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bye-bye-cellulitis

Cellulite affects a staggering 80-90% of women. It affects the slim, as well as the overweight, most commonly appearing on the thighs and buttocks, and sometimes on the stomach, breasts and arms. It’s no threat to health, but is certainly upsetting and embarrassing and may be an indication that your lifestyle could be healthier. Unfortunately, there are no miracle creams or treatments that will shift it, but making some positive changes to your diet and lifestyle can make a big difference. Now is the perfect time to start making these changes if you want to be dimple-free by summer.

What is Cellulite?

Cellulite is simply fat which looks different because of the way it is arranged. It occurs when fat cells under the skin expand and begin to protrude through the layers of connective tissue that lie on top of them. What happens is the enlarged fat cells push upwards and at the same time the long strands of connective tissue pull down, creating an uneven surface, with the fat cells bulging out like stuffing in a mattress. This leads to the characteristic ‘orange peel’ dimpling of the skin.

legs-cellulitis

Causes

The causes of cellulite are complex, being down to mixture of many factors. Some of these we cannot alter like our genes and age, but others we can modify such as diet and exercise.

  • Being female is the single biggest risk factor, with only 10% of men getting cellulite vs. 80-90% of women! This is because men’s connective tissues and fat cells are arranged differently; they have a kind of ‘scaffolding’ holding everything in place.
  • Ageing is next, as the strands of connective tissue become thicker and less elastic as we get older, and at the same time the skin gets thinner making cellulite more noticeable. Body fat percentage also rises with age.
  • Genes play a role, with cellulite severity running in families. If your Mum suffered, it is more likely that you will.
  • Hormones are believed to affect the development of cellulite, especially the female hormone oestrogen.
  • Gaining weight tends to make cellulite worse, although slim people can still be affected.
  • Inactive lifestyles and lack of muscle tone will increase cellulite and also make it appear worse.
  • Poor circulation and inadequate drainage are thought to be involved, so anything that prevents this such as tight fitting clothes won’t help and anything that encourages drainage such as movement and drinking plenty of water should help.
  • Stress is believed to make cellulite worse and is known to lead to the breakdown of connective tissue.

Your 5-Step Cellulite Busting Plan

melon-juice

1) Diet

In terms of diet, losing any excess weight through a healthy diet and regular exercise will have the biggest impact on cellulite. This will usually reduce the appearance of cellulite in most people, but may not get rid of it completely.

Melon juice extract was found in a recent French study to reduce cellulite on the thighs. 40 Healthy women aged 31 to 50 were given melon juice extract for 56 days, and a significant reduction in cellulite on the thighs was observed, as scored by a physician. Although this study used a concentrated extract, it certainly won’t hurt to include some melon in your regular diet (2).

In addition, cutting out or down on sugar and processed foods and limiting salt intake are all sensible measures you can take. Base your diet around whole foods with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables; forget 5-a-day and aim for a minimum of 7 servings. Also include wholegrains, nuts, seeds, pulses and good quality proteins such as eggs, fish and poultry in moderation. Eating a plant-heavy diet can also reduce inflammation in the body, which is believed to make cellulite worse.

drink-water-hydration

2) Hydration

Staying hydrated by drinking water and eating foods with high water content will help. Aim to eat more high water fruit and vegetables such as cucumbers, watermelon, tomatoes, celery, lettuce and spinach. Also include vegetables with a diuretic effect such as asparagus, fennel, beetroot and artichokes.

As well as being good for drainage and flushing out toxins, water can help you lose weight! Simply drinking 500ml of water half an hour before meals helped dieters lose an extra 1.3kg in 12 weeks in a 2015 study (1). This is also much better than drinking water with meals, which can dilute digestive juices, making them less effective, so we don’t digest our food as well.

keep-in-fit

3) Exercise

Regular exercise is one of the best weapons in the fight against cellulite. It cannot necessarily cure it, but can reduce its appearance. Resistance leg exercises, such as squats and lunges are especially good. Cellulite forms in between muscles, so by building more muscle there is less space for it to take hold. These exercises will tone up these areas as well, making the skin look firmer and tighter. Exercise also boosts circulation and lymphatic drainage. Anything that increases circulation in the legs and thighs is good such as power walking, running, swimming, cycling or yoga.

body-brushing

4) Body Brushing

Dedicating just five minutes per day to dry skin brushing can make a noticeable difference to the appearance of cellulite. Skin brushing boosts lymphatic drainage and stimulates detoxification, plus it gets rid of dead skin cells. Using a natural bristle brush, before your morning shower, work in long strokes towards the heart. Start with the feet and work up the legs and thighs and bottom. Then brush the hips, tummy and finally arms, again towards the heart. After your shower massage a body oil or lotion into your skin and give any problem areas a good pummel, to boost circulation even more. This works better than most creams and is a lot less expensive.

gym-detox

5) Collagen

A recently published study found that collagen peptides can help reduce the appearance of cellulite, by helping to restore the normal structure of the skin. Women aged 25-50 receiving collagen peptides daily for 6 months, experienced a reduction in cellulite scores of 9%. (3)

Including 1 daily Beauty & Go drink will provide collagen peptides and hyaluronic acid, which help improve connective tissue strength and elasticity. Beauty & Go Detox also includes a range of purifying ingredients to support natural detoxification processes in the body and reduce water retention including cucumber, dandelion, spirulina and artichoke. Other ingredients include broccoli, spinach, apple, mint, nettle, olive fruit and resveratrol from grapes.

References
  1. B. Lemaire , S. Le Quéré, G. Simoneau, D. Lacan Étude clinique d’une SuperOxide Dismutase de melon naturelle et bioactive (SOD B Dimpless®) sur la cellulite. Phytothérapie. 2016,14:23-28
  2. Parretti HM1, Aveyard P2, Blannin A3, Clifford SJ1, Coleman SJ3, Roalfe A1, Daley AJ1. Efficacy of water preloading before main meals as a strategy for weight loss in primary care patients with obesity: RCT. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2015 Sep;23(9):1785-91
  3. Schunck M, Zague V, Oesser S, Proksch E. Dietary Supplementation with specific collagen peptides has a body mass index-dependent beneficial effect on cellulite morphology. 2016. J of Med Food. Epub.

detox-cleaning-woman-wind

Spring is officially here, it is a time of renewal and rebirth and is the perfect time to give your health and well-being an overhaul. Here are some ideas for simple actions you can take now to give your body, mind and home a ‘spring clean’ and a new lease of life ready for the brighter days ahead.

Spring Clean Your Body

This is a great time of year for a gentle detox to help improve your energy levels, digestion and skin and to help and shake-off any winter ‘sluggishness’. Detoxing over a weekend, will give you the time and space you need to rest and relax and prepare the meals. During the week leading up to your detox gradually cut down on caffeine, alcohol, sugar and processed foods – you’ll be avoiding these for the detox, and cutting down gradually will minimise the chances of withdrawal symptoms such as headaches.

healthy-food-woman

I suggest beginning on a Friday evening with a light supper of either salmon and steamed vegetables or a homemade chunky vegetable soup. Over the rest of the weekend avoid the above plus meat, dairy products and wheat. Base your meals around fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, pulses and easy to digest grains such as brown rice, oats, quinoa and buckwheat; either fish or eggs once a day are fine if you feel you need the extra protein. You can use plenty of herbs, garlic, lemon juice and black pepper to flavour meals.

You will also need to consume plenty of fluids throughout your detox, at least 2 litres per day; water and herbal teas are great and including 2 or 3 Beauty & Go Detox drinks will help cleanse and purify your body and skin more deeply due to its range of detoxifying ingredients. For more inspiration and some detox meals and recipes, please click here.

detox-beauty-and-go-

Spring Clean Your Mind

Try a Digital Detox

Our brains are not designed to be ‘switched on’ all the time and over-use of technology can lead to sleep disruptions, eye strain and even self-esteem issues related to social media. Try a technology detox to counteract some of these effects by having one hour every day and one evening per week technology free. Have at least 30 minutes before you go to be without technology as the light from the screen can suppress the sleep-hormone melatonin, making it harder to drift off.

tablet-breakfast

Get Outside

Regular exercise is proven to reduce anxiety, depression and improve sleep.

Exercising outdoors has even more benefits and is possible now with the (slightly) better weather and longer days. From April, the sun’s rays are the correct wavelength to stimulate vitamin D production in the skin, and as low levels are associated with depression, this is important for mental as well as physical health. You could try taking your workout outside, go for a run or a long walk in the park or countryside to reap the combined benefits of activity, vitamin D production and being in nature, which has proven positive effects on well-being.

man-sun

vitality-notesSet Some Goals

Goal setting is proven to increase positivity and motivation and high achievers like professional athletes and successful businessmen and women do it. Spring is the right time for taking a step back, reassessing your life and setting some new goals for the future. Breaking your life down into areas is useful; work, family, home, relationship, health, hobbies/leisure and finances for example and then setting goals in the areas that need a boost. It’s good to have a mixture of long-term and short-term goals, smaller and bigger ones and to also include enjoyable goals that will give you pleasure, like booking an amazing trip, as well as things related to work and self-improvement. Once you have set your goals, you can think about smaller, step-by-step actions to make them happen.

Spring Clean your Home

A calm, clutter-free, colourful home can do wonders for our well-being. Again, spring is a great time to breathe a new lease of life into your home and this can have a positive affects on our mood and energy. Getting rid of anything you don’t need is a great place to start and can even earn you some extra cash. It is estimated that the average home has hundreds of pounds worth of sellable but unused stuff taking up space, which can be sold on-line. The general rule when deciding what to keep and what to get rid of is; if you haven’t used it for a year, you probably won’t use it again.

old-furniture-garage-sale

The use of colour in the home can have positive effects on our health and mood. According to colour therapy yellow, gold and orange tones stimulate appetite and digestion, as well as encouraging warmth, relaxation and conversation, making them perfect for the kitchen. Blue inspires tranquillity so is great for the bedroom, while green is a deeply relaxing shade great for bedrooms and living spaces. Violet is said to calm the mind and body and be great for meditation, whilst red is supposed to fire passion! If redecorating is not an option, you can add bursts of colour with accessories, which also means you can change your mind!

painting-house

acne

Acne affects around 80% of people at some time in their life, it is usually thought of as a teenager’s affliction, however many people are suffering well into their 30s. In fact, adult acne has been on the rise in recent years with half of women naming it as their primary skin concern, according to one study.

Getting spots as an adult can be especially frustrating – just when you think you should be focusing your skincare on the first signs of ageing, and spots appear! It can make choosing skincare products a minefield as you don’t know which concern to address.

So why are we dealing with this double injustice of spots and wrinkles and what can we do about it? The rise in adult acne is thought to be down to environmental factors such as stress, poor diet and pollution – this is good news, as it means we can make changes to our lifestyle to help clear up our skin.

acne-skin

Background – What is Acne?

Acne is caused by over activity of the sebaceous glands that secrete natural oils, called sebum onto the skin. The sebaceous glands of people who suffer with acne appear to be more sensitive the hormone testosterone, which triggers the glands to produce sebum. At the same time, dead skin cells lining the openings of hair follicles may not be shed efficiently. These two effects combined cause clogging of the hair follicles, which causes blackheads and spots to form.

The build-up of oil creates an ideal environment for a bacterium called Propionibacterium acnes to grow. These bacteria normally live harmlessly on everyone’s skin but when this ‘ideal’ environment is created, they multiply. They feed off sebum and produce substances that cause an inflammatory response, inflaming the skin and creating the ‘angry’ redness and swelling associated with spots.

Contributing Factors

 

stress-man

Stress

Experts agree that stress is playing a role in the increase in adult acne. Women themselves also report getting more spots during more stressful times. Stress stimulates the adrenal glands which cause hormones such as testosterone to be released resulting in overproduction of sebum. Stress related spots tend to be on the jaw, neck and temples.

WHAT TO DO?

Finding ways to manage stress levels is the obvious but ‘not-so-easy’ solution. Next week’s post is all about stress and your skin and will include tips on managing stress.


pregnant

Hormonal Imbalances

Contraceptives, pregnancy, poor diet, stress and certain health conditions can lead to disruptions in the fine balance of hormones in the body. Hormonal spots tend to be focused around the chin and upper lip areas. If spots are accompanied by increased body hair, irregular periods and weight gain it could be a sign of a condition called PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), which affects around 5-10% of women. There is no ‘cure’ but the condition can be effectively managed through changes to diet and lifestyle such as cutting down on sugar.

WHAT TO DO?

Consult a doctor if you think you could have PCOS and discuss adjusting your contraception if you think that could be an issue – certain contraceptive pills can actually help clear up acne.

digestive

Toxin Build up

The liver is the main detoxification organ of the body, its job is to break down toxins from the diet and unwanted substances such as old hormones for elimination from the body. When the liver is not working optimally, it can result in a host of problems, including hormone imbalances and skin problems such as acne, psoriasis or dull, tired looking skin.

The digestive system is also important with its role of removing waste from the body. Slow digestion will also result in toxins remaining in the body for longer, which is not great for health in general, and can manifest as skin breakouts.

WHAT TO DO?

Try a gentle detox to give your liver and digestive system a rest and remove toxin build up from the body. Include a daily Beauty & Go Detox drink. Click here for more information on detoxing.


diet

Diet

Deficiencies of essential nutrients, insufficient fibre and excess sugar in the diet can all exacerbate acne. Fluctuating blood sugar levels caused by sugary foods lead to high levels of insulin being produced, which is an inflammatory hormone and can disrupt the balance of other hormones in the body, causing sebum glands to go into overdrive.

WHAT TO DO?

Follow my Clear Skin Diet Plan below. Your skin takes at least 28 days to recycle itself so that is the time to allow for changes to be seen.

 

Clear Skin Diet

  • Omega 3

    Increase intake of omega 3 essential fatty acids, important for hormonal balance, and anti-inflammatory.
    Oily fish – mackerel, sardines, fresh tuna, salmon
    Nuts and seeds – chia, pumpkin, hemp, flaxseeds and walnuts

  • Water

    2 litres per day, helps the body to flush out toxins and keeps skin hydrated.

  • Increase high fibre foods

    Fibre boosts digestion and aids elimination of toxins from the body. This also reduces the load on the liver.
    All fruits and vegetables, oats and whole grains, beans and lentils

  • Zinc

    Needed for skin health and healing.
    Seafood, pecan nuts, haddock, peas, turnips, Brazil nuts & eggs. Beauty & Go Detox also contains zinc.

  • Probiotic foods & supplements

    Promotes healthy digestion and ‘good’ bacteria. If avoiding dairy try live soya or coconut yoghurt.

  • Decrease/avoid sugar

    Blood sugar fluctuations can lead to hormone imbalances. Some people with acne have trouble processing sugar properly.

  • Decrease intake of saturated fats

    Pro-inflammatory, so may exacerbate the redness and inflammation associated with acne.
    Red meat, dairy, processed and fried foods

  • Milk

    Dairy, especially milk may make acne worse in some people due to lactose and hormones in milk. Try organic milk first, or switch to soya, rice, oat, coconut or almond milk for 4 weeks.

  • Beauty & Go Detox

    Include a daily Beauty & Go Detox drink which contains skin and body cleansing ingredients such as spirulina, artichoke and dandelion. For more information click here.

A PROPER SKIN CARE ROUTINE IS KEY

Although diet can visibly improve your skin, it’s essential that you follow the right beauty ritual daily. Don’t ever skip the morning and night  cleansing routine and use light-textured moisturizers to avoid adding extra oil to your skin. Regular exfoliation removes dead cells that may clog pores, and a purifying mask with salicylic acid once a week ensures deep skin detoxification.

metabolism

After the excesses of the summer, many of us have a few extra pounds we’d like to shed at this time of year. Encouraging your body to burn calories more efficiently by raising your metabolic rate can be a great help. Your metabolism is your body’s engine, which burns calories for energy throughout the day. If it’s working well, losing weight will be relatively easy, whereas a sluggish metabolism can make it more of a struggle.

While genes do play a part in dictating our baseline metabolic rate, there are plenty of ways to raise yours. Here are my top ten tips for getting that engine revving!

 

desayuno-breakfast

1. Never skip breakfast

Eating good breakfast ‘ignites the fire’ first thing, meaning that you can keep it burning and burn more calories over the day. This may be one of the reasons people who eat breakfast are slimmer than those who skip it. Missing breakfast on the other hand, after the long overnight fast will mean that the body can go into ‘starvation mode’. This involves signalling the metabolism to slow down to conserve precious energy stores. To read more on the importance of a good breakfast, including healthy breakfast ideas, click here.

get-moving

2. Get Moving

As well as structured exercise, simply moving more and sitting down less over the day makes a big difference to how many calories you burn. Ensuring you never sit still for more than an hour, by setting a reminder on your phone is the first step. Using a pedometer, fitband or phone to measure how many steps you take each day is another great way to monitor your activity levels. The aim is 10 thousand, which can burn an extra 500 calories!

In terms of working out, high intensity interval training (HIIT) is the best workout for raising your metabolism. Not only does it burn plenty of calories while you are exercising, but it continues to keep the metabolic rate up for the rest of the day.

Muscle is as an active tissue, meaning that is uses energy even while you are resting. Therefore the more muscle you have the more calories you burn each day. Muscle building exercise such as weights, resistance exercises and yoga are therefore excellent for raising your metabolism. Fit in two muscle-building workouts per week.

tea2

3. Green Tea & Coffee

Caffeine revs up your metabolism, but before your reach for that double latte, a much healthier option is green tea. It contains about one fifth of the caffeine of a cup of coffee, giving a more gentle caffeine kick plus catechins – a type of antioxidant that boost metabolism. The combination of caffeine and catechins leads to increased metabolism and fat burning and 4-5 cups per day have been shown in studies to result in weight loss (1), as well as being great for skin and general health.

Green coffee is a healthy caffeine-free alternative to coffee that some studies show may encourage weight loss (2,3). It is made from raw coffee beans, which are naturally green before they are roasted. Roasting destroys some of the active ingredients (chlorogenic acid and caffeic acid) that have weight loss benefits including reducing fat absorption, increasing fat breakdown and changing the way the body handles sugar. Green coffee is available as a drink or supplement.

drinking-water

4. Water

We already know it’s good for hydrating the skin, helping us concentrate and stay alert but water is also good for keeping the metabolism working well. Drinking cold water is best as the body uses energy (calories) to warm the water up to body temperature. Drinking 8-10 cups of cold water over the day will give the maximum benefits. An interesting study came out last week showing that simply drinking ½ litre of water 30 minutes before meals aids weight loss, so time your drinks accordingly (4).

 

healthy-snacks

5. Smart Snacking

Research shows that eating regularly – every 3-4 hours – keeps those energy furnaces burning. Of course it’s important to choose healthy snacks though, a packet of crisps is not going to do the trick! Instead choose small, nutrient-rich snacks like fruit, vegetable crudités with hummus, oatcakes with almond butter or a palm-full of almonds. Snacking on almonds has also been shown to help dieters lose more weight so they are a great choice!

fish-meat

6. Protein

You burn twice as many calories digesting protein as you do carbs or fat, so protein is the best of the three food groups for metabolism boosting. Choose lean animal proteins such as fish and chicken plus vegetarian proteins lentils, beans and tofu. As far as carbohydrates go, whole-grains require more energy to breakdown and digest that refined carbs so always opt for whole-grains.

chili

7. Turn Up the Heat

Capsaicin is the compound in chilies that gives them their kick and is a known metabolism booster. It works by increasing thermogenesis after meals, which is the rate at which the body burns calories. It can also suppress appetite after eating, reducing those desert cravings, and is an excellent source of vitamin C. One study also found that chili decreased insulin levels after meals, which is beneficial for diabetics and also reduces the chances of healthy people developing the disease (5).

thermostat

8. Turn Down the Heat!

As winter is on the horizon, it will be tempting to turn the thermostat up soon. However, scientists have found that this can actually slow down your metabolism. Cooler temperatures on the other hand, boost brown fat in the body, which is a type of fat that creates heat and burns energy. So the more brown fat we have the better for our metabolic rate and the colder the outside temperature, the more brown fat will be created. Just turning the heating down a couple of degrees may reduce your waistline, along with your bills!

 

tiroides-detox-skin-revive

9. Look after Your Thyroid

The thyroid gland is a little organ near the throat, which controls your metabolism. When it’s not working optimally things slow down. This can lead to symptoms such as fatigue, low mood, feeling cold and weight gain. So looking after the thyroid is essential. Two key nutrients the thyroid needs are iodine and selenium. Seaweeds such as spirulina found in Beauty & Go Detox are a fantastic source of iodine and Brazil nuts are an excellent selenium source. Selenium is also in Beauty & Go Skin Revive.

 

dormir-mejor

10. Sleep Tight

Good quality sleep and regular sleeping patterns will ensure your metabolism functions optimally. Poor sleep causes disrupted metabolism and an increase in the hormone ghrelin, which tells you to eat more! Aim for 6-8 hours per night and try to go to bed and rise at similar times each day.

References
1. Nagao T, Hase T, Tokimitsu I. A green tea extract high in catechins reduces body fat and cardiovascular risks in humans. Obesity 2007;15:1473-83.
2. Thom E. The effect of chlorogenic acid enriched coffee on glucose absorption in healthy volunteers and its effect on body mass when used long-term in overweight and obese people. Journal of International Medical Research. 2007;35(6):900–908.
3. Dellalibera O, Lemaire B, Lafay S. Svetol, green coffee extract, induces weight loss and increases the lean to fat mass ratio in volunteers with overweight problem.  Phytothérapie expérimentale 2006 Nov;4(4):194-197.
4. Parretti HM1, Aveyard P2, Blannin A3, Clifford SJ1, Coleman SJ3, Roalfe A1, Daley AJ1. Efficacy of water preloading before main meals as a strategy for weight loss in primary care patients with obesity: RCT. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2015 Sep;23(9):1785-91
5. Ahuja KD1, Robertson IK, Geraghty DP, Ball MJ. Effects of chili consumption on postprandial glucose, insulin, and energy metabolism. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Jul;84(1):63-9.

 

stay-healthy-when-eating-out-01

As the summer is upon us many of us will be eating out more. Holidays usually involve eating out most days and lazy summer brunches and dinners with friends are one of the great pleasures of this time of year.

So how do you stay healthy when you eat out and what are the best choices to make when eating at a restaurant?

Read more

Stay-healthy-on-holidays-01

The holidays are here (yay!) but with them come some health and beauty issues such as the sun, chlorine, heat, travel and over-indulging on food and alcohol. This week I am therefore giving you some tips and advice on how to stay healthy on holiday.

Read more

This week I am going to give you some great advice about how to detox for great health and beautiful, clean and clear skin. First, let’s begin with some background information on what detoxing really means and how it can benefit, you, your skin and your health. It has been estimated that humans consume more […]