Lifestyle Tips

DRY JANUARY and beyond.

DRY JANUARY and beyond.

By Joanie in Health Tips, Lifestyle Tips on 5 January 2023

As the festive season comes to an end & everyone has drank probably more champagne than they would like to admit, more and more people seem to be jumping on the “Dry January Train” where you avoid drinking any booze for the entire month. Some do it as a way to detox from the excessive drinking over the holidays while others make it part of a New Year’s resolution to drink less.  

Either way, giving up booze or limiting the amount you drink can have amazing health benefits on your mind and body.  This is because alcohol puts metabolic stress on the liver, raises blood pressure and can also weaken your immune system among many other health problems. (most dependant on how much you drink).⠀⠀

Some of the health benefits of having a Dry January:⠀⠀

1.) Better Sleep – Alcohol disrupts the quality of sleep as it decreases “Restorative REM Sleep” reducing the amount of time spent in a deep sleep.⠀⠀

2.) Your waistline may shrink – Boozy beverages are high in calories. So having a few drinks a day can increase your calorific intake which often makes you put on excess weight.  Alcohol also wreaks havoc on your blood sugar levels causing your body to crave salty, greasy, sugary and starchy foods.⠀⠀

3.) Improved Concentration and Mood – Alcohol has many different effects on your mental health. It can increase your risk of anxiety and depression because it depletes your brains serotonin levels. It also depresses the central nervous system which can make your mood fluctuate.⠀⠀

4.) Better Skin – Alcohol is extremely dehydrating and can leave your skin looking dry and sallow. It can also deplete vitamins and minerals that are essential for healthy skin.⠀⠀

5.) May change your attitude towards alcohol – Studies have shown that 64% of people who participated in Dry January drank less alcohol even 6 months after they finished. The important thing is to continue healthy drinking habits beyond January. Studies have shown for optimum health, people should be drinking within the recommended low risk alcohol guidelines across the whole year which means that men and women are advised not to drink more than 14 units per week on a regular basis.⠀

Beat the Cold & Flu Season

Beat the Cold & Flu Season

By Joanie in Health Tips, Lifestyle Tips on 29 December 2022

The cold Winter air is upon us and the holiday season is  here. But unfortunately with all that cold air comes the inevitable cough and cold season. Once everyone starts staying inside, germs start to spread and those wintertime maladies start coming on. While there is no cure for a cold (your GP will tell you it has to run its course), there are a few things you can do naturally that will help fight it off.

There is a lot of research that suggests that there are some really effective health remedies that can not only shorten the time you are ill but also prevent a cold and flu before it starts.

Here are 5 Natural Immune Boosers that can help fight off those nasty colds.

1.) Vitamin C- Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant that improves the body’s immune function. It also strengthens your body’s natural defences and protects cells from harmful free radicals. Studies have shown that taking Vitamin C  can not oly reduce the severity of cold symptoms, but also decrease the recovery time of a cold.

2.) Echinacea- Echinacea is a flowering plant called coneflower. Echinacea has been a popular herbal remedy for centuries. Today, it is often used to prevent or treat viruses that cause colds and the flu because of its effect on the immune system. Research shows Echinacea increases the number of white blood cells, which fight infections.

3.) Zinc- Zinc is one of the most crucial minerals for overall immune function. It is found in cells throughout the body and helps the immune system fight off invading bacteria and viruses. Some studies show that taking zinc glauconitic  every 2 hours within the first two days of a cold can decrease its duration.

4.) Flavonoids- These are antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables. Studies suggest that flavonoid supplements may reduce the risk of infections in the lungs, throat and nose by 33%, on average.

5.) Garlic- This common spice contains some antimicrobial compounds that may help fight respiratory infections. Studies show that galic can help fight colds & the flu. It can reduce your chances of catching anillness, and help you recover faster.

Always consult your GP before taking any type of supplements.

Holiday Drinking

Holiday Drinking

By Joanie in Health Tips, Lifestyle Tips on 23 December 2022

The holiday season is a time for celebration, but it’s important to remember that alcohol can have negative effects on your health if consumed in excess.

Here are three reasons why you should avoid drinking too much alcohol during the Christmas season, and three tips for enjoying the holidays without overdoing it on the alcohol.

1. Alcohol can impair your judgment and decision-making abilities. Drinking too much alcohol can impair your ability to think clearly and make good decisions. This can lead to risky behaviours and accidents, and can put you and others in danger.

2. Alcohol can impair your judgment and decision-making abilities. Drinking too much alcohol can impair your ability to think clearly and make good decisions. This can lead to risky behaviours and accidents, and can put you and others in danger.

3. Alcohol can impair your judgment and decision-making abilities. Drinking too much alcohol can impair your ability to think clearly and make good decisions. This can lead to risky behaviours and accidents, and can put you and others in danger.

To enjoy the holiday season without overdoing it on alcohol, try these 3 tips:

1. Limit your alcohol consumption. If you do choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation. The recommended maximum amount of alcohol for men is three to four units per day, and for women it’s two to three units per day.

2. Alternate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks such as water or fresh juice to help reduce your alcohol intake and stay hydrated.

3. Offer to be the designated driver. If you’re attending a holiday party or gathering, consider volunteering to be the designated driver. This will help ensure that everyone gets home safely, and you’ll be able to enjoy the festivities without overdoing it on alcohol.

By following these tips, you can enjoy the holiday season without risking your health and wellbeing.

Natural Remedies to combat the Holiday Stress

Natural Remedies to combat the Holiday Stress

By Joanie in Health Tips, Lifestyle Tips on 18 December 2022

The Christmas holidays are often a joyous and festive time of year, but for many people, the season can also be a major source of stress and anxiety. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, there are several natural remedies you can try to help reduce your mental stress during this busy time of year.

  1. Exercise regularly. Regular physical activity can help reduce stress and improve your overall mental health. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, such as brisk walking or swimming, on most days of the week.
  • Get enough sleep. Sleep is essential for both physical and mental health. Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep each night to help your body and mind recharge and reduce stress.
  • Eat a healthy diet. A balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help support your mental health and reduce stress. Avoid excessive caffeine, alcohol, and sugar, which can contribute to feelings of anxiety and irritability.
  • Try relaxation techniques. Techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, and yoga can help calm the mind and reduce stress. Practice these techniques daily, or whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed, to help manage your stress levels.
  • Connect with others. Spending time with friends and family, and participating in social activities, can help reduce feelings of isolation and improve your mood. Connecting with others can also provide support and a sense of community during the holiday season.

By incorporating these natural remedies into your daily routine, you can help reduce your stress levels and enjoy a more peaceful and joyful holiday season.

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal Affective Disorder

By Joanie in Health Tips, Lifestyle Tips on 25 November 2022

As the winter months start to roll in and the days become shorter, it is not uncommon for a lot of us to start to feel flat and fatigued. For some, the extremities of the winter weather can be debilitating, severely impacting mood, energy levels and even making you feel unwell for large parts of the year. This is a condition called Season Affective Disorder (SAD) also known as winter depression as the symptoms tend to arise in the colder winter months when daylight starts to deplete. In fact, the NHS report that this condition will affect 1 in 15 people from the months of September to April. 

Some of the common symptoms of SAD are:

✳️Lack of energy or fatigue
✳️Finding it hard to concentrate
✳️Trouble sleeping or struggling to get up in the morning.
✳️Low mood
✳️Feeling unsociable or not enjoying things you usually do.
✳️Increase or decrease appetite

There are some very helpful tools that you can try yourself to help improve your symptoms: Spend as much time as you can in natural sunlight. For example, go on walks, spend time in the garden or local park and when you are at home try sitting by a well-lit window.

💪Physical Activity- Exercise can be an incredibly effective treatment for depression and fatigue. It is best to find out what type of exercise works for you, but this could be as simple as going for a brisk walk in the countryside or doing some gardening.

💡Light Therapy –Some people with SAD find that light therapy can improve their mood considerably. This involves sitting by a special lamp called a light box, usually for around 30 minutes to an hour each morning.

🍎Eat a balanced Diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables and also foods that are slow energy releasers such as pasta, rice, oats, wholegrain bread and cereals, nuts and seeds. Some research also suggests that taking a Vitamin D supplement in the winter months can be effective. This is because Vitamin D plays a role in maintaining positive moods.

💙Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), where you talk to a trained therapist to help change the way you think and feel about situations. 

Lung Cancer Awareness Month

Lung Cancer Awareness Month

By Joanie in Health Tips, Lifestyle Tips on 13 November 2022

Lung cancer continues to be one of the most common cancers worldwide, claiming more lives yearly than breast, colon and prostate cancers combined. It is estimated that lung cancer accounts for nearly one in five cancer deaths globally. 

Every year, Lung Cancer Awareness month helps inform communities of the risk factors that may lead to lung cancer, like smoking cigarettes and other harmful tobacco products. This observance also sheds light on the preventative measures we can advocate for in an effort to stop the development of lung cancer, and ultimately find a cure for this devastating disease.

What are they symptoms of Lung Cancer?

  • A new, persistent cough that may worsen over time
  • Cough that produces blood
  • Hoarseness or wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain in the chest, back, or shoulders that worsens when coughing, laughing, or breathing
  • Unexplained weight loss or sudden loss of appetite
  • Feeling weak or tired

Symptoms can vary between cases, but it’s important to be proactive if a new or persistent symptom arises.

Taking the preventative measures to keep yourself and your loved ones from developing lung cancer is extremely important. One of the most common risk factors linked to lung cancer is smoking cigarettes which is a habit that is entirely preventable. Encourage those you love to choose other methods over smoking in an effort to eliminate the risks of developing lung cancer. 

Attending routine doctor checkups and physicals is also important for maintaining overall lung health.

On the occasion of Lung Cancer Awareness month, we must spread awareness about it and focus on ways to keep our lungs in a healthy condition.



By Joanie in Health Tips, Lifestyle Tips on 8 November 2022

Millions of people around the world are experiencing high levels of stress during these very challenging times.  For some of us, it can be debilitating and often damaging to our health.  Stress is a significant factor in mental health problems including anxiety and depression. It is also linked to physical health problems like heart disease, problems with our immune system, insomnia and digestive problems.

Stress is a normal part of human existence and nobody is immune to it. Therefore, it is important that we take care of our mental health and arm ourselves with the  knowledge of how to recognise the onset of stress and also learn skills on how to cope with it when it arises.

Since it is officially International Stress Awareness week, we thought we would share some helpful tips on how to reduce stress during these very difficult times.

1. Meditate— Since your immune system responds to both negative & positive thoughts, meditation creates a positive mental environment for the immune system to flourish. It also creates a deep state of rest that triggers the brain to release neurotransmitters that enhance feelings of wellbeing.

2. Breathe — Doing some slow, belly breathing can calm the mind, which in turn strengthens the immune system. When we slow down the breath, we calm the stress response that can weaken the immune system. Try counting to 4 or 5 with each inhalation and exhalation to slow down your breathing.

3. Sleep— Sleep has been known to boost T-cells which help us fight disease, especially viral diseases. Get at least 7-8 hours of  sleep.

4. Eat well – Eating a healthy diet high in fruits and vegetables are vital for our immune system as the vitamins, antioxidants and micronutrients that they contain keep our cells healthy and  support our immune system.

5. Get regular exercise — Exercise can contribute to overall good health and therefore to a healthy immune system. It may contribute even more directly by promoting good circulation, which allows the cells and substances of the immune system to move through the body freely and do and do their job efficiently.

Osteoporosis Awareness Day

Osteoporosis Awareness Day

By Joanie in Health Tips, Lifestyle Tips on 19 October 2022

Today is Osteoporosis Awareness Day. Osteoporosis is a health condition that causes the bones to become weak and brittle which then puts us at a higher risk for bone fractures. Losing bone is actually a natural slow progression that comes with aging, but for some people, this happens much faster than for others. Women in particular, are more susceptible after menopause when the process of bone loss really accelerates.

The good news is that the disease is both preventable and treatable. Here are some key lifestyle changes that you can make to help protect your bones and promote overall heath:

1.)Get enough Calcium– Calcium is essential for maintaining strong bones. The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends 1,000 mg of calcium daily for women under age 50 and for men under 70, and 1,200 mg for women 51 and older and for men over 70. The best way to ensure you are getting enough calcium is through your diet.

2.) Vitamin D is just as important to help prevent osteoporosis as it helps your body absorb calcium from the food you eat. It is recommended that all adults under the age of 50 get 400 to 800 IU of vitamin D, or 800 to 1,000 IU if you’re over 50. If you’re not getting enough vitamin D through your diet or sunlight, consider taking a supplement. Most daily multivitamins contain at least 400 IU.(always consult your GP before taking supplements).

3.)Exercise is critical for bone health as your bones get stronger when you give them a workout (just like your muscles). Moderate intensity aerobic activities such as brisk walking, cycling or strength training with weights 3or 4 times a week can significantly improve your bone health.

4.) Avoid- Smoking as it is associated with an increased risk of osteoporosis. Limit your alcohol intake as it can also contribute to bone loss. The NHS recommends not drinking more than 14 units of alcohol a week. Also limit caffeine such as coffee, tea or soda as caffeine leaches calcium from the bones.

5.) Eat a Well Balanced Diet with a variety of Fruits & Vegetables:This not only helps with Osteoporosis prevention but is also essential for overall health.

World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day

By Tiffany in Health Tips, Lifestyle Tips on 11 October 2022

To bring awareness to World Mental Health Day, we thought we would share  9 simple ways to help look after your Mental Health.⠀⠀

🌸Be physically active⠀

🌸Talk about your feelings⠀

🌸Eat Well⠀

🌸Get at least 8 hours of sleep per night⠀

🌸Try something new⠀🌸Practice mindfulness⠀

🌸Keep in touch with friends and family ⠀

🌸Preform acts of kindness ⠀

🌸Ask for help⠀⠀

Remember to be kind to yourself❤️

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

By Joanie in Health Tips, Lifestyle Tips on 2 October 2022

Breast cancer is a scary thought & all too many women assume that it won’t happen to them. However the fact is, every 10 minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer & it is the most common type of cancer in the UK. Most women that are diagnosed with breast cancer are over the age of 50 but younger women also get breast cancer. 1 in 8 women are diagnosed during their lifetime. If breast cancer is discovered in its early stages, there is a great chance of recovery. This is why it is so crucial for all women to check their breasts on a regular basis & have their routine Mammograms.⠀ ⠀

Symptoms of Breast Cancer: Breast cancer can have a number of symptoms, but the first noticeable symptom is usually a lump or area of thickened breast tissue. Most breast lumps are not cancerous, but it’s always best to have them checked by your doctor.⠀ ⠀

You should also see your GP if you notice any of the following:⠀

🔴Change in the size or shape of one or both breasts⠀

🔴Discharge from any of your nipples which may be streaked with blood⠀

🔴A lump or swelling in either of your armpits⠀

🔴Dimpling on the skin of your breasts⠀

🔴A rash on or around your nipple⠀

🔴A change in the appearance of your nipple, such as becoming sunken into your breast.⠀ ⠀

🔴Breast pain is not usually a symptom of breast cancer.⠀ ⠀

Even if none of these symptoms present themselves, a doctor should be visited to be sure. All women in the UK are invited for a Breast Cancer Screening (Mammogram) every 3 years. A mammogram examination can often detect cancer before any symptoms arise. ⠀ ⠀

Reducing your risk of Breast Cancer:⠀ ⠀

Cancer is often unpredictable and the causes of cancer are not fully understood, but there are things everyone can do to help reduce their cancer risk or improve their chances of beating the disease if they do get it. These lifestyle habits changes can also help lower your risk for other serious diseases & boost your odds of living a longer, healthier life.⠀

💖Maintain a Healthy Weight⠀

💖Exercise regularly⠀

💖Have a low intake of saturated Fat⠀ ⠀

💖Limit your intake of Alcohol⠀ ⠀

💖Don’t smoke⠀ ⠀