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In a blink of an eye summer is over and autumn has begun. The reality is that days start to get shorter and nights start to have that familiar crisp in the air. Here comes the cold and here comes the flu season. Time to start thinking immune system. It is so important to care for this very delicate system and you will be rewarded with good health and minimal sick days.
Here are 10 tips you can easily implement to help Boost that baby, as the days get cooler.
- Water Water Water – as the days get cooler we forget to keep drinking, as we don’t feel as thirsty. Good, clean filtered water is essential for flushing out mucus as well as keeping your mucus membranes hydrated to ease congestion. If you are struggling with water try a herbal tea.
- Dairy – try reducing your dairy intake over the cooler months. Too much dairy is known to increase your mucus production. Try some delicious alternatives to dairy like almond milk, coconut yoghurt and goats cheese. There are a lot on the market, find one you like and stick to that where ever you can.
- Garlic – is known for its bacteria and virus fighting properties. It is a very powerful antiviral nutrient to support the body when the temperature changes. Easy to add to meals, eat it where ever you can.
- Caffeine – try and reduce your caffeine intake in the form of coffee, soft drinks, energy drinks, all of them! Whilst you may feel like you need a pick me up with the change of season however this will dehydrate your mucus membranes and draw vital water out of your body needed to keep you hydrated.
- Vitamin C – you’ve heard it before vitamin c boosts your immune system so why not add a supplement to your morning regime it is such a great vitamin for winter and is predominant in all the seasonal fruit around winter. Foods such as broccoli and blueberries will have your highest concentration, but don’t forget the citrus fruits such as your orange and lemons.
- Probiotics – take a therapeutic probiotic that has an accompanying prebiotic as you immune system starts in your gut. Support your gut and you have a much better chance of fighting the bugs off. Try also adding some fermented foods into your diet. You can never have enough probiotics.
- Essential fatty acids – increase these into your diet, especially omega 3’s. These are important for their anti-inflammatory action which will keep your sinuses clear. High sources of these omegas are fish, avocado, nuts and seeds.
- Pineapple – this will be your best asset to your diet. Pineapple is high in bromelain an enzyme proven to reduce congestion and inflammation – the two most important symptoms to be reduced at this time of year.
- Veggies – eat as many as you can throughout the day in raw or juice form. These are packed full of immune boosting nutrients to keep you fighting fit. Focus on your leafy greens such as your spinach and kale.
- Exercise – stay active, as it starts to cool down DO NOT reduce your exercise. Exercise is an important part of keep your immune system at a level to fight infection
Follow these simple tips to ensure your immune system is ready for the change of season
Reference: Sinead Smyth from Naednutrition
Are you one of those parents, that the week after Easter says to themselves, “Oh my goodness, why did I buy so much stuff for Easter?” Well, if you are, you are certainly not alone as this is such a common thing parents go through. It seems crazy that we all get so obsessed with making sure the kids “get enough” treats and don’t feel like they are missing out.
But is this really a treat we are giving our children? Allowing them for 1 day… or 1 week for some families, to be filled to the brim with highly processed “foods” and harmful food additives? To be left in a foul mood, unable to control their feelings and suffering for days afterwards? From my experience (believe me, I have been on both sides of this common dilemma), it is much nicer for them and for you to worry less about buying the brightly coloured treats and focus more on the important stuff. So to help you have a stress free and easy peasy Easter without the tantrums and headaches from you or your children, here are 8 Simple steps to take when preparing for Easter this year.
1. This is always my first step but I’m going to say it again, be prepared! Make lists of ingredients and items you would like to buy and do the shopping when you aren’t stressed so you don’t make impulse purchases, have a plan, have a budget and stick to them both.
2. I love to save time and money by shopping online, it’s the only way you can shop in your pyjamas and not get funny looks from strangers.
3. Talk to your kids well before Easter, explain to them that you love them so much, you don’t want to make them sick and you feel that consuming toxic food additives, even as a “once off” is still terrible for their health. When we are open and honest about these things our children will choose to be healthy! Kids love to learn about and take responsibility for their own health, this is a great opportunity for them to do that.
4. Replace all of the mini chocolates and lollies with small items that children love, like hair ties, cute pencils and erasers, small Lego toys or other little, affordable items that will last a lot longer than chocolate. Easter, Easy Peasy and Additive Free
5. You can buy small plastic eggs for the Easter egg hunt; these are hollow eggs that you can pop little trinkets in, so children can still have the egg hunt, minus the harmful food additives. My girls LOVE these little eggs and use them all year round, creating treasure hunts together.
6. Save money by making home made eggs, you can purchase yummy organic chocolate from organic stores and health food shops, simply melt it in a double boiler, pour into your Easter moulds and wait for it to set, it really is that simple.
7. Sweet treats don’t always need to be full of sugar. You can make nut truffles, icy poles and other snacks that are additive free, full of nutrition and taste amazing.
8. Focus your energy on having a fun day, remember what Easter is all about and just enjoy being a family, Easter isn’t about gorging on additive laden highly processed foods and suffering the consequences, it is about celebrating life, celebrating family and just enjoying your precious time together.
Tegan Benfell Founding Director and passionate advocate for healthy children
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Temptation for chocolate and sweets is everywhere in the lead up to Easter, with chock-a-block displays of Easter Eggs of all shapes, sizes and flavours piled high along every aisle of your local supermarket.
More people fall off the weight-loss wagon at Easter than any other time of the year except for Christmas, but it doesn’t have to be that way if you take control. At Easter time, a chocoholic’s willpower can go out the window but with a little motivation, you can resist temptation and continue on your healthy eating regime. One of the keys is to remember that you are not missing out on anything as funnily enough Easter isn’t the only time you can eat chocolate. It is sold 365 days of the year and yet more people quit their diets over Easter, often after making a great start to the year. If you don’t want this to happen then having a plan of attack will help.
For children too, Easter can be like a free-ticket to eat as much chocolate as they want. However, while it’s fine to enjoy some Easter treats the key here is moderation, and to have a treat occasionally rather than all the time. Remember that eating habits are learnt early on and your children will follow your example – so it’s up to you to set some healthy guidelines.
With a little planning now, you and your family can sail through Easter without weight gain and all that can lead to. Decide right now how much chocolate you will allow at Easter and then stick to it. Just remember the more sweet food they eat the more they may crave. If your children are given chocolate eggs by well meaning family and friends, then encourage them to share the treats around and only have a few at a time.
The other treat enjoyed over Easter are hot cross buns, which have around 2-5g of fat, but when you add lashings of butter it’s just like chocolate, and needs to be eaten in moderation. Try to balance any addtional treats with healthy family meals and put an emphasis on outdoor activites, walks and exercise to counter balance the treats.
By Annette Sym
Annette’s cookbooks SYMPLY TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE 1-6 are sold in all good newsagencies.
Visit Annette’s website www.symplytoogood.com.au for more tips and recipes.
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With Easter fast approaching parents of kids with allergies start to worry about what they can give their kids for Easter, especially parents who have not done it before. It gets particularly hard for kids who can’t have chocolate. We don’t want our kids to feel left out. It just takes a little bit of planning to make the day special for them. Just make sure you’re prepared with school age kids for all of those Easter eggs that end up at school too!
Here 7 tips
Look for dairy, gluten and nut free chocolate alternatives.
- Make your own chocolate eggs or treats using a ‘safe’ chocolate.
- You don’t have to focus on chocolate – make or buy some healthy treats and wrap in Easter cellophane and tie with ribbons. You could even use Easter moulds so it is still Easter themed.
- You can of course bake safe Easter biscuits or cupcakes using your favourite base cake or biscuit mix (check out the pantries of www.whatcanieat.com.au for some packet mix choices on the market)
- If your kids are on a really restricted diet get some empty plastic eggs and fill them with a small toy. A bit like the Kinder Surprise idea.
- Think about books for young kids. There are lots of Easter themed picture books available.
- Other non-food inexpensive Easter gifts include Easter hairclips, soaps, bath bombs, stickers, bunny ears, soft toys, cups and plates etc.
- Don’t be afraid to ask friends and family to not exchange chocolate eggs this year. Your friends and family are generally relieved that they don’t have to worry about what to do.
For a great range of product recommendations, recipes, articles go to www.whatcanieat.com.au..
Have a happy and relaxing Easter!