The Importance of Good Sleep

Ah, Sleep! There’s nothing quite like a good deep sleep to leave you feeling refreshed and ready to start your day. As little as two consecutive nights of bad sleep can leave you feeling groggy and irritable, but good sleep has far more benefits than the otherwise obvious. Sure, a good night’s sleep sets you up for a less grumpy day, and it might help keep those pesky bags-under-the-eye at bay, but good sleep is also worth so much more.

Here are just a few reasons for you to consider a slightly earlier bedtime:

Healthy Brain Function

A good night’s sleep goes a long way to keeping your brain functioning at optimum levels. Sleep prepares you mentally to face the next day and ultimately allows you the capacity to make decisions, solve problems, and cope with change.

Emotional Wellbeing

Lack of sleep can lead to various mental ailments such as stress and depression. Bad sleeping patterns can also lead to difficulty with focus and concentration, which can in turn lead to struggles that ultimately lead to stress and more lack of sleep. Staying out of this vicious cycle is exceptionally important to your sunny disposition.

Physical Health

You body performs all sorts of healing functions while you sleep. The heart and blood vessels especially benefit from a good night’s sleep, lowering your risk of heart disease and high blood pressure.

Immune System

Good sleep plays a vital role in the way your immune system works. Compromised sleep may result in your immune systems response going off kilter, which will lead to your body struggle to fight off even the simplest of colds.

Appetite & Obesity

A good night’s sleep helps to maintain the balance between hunger and satiation hormones. Bad sleeping patterns may cause you to feel unnecessarily hungry all the time. Regular lack of sleep is also known to increase the risk of obesity.

Add more fruits and vegetables to your Herbalife shake

If you have trouble working enough fruits and vegetables into your day, adding them to your smoothies can be an easy way to boost your intake.

Fruits:  Personally I find the best way to use fruits in a smoothie is to freeze them first. Especially in the summer months when it is so hot. But of course fresh fruits are just as delicious! Aside from the typical berries or bananas, you might try mixing it up with less-typical fruits like kiwi, pomegranate seeds, guava or melon. I love adding frozen watermelon or frozen mango to my shake. And, believe it or not, our strawberry shake mixed with freshly squeezed orange juice is quite delicious.

Vegetables: These are a little trickier if you’re not used to trendy smoothies! Try things like cooked carrots, pumpkin, beets or butternut squash in small quantities. These are great smoothie boosters because they’re mildly sweet without being too obtrusive.  Baby greens – like baby spinach – are also mild in flavour and make you feel super healthy because they turn your shake green. Kale and wheatgrass as great ad-ins too if you can stomach the taste. But seriously, rather don’t put things in your shake that will make you not want to drink it. It’s not worth having to fight with your mind about whether or not kale tastes a little bit like blood. Rather stick to the things that make you happy to have your shake!

Add more Calories to your Herbalife Shake

 

If you have high calorie needs or are trying to gain weight, high-calorie extras in your smoothie can really help.  The trick is to add healthy nutrition along with the calorie boost. So maybe let’s not add ice cream or maple syrup or anything like that, ok?

Rolled oats – a scoop of quick-cooking rolled oats can add 100 calories or more, along with soluble fibre and a little extra protein, too.

Avocado and nut butters  add half of an avocado or a heaping spoonful of nut butter to your shake and you can boost the calories by 100 or more. Peanut butter is an option too but try to stick with the salt and sugar free versions (Woolies makes a great one, just fyi)

Dried Fruits or 100% Juices – because their calories are so concentrated, fruit juices and dried fruits are discouraged for those who are trying to lose weight, but that’s precisely why they make such a great add-in for those who are trying to gain. Try 100% orange, carrot or pineapple juice, or toss in a handful of dried apricots, peaches, cherries, dates or raisins.

Nut Powder – Use a food processor (Nutribullet is champion for this task) and make yourself some nut powder. Mix a bunch of nuts and seeds of your choice (pumpkin, linseed, sesame seeds, almonds, sunflower seeds) and then blend them into a powder. Keep the powder in your fridge and add them to your shake as needed. Drink up quick! (you don’t want that powder to go slimy!)

Add more healthy fats to your Herbalife shake

Adding fat to your smoothie will, of course, add some calories.  But healthy fats offer up more than that – you can also pick up some vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and fibre along the way.

Seeds  like flax, hemp, chia or sunflower seeds add a bit of texture to your smoothie, and give a little boost of minerals (especially copper and zinc) and omega-3 fatty acids.

Nut butters  such as almond, walnut or pistachio, also contribute zinc and copper, along with some protein and fibre, too.

Avocado adds a silky-smooth add-in to smoothies, and provides the same healthy fats found in olive oil along with some vitamin E.

Add more flavour to your Herbalife Shake

Your smoothie might taste just fine as it is, but if – like me – you’re in the habit of having them every day, it’s nice to change up the flavours to keep things interesting.  Aside from changing the flavour of my actual shake powder (don’t forget we have many flavours for you to try: chocolate, cookies & cream, strawberry, cappuccino to name a few) and playing around with different fruit and vegetable add-ins what often takes my shakes over the top is the extra flavour boost I get from adding herbs, spices, extracts and other natural flavours.

Spices – try a dash of sweet cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice or clove, or add some spicy heat with ginger or even a dash of white pepper.  Since they’re plant products, spices also contribute phytonutrients and antioxidants, too.

Herbs may not be something you’ve thought about adding to your smoothie, but there are plenty of herbs that work really well.  Try mint, rosemary, thyme or basil – but don’t stop there!  I know people who love fresh parsley or fresh cilantro in their smoothies, too.

Extracts and Zest – a little fresh lemon or orange zest adds a bright, fresh flavour to your smoothie, and there are some healthy oils in citrus peel, too.  I also like to keep all kinds of extracts on hand – like pure vanilla, almond, coconut and peppermint for an extra flavour boost.

Add some digestive support to your Herbalife shake

Some smoothie add-ins do double duty – they not only add flavour and nutrition, but also help with your digestive system.

Aloe vera juice adds a mild sweet flavour to your shake and helps support nutrient absorption in your digestive tract. (ask us about our Herbal Aloe beverage if you are not already taking it)

Yogurt contains probiotics – so-called “good” bacteria that help support digestive health. If you’re feeling extra adventurous you can also try amasi or kefir.

Ginger and Peppermint are both known to aid the digestive process.

Chia seeds are a very rich source of soluble fibre, which supports the growth of the good bacteria in your intestines.

Linseed is a gentle on the digestive system and also contain omega oils that are great for your brain, skin, and hair. But if you’re going to add linseed to your shake you might want to drink it up really quickly because if you let it stand for too long those seeds are going to get slimy!

Breakfast the Herbalife Way

Sometimes it is hard to know where to start when it comes to wellness. Most of us know that we aren’t doing enough for ourselves when it comes to general health and wellbeing, but the concept as a whole can be daunting. Calories, hydration, cardio, weight training, scales, measurements, heart rate, blood pressure! The list goes on, and as the list gets longer, our resolve can get shorter. Then someone throws in the phrase “Lifestyle Change” and the only thing you can think about is beer and cupcakes.

So let’s look away from that big picture for just a moment and focus our attention on just a small (but important) part of that big picture:

What did you have for breakfast today?

We’ve been told our whole lives that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and yet we still opt to neglect it, mostly for “convenience” reasons. Breakfast time, however, is the best place to start making changes on your road to wellness and it will without a doubt be one of the most effective changes you make. This is where good quality products like Herbalife meal replacements make all the difference. Many people mistake Herbalife for a “diet company” when in fact Herbalife is a nutritional supplement company. Now you can use these supplements to lose weight, maintain your weight, optimize your sports performance or even gain weight if you want to. Feeding your body good nutrition goes hand-in-hand with all of these things and it’s an excellent place to start.

When asked the question “what did you have for breakfast today?” most people answer with “Nothing”. Sometimes you will get the odd person who had a slice of toast with some coffee, or a bit of yogurt and cereal, but the norm is that we tend to skip breakfast altogether, which kinds of sets a bad tone for the entire day. Hydrating and feeding your body properly in the morning will make such a huge difference to your overall wellbeing that it is one change that can absolutely not be neglected in the quest for better health.

This is where Herbalife meal replacements can change your life. If you try nothing else in your efforts for A Better Lifestyle, try this.

The best part about making this particular change is that it takes a lot of the guess work out of your daily nutrition. Yes you can kind-of get a balanced meal in once or twice a day if you have the time and inclination to source and prepare all sorts of fancy meals, but that can get incredibly costly and time-consuming.

So pick up Your Herbalife Breakfast. And when you are done with your shake, remember to tell yourself, “I did something good for myself today.”

*Herbalife products are only available from registered Independent Herbalife Distributors. Call/Whatsapp Anthony of 083 651 3980 for more information.

Exercise without exercising (Part 5)

This is the last instalment in my exercise for lazy (I mean busy!) people series and as a lazy (I mean busy!) person myself I find these last few tips pretty awesome because you get to cross two things off of your things-to-feel-guilty-about list for the price of one. That’s right. Follow these tips and not only will you get to feel good about getting your blood pumping a little but you will also get to feel a little smiley about doing some good things around the best place in the world: your home.

Do your chores.

Forget the old adage “a tidy home is the sign of a wasted life” and get cleaning. As homemakers we sometimes tend to make do with the bare minimum when it comes to house work, but all that floor scrubbing, sweeping, dusting, mopping and polishing is great for toning your muscles and getting your blood flowing. Put on some music and dance while you do the dishes and wash the windows and delight in the fact that both you and your home are getting a make-over.

Learn to do basic maintenance.

Do you have a fence that needs mending? A broken tap? Some tiles that need to be laid or a wall that needs to be painted? Do it yourself. Instead of spending money on getting someone else to come in and do these things, rather learn how to do these kinds of chores yourself and reap the health benefits as well as the money-saving benefits of your hard work.

Start gardening.

Gardening takes a lot of hard work and maintenance and it is certainly not for the fainthearted. All that weeding, digging and watering takes a nice amount of effort on your part. Weather you plant veggies or flowers there are few things as satisfying as seeing your efforts come to fruition, so again you’ve got a great two-for-one deal. Actually, if you’re planting veggies you get three-for-one: exercise, a sense of achievement and beautifully grown organic food which is healthy.

You see? Being active can be as simple as just getting out there and living your life…

 

7 Signs of Dehydration

We all know that keeping hydrated is an essential element to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but it is something that a lot of folks do struggle with. While the average healthy adult should be able to rely on their thirst to ensure adequate hydration, sometimes we need a little nudge in this department. I’m going to go ahead and call “being busy” one of the leading causes of mild dehydration. This is, of course, totally understandable. But, the problem is that making a habit of neglecting your hydration levels is going to make it harder for you to keep up with that busy schedule of yours. So, best make a habit of sipping on that bottle of water!

Here are some signs that your body needs a little more water: (more…)

Exercise without exercising (Part 4)

In this series we have been chatting about how to incorporate a little bit of calorie-burning activity into your daily lifestyle without necessarily rushing off to hit it hard at the gym and today I want to bring in a little bit of family fun and togetherness. A happy family life goes a long way towards any individual’s wellbeing – wellbeing is mental as well as physical, after all.

Here are some family-oriented tips on getting that blood flowing without putting in too much effort.

Buy a Wii.

The Wii is a great alternative to traditional sit-on-the-couch gaming as you have to get up and move in order to play it. While there are Wii Fit options that are specifically geared towards exercise, just about any Wii game demands a bit of action on your part. So get a Wii. The kids will love you for it and it takes next to no effort to organize a weekly Wii marathon with your spouse and kiddies (or even just your friends!) If you’re not sure what games you want then rent a couple from your nearest video store (while we still have them!) to help you figure out what you enjoy most.

Of course, there are other gaming consoles that allow for movement as well. Choose which works best for you.

Play with the kids.

Really. Don’t just take them to the park or the beach and watch them play. Play with them. Kick around a ball or play a game of catch or simply chase them around. Not only will you burn off a couple of unwanted calories but you will also build and even stronger bond between you and your family. If you don’t have kids, then play with your nieces and nephews, or your friends’ kids. Or play with your significant other. But play. It’s good for you.

Get a dog.

Dogs need to be walked. And sometimes they make you chase them down the road when they have stolen your underwear off of the washing line. Dogs are awesome. Get a dog. Not sure about this one? Visit your local animal shelter and ask to walk some of the animals there. You’ll quickly fall in love and find the perfect fit for you. And you’ll be saving a life!

Climb a tree.

When last did you climb a tree? Do your kids know how to climb trees? Teach them! Your core will get an awesome workout just by keeping you from falling out of that tree.

Get a ping-pong table or a basketball hoop.

And then? Play with your kids some more! Ping-pong is a pretty fast paced game and shooting baskets is not only fun but it can be incredibly therapeutic if you’re doing it on your own and a lot of fun if you’re playing with others. Neither of these items takes up too much space, so no excuses!

Simple, right? Which one are you going to do today?