weight training. Resistance training helps you to put on muscle which will help burn calories and raise the Basal Metabolic Rate.


Run the World book review

I got this book from Amazon.com and they ship the book from the US within 15 days.

This story is a true story about how one female runner went for about 3500 miles across the globe to see all the different running cultures and recovery techniques. She went for a year and alone.  She had 11 pairs of runners at this time.

Becky Wade is an American professional long-distance runner who competes for ASICS. She trains in Houston for the Houston Harriers.

For each country that she goes to she learns lots of new ways of finding herself. And she learns about that country’s culture. And she also keeps a little Moleskine journal for writing down recipes and then later on practices it at home with her family. For each country, she stayed with a homestay family and made friends with some runners from that country.

We start off with England where she arrived during the London Olympic games and then stayed for about two months. At first, Becky stayed on her own and then other flatmates from Kenya joined her. London has a no-excuses running culture. You just get up there and do it

Then she found her peace and love for food in Ireland. Here is where she discovered Guinness.

And then in Switzerland, she really loved the atmosphere and the runs. There are no real running groups in Switzerland. The runs on the hills were hard

Japan really resonated with me as that’s where the Olympics next year will be held. It’s here where serenity is found. It is here where she discovered the onsen and just the pure joy of relaxing

The last stop was Scandinavia. It’s here where she met her older brother Matt and they did a 5K race together.

When she got back she applied what she learned from overseas to her first real race, the California International Marathon. She woke up early and studied the course map.

So what can we learn from the book?

  • For newbies join as many running groups as you can. That way you’ll make tonnes of friends
  • Embrace coffee- here Becky used coffee to fuel her runs. You can too.
  • Embrace different foods, you’ll never know what you like if you don’t try. And you’ll never know what works for you and what doesn’t
  • Embrace nature- go without technology if you can. Becky did that in the book and she found her inner peace.
  • Have no excuses for exercise- just do it. People jog to work in London with their backpacks. In Australia, we should do the same too. But then again we are too lazy.
  • Relax- do something that you like. For me its blogging and meditation.

 


Periods and running: do we burn more calories whilst on your period

This issue was talked about in Runner’s world and it been talked about a lot by everyone in the running community. For years now I have been wanting to know the answer to this. There are many new runners that will be in the same boat as me, three years ago when I took up marathon running.

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Periods affect our running in a few different ways, one being energy and losing iron.

I personally don’t burn more but I run better when I am on my period. I have heaps more energy when I’m on my period as I don’t have to lag around this weight. And I’m usually happier.

During the luteal phase!

The Luteal phase is the days before the period (14 days to be exact)! Here we experience PMS and the hunger games feeling. It sometimes means that we cannot sleep at night due to this hormonal disturbance.

The metabolic rate according to Metro Uk rises by 9% and hence there is an increase in appetite. This can be good for those that need to lose the weight. The BMR can vary during a woman’s period. The BMR rises during the luteal phase and it stays there until the period starts. For runners, this is a good time to get that long run in.

We put on weight mainly due to water retention. Hence we might feel a bit thirstier at times when we train.

This is also where core temperatures rise, hence you might feel much warmer and inclined to do the long run.

Ovulation phase

This is the phase in which estrogen is dominant and where your period comes. This is where the BMR is lowered and also the metabolic rate. On days 1-3, we lose a lot of blood and iron, but after that its all good. We also burn fat around this time and lose all that water weight.

Body temperatures drop and sometimes I’m shivering even though its a warm day.

And I can do more on my period. But sometimes I eat less on it and it can hamper my performance. It all depends on the person.

Those days in between cycles also can vary because sometimes we put on a little bit of muscle or ovulate.

Poop

This one is a touchy subject but you do poop a lot more just before your period. And you also urinate more before your period. Its a part of PMS. So make sure that there is a bathroom handy on route or buy some adult pull up pants for times when there is no toilet

Cramps

We all get them but if you can try and take your painkillers well in advance of your run. Painkillers take about half an hour to two hours to settle down so try going for an easy jog then.