TURN UP THE HEAT ON YOUR METABOLISM

Metabolism

“What do you do when you metabolism is slow and you want to increase it ?”

One of the surest way to increase your metabolism is through exercise.

Burn more calories by burning  (pun intended) the soles off your gym shoes is a sure fire way to lose weight.

A slow metabolism may be due to lack of physical activity,genes or hyperthyroidism  which is when your thyroid gland does not produce enough of the thyroid hormone and your metabolism slows down.

The thyroid gland is located at the base of your neck and produces the thyroid hormone which helps regulate your metabolism which is the way your body uses energy.

Th thyroid gland uses iodine from your diet to produce its two main hormones that are important for some very important bodily functions like;

  • Body temperature
  • Cholesterol levels
  • Breathing
  • Body temperature
  • Body weight
  • Menstrual cycle …

The two hormones produced by the thyroid are T3 (Triiodothyronineand) T4 (Thyroxine).

The levels of these two hormones in your body should neither be too high nor too low as they regulate how fast or slow your metabolism is.

These two hormones also work together with insulin which is the hormone that tells the body cells to take up the glucose to be used as energy fuel.

See how a slow metabolism affects your weight ?

If you have no underlying medical conditions, becoming more physically active is a great way to boost your metabolism and now thanks to science there are foods that together with regular physical exercise can help increase your metabolism.

Increasing your metabolism means that you burn more calories as you turn your food into energy that keeps your heart beating, your breathing constant ,your body temperature just right   as well as making sure your body functions as it should.All these things are using up energy which comes from the food you eat.

Thanks to one of the blog’s readers Susan,  who asked about how she could increase her metabolism.I thought about all the other readers who without any underlying medical reason may be having the same question and are wondering how to speed up their metabolism.then I should mention and here.

Exercise should be the first point of callas a means to increasing your metabolism but mother nature does provide means and ways with which we can help her along .

It is worth repeating that while our metabolism is affected by our genes and gender , exercising and eating right will go some way in helping us burn some extra more and who would not want that.

1.Do eat Breakfast

Sounds like a no brainer but you will be surprised by the number of people who do not take breakfast because they do not think it is important or even necessary.

By not eating breakfast you set your body into starvation mode and your metabolism slows and starts crawling at a snails pace to conserve energy.

(Yes,your body is that intelligent)

For breakfast try having foods that are slower to digest and leave you feeling fuller for longer so that you are not craving sugary things.

Try whole wheat bread with a vegetable omelette and a cup of tea or coffee with a fruit as a mid morning snack.

2.Do eat iron rich foods

Every month women  lose some amount of blood through their periods and blood contains the red blood cells that are  responsible for carrying oxygen into your body cells.

Remember the class 6 science lessons on the components of blood?

The red blood cells in your body contain Hemoglobin which  carry 70% of the iron in your body and hemoglobin is responsible for carrying oxygen from your lungs to your tissues.n.

If the levels of iron in your body are low,your muscles do not have enough oxygen,you start feeling lethargic and your  body activity slows down.

What to do ?

Eat foods that will  boost the level of iron in your body and aid in its functions.

Great sources of iron are of course  dark green leafy vegetables like broccoli , spinach,kales,peas and beans as well as lean cuts of meat and poultry.

3.Do take dairy

Dairy products like milk and yoghurt are great sources of calcium ,an adult needs about 1000mgs of calcium daily,pregnant and lactating women as well as those over 50 will need more .You can meet your daily requirement of calcium with your breakfast,having a serving of yoghurt and with your tea or coffee.

A glass of milk is equal to 300 mgs of calcium.

Calcium helps metabolize your fat more efficiently and if you are wary of dairy because of the fat it contains there are now brands of milk with a skim version that will give you the calcium without the fat.

4.Do cut back on alcohol

If you drink at least two glasses of wine in a sitting or 2 beers you slow down the process of fat burning by your body as much as 70 %.Instead of having the liver ,the organ in your body at the center of metabolism  turning  the food you take into nutrients that the body can use it instead turns to the  acetate in alcohol as a fuel source.

5.Do take more protein

When paired with exercise  intake of  protein as part of your daily meals will help increase your muscles and muscles burn more calories than fat.

Having protein in your meals will help curb hunger as well as help you maintain a healthy weight and your body does burn more calories by digesting it.

Great sources of protein are beans,eggs,milk,chicken,fish and peanut butter.

6.Do sleep for at least 8 hours

Sleep deprivation slows down your metabolism and makes your body more sluggish which means you are less likely to engage in any physical activity.A sluggish body equals a slowed metabolism.

Make sure you get at least 7- hours sleep daily and you will wake up hale and hearty ready to tackle the challenges of the day .You will see and find that you are more active after a good nights sleep than otherwise.

Lack of sleep has also been linked to the hunger hormone ghrelin which stimulates appetite,an increased food intake and fat storage.

 

Was  this helpful ? we would love to hear back from you.

We love feedback.

See you in the comments section.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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.

 

HOW KENYA MARKED WORLD BREASTFEEDING WEEK

Dr Kioko  from the Ministry of Health and Safaricom CEO,Bob Collymore .
Dr Kioko from the Ministry of Health and Safaricom CEO,Bob Collymore .

“It is embarrassing that in the 21st century women should have to be expressing milk in washrooms and toilets.”

-Bob Collymore  CEO,Safaricom

You know the event you are attending is going to be great and has been well planned for months  when you are handed a sky blue media kit complete with a DVD by UNICEF .

I am entering the Michael Joseph Center and it looks resplendent in blue and white colors for the official launch of the breastfeeding week that is being celebrated in more than 17 countries across the world.

But first a thorough  security check you are entering  “Fort Knox”.

The Ministry of health together with relevant stake holders is launching Guidelines on Support for Working Mothers A first in Kenya and the theme for this year is Breastfeeding at Work,Lets make it Work.

The Chief Guest for the event is James Macharia,the Cabinet Secretary for Health but he sends Dr James Kioko in his place.

As usual we are a wee bit late in starting the event,but not to worry i get time to admire the baby piano and nice seats at the MJ center,i almost wish i could carry one or six with me .

We are first led on a tour of Safaricom”s Mothers room and creche,facilities that are a first for a Kenyan company to invest in for their female staff who are parents or plan to be in the near future.

As Mrs Marilyn Mbuthia the Head of HR Operations tells us,female staff at Safaricom get an extra one month of maternity leave in addition to the statutory 12 weeks the government recommends.

Mothers working here also enjoy flexible working hours and a medical insurance that covers all costs from pre- natal,post natal to delivery  costs.

We got entertainment from a group of mothers called Diamond Mothers,who meet at St Teresa’s Catholic Church in Mathare,an informal settlement in Nairobi and their skit on the challenges and benefits of  breastfeeding deserved an award.

One of the mothers from the group recounted her experience losing a child at 5 months because she had started giving him complementary foods at 1 month.There was in drop silence as she told her story in Swahili.

The CEO of Safaricom Bob Collymore gave a passionate appeal for corporates to see facilities like a mothers room as being the right thing to do.

Every company needs to support women who choose to breastfeed and it need not be an expensive venture like what they have done,a mothers room to express milk is enough.

While making the workplace a conducive environment for mothers has largely been led by the private sector will the public sector slow to follow ,it is a milestone to finally see the government launch guidelines on making the workplace a more family and child friendly environment.

Who knows,we may just see a creche at parliament .

Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore and Dr Kioko helping children at the Safaricom creche with their artwork.
Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore and Dr Kioko helping children at the Safaricom creche with their artwork.

LIGHTS.CAMERA.ACTION

Stay at home mum

When i received Mummytales cryptic sms I did not know  it would lead me to the set of Victoria’s lounge, sharing my experience of being a stay at home mum.

30 minutes is very little time to share your experience of 6 years,travelling over Kenya while raising 3 kids,it is the most fulfilling thing yet the most difficult thing i have ever done.

You see,i never planned or intended to be a stay at home mum for that period of time but the experience and the growth over the last 6 years ,i would not trade for anything.

It is skimming the surface when i say being a stay at home mum was something i felt i could afford to do at the time.

It is a story of a lot of blood ,sweat and tears over the years.

But it has led me to my meeting the most fantastic women in the world,been inspired by great women like my sister in law Diana,she is a Ninja.

And it has led me back to Nairobi,the most beautiful city in the world.

If you get to watch the show on Thursday at 7:30 pm on NTV,remember that is just my story,part of my story.

It is not the perfect solution for everyone and it should not be taken by everyone but for those who decide to be stay at home parents,my hats off to you.

You will be spending a part  a large part of your time doubting yourself,feeling like pulling your hair out and pleading with a 2 feet angel who will not touch peas because they are yuck .

Maybe they will pull a tantrum one,two,several times when they do not want to do their homework and you will think your working friends are the luckiest people in the world.

But you know what kids grow up, you can  never get those first three years back.

So whether you are working at home,from home or in an office,spend time with your children,know who they are ,love them and love yourself and cut yourself some slack,you are doing a great job.

And when you see me with lots of make up on TV looking like a deer caught in the headlights,be nice.

Xx,

Ina

MY FAVOURITE WRITERS:MUMYTALES

Today was a great day.

I got to meet one of the most inspiring writers with an awesome blog.

With the stories of the women she has featured on her blog,i have cried ,laughed and prayed with them.

The writer of Mummy Tales  is like family to me,she has inspired me,we have exchanged emails and she knows all of my kids names.

The writer of Mummytales is Maryanne.

She is a journalist by training and a writer at  heart ,a rare combination and those are the kind of  people who truly inspire me.

She writes because she loves what she does and she wants to inspire  other people.

We had coffee,exchanged ideas and had a thoroughly enjoyable time.

She has asked me to contribute on her blog  when she had the Pearls of Wisdom series.

Pass by her blog and get inspired.

HOW TO BE GREAT AT ANYTHING

A lot of people who know that i write  ask how i do it.

For many of us ,writing does not come easy.

We may have the ideas and content but we just can’t seem to get started.

The answer i give  is writing requires lots of mistakes.

And lots of bad writing to get it right.

Yes it does.

And you can only make a lot of mistakes from doing a lot of work.

When i first started writing i often repeated myself, words,phrases and generally became long winded with my first posts

Quickly i adapted to keeping my posts short and to editing .

This applies to any area you want to become adept at.

Practice.Practice.Practice.

It takes 21 days to form a habit,whatever it is you want to be good at,set aside 21 days for it,then do a little bit of it everyday .

Do you have a specific skill you want to learn or perfect?Share you tips or lessons learned in the comment section.

KENYAN APPS :REVISION 844

blog-post

In March there was the  2nd  annual Kenya ICT conference at the Kenyatta International Conference.

The event was held between the   2nd and 3rd of March this year.

There were a lot of conference attendants  and the exhibitors were absolutely smashing  with their applications.

And one of turned out to be a personal favorite.

An application,Kenyan if i may point out that and it aims at making revision fun and exciting.

With relatively few resources available for online learning,Revision 844 was launched in October 2014 and covers the Kenyan school curriculum from classes 4-8.

By making revision for exams a fun and interactive experience that can be done anywhere , anytime,the application seeks to provide better information for parents/guardians on a child’s revision progress.

For parents the application seeks to provide an ever growing source of  quality and relevant content  to give children a pleasant and beneficial learning experience.

The developers are working with the best teachers in  the top performing schools in The Kenya Certificate for Primary Education examinations held annually to develop content.

The national exam helps place primary  school students in high school and placement  is solely dependent on performance.

The developers dreams go further than Kenya,they would like to launch it in as many African countries as they can.Elementary school education in most African countries is pretty much almost the same and the platform the application operates on is flexible enough to see it adapted to a country’s educational needs.

If you are a parent reading this,get the application on your smart phone and let your child give it a try.

Do ensure you get back to us with feedback on the experience.

Go Revision 844 Team!