Homemade hummus

fresh hummus and pita bread
Photo by Naim Benjelloun on Pexels.com

This is so easy to do using a Nutribullet and with canned chickpeas. We love Edgell’s chickpeas as they have no oil and no fuss. You can add yogurt to it if you like or you can leave it without. If we were to use yogurt it would be a low-fat Greek one. You only need a small clove of garlic that needs to be chopped up. Add some water and then blend away.

And there you have it.

This is so much better than the outside ones which are calorie laden and do not have a lot of flavour in them.

If you are losing weight I suggest for you to leave the yoghurt.

Obesity and COVID deaths

The COVID situation is a rapidly evolving one and obesity plays a big part in it. In Britain, alone many people have died due to COVID and most of these people are obese. About 17 million of those COVID deaths are due to obesity. Newsweek says that even mild obesity can put people at risk of catching COVID.

classic hamburger and french fries on wooden board
Photo by Daniel Reche on Pexels.com

SO what classifies as obese?

Obese people have a BMI of 30> and have a lot of fat around their stomach.

So how does this correlate to COVID 19?

COVID19 is a respiratory disease that affects the lungs, heart, and everything else that has to do with body functions. Being overweight means that your essential organs are already suppressed. TCMD says that this is a third possibility. People that are obese already face extra challenges such as the risk of diabetes and heart disease. They also face diminished lung functions and difficulty with the diaphragm. The Sun-Sentinel said that more people with COVID and obesity are presenting in hospitals.

There is still some research being done.

How not to be obese?

  • Nutrition counts. We should be aiming for 2-3 serves of fruits a day and five of vegetables. Many people don’t get enough vegetables in their day. Vegetables and fruit are important for gut health
  • Hydration counts. We should be having 2-4L of water a day.
  • Exercise and movement each day counts. Now that we are working from home exercise is super important. We should aim for 150-300 minutes of vigorous movement per week

Together lets stop the spread of COVID19 and all lead healthier lifestlyes.

5 reasons why I don’t have a car

And I’m happy not to.

We all like to have a car for convenience or getting around but there are some people just like myself that live close to everything and so I don’t really need a car. I live close to the city and close to shops and public transport.

photo of audi parked near trees
Photo by Vlad Alexandru Popa on Pexels.com

Cars are expensive to drive

You have to buy the car and then you have to pay for things like petrol, registration, maintainance etc. I just don’t have the money to do all that.

In the current COVID environment we need money for other things

Driving a car pollutes the environment

All the smoke from the cars exhaust will pollute the environment and it is toxic for people to breathe in.

Having a car means that you can go places (and break the rules).

Without a car I cannot go everywhere. I wouldn’t be able to visit regional Victoria without a car as there are not many train services to regional Victoria

Having a car means that there is less opportunity for exercise

If I had a car I would not be able to walk everywhere and I want to walk everywhere. I love the exercise and fresh air. When I go to the shops I like to use my arms and carry everything home myself.

As a runner I am used to travelling long distances.

Not having a car means that I can be more accountable

Having a car means that it is private and people can’t see you. This would mean that we cannot see the potential rule-breakers. In the past week, alone over 100 fines have been issued in Victoria for breaches of COVID rules

Are ready made sandwiches good for you

As we all return to the offices you would be thinking about a ready-made sandwich for lunch. I have been there before. It is normally $3-$5 or more depending on where you buy them.

wheat bread sandwich
Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

In this day and age due to Coronavirus outbreaks it could be contaminated if you buy it from places like 7/11.

The bread can be stale depending on where you get it from. You would be paying mostly for bread as the sandwich doesn’t have a lot of filling. Most of the fillings are overly dressed meaning that you would be eating empty calories. Sometimes the sandwich would be sitting in the refrigerated area for hours, meaning that it could go soggy (this is the case for most chain stores such as 7/11, Coles, Woolworths and some other places)

But you can buy the ingredients every week for your own sandwich. You could buy a bread roll each day from the supermarket and your own fillings for the week. Your own fillings can be kept in the fridge with your name on it. Or the company could allocate you space in the fridge and you put it there.

In all, if you can make your own sandwich. But if you can’t then do buy one from a small business and not 7/11 where they have large warehouses and bakeries.

Tobacco and COVID19

The WHO believes that smoking is a higher risk of COVID19. Smoking addiction is a disease that needs to be treated. It costs us money to fix and we need tobacco control now not shaming.

blue and white smoke digital wallpaper
Photo by Rafael Guajardo on Pexels.com

Tobacco use kills 8 million people globally every year. Every year people get lung disease, cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, hypertension and other respiratory infections.

There is a link between smoking and COVID19. COVID19 is a respiratory infection of the lungs and you don’t recover from COVID quickly. It takes time to recover. It can take up to weeks to recover. We need to strengthen not smoking initiatives and getting people to quit smoking. We need more nicotine patches.

The Guardian reports that many smoke shops are still open during the lockdown and those that do smoke won’t be able to wear a mask whilst doing so. They say that people are addicted to nicotine. In Australia, cigarettes are sold at the supermarket which means that getting people to quit can be hard especially since Melbourne is in lockdown and people tend to stress more whilst in isolation.

The WHO has introduced a new initiative to help people to quit smoking. Johnson and Johnson have sponsored it and they are testing it in Jordan where smoking costs $1.6 Billion. So many people around the world need our help to quit smoking.

THE Who has introduced a new system called Florence. She is a digital health worker who is available 24/7.

In Australia, there is the Quit program which helps people to give up smoking. We have seen their ads on Facebook. If you ever you need help just call them on: 03 9663 7777

National Diabetes Week 2020

National Diabetes week is on the 12th-18th of July and it recognizes all the diabetics. During Covid19 people have not seen their GP as much as they needed to and its outlined here. Now its a really important time to go and see your GP.

It is also said that diabetes increases the risk of COVID19. Now that being said, we are not in normal times at the moment. So it is equally important for you to take care of yourself. Make sure that you sleep, eat and exercise well.

In Melbourne, Australia no gyms are open at the moment but we can exercise outdoors. This is crucial to have the gyms open for our wellbeing as not many people want to exercise out in the cold. Similarly many people are not always motivated to exercise at home.

But I exercised outdoors as it was a nice and sunny day.

That week I did not indulge in a lot of junk food. I managed to look after myself and not stress too much. I slept well. I know that the thought of not seeing friends is daunting for some people.

Diabetes Australia is doing all it can to support you on your journey. Please be kind to yourself during this time. From time to time they will have some Facebook chats that you can participate in.

We are all in this together!

Four ways to fight food waste

I was inspired by Creative Impact group’s article. Eat Fresh and feel good has written about this issue saying that the UK wastes about 800 pounds per year per household. In Australia we waste $20 billion per year, yet we have so many poor people who could do with that food

Give away food that is usable

Pantry goods is what the poor would want. I have often given away to Ascot Vale Little free Pantry on a few occasions. The poor could do with some free food during these hard times

Get creative with your food

And use up all your leftovers when you can

Foodwise will help you there. You go there and you click on the ingredients that you have and they will help you find some recipes. Supercook is another website.

In these challenging times we have been at home lots and we have had lots of leftovers. Thus this means no spending money when you don’t need to. We have use up all of our leftovers in days.

Make use of reusable lunchboxes and other sustainable ways of keeping food in the fridge.

Many places might offer discounts for people that use reusable lunchboxes. If you bring yours in you can get a discount. You can buy them online and support your favourite business in the process

YOu can buy beeswax wraps which will last longer and will keep you food fresh for longer in the fridge. You can buy these online and support small business in Victoria. They are made out of organic cloth so it is washable.

Eat smart when you go out

For example you can try Lentils as Anything. They use fresh vegetarian and vegan ingredients to make the best meals ever.

Or if you like to go to mainstream restaurants order a kids sized meal if you have a kid’s sized appetite. And then you won’t waste so much food.

The four big food trends of 2020

We talk about these trends whilst we are in lockdown due to the Coronavirus. These trends are all about living healthy and being healthy.

food japanese food photography sushi
Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

Japanese inspired meals

Even though the Tokyo Olympic games have been postponed to 2021 we are still eating a lot of Japanese inspired food in the home. Think bento boxes and sushi. Japan has the lowest rates of obesity so we should learn a thing or two from them and we can adapt them to our diet. They educate their people when they are really young and from there they adopt a healthy eating regimen.

You can make your own Japanese food. Simply buy all the things that you need from the Asian grocer if you are allowed to go there (due to lockdown laws) and then get cooking.

Plant based

A lot of restaurants have one or two dishes that are plant-based and there are many blogs that are doing the same too. Coles and Woolworths have a few new items which are plant-based to make switching to that lifestyle easier for people. In the coming months, you’ll see more plant-based foods at your local supermarkets and restaurants as they try to embrace the healthier side of things.

Plastic and going waste free

A lot of countries are going waste-free. More and more supermarkets and places are going plastic bag free now and have been doing so from late last year. Reusable bags cost $0.15 each at Coles if you forget to bring one.

But now people are remembering to bring their own.

Cannabis craze.

That is the CBD oil that is widely talked about. You’ll see it more on the market in the US rather than Australia. There is a little bit of research on CBD oil but its not much and we are not fans of this craze for various reasons. One, being healthy living.

Luteal Phase and Hunger

We talk about this issue that affects many women.

I have often felt hungry during the luteal phase of my period. Like so many women there is no reason as to why. Some say it is to keep up with demand on the body and the maintenance of the uterus walls. The rise in progesterone might be to blame.

Psychology Today says that is a way of disordered eating. Women are prone to more eating disorders than men due to this type which involves the menstrual cycle and the way we look. The nature of the period has more of an impact on our appetites, especially when it is that time of the month. During the first half of the cycle estrogen acts as a suppressant.

Greatist said that researchers are trying to understand the impacts of the menstrual cycle and hunger. There has been little research done on this to date. In the coming weeks and months we hope to see more research done on this issue.

What is the Luteal Phase?

This is the phase that happens after ovulation and about 12-14 days before your period. Here the walls are being built in the uterus. If there is no pregnancy there would be a period.

During that phase your metabolism rises a bit to prepare for your period and build those walls.

What should I eat during the Luteal Phase?

I would drink plenty of water, fuel up on those irons and carbohydrate-rich foods. And I would encourage you to throw some feel-good foods in there like chocolate. A little bit of dark chocolate helps seal the deal as it has magnesium that your body needs.

But of course if you can’t get all those minerals from diet alone, you can try a supplement.

Sugary drinks and advertisements

Soft drink is widely advertised in the US market.

colorful bottles of soda pop on store shelf
Photo by Leah Kelley on Pexels.com

There is a high rate of sugary drink consumption for adults and children. In 2018 Pepsi Max was responsible for the soft drink advertising. The American Heart Association says that teens and young children should consume 25g of sugar. Most soft drinks have about 30g of sugar in there.

Now that we are in the Coronavirus times, it is time to think about how much sugary drinks we consume. Advertisers should ban all soft drink ads.

The sugary drink market in the US

The sugary drink market is quite large in America. Here they have the Dr Pepper brand, Snapple, iced teas, sports drinks, coke, soft drinks and flavoured juices.

The 24 beverage companies in the US had spent $1038 million on advertising alone in 2018. TV was the main media that the sugary drinks were advertised on. Advertising for children’s drinks were $21 million in that year alone. Advertising for regular soda was $568 million dollars. Coca-cola and PepsiCo remained the biggest companies to spend money on their advertising. The ads on TV were viewed a lot by children and teens. Diet soda’s advertising costs were $296 million. From 2013-2018 total advertising for sugary drinks increased by 26%.

Advertising for iced tea cost a lot and it had the biggest spending increase in 2013-2018.

The impact of sugary drinks on your health

If you drink them everyday for a long time you would get

  • Tooth decay- they have so much sugar that it can damage your tooth enamel.
  • PMS issues- women in particular. Too much sugar can lead to this.
  • Obesity would skyrocket- you would be overweight
  • Diabetes would be on the rise

Should sugary drinks be banned from TV advertising?

My answer is yes. In order for us to be a healthier nation, we must stop the overconsumption of soft drinks and that means fewer TV ads. The TV ads for these things could be taken up by ads for healthier products such as healthy snacks and protein bars. The sugary drink ads should be done at an appropriate time such as after children are in bed or at school.