When you go to a wedding, you never see anyone in a bad mood! Everyones happy, smiling, feeling the love and any stress, worries or problems are simply put to the side to celebrate the love of the couple and the friendships all around.
The energy and good vibes rub off on you!
And good vibes is something we could all do more of, every day, not just at special events or occasions.
So here’s a list of small gestures of kindness that can make someone else's entire day, make you feel good, and spread love near and far.
1. Smile at people more! Start with your neighbour or the first person you see in the morning.
2. Let a car merge in front of you and do it with a smile.
3 Buy an extra cup of coffee in the morning and give it to a colleague
4. If you have an hour or two left on your car parking ticket, leave at the machine for someone else to make use of.
5. Leave a nice note in the morning for your other half saying, “Have a great day :)”
6. Forgive yourself for any mistakes you've made. Today’s a new day — let’s get on with it.
7. Drink from a reusable water bottle or cup to help the environment.
8. Give a generous tip to your waiter and leave a kind note on the receipt!
9. Reach out to someone you haven't talked to in a while. (That’s why they invented Facebook!)
10. Sit with someone who is eating alone.
11. Eat and buy local - support your community.
12. Compliment a stranger. This is one of my absolute favourite things to do. I tell them I love their glasses, or shoes, or the way they pulled themselves together. They usually light up with a smile and I’m so happy I helped to make their day a good one!
13. Pay for the coffee for the person behind you.
14. Donate clothes and shoes to the needy.
15. Tell someone you had a disagreement with that you're sorry.
16. Hold the door for others.
17. Offer o pick up your friend's children after school or babysit for free.
18. Resist the urge to honk at other cars on the road.
19. Be kind to someone you dislike. (I know this is a tough one! I struggle with it, too.)
20. Make a donation to a charity you care about.
21. Send a moon pig to your friends or family with a picture that brings a good memory
22. Let someone with just a few items go ahead of you at the till.
23. Practice being truly proud of all your accomplishments. It helps to start a gratitude list!
24. Visit an animal centre and take a dog for a walk (binfield dog rescue is great, i often go there to take a dog out for a walk. Gives the volunteers a break and helps you clear your head too!)
25. Let someone take your parking spot.
26. Donate books to the local library or bookstore. Clears out clutter and gives your books a new and deserving home!
27. Tell your other half how particularly ravishing he or she looks today!
28. Write notes of appreciation and love to three people who have changed your life for the better.
29. Fill the fridge with your roommate's or partner’s favourite foods. Healthy of course ;)
30. Offer to cover a shift for a colleague who needs to leave early.
So easy! Imagine how much better the world would be if we all took a little time to make it a sweeter, warmer place.
We're starting now — are you with us?
Do you sometimes feel like you’re a bottomless pit, constantly scrounging in the kitchen for food?
You’re not alone. Here are the top 10 reasons we just can’t stop snacking and a few easy remedies to help us say “no”!
1. You’re not hungry, you’re thirsty
We regularly confuse thirst with hunger, so it may be you aren’t getting enough water. Make sure you drink at least 6-8 glasses of water a day! If you feel the urge to binge, try having a big drink and then wait 10-20 minutes. If you’re still hungry, have a healthy snack.
2. Are you getting enough sleep?
If you aren’t getting your 7-8 hours of sleep a night this could be making you hungry!! Not getting enough sleep can lead to decreased production of Leptin, a key hormone in controlling appetite.
3. Has food become a habit?
Stop eating in front of the TV, and no more crumbs in the keyboard! When you regularly eat doing a specific task you become more likely to eat when doing that again! Make sure you sit down at the table with the TV off at a regular time to eat your meals.
4. Is alcohol causing you to eat more?
Alcohol lowers inhibitions so it’s a given that when you’ve been drinking common sense won’t kick in and stop you consuming that slice of (or whole) pepperoni pizza.
5. Are you skipping meals?
Obviously skipping a meal makes you hungry and allows your body to produce more Ghrelin, a hunger-stimulating hormone. This means you are more likely to gorge yourself later in the day. We’ve all been there. Skip lunch and once you get home you just can’t stop eating. Once you finally stop, you realise that you’ve eaten too much. Stop skipping meals, especially breakfast!
6. Is stress making you eat more?
When things go well we celebrate with food. When things go wrong, we console ourselves with food. Rather than eating your emotions, go for a walk, or crank up the music and dance around the house pushing the vacuum cleaner. If you’ve had a really bad day, go to a boxing class. Whatever you do, don’t just start eating!
7. You’re training harder
It’s simple, you’re training hard so your body wants more fuel. But that word itself is the answer. Your body is craving ‘fuel’ which means nutrients. Not sugar and junk food. Load up on green veggies.
8. Boredom and/or procrastination
Write yourself a list of tasks that you need to do and stick it on the fridge. That way instead of opening the fridge for food, you can remind yourself of something else to do instead.
9. You’re eating the wrong thing
You eat nutrient empty foods. When you consume nutrient rich food that contains more fibre, protein and water, you feel fuller for longer. As compared to sugary and carbohydrate filled foods like crisps and biscuits!
10. Are you eating because it’s convenient
You keep your food in arms reach at all times! Get rid of the desk drawer chocolate bars or treat cupboard, that way you won’t consume these empty calories. Same goes for food that isn’t hidden away in a cupboard or drawer Ever sat down at a table on which there was a plate full of nuts? You’re not hungry. As you chat to your friend, you start picking at the nuts. By the end of the conversation, the entire plate is gone, and you hardly noticed yourself eating them. Solution: move the food away! The chance of you getting up to get food is a lot less than you reaching for it when it’s within arm’s reach.
The reason you can’t stop eating junk food, or any food for that matter, could be related to one or more of the above. A few simple lifestyle changes could be all you need.
If you’ve been receiving our blog for a while, it won’t come as a surprise when we tell you that the secret to weight loss —and actually keeping off the weight—isn't a crash diet or starving yourself.
It's making long-term lifestyle changes that include eating healthy foods and moving your body in activities you genuinely enjoy.
Here are 10 simple yet effective diet and fitness tips that you can implement every day... even the weekends:
1. Carry a reusable water bottle everywhere
Hydration is a dieter's best friend. We often mistake thirst as hunger, so just drinking some water and waiting 20 minutes can fill up your stomach and might subside your appetite, keeping you from overeating when your body doesn't need food to fuel.
Not only that, drinking plenty of water helps keeps your bodily functions working in order, including digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature.
The easiest way to ensure you're getting enough water is by always carrying a water bottle with you.
2. Get plenty of sleep
According to researchers, sleep-deprived people consume about 300 more calories a day—which adds up to an extra 15 pounds a year! Set an alarm clock for the same time each day, even on weekends or days off. It'll help you sleep better by maintaining your body's internal clock. And if you have trouble actually getting to sleep, try establishing bedtime routines which can condition your body to feel sleepy. Reading does it for us! 2 pages in and we're out for the count!
3. Remove temptation
The first step of successful weight loss is manipulating your environment to make it hard to fail. One of the best ways to do that (at least at home) is removing all temptations from your kitchen and replacing them with healthy foods—in particular, fresh fruits and vegetables.
4. Walk at work
Sitting all day isn’t going to help you in your weight loss mission! Set a timer to simply get up from your desk and take a one-minute walk once every half an hour (with tip number 1, you might not need to set a timer after all… your bladder will do that for you!). For an 8 hour work day, walking 1 minute every 30 minutes is 16 minutes walking. So in a 5-day week, this translates to adding just 80 minutes of walking to your routine.
5. Eliminate empty carbs
While many diets begin by having you eat less, we prefer you just eat less of the wrong foods. Eating the wrong foods day in and day out—even on a calorie-controlled diet—may not cause weight gain, but it can prevent weight loss. That's because your body burns all of its fast carbs and sugars before it can burn stored fat. So, if you start to eliminate empty sources of carbs from your diet like white bread, biscuits, cakes and sugary drinks, and replace them with their whole-grain version, you'll be able to reap some of the health benefits without feeling like you're depriving yourself.
6. Cook at home
Save money and calories by bringing lunch to work every day and carrying homemade snacks instead of picking up energy-dense junk from the shop.
7. Up your protein
To maximise your health and weight-loss, aim to include protein in all of your meals and snacks. The best options? Lean protein sources like fish, eggs, legumes, low-fat dairy, and lean meat.
8. Meal plan and prep in advance
Meal planning is one of the best ways to help you gain control of your overall food intake. The most successful dieters work with a rotation of just a few go-to meals and snacks—because when you're tummy is rumbling, trying to figure out what you should eat typically doesn't end well. Make a point of prepping your meals and snacks in advance so you can always have ready-to-eat healthy foods with you. It's going to be far more difficult to eat a healthier diet and fit in exercise if you're too busy thinking about what you should be eating, which could end up being a greasy take-away.
9. Keep healthy snacks
Yes, you can snack and still lose weight! Fitting in healthy snacks can help maintain your blood-sugar levels, which keeps you full and prevents your body from storing excess fat or indulging in high-energy foods after what feels like starvation. Consider houmous and veggies, yoghurt with fruit, or peanut butter on whole wheat toast.
10. Slow down
Scoffing down meals in under 20 minutes can leave you unsatisfied because it takes just as long for hunger hormones to relay the message to your brain you've eaten your fill. Take your time eating your meals and actually enjoy them!
How many of these tips do you incorporate already? Which ones will you find easiest to add into your current routine? Even if you don’t adopt all of these straight away, starting with just a few of the easier ones can still make a big difference.
The best relationships in life provide so many positives. They make you feel happy, energised, feeling good, confident, respected, complete.
But a great relationship can take time to build.
They start off with a few dates. In fact it may take a few dates with a few different options to find one you’re actually compatible with, with that all important spark.
Once you’ve found a spark, you might have some more dates over the next few weekends. Things are going well so you start to see each other more often. Once a week turns into a few times a week, which turns into pretty much every day of the week.
After a while it seems pointless living in two separate places when you spend all your time together, so you make that first step to commitment and move in together and it just feels ‘right’.
Then BOOM you're getting married!
Pretty much every relationship starts off with some version of this.
Including your relationship with exercise!
You may be at the very beginning of your exercise relationship, looking for a compatible partner. If you’re just starting out, our advice is to get dating! Try different options. Try swimming, dancing, running, exercise classes, bootcamps, a personal trainer or an online programme.
See which one gives you that ‘spark’ and actually puts a smile on your face.
Once you’ve found ‘the one’ you’ll want to meet more often. And once you start seeing and feeling the benefits from your new relationship with exercise, you’ll never want to stop meeting up.
After a while you’ll surprise yourself and feel fully committed to exercise, spending most days enjoying each others company.
Our point is, it takes take to build a relationship with exercise. If you start off ‘committing’ straight away and force yourself into spending time with a version of exercise that you just don't enjoy, of course you’re going to end the relationship.
There are plenty of exercise fish in the sea.
Find one that works for you and you’ll fall in love sooner than you thought. But the only way you're going to get there is by taking action.
What instantly comes to mind when we mention the word 'salad'?
Yummy, nutritious, refreshing meal? Or 'pffft... salad's only for rabbits'.
Here at SFTW we LOVE a salad. But not just any old salad. In order for a salad to be worthy of gracing your plate it should be:
FULL of flavour
Most people throw a couple of tomatoes and lettuce leaves on a plate and think that is what a salad is all about, in that case we're not surprised the idea of one is so unappealing to them!
The best way to build a salad is to start with the basics and go from there.
- Choose your leaves of choice – Spinach, Kale, Leafy Greens and more- choices are endless here.
- Then choose the fillers – Tomatoes (sundried, sundrenched or fresh) Peppers (which colour/s) Mushrooms (shiitake, chestnut, oyster etc) More Greens (cucumber, asparagus, beans), Beetroot and so on!
- Healthy fats and Proteins (Avocado, Seeds, Nuts, Eggs, Oils, Quinoa, Chickpeas, Lentils)
- Root Vegetables (Butternut, Sweet Potato, Yams, Carrots)
A salad should be full of vitality, colours, minerals, and tempting to your palate! If you're stuck for inspiration, why not try this recipe out...
GREEK LAMB SALAD
• 1 palm sized lamb steak (cooked)
• 1 tomato
• 1/4 cucumber
• 1 thumb sized portion of feta and/or olives (half thumb of each)
• Pinch mint leaves
• Squeeze of lemon juice
• Sprinkle of dried oregano
1. Mix the oregano, lemon juice and a sprinkle of salt in a bowl and season well with ground black pepper. Add the chopped lamb steak and marinate for 5 minutes.
2. Add the tomatoes, cucumber, feta/olives to the lamb and toss lightly. Scatter with the mint leaves and serve.
What's your favourite summer salad recipe? Feel free to share!
We all know that feeling after a tough workout. Getting upstairs feels like you’re climbing kilimanjaro and squatting down to sit on the loo…. oh boy!
It is normal for muscle soreness to occur after a workout, even if you’re a fitness pro!
Any time you try a new workout that your body isn’t familiar with, it is very likely that you will experience some level of soreness.
But pain doesn’t always lead to gains. Sometimes that pain can mean you’re actually injured. Here's how you can distinguish between soreness and an injury, and what to do if you suspect you're hurt.
General soreness can mask an injury until it fades away. If symptoms linger, it's a good idea to check in with a doctor, physio or chiropractor to see what's going on.
Not only will they be able to rule out any potential injury, but they can also help create a specific plan to get you back on track.
An injury doesn't mean you need to stop exercising altogether, but you may need to change the kind of activity you do until you recover. There are usually alternative exercises you can do that would be safe.
We hope you find this email useful. And that you experience some innocent soreness this week. It’s always good to know you’ve been working hard ;)
We all know the formula. Burn more calories than you eat and you lose weight.
But do you HAVE to count your calories on a daily basis in order to get that magic formula working for you?
If you’ve ever wondered… “Can portioned eating really work?”, "Do I have to count calories to get results?”… here’s your answer
Firstly... what is portion control?
Portion control is simply focusing on eating specific portions of certain types of food, to determine the makeup of your meals and serve as a form of caloric control.
Instead of weighing or measuring your food and ‘counting’ calories, the focus is on whole, unprocessed foods from each of the macronutrient categories (protein, fat, carbs and veggies), and use various parts of your hand to determine serving sizes.
Advantages of portion control:
How does portion control compare to calorie counting in terms of results?
Firstly, it’s important to note that every person is different and the amount and speed of weight loss varies from person to person.
But comparing the results of ladies who use the calorie counting compared to portion control, both get great results.
The trick is in finding the approach that best fits your lifestyle. If you’ve tried calorie counting in the past and it drove you crazy - then its not the right approach for you. If you’ve tried portion control but admittedly you go a bit overboard with the portions then maybe calorie counting IS better for you?
At the end of the day, the best nutrition plan is the one that you can stick to consistently long term.
Monday again? That came round quickly, didn’t it!
How was your weekend? Did you stick to your healthy habits, so transitioning into a new week feels seamless?
Or did you “let it all go”, over-eat, and get off track… because it’s the weekend?
If that sounds about right, you’re probably feeling….
Physically - tired, bloated, puffy, and lethargic.
Mentally - frustrated, annoyed with yourself, disappointed, sick and tired of feeling like this AGAIN.
OK. So how can you avoid feeling like this next Monday? Because I know you really do want to get this healthy eating and exercise thing under control.
The last thing we want you to do is stop enjoying your weekends. That’s not what a “healthy lifestyle” should be about. But is your current approach healthy?
Assess the weekend just gone - what did you do well, and where did you struggle and fall off the wagon? Then build an action plan for next weekend. Keep working at it and it will get easier.
Getting control of your weekends comes down to planning, preparation, and habits.
…your food at weekends. Don’t just wing it.
…any meals/drinks out (fit them into your calorie goal).
…ahead with healthy food in the house.
…to have a healthy breakfast on Saturday.
…some of your meals and healthy snacks.
…your food and workout stuff ready for Monday.
Keep up with your exercise routine.
Get outside for a walk.
Get to bed at a reasonable time.
Drink your normal amount of water.
Do DIY or chores which add in extra movement (mow the lawn, wash the car).
Be consistent - whatever keeps you on track during the week will work at weekends.
None of this comes naturally - we still need to work on my weekend habits, and we do this for a living! But we promise it gets easier. You are NOT destined to feel like this every Monday.
Bad posture often comes about from bad habits.
Maybe you slouch in your chair, lean on one leg, or carry a heavy bag on one shoulder? Are you chin down down and hunched back while you scroll through your phone? Or maybe you do all of these and more?
If you have bad posture, it’s these everyday habits that are the cause as your muscles and ligaments adjust to the way you are holding yourself.
Sure, you want to have great posture for all those wedding photos, but looking at the bigger picture - living with bad posture can be a dangerous thing. The muscle and ligament imbalances can lead to all sorts of problems such as pain and discomfort in the shoulders, neck and back, sciatica, muscle atrophy and weakness, digestive issues, fatigue and difficulty sleeping, general stiffness and discomfort.
Bad posture also makes you more susceptible to injury.
Despite the importance of having good posture, most of us don't do anything to improve it. We go about our lives with hunched backs and imbalanced hips, and deal with pain because we think it's normal.
But its not all doom and gloom as you CAN retrain your body to have good posture. You just need to work on strengthening your core and check in with your posture on a daily basis. Correcting your posture may feel awkward at first because your body has become so used to sitting and standing in a particular way. But with a bit of practise, good posture will become second nature.
Here are some tips to help correct your posture on a daily basis:
- When sitting down, whether at your desk, in your car or on the couch, practice sitting upright with your back straight against the chair or seat, shoulders back and relaxed. If you feel yourself slouching, lift your shoulders up, draw them back, then relax them down. This back, yet relaxed down state is the natural way they should rest to give you the best posture.
- When walking, lock in your core, by consciously pulling your belly button towards your backbone. This will help strengthen and uplift your core. You can also try walking as if you had a book balanced on your head.
- Check the positioning of your feet in a relaxed standing position. Check that they are evenly apart and your toes are pointing forwards, or both slightly out to each side. Also check the weight distribution between each legs to avoid leaning on one more than the other. Consciously align your ears, shoulders and hips so your body is in a straight line rather than your chest and bum sticking out as you walk.
When it comes to the exercises needed to help support a healthy spine and good posture, the key is core workouts. Strengthening your whole core will go a long way towards helping encourage good posture.
Yoga and pilates are also great ways to help correct your posture, and get a workout in too. There are lots of free videos and challenges for beginners on YouTube so get searching and give it a go.
When it comes to exercise and weight loss, the same rules apply whether you're a man or a woman - you have to burn more calories than you eat to lose weight.
How we exercise is often the same as well, although women tend to prefer more cardio then men and they sometimes shy away from heavy weights (even though they shouldn't).
However, there are differences in how our bodies store and lose body fat and differences in how are bodies respond to exercise.
That's how you can workout everyday 3 weeks, stick to the diet religiously and only lose 2 pounds. Whereas hubby to be does a few pushups, jogs around the block, eats an entire pizza in one sitting and loses 10 pounds.
Slight exaggeration there (mostly), but it's true that men tend to lose weight faster than women.
Men have more muscle, which helps them lose weight more quickly, and they often respond to their workouts faster then women do. Experts have even found that women have a different heart rate response to exercise than men. All of this means that women have to work harder to get the same results as their male counterparts.
For these reasons, it's a good idea to avoid comparing results if you're losing weight as a couple.
This means that a husband shouldn't say, "Na-na-na-na-nah, I lost 4 more pounds than you," when getting his weight measured during a training session.
Similarly, a wife shouldn't threaten to sneak extra butter and fat into her husband's meals in revenge.
What about you? Have you gone through this with your spouse, friend or loved one? How do you handle it if one of you loses faster than the other?
Don’t worry ladies, not all is lost. Men may be losing all that weight in the first few months of their diet and exercise routine, but women do catch up eventually. So keep working toward those goals, ladies. It will all pay off sooner or later.