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Get in the mood for Valentine’s Day!

“Mummy,” said Chloe, in the middle of grocery store, “where is my birth canal?” What is it about my kids and the need to chat about Babies-And-Where-They-Come-From in Lindo’s? Chloe especially has always been one to go for maximum embarrassment at the checkout. I remember when she was younger and just learning to talk, she pointed out the “big clock” on the wall by the cashier. That’s all very well, unless you can’t pronounce your Ls.

And so it was that I was left trying to describe in a child-friendly way, the exact positioning of the birth canal. I did wonder where on earth it had come from, until I realised that Chloe had presented the “I’m a big sister” book to her babysitter and had it read to her as a bedtime story. I had always glossed over the detailed pages! Oh well, it may not be the most romantic terminology, but at least it won’t be such a big leap when the time comes for her Birds and the Bees conversation (you know, when she’s 30).

In a very roundabout way, this did get me thinking about Valentine’s Day next week. I’m hoping that your day isn’t quite so matter of fact. However if things have got a bit tired in that department and you need a bit of a libido boost, check out these tips below. There’s nothing more depressing than a flagging sex drive especially if it’s one-sided so these should help perk things up…..

Oh and before I go, keep your eyes on my Facebook page and the press next week as I’m launching a really fun new venture on Monday! Have a great weekend and see you next week.

Flagging sex drive? No problem!

1. Rule out underlying medical issues

Hormonal imbalances such as the menopause (hot flashes, night sweats, dryness, memory loss, sleeping problems, irregular periods are just a few symptoms) can seriously interfere with libido. Likewise, an underactive thyroid (symptoms include very cold hands and feet, high cholesterol, muscle and joint aches, headaches, constipation, low sex drive, rough dry skin, dry hair, poor concentration/memory, hypertension, numbness in arms/legs, depression, hearing loss) can also be the trigger. If low libido is a long-term problem for you, make sure you see your doctor as your first port of call.

2. Exercise!

Exercise actually helps to boost libido, though don’t go crazy as serious athletic training can cause hormonal changes that kill desire…that’s not an excuse to get back on the couch! Swimming in cold water apparently boosts libido by triggering the release of more noradrenaline in the body so you could switch up your commute and swim to work. (Yes, I’m kidding.)

3. Avoid empty calories

Sometimes fatigue is unavoidable. If you’re a new parent, working several jobs, or simply giving 150 percent to one, then you’ll be exhausted. But while it’s tempting to reach for convenience foods, these are only going to make you feel worse in the long-term. Refined sugar (candy, sodas), cookies, cakes, salt, caffeine and artificial sweeteners all ultimately deplete your body of nutrients rather than adding them. Every time you eat or drink, have a think about whether what you’re having is actually going to benefit your body (over and above satisfying your hunger). If you can’t see the goodness in it, don’t eat it! Opt for wholegrains, fruit, vegetables, beans, quality protein (ie chicken breast rather than nuggets) and good fats such avocado, unroasted nuts/seeds and fish. Drink plenty of water and diluted fruit juices instead of punch or soda.

4. Reduce saturated fat

Ok, this is very simple. Not only will eating food high in saturated fat (especially fried food, junk and red meat) cause you to feel sluggish, but guys, lots of saturated fat can ultimately lead to impotence. In the same way that the arteries of the heart get clogged, so can the blood supply to your …er, manhood.

5. Turn on the lights!

Apparently, bright lights improve libido, although this is most likely the conclusion of a man or a woman with a perfect body. The theory is, that the dark brings on melatonin, the calming hormone, and bright lights in contrast boost libido. This is apparently why ski instructors have such a legendary reputation with exposure to such a lot of bright light during the day. It’s also why a lot of couples chose “lights on” so, experiment and see if it works for you!

6. Have a little chocolate.

It can be high in saturated fat, but chocolate does cause feel-good endorphins to be released into the body. It also contains tryptophan that helps to quell anxiety, so possibly a good tip to combine with the “bright lights” theory? Just go for a smaller amount of darker, quality chocolate, rather than too much of the junk. Strawberries dipped in dark chocolate are unbeatable in my opinion. Yum!

7. Follow preventive healthcare

Whilst medications are obviously life-saving and it’s critical to follow the advice of your doctor, prevention is always, always preferable. Medications can often decrease sex drive, cause dryness in women or impotence in men, so it’s time to get proactive about your health. Don’t just think that if you do develop a medical condition, that medication will rectify everything, it’s just not that simple and everyone is different.

8. Eat more nuts and seeds!

Unroasted, unsalted nuts and seeds are rich in vitamin E, zinc and good fats, all important for healthy hormones. Fish and avocadoes are a great source of good fats too, so try incorporating them into your diet. Nuts and seeds make a great healthy snack, especially when combined with fresh fruit.

9. Eat plenty of food rich in zinc and B vitamins

A healthy libido relies on a healthy supply of testosterone even for the ladies. The B vitamins (bananas, avocado, green leafy vegetables, beans/lentils, poultry, fish) and zinc (oysters, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, brown rice, egg yolk and turkey) are essential for testosterone production, so stock up!

10. Spice it up!And finally, you can spice things up literally. Nutmeg and clove apparently stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system so will help you relax. Ginger stimulates circulation and gets blood flowing to essential areas and saffron the world’s most expensive spice contains picrocrocin, which makes sexual organs more sensitive. Have fun!

The advice given in this article is not intended to replace medical advice, but to complement it. Always consult your GP if you have any health concerns. Catherine Burns BA Hons, Dip ION is the managing director of Natural Ltd and a fully qualified nutritional therapist trained by the Institute for Optimum Nutrition in the UK. Please note that she is not a registered dietitian. For details, visit www.natural.bm or call 236-7511. Join Catherine on Facebook: www.facebook.com/nutrifitandnaturalnutritionbermuda

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Published February 08, 2013 at 8:00 am (Updated February 07, 2013 at 7:39 pm)

Get in the mood for Valentine’s Day!

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