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Quick tips for a health boost

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Thomas Dunstan with Olive Oil and Chocolate Chip Cookies from Catherine Burns’ Healthy Kick-Start programme (Photograph supplied)

The Irishman is a very brave man as he’s now living with five women – me, the girls, Ellie the cat and Arloe, our little pup.

That’s a lot of oestrogen in one house but so far so good. Arloe arrived last week and is the sweetest bundle of high energy with – thank god – a fondness for a good nap. “Sleep when the baby sleeps” seems to apply to puppies too. Yesterday, we found her having a nap with her head under the sofa. She also likes to keep her butt on her bed but have her body and head on the floor. Or to sleep on her back, legs in the air with absolutely no dignity whatsoever. She is keeping us on our toes that’s for sure, but let the adventures begin.

It turns out that having two teens is great when it comes to puppy training. I have to give them credit for being very on top of the pee and poop schedule. I’ve been working a lot in the evenings lately and would have been ankle-deep in puddles without their help.

We’ve been busy at work with our Healthy Kick-Start – lots of e-mails to keep up with and yet, tons of fun! It’s been amazing to see so many pictures of our healthy recipes being made by our participants and nice to know they are having a more nutritious 2023.

As well as recipes we’ve been giving lots of helpful tips for lifestyle adjustments; things that are easy to do that also having a significant impact cumulatively – it’s what you do every day that makes a difference. Never underestimate the power of a small, daily habit.

Arloe, Catherine Burns’s golden labrador (Photograph supplied)

On that note, we’re starting Nutrifit next week, so if you’re interested in learning more about nutrition and having six weeks of accountability and support with a flexible schedule, then do check out the details at www.waterfrontwellness.bm.

We have really great insurance coverage and equaliser places for those without coverage – these are financially assisted places as we firmly believe that socioeconomics variances should not stand in the way of health education (or any education for that matter).

Meanwhile, I thought I’d share some of the most popular quick tips that we gave out in the kick-start. These things are easy to do – try working on one new thing a week, or do them all at once if you are all in. If you have any questions let me know, I’m happy to help. (Of course, if you have a medical condition or are on medication, please consult your healthcare provider for dietary advice. The steps below are preventive steps only.)

Germiko Hill with Roasted Beet Hummus from Catherine Burns’ Healthy Kick-Start programme (Photograph supplied)

Quick tips for a healthy kick-start:

• Include more healthy savoury breakfasts (eg an omelette or avocado on toast) to dilute your sweeter options. Savoury options are always better on your blood sugar.

• When you have a sweet breakfast, make sure you include protein (for example, add nuts to cereal, collagen to oatmeal/fruit, protein powder to a smoothie).

• At lunchtime and dinner, eat most of your veggies and protein first, before the carbs. Coating your stomach with protein/veggies slows down the rate at which glucose is released from your carbs.

• Always make sure that half your plate at lunch and dinner is non-starchy vegetables such as broccoli, green beans, peppers, asparagus, zucchini, leafy greens, onions, mushrooms and cauliflower. (Carrots, corn, pumpkin and butternut squash are starchy so they don’t count!)

• Wash rice before cooking and rinse with boiling water from a kettle after cooking, in order to remove excess starch.

• When you make starchy carbs like rice, potatoes, pumpkin, squash or pasta, try and leave enough time to allow them to cool – refrigerate for 20 minutes and then reheat them. This process helps create resistant-starch, which is easier on your blood sugar. Try bulk-cooking starches so that you don’t always have to leave time for them to cool and chill. Store extra portions in the fridge or freezer and then just heat them up as you need them. Note that you should not store cooked rice for longer than two days in the fridge, but it is OK to freeze it.

Sandy Gascoigne with Green Smoothie Muffins from Catherine Burns’ Healthy Kick-Start programme (Photograph supplied)

• A ten-minute walk after lunch and dinner is really helpful for lowering blood sugar after a meal. If you have a doggo, take them for a walk after dinner rather than before!

• Better sleep is helpful for better appetite regulation. To improve your sleep, make sure your room is cool and switch off digital devices and the TV at least an hour before bed. Eat plenty of magnesium-rich foods (leafy greens, beans/lentils, nuts and seeds) and avoid refined sugar, caffeine and alcohol.

Catherine Burns is a qualified nutritional therapist. For more details: www.natural.bm, 505-4725, Natural Nutrition Bermuda on Facebook and @naturalbda on Instagram

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Published January 20, 2023 at 7:59 am (Updated January 20, 2023 at 7:34 am)

Quick tips for a health boost

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