and your kids have one, so why don't you?
I LOVE Sleep!
I have always been aware of how important sleep is. It could be the way I was brought up.
Bed time was 8pm. Right up until Std.9!
Then I think I started going to bed at 9pm on some nights.
And I knew sleep is important because without enough sleep I might be grumpy in the morning.
... was not a good thing to be in my dad's house!
Moving into motherhood was a shock - as you can imagine - from at least 9 hours of guaranteed sleep to a broken 5 hours. It was a rude awakening!
I actually remember hallucinating a couple of nights in from being home from the hospital with my first born. I remember this weird feeling that there were spiders just out of my sight, behind my shoulder while I breastfed my boy at 3am.
But thankfully in the last year my sleep has returned to normal or as normal as it can be for a mom.
And I aim to switch my light off at 9.30pm every night, Monday to Sunday. It's all about routine.
We know how important routines are for our children but we don't do it for ourselves!
Let me know what stops you from getting to bed at the same time each night.
Set a Bedtime
Set yourself up to wake up rested and in a happy space. Because here' the thing -
missing an hour of sleep each night can harm you.
The very next day you'll experience less mental clarity.
After a week, studies have shown, that processes associated with inflammation, immune response and stress are MORE active!
And there could be increases in the genes associated with cancer and diabetes.
The hour before or the 30 minutes before bedtime, turn off your cellphone, tablet, laptop. Because the light given off by these devices actually tells your brain that it is still daytime.
It's called blue light and it affects your melatonin (sleep hormone) production.
When you're not getting enough sleep -
There are signs you an check off -
* cravings for sweets/ sugar, caffeine, carbs like cakes or muffins
* wanting to go back to sleep as soon as you wake up
* hitting the snooze button more than once!
Sleeping late on the weekends might seem like the answer.
Oh wait! We're moms, we don't often get to do that...
Well anyway, there is mounting research that says that even after the morning lie in or long afternoon nap, concentration can still be impaired.
And this is because our body clocks get messed up and disrupted. The long weekend sleeps put us out of kilter for hte week ahead.
The best way to hand this is to have a set bed time and wake up time, Monday to Sunday.
Just like our childdren.
Maybe you need sleep training!!??
And what about those of us who go to bed and then wake up?
And we toss & turn...
... you wont believe teh stuff that I think about at 3am in the morning!
And finally we fall asleep, exhausted at 4.30am, only for the alarm clock or our children to wake us an hour later!
Exercise during the day can help.
Breathing helps too - in for 5 out for 6
Eating foods that help to increase sleep neurotransmitters may also help - bananas, cottage cheese, milk, chicken, turkey, eggs, red meats & almonds.
All these foods contain the amino acid - tryptophan - which is needed to make serotonin. Serotonin is directly related to tryptophan intake. So when your feel-good-happy hormone, serotonin, is low then no doubt your tryptophan foods are low too.
Bedtime smoothie - drink 30 minutes before bedtime
I also find that 10 drops of Rescue Remedy when I turn out my light for the night help and if I wake up during hte night, I take another 10 drops. Helps me to fall back to sleep.
White noise can help you to sleep.
I use an app called Sleep Bug which has a variety of calming music & noises from a Zen village to campfire sizzle and crackle to waves breaking on the shore. It's available on Google and iTunes.
Both my boys fall asleep to music each night and if either of them wakes during the night when I leave their rooms I swithc hte music back on.
The 30 Day Fit & Health Jump Start is your chance to focus on YOU, and
discover real-life, easy-to-implement habits that you can put into place, while you quickly make progress towards your goals.
Here's what we're covering during the 30 days...
The program is online so you can participate from anywhere in the world - Sydney, New York, Berlin or Lima!
Grab a friend or two and join us.
CLICK HERE for more details and to get started
P. S. What time do you go to bed?
This is what one of my clients had to say -
"Having worked with Lee I have learnt that having a good night's rest is important for my wellbeing." -
Nicole A. - East London, South Africa
...how we deal with food has an impact on our weight!
The weeks are tripping by and I was filling in our calendar with what's happening in our (mainly mine & the boys) lives.
We are coming up for a really busy couple of weeks starting off with my step-daughter's birthday drinks and ending with a night out at the theatre watching a tribute to ABBA!
My favourite ABBA song? It's got to be Dancing Queen!
More than half of us are unhappy wiht our weight!
And almost 60% of us would rather lose our jobs than gain 30kgs!
And yet here we are in South Africa with almost 7 out of 10 women either overweight or obese.
But weight loss is more than just calories in vs calories out.
First off a calorie is a calorie. BUT when it comes to how your body uses and digests food then because of how food is digested and used by the body it can have an impact as to whether the food is used for energy or stored.
Secondly, we are social creatures. Which means that we don't just eat to survive. We eat for pleasure when we're with friends and family. We eat for pain when we're upset, stressed or angry.
What Kind of Eater Are You?
And what can you do to turn it around?
1. Year long dieter who falls off the band wagon on special occaisions
The WHOLE year you watch what you eat and drink. You use willpower by the bakkie-load to eat unappetising food and little of it for the whole year. come the end of the year with all its fun and festivities you let go.
And like an elastic band that has been stretched to its limit you hurtle far into the realm of over indulgence. You eat food and drink drinks that you'd normally avoid.
Turn this around -
Get off the bandwagon of restriction.
Learn to eat and enjoy all foods to Satisfy your hunger throughout the year.
Become aware of your hunger levels and your fullness levels.
Aim to wait up to 15 minutes after you finish your meal to check your saiety/fullness levels.
2. Seafood dieter
This is me!
When you see food, you eat it! Or as one of my clients said, "I eat cos it's NICE - Now I see elephant!"
What can you do?
If you respond to visual cues - like I do - then ask yourself before you reach for anything -
Are you eating because it is there?
Are you eating because you are hungry?
If you're simply eating because it is there, move away from the food in question. Keep your hands busy with something else - I like crocheting - or choose a herbal tea.
Learn to respond to your internal cues - use the hunger scale to determine whether you need to eat.
3. Buffet Binger
Who doesn't love a good buffet with a wide variety? Oh, a breakfast buffet is my BEST!
The croissants, cheese & ham. The savoury mince. The cubed fried potatoes, scrambled eggs.
The thing with a buffet is that we tend to think that to get value out of it we MUST eat to the point of bursting.
So start rethinking the buffet not in terms of food but variety and experience.
Choose to eat what you normally wouldn't. Enjoy the experience of eating food NOT prepared by yourself. Enjoy eating in a beautiful setting. Appreciate the china and cutlery that you are eating off. The fact that you didn't lay the table nor will you have to wash up or do the laundry!
Take pleasure in the company that you are with while you eat.
That is where the value lies in a buffet.
Overeating often leaves us feeling guilty and physically uncomfortable.
How is feeling guilty an experience you want to enjoy?
4. Social Drinker
The South African lifestyle and climate lends itself to enjoying the pleasure of a sundowner, afternoon drinks around the braai, a beer at lunchtime.
But when it becomes a glass at lunchtime, sundowners, wine with dinner and post dinner drinks it all adds up to a lot of calories with no nutritional value.
Not to mention the enormous strange it puts on your liver that must cleanse and detoxify your blood each night.
Choose activities that don't require you to drink socially like hiking, cycling, running, kayaking. Exercising with a thick head the morning after is no fun.
Choose a new habit rather than fighting an old one.
Discover how to fuel your body to lose weight and feel your best in 30 days.
Follow a strategy that is right for your taste buds.
You'll still enjoy your favourite meals so no deprivation here! You'll feel your best with more energy and not feel hungry or tired.
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It'll fit into your life right now
BECAUSE you don't have hours to prep your food, go to gym and still do the school run and after school murals.
You're not going to lose 4kgs in a week BUT
you ARE going to eat and exercise in a way that is right for your body and your BUSY schedule.
Join the 30 Day Fit & Healthy Jumpstart starting on 9 October.
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Why so little?
Because I KNOW you've tried so many other things in the past AND I want you to see that there IS something that can work for you.
You dont have to be frustrated by stubborn weight
You don't have to continue dieting for.e.v.e.r
Just because you have yo-yo-ed in the past doesn't mean you have to continue.
You can learn how to achieve sustainable weightloss.
The program is 100% online so you can be anywhere in the world to take part.
It begins on 9 October. And you can take a step in a new direction of sustained weightloss and abundant energy for only R323.00
Click here >> https://mailchi.mp/63353b6719e2/30day-jump-start << for ALL the details
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Something exciting is brewing in the Balancing Act rooms!
Do you ever feel like there’s too much conflicting information about how you should eat?
If you’re confused, frustrated, and overwhelmed by all the mixed messages out there, you’re not alone.
And coming soon, you can join me to revamp your health journey following an effective & sustainable process!
This past week has been a tough one for me in terms of healthy eating. The cold, wet days have really done a number on me and my food choices have not always been ideal.
Picture it - Simba Fruit Chutney chips (but thankfully not a Whole packet!!!) and a slab of chocolate (shared with my husband).
But I know what I have to do and you probably do too.
So at the next meal I make choices that take me closer to health and vitality and away from sugar high roller coasters.
I make sure that I have a good amount of healthy fat like olive oil or coconut oil. These will keep me feeling full for longer. I eat lean protein like chicken breast or tuna. And because of the cold weather I eat vegetable soup, so I can stir in my coconut oil and chop up my chicken for soothing chicken soup.
My boys are both fighting colds at the moment. And research is showing that your immune system is very closely linked to your digestive system.
The state of your gut health is very important to your overall health.
When we eat food we consume about trillion bacteria along with the food!
And these microbes affect our health, weight and even mood.
It would seem that your gut is central to so many systems in your body.
These microbes/bacteria break down the food in the digestive system and use it to fuel themselves.
And there are some bacteria that help your gut system to stay in shape.
They actually play a role in reducing inflammation, protecting you from illness, and possibly preventing heart diseases and reducing diabetes (type 2)
They also aid in fat burning and support a slim and fit tummy.
Probiotics are essential for your gut health. Here are a few foods that can provide the probiotics you need or contribute to your gut’s health:
Yogurt is an excellent dairy product that contains the special probiotics your gut needs.
Plain yogurt is best because it contains less sugar as compared to flavored yogurt.
Did you know that a low fat, sweetened yoghurt 100g can contain up to 4 teaspoons of sugar?!!!
The sugar and flavoring can disrupt your gut's delicate balance and lead to unhealthy fat.
Kefir is a smooth, lactose-free yogurt that is easily digestible. It is a good source of protein as well and only contains 100 calories per serving.
Bananas provide fibre, potassium, and magnesium.
Fibre is very good for digestive health as it restores the health of the bacterial community. Plus bananas can even help soothe an upset stomach.
Broccoli and cabbage:
Vegetables play a crucial role in the health of your stomach.
Vegetables like broccoli and cabbage are rich in sulfur.
This component can help to reduce inflammation and may help reduce the risk of lung, breast and stomach cancers.
Blueberries are excellent for your immune system.
They diversify the gut bacteria. Blueberries are also a good source of vitamin K, fibre, and antioxidants.
They are not only good for your gut but also good for your immune system and your mind.
Your gut health is directly connected to your weight.
If you struggle with weight issues, you most likely have issues with your gut as well like bloating, wind, constipation, diarrhea.
Beans can help support weight reduction. They contain fat acids that strengthen the cells of the intestine.
If your intestinal cells are in good condition the absorption of the micronutrients will improve, resulting in weight loss and good gut health.
Increase your intake of fermented foods because they contain bacteria that produce lactic acid.
And it is this lactic acid that creates a slightly acidic environment which constrains disease causing germs.
Eating probiotics has an impact in a number of ways;
Join my Balancing Act - I am You private Facebook group - here
Spring is sprung,
The grass is ris,
I wonder where the boidies is.
They say the boid is on the wing,
But that's absurd the wind is on the bird!
- Spike Milligan
This is a poem that my dad would recite to us. Of course we thought it ridiculous as the words sounded funny and the logic was a bit off. And yet here I am sharing it with you!!!
Funny how some things just stick.
And as for Spring - well it isn't here this week!!
Last week was the first ever Supper-time Challenge. And it was a fun 4 nights of cooking suppers that had never been tried before.
This is what we had -
If you'd like the recipes and shopping list...
Get the Shopping List
Get The Recipes!
What do you do to stay in balance?
This is a biggie because as moms we feel guilty about taking time away from specifically our children.
I should go to gym more regularly but I feel so guilty about taking that time for me.
And yet when I do go to gym I walk about feeling happier, stronger and go home feeling more patient and less matyr-ish!
So if we want to be the best mom for our kids then we need to start taking care of ourselves....
What are 2 things that you can do to take care of yourself?
Let me know!