MAKING YOUR DAY AT THE SPA COUNT

skin care

“One of the secrets to a happy life is giving yourself continuous small treats.”

The other day my  girlfriends  took me out for a treat,a day at some swanky spa at an address in Upperhill. To be honest I have never gone to a spa ,never thought it was necessary but hey there is always a first time for everything and I and my body loved every minute of it.

Getting myself a heady and aromatic coffee scrub , followed by a dead sea wrap that took me back ,way back to what babies must feel like when they are tucked into their mothers wombs had my skin pores absorbing the moisturizing cream and oil that was  used thereafter.A  massage followed  and my skin and body loved every minute of it as my tense muscles responded to the massage therapist  gentle coaxing by relaxing under her touch.

As we sat at the terrace of the restaurant enjoying a view of the garden I thought of the millions   of women who all want glowing skin .How could I be able to talk to them about incorporating nutrition as part of maintaining the glow that followed spa treatments.How would I make it easier for them as well as for myself to maintain the  smooth glowing skin that followed a spa treatment as part of living a healthier lifestyle?

What you eat ,you wear in public and your skin being the largest organ is the first point of call when you want to gauge how healthy your lifestyle is.Making some small changes in your diet can improve the look and feel of your skin and it starts with  what you put on your plate.

1.Eating  5 servings of fruit and vegetables daily

Ensure your fruits and vegetables  come in a variety of colors,make you plate a rainbow of colors .Fruits and vegetables are essential as part of a daily skin care regimen because they help protect your skin from  damage that is caused by free radicals .The vitamins present in abundance  in  fruits and vegetables help boost your immune system making it easy for your skin to heal from blemishes and support growth of collagen which provides your skin with the elasticity needed to prevent formation of fine lines and wrinkles.

2.Nuts and seeds

Nuts and seeds are great sources of vitamins and especially Vitamin E that is good for your skin and helps support healthy skin growth as well as gives protection from the damage caused as we age.An intake of nuts and seed,you just a need a handful daily will help provide much needed nourishment to your skin.

3.Stop with the  crash diets

Crash diets play havoc on your skin,constantly losing then regaining your weight  will show on your skin with the presence of wrinkled and sagging skin.That is why it is really important to maintain a healthy weight by making healthy eating a lifestyle decision that is not reliant on a diet that you cannot sustain in the long term.

4.Cut out the junk food

We know that junk is bad for your body ,and it is bad on your skin as well.A diet high in carbohydrates and sugar may result in breakouts on your skin .Make sure your plate is filled with the right kinds of foods at every meal.

5.Drink water.

Your skin needs water to stay supple ,drinking your 6-8 glasses of water will help flush out the toxins from your body and aids in nourishing your skin cells and improving circulation .This  will help prevent premature aging and wrinkles.

In addition avoiding excessive alcohol consumption and taking moderate amounts of tea and coffee which all dehydrate your body will help your skin maintain its glow.

If you really do have to take alcohol and love your morning cup of coffee, then make sure you take a glass of water with each serving of alcohol or cup of coffee that you take.

6.Exercise

Surprised exercise is on the list?It had to be.

Exercise is great for your whole body and our skin which covers that body  will benefit greatly when you take up a regular exercise schedule.When your exercise you improve the circulation of blood in your body and your blood carries oxygen,nutrients to the cells in your body.By exercising you are increasing blood flow through out  your body and helping your liver flush out the toxins from your system which can mean nothing but good news to your body and your skin as well.

7.Wearing sunscreen

We live in the tropics and for those that enjoy a day out in the sun  wearing sunscreen  to protect your skin from the harsh rays of the sun is necessary.Yes ,even for us who live in the tropics and think our darker skins can withstand the heat, we do need sun screen.

Making a few changes in your life  can greatly  improve the condition of your skin which when done together with your  spa treatments  can work towards giving you a better and healthier  looking skin for longer.

SKIN CARE:FOODS TO TAKE IN MODERATION

In case of any skin conditions that require treatment be sure to see a qualified dermatologist or medical provider  for treatment.

Does this help?Please let us know in the comments section,see you there.

 

A NUTRITION DISRUPTION

nutritionist poster

Eating healthy is a form of self love,only you can give it to yourself.

When you make up your mind to start eating healthy,the most difficult hurdle you will have to get over everyday is the hurdle of staying motivated to eat healthy.

Eating healthy is a lifestyle decision that will not be solved by going on a diet.It has to be a conscious decision every day to be mindful about what ends up on your plate.

When I started writing and talking about nutrition I was excited to share my knowledge and experience in the kitchen with my readers and I had a lot of fun.But the very same reason I started writing ,started to wane off because somehow I got demotivated.

Suddenly everywhere I looked,everyone was dishing out nutrition advice based on nothing but what was trending in social media groups.Everyone was selling slimming teas,juicing,keeping off carbohydrates,eating only proteins and making a mess of the beautiful science of why and  how food is used by our bodies.

Everyone was lapping up the myths as gospel truths and my interest in writing started to wane off.My only involvement in nutrition came when I took part in the medical camps organized by our church and I would give nutritional advice and counsel to the people i Met during those medical camps

It was  interesting to see people quickly becoming health experts of sorts from reading just a few articles and without any formal training on what nutrition is, how various conditions would influence how food was absorbed in the body,they would start giving out nutritional advice.

More interesting was to find myself dishing out nutrition advice even without thinking about it and bursting a few myths that were being bandied around as means to weight loss and health .So why did I stop writing again…..

And so I found myself back where I started writing about nutrition because the information  being being bandied about was that staying healthy was a 15 or 21 day affair of eating certain kinds of foods and avoiding others.

But is it …..really?

Staying healthy is a lifestyle choice,a reason most diets do not work is that they promise you  quick results that do not last because somehow you fall off the diet wagon.And so you will find yourself trying every diet that promises to give you quick results when instead you should be using your energy to make healthier lifestyle choices.

And that is the reason I am back to nutrition ,I  got tired of looking at food as if it was an enemy to be fought  instead of something to be enjoyed.

It was time to  burst some myths that I had come across on what living  and eating healthy was all about.You may want to read Why you are not losing weight and why you may not be gluten intolerant.

Here is what I would like to do for you ,as a nutritionist I would like to disrupt the way you see and think about healthy eating.How can you make food your partner in living a healthier life and not see it as something you should be afraid of?

There are many places,people ,pills and teas that promise you quick results but do they really work at keeping you there..at making healthy eating a lifestyle choice?

I have spent years reading about what eating healthy is all about and how we can use food to manage as well as maybe avoid certain conditions.Those same years have been spent seeing how blessed we are as a country because we have such a wide variety of foods and fresh foods to choose from.

Is there a way I can help you live healthier,make wiser food choices,maybe a   topic you would really like me to talk about or maybe write about that you think you need clarity on?

Write it in the comments section and let us see how we can start you on eating more healthy as well as keep you there.

ARE YOU REALLY GLUTEN INTOLERANT ?

Bread gluten

Have you recently met someone who has sworn  to you that they are off eating  any wheat related products ?

Thousands of Kenyan women are going off wheat and for some brief period of time they have gotten rid of the bloated feeling that comes after eating bread.

At the moment we even have producers of  gluten free baked  products for consumers that have celiac disease which is the an autoimmune disorder where the body attacks the protein we call gluten,found in most products made from wheat,barley,rye.

What is gluten you may ask ?

Gluten is a protein found in cereals like wheat,oats and rye and when consumed results in inflammation of the gut and specifically the small intestines .It is estimated to affect 1 out of every 100  people world wide is a hereditary condition. Read more about it at Celiac Org.

Gluten is the “glue” that helps baked food and other products made from cereals that contain this protein retain their shape.Some foods that you may not think of but contain gluten include beer,food coloring,salad dressings and commercial soups and sauces.

You may consider getting a doctors or nutritionists advice and counsel before you confirm an intolerance to gluten.

To confirm a  gluten intolerance you may want to keep a food diary for a period of 2 weeks and even after you confirm that bread is the culprit,remember that bread  is made with yeast which helps bread rise.You already have some good bacteria living in your gut  which in the presence of refined  sugars multiplies and when you add bread that contains more yeast into your gut,it causes the yeast to multiply,producing gas and causing that  bloated feeling you are now familiar with.

This  explains the relief you feel when you keep off wheat products especially bread.

If you really do feel you have to cut bread off from your diet,there are many healthy breakfast options available-boiled arrow roots or sweet potatoes .You may want to read the post we did a couple of years back on Kenyan food classics .

So are you really gluten intolerant ?Keep a food diary and keep a track  of all the foods you eat and you will easily pin point the ones to  blame for the bloatedness. You will be surprised to find fruits among the list ,especially if you skip lunch and have nothing but fruits instead you will get bloated as well.

Fruits contain fructose,a sugar and as we said yeast which is present in low amounts in your gut thrives on sugar,more sugar,more yeast growth more gas hence the bloated stomach.

As soon as you pin point the foods that are the cause of your bloated feeling,try eliminating them over the course of 2 weeks and afterwards try including them into your diet one at a time and in reasonable  amounts .

Does this post help?

Do you think a food diary would help you point out the foods that are the cause of your bloatedness and discomfort?

Do let us know,we love feedback.

WHY YOU ARE NOT LOSING WEIGHT….

 

Take care

A few years back, I showed my now  pre teen daughter ,photos of myself while at the university.

She could not believe it was me.

To be honest she laughed until she cried.

And still did not believe it was me.

I had to take a look at that photo again to confirm that indeed it was me in all my chubby glory.

I was so round ,bouncing off a wall if inadvertently someone knocked me against one would have been pretty easy.

Looking at that picture now,I almost doubt that it is me ,struggling with my weight and pretending I was fine with it.

For every 10  women you meet 9 are struggling with some weight issue.It is never evident at first glance, but we are all as women struggling with something and it manifests itself through the food we indulge in or deny ourselves.

My fluctuating weight was  evidence of the emotional turmoil I was going through on the inside.

I was an emotional eater.Most women are emotional eaters.

We eat and drink when we are happy,unhappy and when we are really really happy with life,we do not even feel hungry.We just feed of our emotional high (like when we are in love) to keep on going  and when the high goes,we can really eat .

My go to foods were  chocolate,ice cream or anything deep fried at  the drop of   a hat    which in a heartbeat were my pick me ups  whenever I was going through some emotional upheaval.

It could be a breakup you are going through,stress at work or just the  feeling that you are stuck in  some area of your life,it does not matter what it is but your body tells you there is something wrong and the only way to “fix “it is get something in your mouth or so we think.

I know I did that several times, taking comfort in food,much easier and tastes really good at the time.

These  experiences taught me something about food,the struggle with weight and wellness.

That sometimes the battle you are fighting is not what people see on the outside,it is what is going on from  the inside that will determine what eventually lands on your plate.

No matter how many diets you go through,how much you read about the benefits of healthy eating,nothing will start working until you fix what is not right from the inside.

The journey to a healthier life starts from the inside and even when you do not feel like it,eat the apple,take the salads,drink more water,cut back on the unhealthy foods and replace them with more fresh vegetables and fruits and magic starts to happen.

It takes some getting used to,remembering that the body you have is the only one you will ever have to take you through life as well as achieve your dreams helps some.

Take care of it.

Have  you ever  struggled with weight and would you call yourself an emotional eater,what helped you get back on your journey to living healthier?I would love to hear from you.

 

CAN COLDS,FLU IN CHILDREN BE MANAGED DIFFERENTLY ?

food

If you have raised or are raising children ,you probably know by heart the most common antibiotics prescribed to children .

Names like Klacid,Zinnat,Augmentin and Amoxi roll easily off your tongue. Most children within the course of an year will have visited a doctor and got to take an antibiotic at least 4 times each year. At least i can say that for my children.

And so i took some time to read up on antibiotics and understand how they work and when they should be given. Then last week while flipping through TV channels i chanced upon a documentary by the BBC that was talking about how scientists are worried about our rising resistance to the commonly used antibiotics .

What got me really worried was i remembered reading  an article that said we seem to be developing resistance to the most commonly used ones faster than we can develop new ones.

The last class of antibiotics was discovered three decades ago .

You can read the BBC article on the rise in antibiotic resistance.

Back to my story….

It is in the background of all of this that i sat down to discuss with a close family member whose children are the same age as mine on whether our children were being given too many antibiotics when we took them to hospital.

And if so, could we learn to manage colds,coughs and flu differently. That is when she shared something i found pretty interesting….

Her son who suffers from several bouts of colds and flu had had such a serious bout of flu he had had to go for nebulization .

When the pharmacist whom she picks her prescriptions from told her the boy was taking too many antibiotics she decided to visit an ENT specialist.

The ENT advised her to give her 4 year old  zinc supplements and they came out of the doctors without any antibiotics prescribed and  what a huge relief it was! So she has been using the supplements for a few weeks now together with some echinecea drops.

Zinc is an important mineral required by the body,in an article in Medical News Today ,intake of the recommended daily allowance of zinc is especially important for young children as it reduces the risk of infections and respiratory diseases.

While zinc supplements are available and should only be taken after advise from a qualified doctor,it is much better to get them from food.

Some of the foods from where you can get your RDA of zinc include beef,yogurt,peas,and peanuts.

Echinecea on the other hand is a herb whose leaves,flower and root are used to make medicine.

Echinecea has been shown to modestly reduce symptoms of colds but research is not clear on whether it prevents colds.It works by releasing chemicals in the body that reduce inflammation and relieves cold and flu symptoms.

In light of all these findings i would like to hear and learn from fellow mothers who have used supplements or echinecea with successful results.

Not only will we help each other learn how we can reduce incidences of colds and flu,we may also start asking more questions the next time we get a dose of antibiotics prescribed for our little ones.

If there are any doctors reading this could you also please enlighten us on how best to manage colds,flu in our little ones.

Let us learn together.

Xx,

Ina

SUNSCREEN THE NATURAL WAY

Sunscreen is good for you!
Sunscreen is good for you!

Whatever your age you need sunscreen.

And seeing that i am not very good at using chemical sunscreen,I decided to do some research on natural ways to reduce sun damage.

The result….some new green  ideas for protecting your skin against sun burns and damage.

1.Wearing a hat

Wearing a wide brimmed hat when the sun is really hot  will go a long way towards protecting your skin against sun damage.

Your  skin is the biggest organ your body has and protecting it against sun damage will protect you against a lot of wrinkles as well as some form of cancers.

2.Eating well.

By eating well you not only nourish and protect your body but these nutrients also get passed on to your skin.

By adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet you are going to be introducing anti oxidants to your body that help fight  and control skin damage.

3.Natural Oils

Some of natures best kept secrets are in the natural oils it provides.

According to Wellness Mama some of  these natural oils actually contain SPF properties.

Shea Butter-SPF 4-6

Coconut oil- SPF-4-6

Almond Oil-SPF of about 5.

Maridadi Living!

Xoxo,

Ina

HOW TO LOSE WEIGHT FOR GOOD

The holiday season is almost here and taste buds all over the world are getting ready to get tantalized,wooed and swooned with all manner of delicacies.

The holiday season is when we indulge and party like it was 1999.

That is when decisions made earlier in the year on healthy eating eating,great food choices are thrown out of the window to be picked up in January of the next year.

But it does not have to be that way.

Healthy eating can be lifestyle you can keep for the rest of your life.

Here is a guide to get your started.

1.Make your food choices consciously not based on your emotions.

Always know what goes in your mouth and what it is going to do to your body.

2.Mange your food portions

Once you have made the conscious decision to eat well,mind your portion choices.

We all know too much of a good thing is not good at all,so keep your portions sizes reasonable.

3.Chew your food,slowly.

Don’t just swallow your food,taste it ,chew it deliberately and swallow it

You will be surprised that you eat less this way.

It will help you know when you have had your fill.

4.Drink drink drink water

Yes the 6-8 glasses of water daily,make sure your body is hydrated,sometimes those hunger pangs are a sign your o needs more water.

Take water 15 minutes before your main meal or an hour after meals.

5.Exercise

exercise guide
exercise guide

Moderate exercises of between 60-90 minutes daily will help you keep the kilos off.

The cheapest way to exercise is taking daily walks.

Keep moving.

 

LIVING WITH GOUT

An increasing number of young Kenyans are getting diagnosed with gout.

What was once called a rich man’s disease is now affecting a large number of both men and women.

Factors that may increase your chances of developing gout include family history ,being overweight,consuming more than 2 drinks a day if you are a man and more than 1 drink for women,diets high in meat and fats which are high in purine and result in production of uric acid.

Gout develops when your body produces too much uric acid.

Uric acid is a waste product the human body produces,when produced in excess by the body it finds its way into  crystallizes and joints where it causes the swellings commonly associated with gout.

A simple blood test at a medical facility will confirm if you have gout.

Image

For anyone with a family history of gout or already having the condition some guidelines on living with gout and managing it with diet are:

1.  Avoid alcohol  especially beer and distilled spirits,if you have to drink take just a glass of wine.

2.Take meat,meat products,sea food,poultry in moderation.

3.Keep a high intake of water,6-8 glasses a day is ideal.

4.At every meal ensure you have vegetables and fruit..

5.If you are over  weight ,exercise and adopt healthier food choices.

Here is a link to a diet plan i recently made for a client.

Consumption of diets