Kale and what to do with it

Kale is a dark-colored leafy green that has lots of iron in it. It has lots of fiber and antioxidants in there that can prevent various health problems such as diabetes, cancer, and the like. They are part of the broccoli family which means that they are easy to grow. They grow well in the colder months.

You can put kale in smoothies as it has been done before at Shape up.

They can be added to vegetable and lamb soups in winter.

You can eat them raw, steam them, cook them, or sautee them to make a side dish.

Kale chips

This is good as a pick me up snack at 3pm. You can bake the kale leaves in an oven at about 275F for about 15-30 mins to make chips. Before they go in there brush a bit of olive oil on top.

Pasta with kale

You can add kale to all sorts of pasta dishes. 

Pizza with kale

You can add kale to your pizza.

Kale salad

This is a great summer dish. You can add kale to any salad for that little bit of iron.

You can add kale to your breakfast eggs if you like. Simply scramble some eggs with kale in there. Or you can do avocado smash with kale



Melatonin is an essential hormone to regulate sleep and maintain the sleep-wake cycle. Your body makes this hormone. Sometimes we don’t get enough of this hormone for various reasons. So we have to get it in a supplement form. There two ways to get in: One is via a doctor’s prescription and the other is at a supplement store. We know that the supplement store ones are unregulated. This means that you may not get your money’s worth.

If you take too much melatonin supplement your body will depend on it more and more and there may be other side effects. The supplement is meant to be taken when you need to just like ibuprofen

What are some ways to increase melatonin?

  • Get enough vitamin D from sunlight and food
  • Stressless. In this day and age, we tend to stress more. Now with the Coronavirus going on its harder for most people to relax
  • Make sure that you keep regular hours of sleep each day. Sometimes that can be hard if you are a shift worker.
  • Don’t have too much caffeine, especially late in the day. If you are caffeine-addicted, its best to try and cut back if you can. You can try our 30-day challenge if you like.
  • Don’t try and do work on your laptop or your smartphone in the hour before bed. You could try and watch a little bit of TV to help you unwind.
  • If you do decide to take supplements do talk to your health professional first about taking them. They do make you drowsy so it is best to talk about the right dosage. Most professionals now offer telehealth service.

7 hottest health trends of 2020

I got this idea from Harnaby Chiropractic and Wellness who says that the Coronavirus has changed some of our health and fitness trends. We have more stay at home orders which means that there are no more gym workouts.

Photo of Woman Doing Yoga

Stressless workouts

These workouts are more focussed on getting rid of stress rather than losing weight. Think Body Combat, MMA fighting, and boxing which are good for getting rid of stress

The Plantivore diet

More and more people want to go on a plant-based diet. We have talked about this before in What is going on in the plant-based world.

The Human Upgrade

Think Biohacking and genetics. People want to change their interior as well as their exterior. Biohacking is the way to go here. Biohacking is about optimizing one’s self to be able to have better mental and physical performance.

Natural remedies

People are looking for natural remedies to heal their problems and mental health. Think stress less essential oils and pillow oil. Jurilique has some great pillow oil and they are a luxury company that sells skincare.

Higher healing

In 2020 people have shifted to wellness. There are no more of these diet drinks and things of that nature. Think yoga and meditation which heals the mind.

Men’s and women’s health is what comes to mind here. Last year there was a bit of a focus on that. There still is but not as much now that we are all home and trying not to stress as much.

Connective clothing

Last year Apple had released their SMART watch. This year more companies are revolutionizing their clothing which then becomes more intelligent.

6 reasons as to why you are experiencing food cravings

Nutrition Stripped wrote about this topic and I wanted to talk about it too now that we are in the Coronavirus pandemic and people are putting on weight.

assorted sliced fruits in white ceramic bowl
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One mistake is that people are confusing being hungry with being thirsty. We should be drinking about 3-4L of water each day but not many people do this. Our bodies are made up of 60% of water and we cannot function properly without water.

Lack of nutrients

During isolation, many people are turning to bake, so they may not be getting enough nutrients they need. WHilst home baking is good we need to have other nutrients such as vegetables and fruits.

Too many food rules

In today’s society there are too many food rules and these are promoted on Instagram. As such after that period of restricted eating people go aon a binge

Stress and Anxiety

During Isolation we are forced to stay at home. Therefore there is more stress and anxiety in the household and that can force us to comfort eat. When we are stressed we turn to junk food and emotionally eat

Lack of sleep

The lack of sleep can casue you to have food cravings, however minor they are. The more hours you sleep the better your food cravings will be. During the pandemic a lot of you may not have slept really well

Old Habits

When you were growing up what did you eat? Did your parents give you ready made meals for dinner? Or did they give you good food. Some of these habits can be why we have cravings now for them

And how to get rid of these cravings

  • Sleep well. We need about 7- 8 hours of sleep per night . If you sleep well, you feel much better the next day
  • Stress less. We do a lot of meditation and yoga during the week as well stress busting exercise.
  • Don’t restrict yourself. Do have some cheat days where you can enjoy some treats. Also do make sure that you get enough nutrients from the five food groups. We should be having fruit and vegetables, dairy, grains, pulses, legumes and other proteins.
  • Get rid of old habits. Now is a good time to reevaluate yourself and reinvent the wheel with food.
  • Keep a journal about how you are feeling around food. This will help you understand why you crave certain things.


IBS is irritable bowel syndrome. It is experienced more in women than in men as women have periods. Health Unlocked said that a lot of people felt anxious about it as it means that they would have to change their lifestyle. They would need access to a toilet often

There is no cure for IBS just supportive measures

variety of vegetables
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What are the symptoms?

  • Increased urination especially at night
  • Bloating particularly in females.
  • Constipation
  • Excessive gas
  • Diarrhea
  • Pain and cramping- this is common for IBS. “Normally, your gut and brain work together to control digestion. This happens via hormones, nerves and signals released by the good bacteria that live in your gut.

In IBS, these cooperative signals become distorted, leading to uncoordinated and painful tension in the muscles of the digestive tract (3Trusted Source).

This pain usually occurs in the lower abdomen or the entire abdomen but is less likely to be in the upper abdomen alone. Pain typically decreases following a bowel movement” (Healthline 2020)

  • Food intolerances- some people can have some sort of food intolerance meaning that they produce more gas and urine

Lifestyle changes

  • Avoid stressing out too much
  • You may need to make some dietary changes such as eating more fruits and vegetables. What we eat affects our mood. The more fruits and vegetables we eat the better our mood will be.
  • You may also need to keep a journal of your food and your body reacts to the food and see if that food is the problem
  • Make sure that you get plenty of time to relax and sleep. We need about 7-8 hours of sleep a night and a few hours of downtime each day.
  • I would make sure to buy nappies just in case if you can’t access the toilet.
  • If I’m going somewhere I would need to check if there is a toilet at the place.

If you have IBS symptoms make sure that you consult your GP about treatment options for you.

The 31 day challenge to a Healthier and Happier you

I took on the Tiny Buddha’s challenge and you should too instead of weight loss. When you haven’t lost weight in a timely fashion you become unhappy and don’t accept yourself for who you are.

Acceptance is important and that’s what Tiny Buddha teaches.

body of water between green leaf trees
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Five things that I’m grateful for

  1. Living in Australia when there are over a million coronavirus cases overseas. In Australia, we have over 12000 cases and the US has heaps.
  2. Grateful for the sun- this means that I can go out and run in the sun
  3. Grateful for the lockdowns and restrictions that are happening here. All over the world, there are not that many and people are dying
  4. Grateful for Les Mills Asia Pacific for keeping the spirit of instructing alive in the doom and gloom of the world. During that time I did a meditation online. I also did some tutorials online
  5. Grateful that I don’t have to mingle with friends when I’m really busy. Grateful to have a job really and be able to Work from Home. But I do worry about not having so much money at the end of the pandemic.

Now that we’re in Coronavirus times it’s important to be happy with just the little things. Like one day I complimented someone on how they looked. I also stopped in at a cafe for a small coffee and made their day.

A couple of times I donated to the Ascot Vale Little Free Pantry and it brightened someone’s day.

Everyday I drink lots of water. It keeps me fulfilled and happy.

I exercise every day. I love Body Combat and running. I love kicking and punches. I also love walking in nature and you can too

You can download it here.

Men’s health and mental health

We talk about this as it is National Men’s Health week but obviously we can’t all be together for this. Mental Health is so important and this time its even more important.

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Each year many men lose their life due to suicide, cancer and other lifestyle factors. This year the unemployment loss is huge. It’s reported that 850000 people or more have lost their jobs.

But there are ways in checking how they are feeling such as how are things going at home for you? How are you feeling? We can do this on Facebook and Twitter and We Chat.

We should explore some coping strategies that don’t involve wine and alcohol but talking. This week I have been thinking about and talking to a dear friend of mine. This friend of mine is bored at home and still goes out for a jog so we’d been thinking of ways to entertain him. One of the ways was to get him to post a story on Instagram about how he is feeling. In these past few months at home we all been posting stories about how we’re feeling and what we’re doing.

And then there is the #blacklivesmatter thingy which might have touched a lot of people.

Exercise plays a major role in alleviating depression symptoms. This week we did tons of exercise and it was fun. My friend who is bored at home doesn’t do much exercise. He wishes that he can go to the city heaps. Even in lockdown he always wanted to go out.

Obesity and Coronavirus

I read on an article by JPS Health and Fitness and they are saying that Obesity and Coronavirus are together. We wanted to see if that was true. It turns out that Medical News today has said the same thing.

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Because COVID19 is a respiratory disease people with obesity are more likely to get it. The New York Times supports this argument. In the US about 1890083 people have the virus and its not just the elderly that are getting it. People with very weakened immune systems might also get it . People with obesity are at very high risk of getting certain diseases. The Guardian says that the higher your BMI is, the higher the risk of you catching Covid19. People with diabetes and heart disease are at higher risk of getting Covid19.

How we can protect ourselves from COVID19 other than washing your hands and doing all that stuff?

During the lockdown we should

Exercise- we need about 150-300 minutes of exercise a day. Exercise is what keeps us happy and keeps our immune system strong. This is why we would like the gyms open as soon as possible to help stop the spread of coronavirus. Then if they do open people can exercise and socialise. The older people can get some guidance from a personal trainer who specialises in elderly people

Have a good balanced diet that is full of fruit, vegetables, some protein, carbs and fats everyday. We need to eat about 2 serves of fruit and 5 serves of vegetables. Most of the US population eats very little fruits and vegetables

Drink enough water to help flush out the toxins in your body.

Get a good night’s sleep. Without that we cannot function well.

Why are we eating more during isolation

And how to avoid the need to

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Yes we all like to be Julia and Julie who love food and eating. But some people go way over the top during boredom. Yes we are all bored at home. But that doesn’t mean that we should eat all the time. Yes we enjoy home cooked meals

We overeat because we are stressed. For some of us we just love food too much

According to a Nine News report they say that many people have ordered takeaway in iso because we all love food too much

So here’s how to avoid the need to

Establish a regular routine. Once you establish that then it is easier to not overeat.

If you work at home this might be a bit easier to block out the times that you are working so that you won’t eat mindlessly.

Get rid of stressors- ie get 7-8 hours of sleep a night. Talk to someone if you are feeling lonely. Organise your finances. Have you lost your job? Maybe it’s time for you to make a realistic budget. The Government only gives out a limited amount of money to those that have lost their job.

Do exercise

In Australia we are allowed out for a walk or a run. But if you can’t there is Les Mills on demand. Every week we should aim for 150-300 minutes of vigorous activity and two strength sessions.

Try some new foods

Now that we are in isolation we can try some new foods or cook a few new recipes each week. For example next week is Burger Day, have you thought about making a hamburger from scratch? What about making bread from scratch? It would save you money

Or if you have never tried Asian food, why not try that? Taste has so many recipes.

Are you really hungry?

If not then go and find some other thing to do like arts and crafts or write a blog. This will keep your mind off hunger and the need to binge on food just because you are bored.

Metabolic health

Healthline writes about this topic as its one of importance. Here we are getting fatter and fatter by the year. Obesity and weight issues carries a risk for bad metabolic health.

With more of us staying at home due to the Covid our metabolic health may have declined.

What is metabolic health?

There is a strict definition of metabolic health and that is how your cells function.

Metabolism would have something to do with how you use your energy within a day. Every single process in your body needs energy to function. Without that we cannot function.

What are the risks of having bad metabolic health?

You can risk having all sorts of various diseases like diabetes, pulmonary disease, cardiovascular diseases

How to have good metabolic health

There isn’t a quick fix to getting your metabolic health right. It will take some time and here is how

  • Exercise- make sure that you get 150 mins of vigorous activity a week and two strength sessions each week.
  • Keeping a healthy weight- that means that your BMI should be somewhere between 19-24.
  • Getting your physical exam each year- that is going to see your doctor for a checkup
  • Sleeping well- we should make sure that we get about 7-8 hours of sleep a night. It should be uninterrupted.
  • Eat more vegetables each week if you can- choose vegetarian foods when you go out can be much healthier for you
  • Limit processed foods and instead eat all natural foods.
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day. We should aim for about 3-4L of water a day
  • Make sure that you are eating enough protein each day for lean muscle mass. You should include fish about 2-3 times a week for heart health

” Only when your system is healthy you would have good metabolic health” GoKaleo (2013)