Monday, 10 October 2016

The Master Cleanse - Day 1

Today I started the Master Cleanse. Day one is complete.

As a background, the Master Cleanse is a form of body detox. It consists of lemon, pure maple syrup, cayenne pepper and filtered water. You need to drink about 8 - 12 glasses a day. Beginning the day with a saltwater flush and ending the day with a laxative tea.

The main purpose for me is to give my body a good rest from digestion and a chance to have a good clean out. The cleanse helps to get rid of all the toxins within your body's cells. Many people do it for weight loss, but that's not my reason.

Day one was interesting. I went through quite a few hunger pangs from lunchtime, especially when walking around the mall past all the food courts. It's actually really interesting how hyper tuned I was to food and food advertising. It is everywhere and always in your face! No wonder we have an obesity epidemic because most of what you see is high sugar.

Tomorrow I'm going to need to replenish my cleanse stocks. It uses a hell of a lot of lemons and maple syrup! I'll check out Bin Inn and see what their largest option for maple syrup is.

Almost time for my laxative tea. Good night and I'll update again tomorrow.




Thursday, 6 October 2016

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

My Lifestyle Update and Check In

It's been about 5 months since getting back from the United States and when Bruce and I started taking real steps to change our lives. I thought it would be a good time to check in and assess the progress.

Bruce and I at 'Sails' restaurant we recently dined at in Auckland by the harbour bridge. Aren't we glowing!

  • Smokefree (Quit date 4th January) - 10 months
  • Refined sugar and gluten free (Quit date early July) - 3 1/2 months
  • Alcohol free (Quit date mid July) - 3 months
  • Crossfit (Start date early September) - 2 months (and it still hasn't killed me!)

Other changes:

  • Reduced coffee intake to 1 per day in the morning
  • Increased green tea as a replacement to coffee
  • Buying most vegetables from farmers market and meat from a butcher
  • 'Meat free' days

People say to me 'wow that's too extreme for me' or 'I would just focus on cutting down'.

I'm an all or nothing type of person. Moderation just doesn't work for me in most cases. I feel like it takes far more willpower and effort to be forever monitoring and thinking about how many chips I've eaten from that family size pack in one go or the amount of wine that it takes before paying for it the entire next day for the sake of an inebriated evening that lasts only a few hours. Abstinence just feels easier. It means I don't even have to start that battle with the angel Vince and the devil Vince on my shoulders. I feel relaxed!

Physically I am feeling really good. I have an even amount of energy throughout the day. I used to crash in the afternoons. On the weekends I would nap a lot. I still enjoy a nap on the weekends but I don't feel forced to do it any more. This is definitely due my body no longer relying on the rush of sugar from the high amount of bread and refined sugar I used to consume most lunchtimes and shifting to healthy fats and oils for energy.

From my early twenties I had suffered from psoriasis in my nails and then eventually psoriatic arthritis in one of my fingers, my back and my knees. As of today, my nails are completely clear of pitting and scaled areas and I have no arthritic pain whatsoever. Psoriasis is classed as an inflammatory condition and it is becoming more and more evident that the food you eat can have inflammatory effects on your body. I believe that cutting out gluten and refined sugar is a huge factor to my recovery.

Also from my early twenties I have suffered from anxiety. Over the past few months I have felt more grounded and calm than I have in years. Anxiety is something I need to manage and live with every day but it is hugely noticeable that it's something now less in the forefront of my mind. I believe this is contributed to the reduction in caffeine, no alcohol and regular exercise.

I don't feel like my life changes have been drastic. Especially with the support of my husband who is finding his own reasons and seeing his own results from being healthier. I think what is drastic is the way we have changed as a society to allow the high rates of obesity and diabetes and other inflammatory conditions which were once rarely heard of.

So far so good. I like the path I'm following. I'm happy and content with life at the moment!

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Green Tea


What do you know about green tea? Have you ever tried it? Most people have heard of green tea being very good for you and full of antioxidants. You never hear much about its flavour though right? In my own experience, the flavour is an acquired taste but well worth the benefits! Green tea should have a warm light taste. It should not be overpowering or bitter. There's some rookie mistakes that can be made when preparing this tea so read on and all will be revealed.

Quick list reasons for trying green tea:
  • In the office, drink instead of water
  • Much lower caffeine content than coffee
  • It's cheap
  • Very low or no calories
  • Gives you a break from your work
  • High in antioxidants
  • Refreshing
  • Different flavours to try like ginger, lemon and berry
  • You look awesome when drinking it

About Green Tea

Green tea has long been associated with health. It originated in China but is now well known and recognised world-wide. There are numerous varieties of the tea depending on the tea plant it was grown from and the way the tea is prepared.

Preparation

I've learned from my own mistakes, which due to the awful result you tend to only make once. For the perfect green tea:
  • DO NOT use boiling water! This will destroy the flavour and some of the beneficial ingredients. Instead add some cold water to your teacup. I normally do about one fifth of the cup. Then add your freshly boiled water for the rest
  • DO NOT leave the teabag (or tea leaves) steeping indefinitely! This will taste fine for the first few minutes and then eventually start to turn overpoweringly bitter and metallic. You'll never be able to finish it! Make sure to keep to the directed brewing time which is normally three to five minutes

Caffeine content?

Caffeine is a psychoactive stimulant. Many of us depend on it just to wake up properly in the mornings and get through the day. It is present in many of our drinks and food such as coffee, tea, energy drinks, cola. Too much can promote anxiety if you have a predisposition and also affect your sleep.

At one stage in my earlier 'office' working career I was drinking up to 5 long blacks before lunchtime and thought it was normal but didn't understand why I had suddenly developed anxiety issues! The answer (or part of it) was right in front of my eyes.

Green tea has a very low amount of caffeine compared to regular coffee or cola. Drink green tea to cut down on your intake and help your body get back to natural alertness! Here is a rough guide of caffeine found in your average servings of drinks:
  1. 80 mg - Red Bull
  2. 75 mg - Regular coffee
  3. 40 mg - Green Tea
  4. 35 mg - Coca Cola

Flavours?

I'm not a veteran green tea drinker and couldn't even tell you which variety of green tea I drink (Wikipedia has a huge list of different varieties of green teas!). Right now I'm enjoying a cup of 'Bell - Zesty Green Tea Pure' which has become my favourite of the supermarket brands. Like I mentioned, green tea's flavour may not 'grab you' right away and fortunately there's added flavours that could help you transition to this healthier drink. Check out your local store's shelves for flavours like berry, ginger, lemon, lime and mint green teas.

Antioxidants?

The revered antioxidant. Isn't it amazing? It's advertised as a benefit of many healthy foods and products but what does it actually do? Oxidative stress can affect our bodies in many ways. It can produce free radicals which are damaging to our cells and have been linked to autoimmune diseases as well as cancers. Green tea having antioxidants can reduce this oxidative stress and thus reduce the amount of free radicals affecting our cells. On the flipside though, antioxidants are not without controversy and some studies have shown that they have no beneficial effect at all.

What's the difference to other tea?



There's actually all sorts of other teas and tea plants including white tea and black tea. There's herbal teas too which often don't contain any actual tea plant but due to the way they are brewed, they're still called tea. White, green and black tea can actually come from the same plant. The differences come down to the way the leaves are processed. Generally, black tea is processed for longer and green tea is only withered and steamed which retains the green colouring.

Wrapping it up

For myself green tea fits in to a healthy 'paleo' lifestyle really well. It has helped me reduce my caffeine intake and is also a great substitution for alcoholic drinks or coffee. I have a shelf full of different teas but green tea is my staple especially during the work day. I have a double glass walled cup which I love and it helps to keep the heat of the drink from escaping for longer.

So in the words of that Dilmah guy from the TV ads, 'Do try it!'. You've got nothing to lose.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

The New Name

Just a quick post today about the blog name change. I've spent a few days trying to come up with a name that's original but also easy to remember.

I want my blog to encompass all that I believe can truly make your life better in many different aspects from food to fitness. I like EverHeal. It's catchy and it states my reason for making this blog. I want to share with you what I've learned about ways to stay 'always healthy'.

I'd love to build a community of like-minded people where we can share ideas and learnings of things that make your life better in ways that nature intended. I want EverHeal to be the concept that it's never too late to gain back health and wellness, no matter what your age, weight or fitness level. Your body wants to be healthy and it can be. I have seen first hand the ways that you can enable it.

Thanks again for reading and I'm looking forward to what's in store! I hope you are too.

Monday, 25 August 2014

The Green Smoothie, Mother Nature's Ambrosia

The foundation of a healthy day



I love my breakfast green smoothie. It's easy to prepare, tasty, full of nutrition and easy to drink. If you've never had one then the thought of drinking something green and filled with vegetables might not sound so appealing especially for breakfast. But if you're after something that won't pack on the pounds and is second to none at kicking you into gear for your busy day then look no further.

What's in a green smoothie?

Green stuff. Ok to elaborate, the green in my smoothies is mainly from the leafy vegetables spinach and kale (see my side note below on kale). It's not all just spinach and kale though. I pack mine with banana, apple, blueberries, avocado, ginger, coriander, celery, chia seeds, eggs and coconut milk, coconut cream or coconut water. Experiment with different quantities but don't be afraid because when well blended the flavour base is normally very fruity - a good disguise if veges don't do it for you first thing in the morning. There are literally hundreds of recipes waiting to be tried. Just Google it!

A side note on kale

Haven't heard of kale? It's an amazing vegetable which I like to think of as a cross between lettuce and silverbeet, but not so strong tasting. It's an amazingly versatile plant that you can use in all sorts of dishes from salads to frittatas. The nutritional content is high in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C and Calcium. You'll find kale is becoming more and more commonplace in your supermarkets too. So try it out and grab a bunch next time you're there!

Is it really that good for you?

Stop eating cereal and give a green smoothie a try.

There is no reason whatsoever to be filling up on cereal or toast every morning for breakfast. Most cereals and white breads are themselves mainly just sugar and wheat. This is going to irritate your digestive system, spike your energy shortly after eating and then you'll crash, leaving you drowning in coffee and scrambling for the coins in your desk drawer for that unneeded sausage roll from the coffee van! Think about it. Where is all that sugar energy going if you're sitting at your desk all day? Straight to your hips ladies.

A green smoothie will give you sustained energy, heaps of vital nutrients (including calcium - no need for the milk in your cereal or cereal at all) and because its blended, your body can absorb it easily and quickly to get you going in no time.

Does it have to be green?

Nope. You can add in some beetroot and you've got yourself a pink smoothie!

Is it easy to make one?

You will need a blender. There's all sorts on the market from cheapies to high end. You can spend from about $30 through to over $1000 so it all depends on what is in your budget is. From my own research, the higher in dollar value generally means the better the consistency and smoothness of your smoothie. You'll also be paying for equipment that is more likely better in quality like stronger motors and metal drive sockets instead of plastic that could wear out faster.

I've had a range of blenders including the mini 'Ninja' and the Briscoes weekend special. They did the job but I was ready to get serious and looked into the higher end blenders like the Nutribullet and the Vitamix. Among my researching I found the Optimum range by Froothie who had a whole Youtube channel dedicated to giving unbiased comparisons to other models and showing you the amazing things you can do with a blender other than just smoothies. I was convinced and was able to get a great blender to suit my budget at half the price of the high end ones like the Vitamix.

My advice is to do your research and don't be swayed by any added extras like special cup attachments or triple blades. A plain but decent blender is all you need and much easier to clean afterwards!

Ready to go green?

If you've been thinking about eating healthier or just want to feel better and more awake in the mornings then give a green smoothie a try. If you're still on the fence like my husband was, you could always start with a berry smoothie and slowly work in the veges and seeds etc as you get more used to it.

Personally, since starting my breakfast smoothie routine, I have felt amazing. I don't get hungry before lunchtime and I feel more alert at my morning tasks. Give it a trial yourself for a week. Or challenge yourself to a month. Your body will thank you for it!

Have you ever tried a green smoothie? What's one of your favourite recipes? Are you keen but still want some questions answered? Let me know in the comments below...

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Fresh Starts

Hi, I'm Vince.

I'm 31 years old and this is the year things are going to change for me.

This blog is about me becoming the best version of myself that I can be. I want to test how far I can go by allowing my body the opportunity to heal and grow like never before.

I want to share what I've learned about health and nutrition and fitness through study, exploring the web and practice too. I'm hoping also that in some way this blog can help other people who are looking to make a positive change to their lives.

I also want to chronicle my journey starting right here today. So here's a bit about myself...

I live in Auckland, New Zealand with my husband Bruce (we got married this year in L.A. after an eight year engagement). We have two Pomeranians named Andre (he's five) and Sookie (she's four). There's also the Birman cat, Hunter (he's seven). We bought a house this year and let me tell you, the price's in Auckland to buy a house are insane. We've got a little two bedroom not far from work in a nice suburb. We're happy!

This year I decided to quit smoking and quit alcohol. It's been eight months not smoking and about three weeks today not drinking. Bruce has quit too, except for drinking on special occasions but no more wine during the working week like we used to!

We've also been living the Paleo Diet lifestyle full time now for about two months. I had been doing Paleo on and off for the past year before that. Although, cheese isn't Paleo, but gosh it's hard to quit cheese. Ever heard of emmental cheese? It's so tasty! Anyway you can see my story leading up to where I am today by reading my other blog post here.

We have a blender and make green smoothies for most days breakfasts. This recipe is my favourite. Our blender is an Optimum 9400 and I highly recommend it if you're looking for a great quality, commercial grade blender at half the price and on par with the Vitamix.

My plans for this blog are to diary the things I learn and also explore my own reasons for quitting nicotine and alcohol and why I want to upgrade myself through my health in all aspects.

Thanks for reading and I hope to see you back again! Heres to fresh starts!

Vince