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)

Exercise and Immunity

The COVID19 Pandemic along with ASCM influenced me to write the article, especially as we are going into old age (almost old age, middle age more like it). The COVID19 Pandemic is known to get to everyone but the elderly and the middle aged people with chronic disease are more vulnerable. Medical News Today says that being sedentary is a public health issue and not many people are meeting the requirements for exercise.

According to the American College of Sports medicine, exercise plays a role in immunity. By that they are saying that the immune system will be stronger and more able to handle disease such as Covid. During the lockdown in Australia we are allowed outside, hence I have been running a lot. Thus, this brings me happiness and less stress which is important for our wellbeing.

The more stressed we are, the more we are susceptible to the disease. This is why I also say that the disabled and obese are more vulnerable to catch the disease. In the UK alone there were about 32000 deaths so far. The UK diet is quite poor as they love their puddings and fatty foods. Also most people in the UK are sedentary. Therefore it is quite a burden on the hospitals and healthcare costs.

Hence this is why we would love the gyms to be open on May 11th and for people to return as well as for people to go running. We should do about 150-300 mins of vigorous activity a week as well as two strength sessions to get the full effect.

Our 100 days of less sugar part 5

So far am doing well. But I still have a bit of a long way to go. Staying home has made quitting the sugar a little bit easier.

Day 40

Shows about chocolate cooking and sugar don’t really interest me. Usually these shows encourage people to eat waaay too much sugar and be really obsessed with it. I lost all taste in very sugary items and too much sugary items is no good for us.

Today I had a YOMG burger and it was awesome.

Day 41

Watched a little bit of the cake show and it was enough for me. Too much cake decorating puts me off. And people in Britain eat the cake at the end- partly why the huge obesity rate

Day 42

Today I enjoyed a homemade apple cake which did not have a lot of sugar in there. That and a sugarless mango lassi from the Happy Apple.

Day 43

Today I enjoyed some raisin toast and homemade duck curry for lunch. After that I went for a run and I enjoyed a juice and a yoghurt afterwards.

Day 44

Just got a Keri juice after a run and packed my own snacks

Day 45

Spent the day at home and we didn’t have any dessert or hot cross buns over Easter. Am enjoying Easter and lockdown this way

Day 46

Went for my usual long run and consumed a really sweet Easter egg. But I didn’t feel guilty afterwards. I just enjoyed it as a treat. Also enjoyed a pork belly dinner as well as a simple lunch and a good kefir yoghurt.

Day 47

Today had a homemade soup for lunch and I did not have any sweets.

Day 48

Got my period today and it was really heavy. Normally when I eat too many sweets I tend to throw up. I didn’t throw up and this is a good sign that the program is working

Day 49

Today I enjoyed a yoghurt and a salad plate at lunch. After dinner I enjoyed a bounce ball. Today I had a homemade shepherd’s pie.

How I went from the standardized Australian diet to whole food

I got this idea from My best life secrets who talked about the many problems that they had with the American diet. The Australians eat a lot of the similar fatty foods and processed foods to the US. We love our fish and chips, our dimsims, our mega spring rolls, donuts, cakes, biscuits, bbqs with fatty meat, beer and every other food under the sun. I made the change when I decided to study Fitness. I still enjoy the occasional meal out and beer.

The Australian diet has the three meat and one veg philosophy. We enjoy our snags and take out foods. I used to eat out three to four times a week when I was a food blogger and I had put the weight on.

Nowadays it’s usually a few times a week where the meal would be vegetarian. I enjoy beans and salads at home and I love eating at Lentils as Anything. I appreciate more vegetarian meals and I love tomatoes and foods from the farmers markets.

I enjoy oats for breakfast in winter.

Before I became a health blogger I used to turn my nose up at protein shakes. But now I like them as they keep me fuller for longer. At Shape up which is a place in the city I used to have them with fruit. But now I just like it with plain water.

Now I appreciate home cooking even more and love my flatmates cooking.

Portion sizes

Australians enjoy large plates of food just like America. Before I was a health blogger, I used to go for a lot. But then when I became a health blogger I learned not to have huge plates of food and just enjoy wholefoods a lot more. I found that having large plates of food severely disrupted my sleep.

But what about sugar?

Sugar is one of Australia’s weaknesses. We find sugar in everything but Australia is obsessed with having that much sugar. They love their desserts and chocolates a lot. Before I became a health blogger I used to eat too much sugar and found that I had a lot of PMS problems and pimples. Now I can’t stand those sugar shows that my flatmates watch where people love sugar. Now I just have fruit after dinner.

Occassionally I’ll still enjoy ice cream and cake

And fatty foods?

Yeah unlike the rest of Australians I’ll enjoy mine at home. But on the odd occassion I’ll buy fish and chips and never fried meats.

I used to enjoy a lot of it when I was a food blogger. But that brought about PMS and anxiety issues for me.

Eating wholefoods is much better as there are less PMS issues and less anxieties.

Our 100 days of less sugar part 4

We made the most of that time in confinement as the Coronavirus hits us closer to home. Having a lot less sugar means lesser PMS symptoms such as bloating and moodiness. The anxiety is much better too

Day 30-27/3/2020

Today I had no sugary snacks and managed to keep clear of the cookies that my housemate bought. I managed to refuse the ice cream that they had bought.

Day 31-28/3/2020

Today I had a small snickers and a ribena drink after my run as I needed that small sugar hit.

Day 32-29/3/2020

Had little sugar and am seeming to cope just fine with the natural sugars. I did have one small (mini sized) cookie and was just fine.

Day 33-30/3/2020

No more sugar. Instead I had a vegan sausage roll from Mr Nice Guy’s bakeshop which was yum

Day 34-31/3/2020

Today I had no sweets but fruit as I was home all day.

Day 35-1/4/2020

Today I learnt that all of Britain and the British diet has a lot of fatty and very sweet foods in there. Today I had a juice but I didn’t finish all of it. I only had 3/4 and decided it was too sweet for me. Also I weigh about 50.9kgs which is about 3kg off my weight.

Day 36-2/4/2020

Today I had a cookie for National Autism month. Many people in the autism community love sweet foods and they don’t want to change their tastebuds

Day 37-3/4/2020

Today I supported a local gelato shop and got a vanilla ice cream. It was really nice for such a warm day

Day 38- 4/4/2020

Was at home again so no sweets for me. Yay! I think being at home means that I don’t eat as much sweets and sugary things as my housemates aren’t into this sort of stuff

Day 39- 5/4/2020

Today I went on my run and no sweets as per usual. But, I did have an orange juice at the end which was sweet as well as Liddell’s dairy free yoghurt.

I also had a yummy Cheese jaffle today.

Playing Mahjong online and being compulsive with it

During times of the Covid I was bored at home so I played a lot of Mahjong. I found that it got a bit compulsive and very addictive quickly. The game was free but it ate up all of my time that I could spend on learning things.

Mahjong is on and there were a lot of players on there at times. You match the tiles accordingly and then you get points. You get bonus points if you match a group of four tiles in one go.

I was trying to win you see. But in the end though I did not. I suffered RSI among other things. When I heard that I beat 34 players on the leaderboard I thought wow.

It was very easy to become compulsive with it. I would play in every single moment that I got that I was free. The prospects of winning and finishing was in my mind. At times the game slowed my computer programs down a bit. And when I didn’t finish I was upset.

The Brits and the Australians and Americans lead a very sedentary lifestyle as they play lots of indoor video games and computer games and don’t go outside a lot. It’s very easy to get stuck into the game and very hard to get out of the game when you want to.

So here’s how your kids should deal with Covid 19 in other ways besides playing online Mahjong

  • They could help you do the chores
  • They could help with the gardening
  • You can all go for a walk together as a family or a bike ride (I’m pretty sure that the Government allows it)
  • You could all do a crafternoon and you can make Mother’s day gifts
  • They could help you cook dinner, lunch or bake something
  • The possibilities are endless. Just so long as they don’t spend time playing online games all the time

National nutrition month

March is National nutrition month. This is a month that happens in America and not so much in Australia. I was hoping to do this month in order to promote national nutritional standards in Australia. Standards in Australia are quite low. We don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables and hydrate properly.

Hence the obesity rate which is skyrocketing. Also the rate of chronic illness is going up.

At this time the Coronavirus pandemic was raging so more and more people stayed at home for the latter part of the month. Before we were all forced into lockdown I had a couple of Chinese meals (one per week) and I had some Breadtop food. When I went out for Chinese food it was either pescatarian or vegetarian. We know that the meat meals have a lot of sodium and MSG in there.

This month we ate quite a bit of vegetarian and home cooked food. Here we enjoyed the vegetarian curries and salads. I did have a bit of PMS this time but I was all fine. I ate my usual two to three fruits a day and was all good. I did eat mindfully. I enjoyed a lot more beans, especially the snack beans.

I also managed to keep up with my fluids each day, even if I was in isolation. When I was at home I didn’t eat a lot of takeaway. The only takeaway I ate was fish and chips and it was really good.

For breakfast I enjoyed oats which were full of fiber. This month we tried Psyllium Husk which is good for managing IBS and constipation for people. We tried this in shakes.

We still enjoyed our wine and wine Friday’s. That was the only time that we let our hair down.