Boost Your Mood

Boost your Mood

Boost Your Mood

Leigh Carter

Personal Trainer Kelowna

Private Gym Training

 

We all have times when we feel a bit down, especially when the days are shorter and darker and the temperatures are lower, our mood needs a lift. Many of us turn to guilty pleasures like a glass of wine or some chocolate to cheer us up, but these treats can actually have the opposite effect, because after the initial rush of energy that they give us, we’re hit by a drastic comedown, and unfortunately too much caffeine and sugary food can have the same effect.

When your blood sugar drops you might feel tired, irritable and depressed, so you need to eat regularly to keep your sugar level steady, and choose foods that release energy slowly. By starting your day with a hearty breakfast, perhaps porridge with its blood-sugar-stabilising low-glycaemic index (GI), with some nuts and fruit, or maybe eggs which are a great source of choline, a building block of brain tissue, and the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is important for memory and general mental functioning. These will ensure you give yourself a good chance of starting the day in a good, bright mood. Throughout the day it is a good idea to replace a large lunch with smaller portions regularly spaced out.

Nuts are a good mood booster, walnuts, linseeds and pumpkin seeds, are best for omega-3s and monounsaturated fats, which is crucial for brain cell health and neurone communication, whereas according to research people who are deficient in omega-3 fatty acids may be more susceptible to depression and low mood, as these fatty acids make up a large percentage of our brain tissue, about 60% of the dry weight of the brain is fat, with about 30% of that in the form of omega 3. So by eating oily fish, nuts (especially walnuts and almonds), olive and sunflower oils, seeds (such as sunflower and pumpkin), avocados, milk, yoghurt, cheese and eggs, regularly you will keep your brain healthy and improve your mood by keeping brain cells flexible, so the brain’s messaging chemicals can work more effectively.

Selenium is a mood managing mineral, found in Brazil nuts and is also found in fish, sunflower seeds, meat, eggs and wholegrains.

Having a meal spiced with chillies can trigger the brain to release feel-good neurotransmitters known as endorphins, this is due to the natural compound capsaicin which gives chillis their fire.

Make sure you are having enough protein throughout the day, as protein contains amino acids, which make up the chemicals your brain needs to regulate your thoughts and feelings. It also helps control your blood sugar levels. Your protein sources are found in lean meat, fish, eggs, cheese, legumes (peas, beans and lentils), soya products, nuts and seeds. Chicken and turkey breast also help increase your intake of the amino acid tryptophan, which the body uses tryptophan to make serotonin. It also helps to make the hormone melatonin, which regulates sleep. Lean poultry also contains another amino acid called tyrosine, which can help reduce symptoms of depression and help you avoid feeling in a bad mood in the first place. Tyrosine is used to make the hormone adrenaline and low levels of this have been associated with depression.

Vegetables and fruit contain a lot of the minerals, vitamins and fibre needed to keep physically and mentally healthy and by eating a variety of different coloured fruits and vegetables every day means you’ll get a good range of these. For instance tomatoes, mushrooms and bananas all contain high levels of potassium which is essential for your whole nervous system, including your brain.

Certain deficiencies in B vitamins have been linked to depression, as serotonin production can actually be hindered by low B vitamin levels. Important B vitamins to look out for include folate, vitamins B3, B6 and B12, so by including leafy green vegetables, such as spinach or broccoli, you will help keep your levels up. Bananas contain the amino acid tryptophan as well as vitamins A, B6 and C, fibre, potassium, phosphorous, iron and carbohydrate. Mood-boosting carbohydrates aid in the absorption of tryptophan in the brain, while vitamin B6 helps convert the tryptophan into the mood-lifting hormone serotonin. This helps to boost your mood and also aids sleep. Because of its ability to raise serotonin levels, tryptophan has been used in the treatment of a variety of conditions, such as insomnia, depression and anxiety.

It’s ok to have a cup of coffee but do watch your caffeine levels. Caffeine is a stimulant and having too much can make you feel anxious and depressed, disturb your sleep (especially if you have it last thing at night), or give you withdrawal symptoms if you stop suddenly. Caffeine is not only in coffee but also in tea, chocolate, cola and other manufactured energy drinks.

Besides eating the right kind of food for your mood, you must also make sure that you drink enough water. Water is extremely important for keeping our bodies functioning properly, by not having enough to drink could make it difficult for you to concentrate and think clearly.

Exercise is one of the most effective morning mood boosters, when you exercise your body releases endorphins, feel-good chemicals, in your brain, all the more reason to speak to your personal trainer and get started on a program that will get your body going and boost your mood.

And if all else fails, have a small square of dark chocolate which causes the brain to release endorphins and boost serotonin levels. In a recent study, 30 people were given 40g of dark chocolate, over 14 days. The results showed that chocolate eaters produced less stress hormones and their anxiety levels decreased. So there you are, permission to eat chocolate!

 

Contact Leigh Carter Personal Trainer Kelowna today for your free consultation

Start building a better body for your future

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kelowna personal training

Anti Ageing

Anti Ageing

Leigh Carter

Personal Trainer Kelowna

Private Gym Training

 

The skin is our largest organ and our first defence to the outside world. We need to take care of it as it will start showing signs of ageing with fine lines and wrinkles. Although some of our skin ageing process is genetic the major cause of skin ageing is actually down to the external environment and multiple stresses that our skin can be exposed to daily.

Unfortunately we can’t stop the clock on the ageing process, as we get older, the body’s machinery begins to function a little less smoothly and we become susceptible to age-related and degenerative diseases. But there are certain foods that can help counteract the negative effects ageing has on the body. They won’t make you younger or stop you from getting older, but they can improve your overall health and vitality, and protect you against disease and illness, which could prolong your life.

Berries of all types, blueberries, raspberries, cranberries, strawberries, are all super rich in antioxidants, such as flavonols and anthocyanins, which promote cell health and can protect against disease. Anthocyanins in particular, found in large quantities in blackberries, are thought to help protect against cancer and diabetes. Darker berries, especially ones that are black or blue in colour, tend to provide the best anti-aging benefits because they have the highest concentration of antioxidants.

According to some studies, blueberries may even help slow or reverse neurological degeneration, improve memory, restrict the growth of cancer cells and reduce inflammation. They are also good for urinary tract health.

Berries are also an excellent source of vitamins, especially vitamin C, which is good for your skin. Vitamin C helps repair damaged body tissues and has been linked to skin cancer prevention.

Eating fish or taking fish oil supplements, provides the body with omega-3 fatty acids that help protect against heart disease, helps your body regenerate healthy cells, reduce inflammation, decrease the risk of arrhythmia and lower blood pressure. Omega-3 fatty acids are found largely in cold-water fish, including salmon, herring, tuna and sardines. They help skin look youthful by producing and regulating sebum levels which helps skin appear more youthful and hydrated.

Another good source of omega-3 fatty acids is nuts. Apart from this and the protein they provide, they are also a good source of vitamins and minerals, including potassium, which helps lower blood pressure, vitamin E, which helps prevent cell damage, and calcium to maintain strong bones.

Vegetables are a great source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, C, K and E. Studies have shown that a diet full of vegetables can help prevent cardiovascular disease, lower high blood pressure and, after a heart attack or stroke, lower cholesterol and unclog arteries. They’re also great for the immune system, helping the body fortify itself against sickness and disease.

Selenium is a trace mineral that contains an enzyme called glutathione that plays a major part in protecting our body from cellular damage that causes inflammation and ageing. Although selenium is available as a supplement, it is found in meat, grain cereals, egg yolk, milk, brazil nuts, mushrooms, garlic and seafood, so with a balanced healthy diet you should be able to get your requirements of this mineral.

Avocados are a fruit that has long been hailed for its anti-aging properties. Avocados with their vitamin E, potassium, monounsaturated fats and antioxidants provide a good mix of anti ageing properties. The vitamins and minerals in avocados have been shown to reduce cholesterol, improve skin health and lower blood pressure. They are also rich in folic acid (vitamin B), which have been linked to heart attack prevention and reducing the risk of osteoporosis. Avocados also contain a monounsaturated fat called oleic acid which has been shown to lower bad cholesterol, increase good cholesterol and protect against blood clots. They’re proven to act as antioxidants and combat the effects of overexposure to the sun. They are a good source of vitamin C which can boost levels of collagen, which plumps out wrinkles and fine lines naturally.

Eating whole grains is good for your digestive system and it’s the fibre that helps rid the body of unwanted substances, such as bad cholesterol and fats. Fibre also helps to control your appetite, keep blood sugar low and they are rich in vitamins and minerals which in themselves have anti ageing benefits.

Beans also contain fibre but are also rich in antioxidants, and all sorts of vitamins and minerals, including iron, vitamin B and potassium. The added benefit of being a good source of low fat protein therefore good as part of a balanced diet and especially good for those non meat eaters.

Along with all these foods a very important must is water, for without sufficient water in your body, your cells get congested, your skin can’t detox, and your bladder and kidneys won’t work properly, you’ll feel tired and eat more.

And don’t forget regular aerobic exercise is a must-do for anyone committed to slowing down the ageing process. Hundreds of studies show that exercise combats the loss of stamina, muscle strength, balance and bone density that increases with age.

So if you feel trying to juggle all these foods to form a good anti ageing diet is giving you worry lines, leave it to your personal trainer who can tailor a program and a diet to suit your lifestyle.

 

Contact Leigh Carter Personal Trainer Kelowna today for your free consultation

Start building a better body for your future

#leighcarterfitness

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Kelowna Karate

Women’s Self Defence Class Kelowna

Women’s Self Defence Class Kelowna

Friday December 1st 2017 6:00-7:45pm

 

Learn the basics in Strategies/Awareness to avoid violence. Develop fatal striking techniques that are simple to learn and easy to remember. Mental preparation in most common dangerous situations. Just a few points this class will cover.

 

Registration fee : $45/ per person please register by November 27 2017

info@kelownakarate.ca

www.kelownakarate.ca

10 – 1925 Kirschner Road Kelowna BC

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Nuts

Amazing Nuts

Amazing Nuts

Leigh Carter

Personal Trainer Kelowna

Private Gym Training

 

Following on from the “vegetarian” article, I thought I would say a few things about nuts as they can play an important part in a vegetarian diet.

Studies are suggesting that a small amount of nuts daily could cut your risk of major diseases. The high content of dietary fibre, magnesium and unsaturated fats could be protection against heart disease. The unsaturated fats unlike saturated fats, don’t raise blood LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol levels. The monounsaturated fats have the additional benefit of raising high-density lipoprotein, the ‘good cholesterol’ in our blood. Nuts are rich in protein and dietary fibre, and also one of the best natural sources of anti-oxidant vitamin E, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, potassium, selenium and folic acid, making a small portion (about 30g) of unsalted nuts makes a vitality-boosting snack and, unlike most other options. All nuts have different nutrition credentials and will offer various health benefits.

Almonds are high in vitamin E, a nutrient which helps to improve the condition and appearance of your skin. The almond’s skin is full of heart-protecting compounds called flavonoids and almonds are also rich in calcium, beneficial for teeth and bones.

Cashew nuts make an excellent choice if you’re following a vegetarian diet as they contribute a good level of protein and are a useful source of minerals like iron and zinc. They’re also rich in the mineral magnesium, which is thought to improve recall and delay, age-related memory loss.

Chestnuts are the nuts with the lowest fat content and calories, they are rich in starchy carbs and fibre, and in their raw form are a good source of vitamin C. They’re lower in protein than other nuts but make a useful contribution of B vitamins including B6.

Pecans are packed with plant sterols, valuable compounds that are effective at lowering cholesterol levels and they are also antioxidant-rich which helps prevent the plaque formation that causes hardening of the arteries. Pecans are also a good source of vitamin B3 making them them perfect option for fighting fatigue as this vitamin helps us access the energy in our food.

Pistachios are especially rich in vitamin B6, which is important for keeping hormones balanced and healthy. They are also the only nut to contain reasonable levels of lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants that play an important role in protecting the eyes. Pistachios also contain potassium and fibre.

Walnuts with their superior antioxidant content make them good in the fight against cancer. Studies show walnuts their good source of mono-unsaturated, heart-friendly fats, help to lower the bad form of cholesterol (LDL). As they are rich in omega-3, they are a great alternative to oily fish in a vegetarian diet.

Eating nuts as part of a healthy diet may be good for your heart, they contain unsaturated fatty acids and other nutrients. They are a great snack food, inexpensive, easy to store and easy to pack when you’re on the go. But don’t forget they are high in calories, so it’s important to limit portions. Your personal trainer can advise how to include nuts as a healthy and beneficial part of your diet.

And don’t forget to include seeds in your weekly diet, the natural fibre, iron, protein, good fats, vitamins, and minerals they contain contribute to a wide range of potential health benefits. They are a great source of energy, can help reduce fatigue and will contribute to healthy hair and skin, muscle and bone growth and maintaining a healthy heart. They can boost the body’s immune system, and can be a great food supplement for those living to a particular diet, for example providing protein and iron for vegetarians and vegans. They are naturally crammed with real goodies like protein, iron, fibre, vitamins and minerals which makes them a super nutritious food for a healthy diet.

 

Contact Leigh Carter Personal Trainer Kelowna today for your free consultation

Start building a better body for your future

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Vegetarian Diet Kelowna

Vegetarian Diet

Vegetarian Diet

Leigh Carter

Personal Trainer Kelowna

Private Gym Training

 

Apparently according to new figures, one in three of us now eats a semi vegetarian diet, with 39% of women choosing to eat less meat. Sometimes the choice is made from an ethical and environmental point of view and sometimes for health reasons.

Generally it is said that vegetarians and vegans have a lower body mass index, better control of blood pressure and blood glucose, less inflammation and lower cholesterol levels compared with non vegetarians.

But if is the way your diet is going you need to make sure you don’t miss out on any of the important nutrients.

Protein is an important part of your diet and vegetarians can take their protein in different foods from meat eaters. Protein helps maintain healthy skin, bones, muscles and organs. Eggs and dairy products are good sources, and you don’t need to eat large amounts to meet your protein needs. You can also get sufficient protein from plant-based foods if you eat a variety of them throughout the day. Plant sources include soy products and meat substitutes, legumes, lentils, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.

Taking red meat out of your diet can sometimes mean that you are missing out on important iron in your diet as it is a crucial component of red blood cells. Dried beans and peas, lentils, enriched cereals, whole-grain products, dark leafy green vegetables, and dried fruit are good sources of iron. Iron isn’t as easily absorbed from plant sources, the recommended intake of iron for vegetarians is almost double that recommended for non vegetarians. By eating eating foods rich in vitamin C, such as strawberries, citrus fruits, tomatoes, cabbage and broccoli, at the same time as you’re eating iron-containing foods you will help to increase the amount absorbed.

Zinc is an essential component of many enzymes and plays a role in cell division and in formation of proteins but it is also is not as easily absorbed from plant sources as it is from animal products. Cheese is a good option if you eat dairy products. Plant sources of zinc include whole grains, soy products, legumes, nuts and wheat germ.

Another vitamin you may need to top up is Vitamin B12 which is necessary to produce red blood cells and prevent anaemia. Eggs, dairy products, B12 fortified dairy milk, yeast extract and fortified cereals could help with this.

Omega-3 fatty acids are important for heart health. Omega 3 enriched eggs, pumpkin and hemp seeds, walnuts, ground flaxseed and soya oil and soya based foods such as tofu are good sources of essential fatty acids. Evidence suggests that vegetarian sources of omega-3 fatty acids may not have the same benefits for reducing the risk of heart disease as those in oily fish and you could consider taking a supplement.

Calcium helps build and maintain strong teeth and bones, milk and dairy foods are highest in calcium. But good plant sources are dark green vegetables, such as turnip and collard greens, kale, and broccoli, when eaten in sufficient quantities. Calcium-enriched and fortified products, including juices, cereals, soy milk, soy yogurt and tofu, are other options.

Vitamin D also plays an important role in bone health. It is added to cow’s milk, some brands of soy and rice milk, and some cereals and margarines. Again if you don’t eat enough fortified foods and have limited sun exposure, you may need a vitamin D supplement (one derived from plants).

If you are considering a vegetarian diet, make sure you pay attention to these important nutrients and don’t rely too heavily on processed foods, which can be high in calories, sugar, fat and sodium. Your personal trainer can advise on your dietary needs and with a little planning a vegetarian diet can meet the needs of people of all ages, including children and teenagers. The key is to be aware of your nutritional needs so that you plan a diet that meets them.

 

Contact Leigh Carter Personal Trainer Kelowna today for your free consultation

Start building a better body for your future

#leighcarterfitness

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