Category: Features

Features

Staying On The Sugar Free Wagon

Summer holidays are here. We have fought those sugar cravings, gone through the cold sweats and withdrawals, we have finally kicked that sugar addiction, only to be tempted by sugary treats on our family summer holiday!

You consider your options:

◘ Not go on holidays!
◘ Downgrade to self catered so you don’t have to see those temptations daily!
◘ Consider a sun lounger as far away from the restaurants as possible.
◘ Maybe wiring your jaw to not allow any food to pass those lips?
◘ Or just say “screw it” – it is your family holiday and you are going to bloody well enjoy yourself!

The option I always choose is the latter! We do only get one chance at happiness so why should we spend so much time worrying about what we will do? Or what we think will tempt us? Or sacrificing everything we enjoy just to be skinny?

The reality is somewhat different though. I do not worry any more. Leading a low sugar lifestyle is a way of life for me now. I no longer get tempted to devour the all inclusive dessert trolley. The thought of that ice cream on the beach actually makes me thankful that it won’t be melting faster than I can eat it, running over my hands, making me all sticky and looking quite unattractive with an ice cream moustache! My taste buds have changed. The fresh fruit, the watermelon on the beach, the fresh fruit cocktails are what I want.

Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy a glass or two of wine and I am not going to stop that! Life is for living. For me, eating so much unhealthy food did not make me feel good. Yes it satisfied my cravings, but the guilt I would feel and the way I felt about my weight would ruin any pleasure of eating those foods. I was seriously unhappy.

So yes, life is for living and to enjoy now. But leading a happy, healthier life as a result of a simple food sacrifice really is worth it!

So when those sugary treats, or any alcohol that includes sugary mixers, are available freely to you within the all inclusive hotel, think about how it will make you feel as you eat or drink them, and how will it make you feel when you come home, back to reality!

Enjoy a glass of wine or a G&T! Enjoy the delicious fresh fruit! Enjoy the salad bar and food from the grill!

More importantly, enjoy your fantastic summer holiday with your family!

Don’t think about the temptations, think about the fun, quality time to be had and the delicious flavours of the whole foods that await you!

If I ever find myself feeling a little low I always turn on my Visualitation & Hypnosis Tracks. These are in MP3 format so I simply plug in my earphones, play through my phone, shut my eyes and get re-energised!

If you would like my Visualisation & Hypnosis Tracks, I have over 100 minutes across 5 themes. These are currently available for a special offer of £37 (Usual RRP. £97).

Don’t let yourself fall off the wagon! I can assure you, you will feel worse for it!

Happy Holidays!

Jules x

Features

68% Of Men Are Overweight

A Parliamentary briefing paper “Obesity Statistics” by Carl Baker, 20 January 2017, reports that men are more overweight than women, with 68% of men being classed as overweight or obese against 58% of women. But how many men do you know who are on a diet or attend slimming clubs? If the answer is not…

This content is for JSF Standard Membership, JSF Premium Membership and 121 Private Weight Loss Clients members only.
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Features

The Menopause

Us women spend much of our lives trying to be fit, or healthy, or to be slim. Many feel self-conscious for so many years and just as we finally accept our bodies we get punched in the face by the menopause and it’s many challenges!

From hot flush, sweating and struggles of sleep, and headaches to the dreaded weight gain! Unfortunately, weight gain is very common as our body releases new hormones and many of us are horrified when we step on the scales during this time. BUT… it doesn’t mean that we have to accept this weight gain. As with all previous years, if we care and maintain our health and well-being, we can control our weight gain.

There are three primary hormones in our bodies; insulin, adrenaline and cortisol. These three hormones control our stress and blood sugar levels. As our bodies change, so do our hormones and as such, we struggle with the ability to produce optimal levels of secondary hormones; oestrogen and progesterone.

Let’s look at oestrogen and progesterone and their affects in menopause… While oestrogen is responsible for lowering our blood glucose level, progesterone is responsible for increasing it. So, as our hormones impact one another, the levels of oestrogen being produced in the ovaries begins to decline, affecting our cells’ sensitivity to insulin.

These hormonal changes can affect blood sugar levels differently for each woman. Weight gain can commonly occur at menopause as it can trigger your metabolic system to slow down.

So, for women heading towards perimenopause, you have to consider how to tackle weight gain before you hit full menopause. Your body will start to store more fat in readiness to ensure your body has enough for the hormone changes, which is likely to result in food cravings and pangs of hunger, in particular higher sugar cravings. The good news is that there are a number of steps to take in order to prepare for the menopause. These include:

  • Making healthy lifestyle changes
    It seems pretty straight forward, but by reducing your alcohol intake and quitting smoking, to keeping active and eating a nutritious and balanced diet, these great factors can help you feel both physically and spiritually your best.
  • Avoid high sugar and processed foods
    Put down the cans of pop, ready meals and all junk food that’s going to aid in weight gain.
  • Lower your cholesterol levels
    Start by choosing fibre-rich foods that are packed with healthy fats and omega-3s over saturated fats.

Research has noted that eating, and avoiding, certain types of foods can make the menopause a lot more bearable.

Eat more healthy fats

I would suggest eating beans, avocados, nuts and seeds (my favourites include pumpkin, cashews and almonds as they contain vitamin E, zinc and calcium). The nutrients found in these healthy fats will keep you feeling satisfied and revived throughout the day, and normalise hormone levels.

Tiredness

Avoid consuming sugary, processed foods and stop adding sugar to food and drink all together, as this can leave you feeling constantly tired and drained. If you cannot resist, opt for a handful of mixed berries and nuts to crave your sweet tooth. 

Hot flushes

Avoid eating foods that are likely to trigger hot flushes and night sweats, such as coffee, alcohol and spicy foods, especially just before going to bed.

If you are currently going through the menopause and are struggling to satisfy your cravings, my private client programmes could be perfect for you. Tailored to suit your personal changes, tastes, behaviours and likes, a completely bespoke service to help you stay healthy and happy as your body changes.

 

Email me here jules@thejoyofsugarfreedom.co.uk to book in a free consultation to discuss.

Features

How Food Affects Productivity

For this feature we are talking about productivity in the workplace, but the same applies to productivity in all aspects of our lives; from housework to play time with the children, or simple time out with friends or at the gym.

How productive are your days? Do you find you have some days where you are more productive than others? There are many factors that can contribute to workplace productivity, including how much sleep we have had and natural light in the workplace, but an important factor surprisingly is what we eat throughout the day.

When a car runs out of fuel, it simply stops moving. Food is our fuel needed to keep us going, but many of us don’t understand the different food types, the benefits of their nutrients (or lack of in many instances), and what we should be eating to help us achieve the maximum output.

So how does your day pan out?

  • Do you have breakfast? If so, is it high sugar (cereals)? Is it high in processed carbs (white toast / pastries)? Or is it a healthy balanced breakfast (proteins, wholegrains, full fat natural yoghurt, fruit)? Or maybe you have no time for breakfast and skip it altogether!
  • Do you get hungry between breakfast and lunch? Do you snack in between?
  • What do you eat for lunch?
  • Do you get hungry again before you finish work? Do you snack in the afternoon?
  • Do you get tired after lunch and struggle to stay motivated and focused?

All of the above will affect how productive or non productive you are and how you day pans out! A key author in this field of study is Ron Freidman. He tells us that the food we eat has a direct impact on our cognitive performance. This is because the food we eat is broken down by our digestive system into glucose. The glucose is what we need for our brains to stay active. When we run low on glucose we struggle to stay focused and our attention span is shortened. 

The foods we eat are all broken down at different rates depending on the food type. Some foods release their glucose quickly (high fructose foods such as cereal, bread, pasta, fizzy drinks) which is where the links of the sugar rush and the sugar crash kick in – you get a quick burst of energy followed by a massive slump in energy shortly after. Whilst other foods (fast-food, unhealthy fats) take longer to digest so provide more sustained energy, BUT reduces oxygen levels in the brain which makes us groggy.

Reuters, 2014, shared this photo of the then President Barack Obama, who had a strict food regime understanding how the food we eat affects how we think.

Business Insider confirm that the highly successful people do not rely on impulsive food decisions, they build constructive routines in advance taking away the need to decide at that moment.

So for a day’s working productivity, a healthy, nutritious breakfast leaves us with higher energy levels and brain power for longer, supporting us through a morning without losing focus and feeling hungry; a healthy lunch stops us from getting the mid afternoon slump and keeps us going for the rest of the day, along with balanced snacking options (full fat natural yoghurt, fruit, nuts).

The hardest part is understanding the different food types and what they actually do to our productivity levels. In work, we often run on a day-to-day basis grabbing food and snacks to fit into our day. BUT THIS IS NOT PRODUCTIVE! Taking a break and eating healthy will actually result in more efficient work being done than an unhealthy meal as you work, or skipping meals altogether.

If you want further support to lead a healthier lifestyle I can offer the following for you:

  • My membership packages offer meal plans, recipes and even a shopping list, allowing you to become more successful as I take the decision making process away from you! As long as you prepare the meals in advance to take to work, it is all there for you and for only £15 a month!!!
  • I can offer a company membership scheme at a discounted rate where the management make sure their staff are as healthy and productive as possible.
  • A half-day workshop at your place of work, delivering a full training programme, the understanding of cooking healthy, unprocessed meals, with a full low-sugar lunch provided.

Contact me now for full information or simply sign up to my membership programme here!

Still deciding? Why not try my FREE 5-Day Weight Loss Programme as a taster into the understanding? This is about natural weight-loss not a diet, so the training provided is what we need to do to lead a natural, more energetic, more productive lifestyle.

Features

My FREE 5-Day Weight Loss Programme

I am so excited!!! For a while now I have been working on some new services to offer you and I am now in a position to go live with these!!!!

 

After some great feedback about my free educational guide, I still felt I wanted to offer you more! I am so proud of these new programmes! The first one is my fantastic new informative FREE 5-Day Weight Loss Programme!

  • Are you ready to say “NO MORE!” to fad diets?
  • Do you want to feel healthy, motivated, happy in yourself and full of energy?
  • Do you want to improve you self-confidence?

 

The programme is delivered to you over 5 days, teaching you the main lifestyle changes needed for BIG improvements in weight loss with minimum effort.

 

So what are you waiting for? Sign up now to access my FREE 5-Day Weight Loss Programme! This is your moment! Just do it!

Features

America’s Sugar Addiction

This is an infographic created to show the changes in sugar consumption from the 60’s to 2010 and what it has done to our bodies, in America. I wanted to share this with you as although it is America, research carried out shows we are close in statistics proportionately…

Diets and social changes have been blamed for the drastic rise in obesity levels where traditional, local fresh foods were replaced with imported foods and rice, sugar, canned fruits, soft drinks, alcohol, and more… (Davies, M. 2015)

Infographic: America’s Sugar Addiction

Features

Is sugar making my mental health worse?

Many of us are aware of the physical implications that eating sugar can do to our physical health, from weight gain to more long-term health issues such as diabetes, but far less attention has been applied to the effect sugar has on our mental health, even though there have been many studies to show that sugar plays an important role to our anxiety levels and mood disorders such as depression.
 
You may have heard of the terms “Sugar Rush” and the “Sugar Crash”. These are the spikes in your blood sugar levels after consuming sugar. Research has proven that a heavy intake of sugar will lead to anxiety, depression, and some cases it has even been linked to bipolar disorder and schizophrenia! (Weissman et al, 1996, Peet, M. 2004, Sack, D. 2013)
 
Sugar is the root of chronic inflammation impacting the immune system, the brain, and more which have been implicated in depression. It also suppresses the activity of a hormone called Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) which is also known to be low in people suffering with known mental health disorders. (Peet, M. 2004). This hormone helps stimulate new brain cells and protects the brain from neurodegenerative diseases, whilst also acting as a natural anti-depressant. Lower levels of this hormone are linked to depression, schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s. Memory loss and cognitive learning abilities have also been linked with sugar consumption. (Koleva, G. 2012)
 
We often find ourselves trapped in a vicious circle. We are all naturally drawn to sweet foods from birth and so we find ourselves always drawn to sugary foods to satisfy cravings, stress, anxiety and so on… However, consuming that sugar then suppresses hormones triggering more stress, anxiety, mood disorders and so the cycle begins.
 
There is so much research in this field that I want to share with you to give you a full understanding of the effect of sugar on your body and mind, but it is also very complex so I will share this information with you over a series of posts.
 
In the meantime, if you have any questions or you are concerned that your food intake may be adding to your mood disorders, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me.
Features

Yes I Can

YES you CAN!

I don’t know if you have ever heard the quote…
“All that we are today is the result of what we have thought,” (Guatama Budda).
Well, sometime ago I read this quote and it was a light bulb moment for me. Ever since, I have made a conscious effort to control my thoughts and my spoken words, making them more positive, and boy or boy it really makes a difference to your everyday life and the people around you.

All of us have thousands of different thoughts running through our minds every day and it’s understandable that most of the time we pay little attention to what these thoughts actually say or mean. Nevertheless, whether we are consciously aware or not, our thoughts and our spoken words do shape how we feel, how we act and ultimately, what we can achieve.

With all this in mind, there are two very small words that, even though they slip off the tong very easily and seem harmless enough, can be much more poisonous to our well-being than we realise; these two words are ‘I can’t’.

I am sure you are all nodding to yourselves right now, because we all know that we use these words flippantly and for some people it can be many times a day. Obviously, in some context, these words are perfectly fine… For example, when you are in an important meeting and your son texts you and asks to be picked up early from school (this is a regular occurrence once the little blighters are in six form😉) and you say, “I can’t love, I’m a tad busy at the moment!” Well, this is perfectly reasonable. But what about when it’s in the following context?

  • I tried and tried, but I can’t lose the weight!
  • I can’t give up chocolate!
  • I can’t find time to exercise!
  • I can’t get in the right mind set!
  • I can’t go out to dinner, I’m too fat!
  • I can’t get in my favourite jeans!
The problem being, when used in this way, ‘I can’t’ suggests that we are not good enough, that there is no way possible and that we are helpless. And when we feel helpless, everything feels like a struggle; the more we say, ‘I can’t’, the more you will begin to believe it. However when we feel positive, we understand that there is a way, even if we haven’t worked it out yet and more importantly, when we feel positive, we have hope.

So when you next find yourself saying or thinking ‘I can’t,’ I want you to stop and think. Either replace it with I CAN, even if at first it may feel a bit silly or a bit wrong, or get into the habit of rephrasing it in a different way by replace the words with ‘I won’t’ or ‘I choose not to’. This way we start to own our excuses and facing this challenge is the first step of the journey to a new, positive, healthier, happier, and slimmer you.

So… there is no such thing as I CAN’T, you most definitely CAN!

Features

Kids Today

LOOK WHAT THEY’RE EATING WHEN WE’RE NOT WATCHING!

What our kids are eating today…

A typical morning for me starts off with a walk with my three dogs, where I can breathe in the fresh air and get a bit of exercise done before starting my day. The route that I frequent boasts a skate park where the regulars are teenagers, in particular boys.

This morning, I was rather mortified at the array of empty crisps packets, chocolate wrappers, fizzy pop bottles and packed sandwich wrappers that created a junk food carpet along the skate park. Not only was I horrified that kids could litter so casually, but what really dawned on me was that our kids today are not choosing to snack on the raw, healthy and nutritious groups of food but instead they are drawn to the cheap, processed products for a quick pick me up, or even as a meal.

If you compare and contrast what our main supermarkets are charging for their healthy snacks as opposed to their unhealthy, it is rather apparent as to why a large percentage of teenagers wouldn’t be enticed by the healthier options. For example, a standard pack of fruit salad in a leading supermarket will cost around £3, whereas deals and offers where you can pick and choose three bags of sweets will only cost a teenager £1. That incentive alone already hints that you’re getting a better deal out of your money.

However, back in 2014, Tesco banned any form of sweets and chocolate from their aisles for parents to avoid their children’s attempts at adding some unhealthy snacks into their trolley as a last minute purchase. This was in a bid to tackle child obesity.

To put it simply; junk food is more appealing because of its convenience, low price and taste, especially for teenagers and young children who aren’t always aware of the health consequences of their eating habits.

The daily consumption of junk food can be addictive and can lead to many complications such as obesity, chronic illness and even depression. This habit can also have a significant effect on how our children are performing in school and extracurricular activities. The importance of what you put in your body could not be more apparent at this stage in a person’s life.

Energy, focus and concentration are all especially crucial during school, but the consumption of junk food and food groups with high level sugar completely reduce energy levels and the ability to fully concentrate. This then affects how they engage in physical activities as the lack of sufficient nutrients in junk food alters their performance.

Being on a sugar free and chemical free diet has drastically changed my health and well being and cooking tasty, nutritious meals for my two boys allows me to know exactly what they’re consuming… well, when they’re in the house anyway. However, I do firmly hope that my way of eating will influence them to favour the natural and healthy groups of food when they’re not with me.