Smorgasbord Health Column – Food Therapy – Make the most of Summer – Homemade Fruit Salad and Smoothies


As a follow on from the recent series on the Weekly Grocery Shopping List of foods that contain the nutrients the body needs that contain the nutrients the body needs I am going to repeat my series from 2017 on the health benefits of some of our most common foods.

Food therapy is a broad term for the benefits to the body of a healthy, varied and nutritional diet of fresh foods.

Most of us walk through the fresh produce departments of our supermarkets without really paying much attention to the individual fruits and vegetables. This is a great pity because the vast majority of these foods have been cultivated for thousands of years, not only for their nutritional value but also for their medicinal properties. If you eat a healthy diet you are effectively practicing preventative medicine. A robust immune system, not only attacks external opportunistic pathogens, but also works to prevent rogue cells in the body from developing into serious disease.

NOTE – If you are on any prescribed medication do not take yourself off it without consultation with your doctor. If you follow a healthy eating programme and lose weight and are exercising you may not need the same dose and with your doctor’s agreement you may be able to reduce or come off the medication all together.

This week I thought I would bring some of the elements together of both the Food Therapy Series and Project 101 – Resilience, in a delicious way to give your body a boost.

Our local berry shop has re-opened recently following the lock down and is offering fresh raspberries and strawberries. About this time of year I find myself craving fruit and I end up substituting on of my lighter meals each day with a bowl with some yogurt.

You can mix and match your favourite fruits, but I have selected a few to share with you to illustrate the amount of health benefits they can bring to your body and brighten your day.

First a word about Fruit Smoothies

It is unfortunate that the food industry has latched onto fruit smoothies and labelled them healthy. The industrial process of producing a smoothie removes much of the goodness of the fruit, pumps sugar into the body and does not do much for your teeth either. When the fibre is pureed in the process in the factory or at home, it reduces the body’s ability to process the fructose slowly; giving you one big sugar hit. Squeezing fruit and removing all the fibre is actually worse as there is not even the pureed fibre to slow the absorption down.

Commercially produced smoothies also have a number of industrially produced elements that sort of takes away from the wholesome image and so sometimes… going back to basics is best. Carol Taylor has some great recipes for home-made smoothies that are much healthier along with some amazing ‘Cook from Scratch’ recipes for all the family.

Vegetable smoothies

I do drink vegetable smoothies, especially dark green leafy vegetables, with a carrot to add some sweetness. I usually make mine with cold Green Tea to add its health benefits and you can add other herbal teas too, such as peppermint or ginger which are great for the digestion.

I believe in having at least 8 portions of vegetables and fruit a day.. People often say that they could not possibly eat that much, but in fact it is easier than you think.

  • A chopped banana on your cereal for breakfast.
  • Some nuts and chopped apple for snack,
  • A salad with a large tomato, new potatoes, dark green lettuce and spinach mix and chopped red pepper for lunch with protein.
  • Broccoli, mushrooms and grilled onions with a chicken breast and a large spoon of brown rice for evening meal.

If you add that up you have consumed 7 different types of vegetable with a serving of nuts and three of fruit.

I tend to eat my fruit in the form of a fruit salad that I make and eat, either as a snack in the morning, or take with me when on the go. If I am not having a particularly active day, I will have as my supper.  I vary the fruits according to the season and also sneak in a couple of tropical additions from time to time.

Make sure that any fruit that you buy is fresh and high quality and I usually try to find a local grocer if possible who is sourcing the fruit from the area.  Try to make the fruit salad fresh every day as cut fruit, like vegetables loses its nutrients once it is prepared.

All of the fruits are alkaline-forming, which will help maintain the necessary pH -Acidity/Alkalinity balance for health and healthy amounts of the anti-oxidants necessary for protection against free radicals, and they all boost the immune system. Individually they add their own specific properties that make them ‘super fruits’ and provide a delicious way to protect your health and repair your body from the inside.

You can use any fresh, unprocessed and sugar free juice as a base but don’t drown the fruit, just use enough to moisten the fruit and help it slip down. I usually use coconut water, which is good source of potassium and is alkaline boosting… I also use blueberry, cranberry or apple juice for a fruit salad I am making for visitors, and usually buy fresh pressed that still has bits of fibre in.

fruit and veg bannerTHE APPLE really can help keep the doctor away as long as you eat the skin as well. Fibre helps reduce unhealthy cholesterol therefore helping reduce your risk of heart attacks and strokes. Pectin in apples will also help your body eliminate heavy metals such as mercury and lead. Like onions, this fruit contains high levels of a flavanoid called Quercitin, which is a very powerful anti-oxidant that has been shown to protect against heart attacks. Apple peel contains certain anti-oxidants called phenols that appear to offer us some protection from harmful UV- B rays. You can find out more about this powerful fruit Project 101 – An Apple a Day

THE KIWI is one of the more alkaline forming foods that adds not only the usual healthy fruit benefits to a fruit salad but has some of its own unique benefits. Kiwi fruit has been the subject of research because of its seeming ability to protect the DNA in the nucleus of the human cell from oxygen related damage. Although the Kiwi has an extremely high Vitamin C content, researchers believe that it is the combination of all its anti-oxidants that gives it this unique ability. One particular health area that really benefits is respiratory disease such as asthma.

THE PAPAYA is not just a taste of the tropics; it has some very powerful healing qualities that make its taste secondary. Papayas are rich sources of antioxidant nutrients, the B vitamins and the minerals, potassium and magnesium; and very importantly, fibre. Together, these nutrients promote the health of the cardiovascular system and may also provide protection against colon cancer. In addition, papaya contains the digestive enzyme, Papain, which is used to treat inflammatory diseases, injuries and allergies.

THE APRICOT has nutrients that can help protect the heart and eyes, as well as providing an excellent source of fibre. Eating Apricots has been shown to prevent the oxidation of LDL, which is the unhealthy cholesterol, this prevents plaques forming and lining the arteries. The apricot is also an alkaline forming food, which is great for helping the body maintain the correct acid/alkaline balance.

Apricots contain nutrients, such as the anti-oxidant Vitamin A, that promote healthy eyesight by destroying the free radicals that can damage the eyes’ lenses.

 

THE PINEAPPLE is rich in Bromelain which is an enzyme that helps digest proteins. It obviously aids digestion but it can also reduce inflammation and swelling. It is used for sore throats, more degenerative diseases such as arthritis and gout and can also to help patients to recover from operations.

Pineapple should always be eaten either alone or with non- protein foods otherwise the Bromelain’s effect will be reduced as it adopts its digestive role.

Pineapple of course contain the usual high quantities of Vitamin C to boost the Immune system but it also contains an excellent amount of manganese, which is a trace mineral essential for energy production and building the anti-oxidant line of defence. It provides a fantastic support for the body to fight off colds, flu and other bacterial and viral infections.

THE BLUEBERRY may be less available here in Europe and is more expensive than other fruits, but just adding one small basket of this very powerful fruit to your fruit salad will have some tremendous benefits. It is considered to be the most powerful anti-oxidant fruit and has been shown to benefit a diverse range of conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma, varicose veins, heart disease and cancers. Some of its properties actually enhance the work that other anti-oxidants such as Vitamin C are involved in. It strengthens the vascular system throughout the body, which degenerates as we get older.

You can add other fruits in season or for tasteRaspberries, Strawberries, blackcurrants, gooseberries, mango, pears etc, all of which have wonderful nutritional benefits.

If you are having a dinner party then you can add a small amount of liqueur into the fruit salad such as cointreau.. and serve with a dollop of cream or ice-cream.. I won’t tell anyone if you don’t!!

©Sally Cronin Just Food for Health 1998 – 2020

I am a qualified nutritional therapist with twenty-two years experience working with clients in Ireland and the UK as well as being a health consultant on radio in Spain. Although I write a lot of fiction, I actually wrote my first two books on health, the first one, Size Matters, a weight loss programme 20 years ago, based on my own weight loss of 154lbs. My first clinic was in Ireland, the Cronin Diet Advisory Centre and my second book, Just Food for Health was written as my client’s workbook. Since then I have written a men’s health manual, and anti-aging programme, articles for magazines and posts here on Smorgasbord.

If you would like to browse my health books and fiction you can find them here: My books and reviews 2020

Thank you for dropping in today and your feedback and questions are very welcome.. thanks Sally.

 

Turning Back the Clock serialisation – Chapter Two – Acid Balance in the body


51RashjEGcL._UY250_

CHAPTER TWO – ANTI-AGING AND A HEALTHY BODY REQUIRES THE CORRECT PH BALANCE.

Health and energy and long life all begin with a correct pH balance. The pH balance refers to the acidity or alkalinity of every living organism. The scale for measuring this balance is called Potential for Hydrogen or pH balance and each system or organ has its optimum balance for health. The scale goes from 0 to 14 with 7.0 being neutral with anything above 7 as alkaline and anything below 7 being acidic. Each step up or down is ten times the previous which means that even a change of .1 will have an effect on your body.

For example human blood stays in a very narrow pH range between 7.35 and 7.45. If the balance goes either side of this there will be varying symptoms of disease. In fact if the pH level drops too much below 6.8 or above 7.8 the heart can stop.

This illustrates how critical this level of acidity and alkalinity is for our health.

If you already have a health problem

If you have a health problem you are very likely to be acidic. Some of the early symptoms are acid after eating, acne, panic attacks, cold hands and feet, food allergies, bloating, mild headaches and fatigue. Sound familiar?

More acute symptoms are cold sores, depression, migraines, asthma, hives, and urinary infections (urine pH should be between 7.0 and 7.2. Under 5.3 you cannot absorb vitamins and minerals), hair loss, fungal infections and numbness and tingling.

Advanced symptoms are the diseases such as Crohn’s disease, MS, Leukaemia, Peptic ulcers, Cancer (thrives in a balance of 4.5 to 5.0), Hodgkin’s Disease, Tuberculosis, Lupus and Rheumatoid arthritis and Osteoporosis.

For example, an aging problem that both men and women are likely to experience is osteoporosis. One of the primary causes of osteoporosis is a lifetime of eating too much daily protein and refined sugars. This is very acid forming and necessitates the body continually pulling calcium from the bones to buffer this acidity. Animal protein is somewhat worse than vegetarian protein foods, but all exert an acidic effect. Eating a diet high in processed foods that contain a high sugar content also results in an increase in high acidity.

Too much acid will decrease the energy production in the cells and the ability to repair damaged cells. The body is unable to detox heavy metals and allows tumour cells to thrive. It will also cause a depressed immune system leaving the body wide open to infections.

As we age, we gradually dry up at the cellular level. As we get older cells get thicker. As a result the amounts of vital nutrients and oxygen brought into them declines while the amount of toxins and metabolic waste products increases. The end result is loss of youthful cell function and the start of degenerative diseases and a steady aging process.

What causes too much acid in the body?

An acidic balance occurs from eating an acid forming diet, stress, toxicity in our environment and lack of absorption of alkaline forming minerals. If the body cannot get enough alkaline forming minerals such as calcium from the diet it will borrow from our reserves, namely the calcium stored in the bones which leads to osteoporosis.

All food is burned to an ash in the body. Food ash is neutral, acid or alkaline depending on the mineral content of the food. To be considered alkaline forming the minerals sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium are predominant. If it is acidic forming the ash will contain sulphur, phosphorus and chlorine.

To be healthy the body needs to be in the ratio of 4 – 1. Four parts alkaline and one part acid.

Just because a food is acid to begin with does not mean that it is acidic forming once it has gone through the digestive process. For example, a lemon is citrus and acidic but the ash it produces is alkaline.

There are some physical causes for an acid build up in the stomach that can then lead to a disruption in the acid balances in other systems of the body. Eating too much at one time can result in inadequate processing in the stomach. We are all familiar with that overstuffed feeling that we get when we have eaten too much. If you eat too fast you can compound this problem and the stomach is simply not large enough nor can it produce sufficient processing power to deal with the amount of food in a short space of time.

We have also lost the art of relaxing after a meal, rushing around trying to cope with modern life does zero for the digestive process. I am sure that we can all remember when we were children that we were never allowed to swim or run around for at least two hours after a main meal. Digestion takes a great deal of energy and if you divert that energy towards vigorous exercise, food is not processed properly leading to stomach cramps and increased acidity.

Eating plan for acidity/alkaline balance if you are already experiencing high acidity related health problems that are making you feel older than you are!

It is important that you eat regularly and moderately to provide you with the nutrients that you require and to allow your body to process those nutrients to make them as accessible as possible for your body.

Your main meals are breakfast, lunch and dinner with three snacks in between depending on your energy requirements. The older we get the less we need to snack between meals especially if they are sugary in nature. Main meals should consist of some wholegrain or vegetable carbohydrate, animal or plant protein and a small amount of healthy fats. Always chew food slowly and if you put your knife and fork down between each mouthful you should be eating at the correct pace. If there is someone in your family who always finishes their meal after you then make it a point to slow down so that they finish first.

After a heavier than normal meal always try and relax for at least half an hour before moving around and certainly leave at least two hours before rigorous exercise.

Drinking a small cup of peppermint tea after a meal will aid digestion and it is better to eat fruit as a starter rather than a dessert as it digests much quicker than any other food. If you eat fruit within half an hour of a heavy meal it can cause a disruption to the digestive process.

Intermittent Fasting is also a way to allow your digestive system to process foods thoroughly over sixteen hours whilst you eat within the other 8 hours. If you are not hugely active then eating two main meals with a small amount of fruit as a snack is quite easy to get used to and has been shown to reduce the risk for diseases such as diabetes.

Foods that should be avoided.

Foods have different acid and alkaline properties. Some are acidic in the mouth but form alkaline ash; others are so heavily processed that they will turn to acidic ash in the stomach. If you suffer already from acid reflux or peptic ulcers you should follow the following recommendations as strictly as possible. This also applies if you have some of the more common degenerative diseases such as arthritis as an acid environment is perfect.

If you would simply like to ensure the correct pH balance in your body then you can adopt a 60/40 approach and ensure that acid forming foods are only included in your diet once a day. If you suffer from any chronic diseases then for the next six weeks I suggest you follow these guidelines. Make a note in any change in symptoms and if you find that they have improved then this ratio is something you might like to stay with longer term.

Very, very acidic ash forming foods that should be totally avoided are

All soft drinks, More than a cup of coffee per day especially with cream and sugar combined, alcohol in general but particularly cheap wine and beer, refined sugars in commercially produced white flour bread, cakes, sweets and biscuits and artificial sweeteners.

Salt should be used very sparingly, as it is acid forming as well as raising blood pressure.

Very acidic forming foods that can be included 20% of your daily diet are:

Chicken, turkey, fish, shellfish, lamb, beef, pork and other lean proteins.

Oranges (nectarines are okay)

Moderately acidic forming foods that can be included up to 30% of your daily diet.

Wholegrains, brown rice, corn, oats, lentils, walnuts, rye, wholegrain pastas, sunflower seeds, Pumpkin seeds, good quality wines, organic fresh coffee, yoghurt, milk and cheese. Slightly Acidic cranberries and all the beans.

ALKALINE FOODS THAT CAN BE INCLUDED FREELY EVERY DAY. (note that although some of these fruits contain natural fruit sugar they are alkaline. If however you are pre-diabetic or diabetic then you sould limit your fruit intake to one piece per day. Also avoid high sugar juices and instead substitute vegetables.

Figs, olives, apricots (dried as snack three), avocados, carrots, Spinach, Cabbage, Dates (three on salads), kiwis, limes, raspberries, strawberries, asparagus, bananas, celery, beetroot, melon, lettuce, parsley, pineapple, pomegranate (if available) nectarines, cherries, grapefruit, tomatoes, cucumber, cauliflower, lemons, string beans, peaches, mushrooms (shitake if not too expensive), watermelon, courgettes, apples and pears.

Are most fruit and vegetables alkaline forming?

Yes they are which is why I so often encourage people to move to a much higher level of vegetables and moderate fruit content in their diet. Ideally 80% of your diet should be unprocessed, fresh and preferably raw foods. However we are not going to go that far to begin with so I have set a 20% guideline for animal proteins, 30% for grains etc. and 50% for fruit and vegetables.

Some other neutral foods that you can use in moderation in the 20% field are the oils and butter and milk. These are classified, as neutral but should be used carefully if you are hoping to lose some weight.

What about sauces for foods? It is much better to make your own sauces from natural ingredients. It is the sugars in processed sauces that cause much of the acid effect. You can use olive oil or a little butter on vegetables and make salad dressings with olive oil and herbs. I find now that sauces, unless they are very light have become very cloying and take away the natural taste of the food.

PUTTING THE PLAN INTO PRACTICE.

lemons

A really good alkaline start to the day is the juice of half a lemon in hot water. Despite being an acid fruit, lemons are alkaline forming and also get your intestines moving.

Rotating your foods is always a good idea as most of us can build up an intolerance to foods that we eat every day and this can have an acidic effect on the body. I have given you some guidelines for rotating certain foods such as carbohydrates to not only get the maximum benefit from them but to also minimise any intolerances you might have.

CARBOYDRATES. SHOULD BE 30% OF YOUR DAILY INTAKE.

wholegrainsThe latest word from some of the experts in the field of nutrition is that you should drastically limit your grains in your diet. There is certainly evidence to suggest that a high intake of refined grains are not beneficial and lead to health problems. However, there is one very good reason for that. They are industrially produced and contain little nutrition, too many additives and usually a lot of added sugar. If you eat a great deal of cookies, processed white bread, certain breakfast cereals and cakes you will be ingesting sugars which are highly acidic.

A proportion of your diet should include wholegrains that have been minimally processed so that you obtain all the nutrition including B-vitamins that are stripped when refined. You also need the fibre they contain and by eating wholegrains you can reduce your protein levels and help reduce their acid content.

Suggested Carbohydrates

Whole-wheat or wholegrain bread, whole-wheat Pitta breads, shredded wheat, whole-wheat pasta, Rye Crisp breads, Pumpernickel, mashed parsnip. Cornflakes, Corn Tortillas, Porridge oats, sugar free muesli, Brown Rice, oatcakes, potatoes.

As you will see I have grouped these together in approximate wheat, corn, rice and oat days with the occasional potato thrown in. If you have a wheat intolerance only eating it every 4 to 5 days may well help you with any related allergy symptoms.   Your body is designed to remove toxins from the body efficiently provided you are only eating them every four or five days.

PROTEINS AND FATS. ROTATE THESE SO THAT YOU ARE ONLY HAVING THEM AT LEAST 3 OR 4 DAYS APART. SHOULD ONLY BE 20% OF YOUR DAILY INTAKE. We need protein and also some acid forming foods in our diet otherwise the balance goes too far the other way. We also need healthy fat and apart from extra virgin olive oil, lean protein with a little fat is not harmful. If you do not suffer from arthritis or acid digestive problems, eating a little more lean protein should not be a problem.

salmon

Lean meat beef, lamb, fish both healthy fat varieties such as salmon and white fish, chicken, turkey, Feta cheese, eggs etc.

Try to have red meat only once a week.

Try to get organic if you can but good quality anyway.

Use olive oil for cooking and on bread wherever possible.

Use butter as a spread rather than hydrogenated margarine.

For snacking eat walnuts (14 per day), almonds, Seeds such as pumpkin (all unsalted).

Use avocado a couple of times a week as a vegetarian alternative. You can also use tofu but watch any fat it is mixed with.

Avoid salted processed meats such as bacon and ham except for once a week.

FRUIT AND VEGETABLES. MINIMUM 50% OF DIET. RAW WHENEVER POSSIBLE.

Eat what you like from the list of alkaline forming foods above.

If you like to drink fresh fruit juice, unsweetened are best – they are available freshly squeezed in the supermarket or make at home, but need to be drunk on the day. I do suggest especially if you are trying to lose weight that you dilute with some sparkling mineral water, halving the sugar content. Most fruit juices are made with the higher sugar variety including oranges which burns to an acid ash. I suggest going with vegetable juices such as carrot.

Drink plenty of water, herbal teas etc. and what you like from the list of alkaline forming foods above.

N.B The above guidelines are suggested to reduce your acidity especially if you are already experiencing related chronic diseases such as arthritis. After six weeks you should experience more energy, better skin tone and less of the aches and pains we associate with getting older.

Make a note of your symptoms such as joint pain, headaches, lack of energy at this point and then make a note of how you are feeling each week. I would be interested to get your feedback at the end of the six weeks.

Thanks for dropping by and sorry for the long Chapter.. Chapter One can be found here.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/turning-back-the-clock-serialisation-anti-aging/

©sallygeorginacronin Turning Back the Clock 2016.

Please leave your comments and hit a few share buttons.. would be grateful and thanks. Sally

Turning Back the Clock serialisation – Anti-aging without the botox!


51RashjEGcL._UY250_Over the next few weeks I am going to be sharing my book on anti-aging.. Turning Back the Clock. Some of the strategies have been included in other posts on the various areas of health that can accelerate the natural aging process, but in this book I bring them all together.

This is a natural anti-aging programme. We all age but many of us are assisting the process with diet and lifestyle choices. This book takes a look at the physical, mental and emotional aspects of aging and how a little attitude adjustment goes a long way!

INTRODUCTION

A few years ago I had a series on radio called Turning Back the Clock, which I wrote in response to listeners in their 50’s and 60’s looking for rejuvenation and tips on staying young. Like me they were exasperated by the claims of the cosmetic industry that the various ingredients in their products could knock ten years off their age. I was asked to design a diet that would help reverse the signs of aging and this developed into a ten week challenge that was undertaken by nearly 100 listeners.

The answer to turning back the clock by several years is to consider and address a number of factors which include physical, emotional and mental age markers.

We have all met people in their 30’s who already seem staid and middle aged and it has nothing to do with the wrinkles on their faces. A positive attitude to life is key if you are to beat the clock and how you interact with the rest of the human race will determine your real age.

Certainly our diet plays a part in the health and fitness of our bodies but it is also about our emotional health and how we feel about ourselves that can make all the difference when looking in the mirror. A smile can knock years off as people are deflected from any lines you might have around your eyes.

CHAPTER ONE – WHY DO WE ALL WANT TO STOP THE AGING PROCESS?

It is not just about the way we look. Most of us will develop grey hair, expanding waistlines, wrinkles and a somewhat world weary appearance. Of course this is important but at the end of the day no-one is unique and everyone will face this process one day.

I don’t believe that we can stop the aging process, and unfortunately in this modern world, that aging process is accompanied in most cases with degenerative diseases of the body and the mind. Poor quality of life and a dependence on prescription drugs to get us through the last 10, 20 or even 30 years of our lives. However, I do believe that we can slow the process down and ensure that we are as pain free and as vital as possible to the very end.

I decided that I would like to grab back the last 10 years. They were great but there were many things that I could have done better. I cannot change the past but what I would like to do is have another go at it. We often say ‘If only I knew then, what I know now’. Well with a body that is 10 years younger I can go ahead with the knowledge that I have today and use that to do some things differently. I want more out of life not less and to do that I have to be fit and healthy.

What is the aging process and how is it accelerated?

That is a much debated question and there are number of reasonable and not so reasonable explanations. The more scientific have a certain amount of merit. In the following chapters I will be covering some of these areas in more detail.

FREE RADICAL DAMAGE.

As energy is generated in one cell, waste is produced. Waste products consist of unstable molecules, which are called free radicals. Some of these free radicals are quite helpful in fighting certain infections but they can also get out of control and start damaging healthy cells around them, which leads to serious disease.

In a nutshell progressive damage by free radicals leads to aging and age related diseases. Our lifespan is dependent on the damage caused throughout our lifetime and our own efforts to repair that damage by living a healthy lifestyle, reducing stress, eating healthily etc.

Anti-oxidants are the vacuum cleaners of the human body and their job is to kill these harmful free radicals. The good news is that a diet rich in anti-oxidants (brightly coloured vegetables) is part of the solution.

TOXICITY DAMAGE TO ORGANS.

Every day we are trying to cope with the toxins in our food, that we breathe in or we touch. It is very difficult to control our environment completely and to a degree our bodies are very efficient in dealing with low to moderate levels of toxicity. Organs and systems will either react very quickly as in Anaphylactic shock for example or slower such as with a daily ingestion of a food that we react intolerantly to.

Toxicity builds up when we eat high fat, sugar and stimulants to excess and the organs are in overload and are unable to cope. They become damaged and worn out, the cells die and so do we.

HORMONAL IMBALANCES

Our hormones govern many of the aspects of aging. There is some genetic connection with hormone profiles within families; particularly mother to daughters but research is showing that hormone stimulation and their effect on our bodies can be managed with diet and natural supplementation. I am not an advocate of artificial hormonal replacement although for some people it alleviates very distressing symptoms. In some cases it is necessary to ensure the wellbeing of a woman. I am very lucky in as much as I managed my own menopause with diet and nutrient supplementation and I found that to be perfect for me. Hair loss, menopause, lack of testosterone are all age related but although levels do drop this should not mean that we become old before our time.

ALKALINE AND ACID BALANCE

This is one of the areas that we are going to be focusing on in the first chapter as the more I have researched this particular area, and the more I have applied the principles to my own diet, the more impressed I have become.

This theory has worldwide recognition. Doctors and scientists in the US, Japan, China and Europe are beginning to appreciate the damage that acid has on our bodies. It is also one of the few theories of aging that is definitely manageable with healthy eating and some everyday normal supplementation of vitamins and minerals. One of the most caustic acids that we consume daily is sugar.

BEING OVERWEIGHT

This book is not a weight loss guide although if you follow the food guidelines at the back of the book and eat unprocessed fresh produce and prepare from scratch, the reduction in refined sugars will help you regain a healthy weight. This does not mean skinny. Research is indicating that if you are carrying a few pounds more than the weight charts recommend it is no bad thing! Thank goodness for that. However, carrying two stone or more of additional weight is going to put a strain on your skeleton, muscle strength and the accumulated fat will also be surrounding your major organs.

There is a lot of information now on anti-aging being weight related – is that true?

This is obviously an area very close to my heart. I had so many age related illnesses at 43 when I suffered from obesity. I had Rheumatoid Arthritis rheumatoid and Osteoarthritis. High blood pressure, High Cholesterol, menopausal symptoms, thin hair, fatigue etc.

It is now 20 years later and because I made some lifestyle and diet changes in my overall health is considerably better now than it was then.

There is bound to be general wear and tear but it will help enormously if you can get down to a reasonable weight that enables you to eat healthily, exercise comfortably, put less stress on the infrastructure and makes you feel more confident about yourself.

We do not need as many calories when we get older but we certainly need to take in far more nutrients which is why if you consume a diet that is high in a wide variety of vegetables, lean protein, fruits, nuts and seeds that will give you a really healthy boost of nutrients in a smaller package.

There is a great deal of information about ideal weights, but some of it is confusing – What is an easy way to calculate where you should be?

One of the easiest ways to calculate your optimum weight I have come across is this.

  • For medium framed women as a base use 100lbs up to 5 foot and then 5lbs for every inch over that height. Modify by 5% either way if you have a light frame or heavy frame.
  • For medium framed men as a base use 106lbs up to 5 foot and then 6lbs for every inch over that height. Modify either way if you have a light frame or heavy frame.
  • For example a woman who is a heavy frame and 5foot 6 inches would have an optimal weight of 100lbs + 30lbs = 130lbs x 5% = 6.5lbs giving an optimum weight of 136.5lbs or 60.2Kilos
  • A light framed man of 5foot 10 inches would be 106lbs + 60lbs = 166lbs less 5% = 8lbs = 158lbs or 72Kilos.
  • This is not exact but it gives you an approximate idea of where you should be. To be honest I have met people who are fantastically healthy, fit and full of energy who are a stone or even two stone heavier. But there is no doubt that if we are talking about anti-aging, being a healthy weight for your age and size is important.

Intermittent Fasting to lose weight and increase health.

For the last two years I have been following the Intermittent Fasting eating programme. I eat within an 8 hour window each day and have found that I have more energy. I also follow my own advice and eat at least 80% of my food from natural and unprocessed sources. My husband does likewise and it is a form of eating that suits us. If you are interested in losing weight you will find an excellent guide to Intermittent Fasting in The Fast Diet by Dr. Michael Mosley and Mimi Spencer or go to their website www.thefastdiet.co.uk/. If you are severely overweight and would like to explore the emotional, mental and physical aspects and a complete weight reduction programme then you might like to read one of my previous books. Size Matters is the story of my weight gain and loss and the programme I designed to help me lose my weight and those of my clients in the following years. You can find it in E-versions at www.moyhill.com/sm

Next week: CHAPTER TWO – ANTI-AGING AND A HEALTHY BODY REQUIRES THE CORRECT PH BALANCE.

I hope you will enjoy the series and look forward to your feedback.. Sally