Newstalk Lunchtime Live: 5 Top Super Foods in season

5 Top Super Foods Lunchtime-Live_Andrea_Gilligan_Suzanne_Leyden_The_WellNow_Co

By Suzanne Leyden

Last week I was asked to give my 5 top super foods and discuss them with Andrea Gilligan on Newstalk’s Lunchtime Live. You may have missed our chat so I thought I’d do a post on the topic of our conversation.

‘Super Foods’ as a concept is an interesting idea. To me ‘super foods’ is really a marketing term for nutritionally dense foods, so can be applied to a huge range of foods. There is a sense of being fad-ish, something I don’t usually buy into.

5 Top Super Foods

However, it got me focussing on what food groups are the best in terms of nutrient density. So, I thought I’d cover my top 5 ‘super foods’, or groups of foods, for this time of year as the following (and in no particular order):

  1. Leafy greens – spinach, butterhead lettuce – High in Vitamin A, C and calcium. Also source of fibre. – aim to have a handful with most lunch and dinner. Add to soups, currys and stews and have as salad (and breakfast If possible – smoothies, with eggs)
  1. Cruciferous veg – Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower – Source of fibre, vitamins A&C, phytonutrients. Thought to help reduce the incidence of cancer. Cauliflower is about ¼ protein so great for vegetarians, vegans and those looking to cut back on meat consumption.
  1. Wholegrains – oats, brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat/grain – Complex carbohydrates, high in fibre (soluble & insoluble) – great for gut health, balancing blood sugar, keeping you feeling full for longer. Suggestions: Swap pasta, rice and bread for brown versions. Try other grains. Have fun. Be experimental.
  1. Nuts & seeds – almonds, hazelnut, walnut and chia, flax, sunflower…. – source of protein, healthy fats, fibre – great for gut, skin and hair – calorie dense so be careful not to over-consume – Suggestions: add to breakfast oats, salads, have as a snack, baking etc.
5 Top Super Foods
Photo by v2osk on Unsplash
  1. Legumes – kidney beans, black & red beans, soybeans, peas, chickpeas, lentils – Great source of protein so good for vegetarians and vegans, complex carbs, high fibre – Add to currys, stews, soups and salads

(Note: In summer we would look at berries and tomatoes as nutrient dense also)

Balanced Approach

The balanced approach I would take to ensure a nutritionally rich diet are to consider this holistic approach when shopping and preparing food. Here are some top tips to achieve this:

  • Shop in-season
  • Shop local
  • Consume a wide variety of foods, particularly wholefoods – fruit and veg, wholegrains
  • Organic is best if it’s within budget – Environmental Working Group (EWG) have the ‘Clean 15’ and ‘Dirty Dozen’
  • Frozen foods are a good option – say berries and peas for year round use
  • Balance the macro-nutrients – carbs, proteins, healthy fats
  • Keep refined sugar and saturated fats to a minimum
  • Fish are a great source of protein and healthy fats
  • Live bio yoghurt is a great source of probiotics so good for your gut
  • Stay hydrated

Outcomes

There are so many positive outcomes to eating a balanced, whole foods, nutritionally rich diet with good portion control. Here are some of the stand out ones that are possibly more easily achieved than you might think:

  • Balanced blood sugar – consistency in energy levels
  • Balanced hormones – helps with mood, skin and hair
  • Healthy gut – impacts brain health
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Improves functionality of the many systems of the body

Next Steps

If refining and planning how you can improve what, and how, you eat is something you are looking to tackle right now, drop me a line at suzanne@thewellnowco.com to arrange your free discovery call with me. Sometimes all we need it to set aside the time, have the relevant info and throw in some focus and you would be amazed what you can achieve.

Suzanne Leyden Health Coach Contact
Book your Free Discovery Call with Suzanne today.

How to Shop in Season in Ireland this February

The WellNow Co Shop In Season In Ireland in February

Suzanne Leyden, qualified nutrition, health and wellness coach and owner of The WellNow Co. outlines what’s in season in Ireland this February and highlights some healthy, simple and delicious recipes.

It’s February and we are firmly in the new year. Whatever resolutions or intentions we set for ourselves may have waned or fallen by the wayside entirely. But do not lose hope. You had the enthusiasm to set these changes for yourself only a month ago. Maybe if you approach them in a different way then they can become part of your routine. This is where smart planning comes into play.

February is not a month known for its abundance of fresh foods, so we need to dig deep (pardon the pun) and make the most of what we have. Knowing what’s in season is a major part of that. When we look at the core ingredients of what’s in season – leeks, mushrooms, potatoes – we can already conjure up the aromas of beautiful comfort food coming from the kitchen.

Here’s what’s in season in February in Ireland

in season in Ireland this February
  • Apples – cooking and eating
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Butterhead Lettuce
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Leeks
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Parsnips
  • Potatoes
  • Rhubarb
  • Spinach
  • Turnips & Swedes

PLANNING FOR CHANGE

If you are looking to make changes to how and what you eat planning is key to making it work. Whether it’s for environmental reasons, ethical reasons or you simply would like to manage your weight better for your health, then creating a clear plan is what will help you succeed.

WRITE DOWN YOUR GOALS

Start with writing down your goals. Did you know that you are 42% more likely to succeed at something if you write it down? According to a goal-setting study led by Dr. Gail Matthews, Psychology Professor this was the result. Writing down goals helps you get clarity on what you want to achieve.

Being aware of what’s in season can help inform your meal planning and shopping. This gives you more nutritional bang for your buck at cost effective prices and supports local producers too. Write down your plan for the week, being as specific as possible, then write a shopping list to avoid picking up anything unnecessary at the shops.

CLEAR STRUCTURE

Look at what essential steps need to be achieved in order to get you to where you want to be. Create a timeline for achieving these smaller steps. Once you establish this clear structure it will act as a motivational tool in itself. You will see that it is achievable, how long it can take and now you just need to follow the steps to get there to stay on track.

Choose the day that suits you best to organise yourself for the week ahead in terms of meals. Take your time to think through each meal and figure out what you need. 

For example, you might choose to plan Monday and Wednesday as freezer days. You can batch cook two recipes a week, one at the weekend and one on a day that works well for your schedule, say Sunday and Thursday. One pot dishes are really good for this, think currys or Bolognese. By doing this you will always have a good stash of a range of dinners in your freezer. You could do something interesting that takes a little more time on a Saturday. And you could do a simple pasta and salad on a Tuesday. This leaves Friday for maybe going out, or doing a favourite dish to mark the weekend. Once you have the structure for the days of the week like this your meal plan will be done really quickly. 

MEASURABLE

By creating this clear structure you have made your path to success measurable. As you succeed with the small steps you can tick them off as you go. You can decide to celebrate at certain milestones, or when you reach your endpoint. You are in the driving seat and make the choices to stay on the path to your success. By making it measurable you can track your progress and stay motivated until the end.

Once you are regularly meal planning it takes less and less time each week. You may look for additional inspiration if you are getting a bit bored with what you’re cooking. RTE’s recipe archive is a brilliant resource to tap into for delicious ideas for everyone.

RECIPES

Rhubarb

Hailing from Tibet originally, rhubarb leaves are poisonous and the stems must be cooked to be consumed or they will be toxic. With their bitter taste, rhubarb stems usually require a sweetener to be added when cooking. Although much of the vitamin C they contain is lost in cooking, they are a great source of fibre, contain some calcium and a long list of phytonutrients. I wanted to include both a sweet and savoury recipe for this bright and cheery plant.

Sea trout with baked rhubarb, blanched samphire from Chanelle Clarke for MasterChef Ireland

Shane Smith’s rhubarb lattice pie from The Today Show

Leeks

Photo by Heather Gill on Unsplash

A fibrous source of carbohydrate, leeks are also a source of potassium, folic acid, iron and calcium. They contain other vitamins and phytonutrients too. They are related to the onion and can be easier on your digestive system than their cousins. They are a common addition to winter soups but this recipe from The Happy Pear sounds amazing.

Mexican Leek and Black Bean Chilli with Guacamole from The Happy Pear

Cabbage

Green cabbage is considered high in chlorophyll, folic acid and vitamin C while red cabbage is high in vitamin A and C. Because it contains selenium it is considered a and antioxidant. And with minerals sulphur and chlorine it makes cabbage a detoxifier. 

Paul Flynn’s Burrate with sticky red cabbage from The Today Show

Cauliflower

Cauliflower is made up of about one quarter protein so it a great choice for vegetarians or vegans. It is also high in potassium, folic acid and vitamin C. It’s such as versatile vegetable and can be eaten raw or cooked.

Photo by Jennifer Schmidt on Unsplash

Rachel Allen’s Cauliflower steaks with ginger from The Today Show

Cauliflower & Potato

In addition to cauliflowers (see above) this recipe’s potatoes are a great source of potassium and also high in C and B vitamins. 

Cauliflower and potato curry from Operation Transformation

YOUR PLAN FOR YOU

You may want to get more experimental with what you eat and try a new recipe every week. Or you may want to have a considerable re-look at your eating habits overall. Once you are really ready to make changes to your diet or lifestyle, that is a huge influence on the successful outcome. Planning and writing it down will really help to motivate you to make it a solid habit. A really important aspect of setting goals and knowing we’ve achieved them is that ability to stop doing them for a period of time – say a holiday – but have the confidence we can return to doing them with ease after the break from them. Whatever works best for you is the right thing for you.

Suzanne Leyden Health Coach Contact

Featured Photo by nrd on Unsplash

Planning: 3 Simple Ways to Positively Impact Your Health

3 Simple Ways to Positively Impact Your Health

By Suzanne Leyden

Planning doesn’t necessarily conjure up motivational whoops of joy, but it is a key component to success. If improving your health and wellbeing is something you are looking to succeed in then read on.

These 3 simple ways to positively impact your health are achievable and accessible for everyone through planning. A simple notebook as a journal can do the trick. You don’t need online tools, or spreadsheets, although some people find them useful and can act as an added motivator. These 3 simple points are practical and can really help set you up to succeed.

  1. Write It Down

Did you know that you are 42% more likely to succeed at something if you write it down? According to a goal-setting study led by Dr. Gail Matthews, Psychology Professor this was the result. Writing down goals helps you get clarity on what you want to achieve. It also allows you to explore ideas and themes that come to you, that might be a passing thought if you didn’t write it down. It is a really simple and effective tool for self-exploration.

Some people address their written goals twice a day, some monthly and others annually. Whatever your approach, the goals can start broad but they should be broken down into realistic and achievable steps on the path you carve out for your success. Applying S.M.A.R.T. criteria to you goals will get you setting the bullseye goals for you to succeed with. That is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time bound.

For instance, Mary wants to get fit. She sets this as her goal. But how is she planning to do this? She’ll run. Ok. When? 3 times a week. Which days? And what times? Monday lunchtime is good, because she works from home that day and can shower after. Wednesday evening suits because her husband can put the kids to bed that night. And Saturday morning before breakfast works well because the kids sleep a little late. This now feels like a tangible and realistic plan.

  1. Create Clear Structure

So, now you have the main idea of what it is you want to achieve. The next thing you need is to figure out how you’re going to get from where you are now to where you want to be. For this, you need to apply a clear structure. Look at what essential steps need to be achieved in order to get you to where you want to be. Create a timeline for achieving these smaller steps. Some of the milestones may be done at the same time, whereas some may have to be done sequentially. Once you establish this clear structure it will act as a motivational tool in itself. You will see that it is achievable, how long it can take and now you just need to follow the steps to get there to stay on track.

Let’s go back to Mary and see how we can apply this. She has now been really clear about when she will go for her run. But what about a bigger picture. What’s the aim of her goal? She says she wants more energy. She also wants to feel stronger. This is great. So initially she will run short distances. She has decided that she will run for 30 minutes each time, regardless of distance. She knows this is realistic, and that she ultimately wants to comfortably run 5km in 30 minutes.

  1. Make It Measurable

By creating this clear structure you have made your path to success measurable. As you succeed with the small steps you can tick them off as you go. This is a great way to stay motivated, particularly if you are managing big changes or long periods of time. You can decide to celebrate at certain milestones, or when you reach your endpoint. You are in the driving seat and make the choices to stay on the path to your success. By making it measurable you can track your progress and stay motivated until the end.

Again, hi Mary! It might take Mary 10 weeks to run 5km in 30 minutes. So what are the milestones she can reach in the meantime to keep her motivated for all that time? One could be a distance she would like to cover by the end of each week. 2km the first week and so on. As she is starting out she may not be able to run continuously for 30 minutes. It will be a combination of walking and running or jogging. Another milestone could be to be able to jog continuously for 30 minutes without walking. This should overlap one of the weeks with her distance milestone. Then she just needs to focus on her distance as the measurable piece.

So Mary reaches her goal of getting fit by running 5km in 30 minutes. Depending on how well Mary gets on with her plan, she may decide she is happy that she’s achieved her goal and this becomes her routine for years. Equally, she might decide that she would like to set herself some more goals. She wants to enter 5km races in her area to keep her motivated. She may also want to start extending the distance to 10km and increase the time she runs for.

At the outset of Mary’s planning she could not have foreseen how she might do with achieving her fitness goal. It’s important to remember that there are so many moving elements to all goals we set, that we need to allow ourselves the flexibility to adapt and change to suit our current set of circumstances.

A really important aspect of setting goals and knowing we’ve achieved them is that ability to stop doing them for a period of time – say a holiday – but have the confidence we can return to doing them with ease after the break from them.

Create Your Own Plan

You can create your own plan as you can see from above. Remember to celebrate your wins. Decide what you will do to mark it when you’re at the planning stage so you have another motivator to get you across the line. It could be a spa pamper, or a meal with friends or something specifically related to what you are doing – Mary might choose some fancy new running shorts!

Taking the time to do all this planning properly from the outset is key to having the best results. So, don’t rush this. Do take advantage of your enthusiasm, but stay realistic. You could also choose to have a friend as your ‘accountability buddy’ which helps particularly well in the early days of forming new behaviour patterns. Or you might choose to work with a health coach to really get you to where you want to be. I’d love to hear what your goals are and how you plan to achieve them. Drop me a line at suzanne@thewellnowco.com and let me know.

Feature Photo by S Migaj on Unsplash

Suzanne Leyden Health Coach Contact

7-Steps to Success: Goal Setting

The WellNow Co Goal Setting

By Suzanne Leyden, Nutrition Health & Wellness Coach and Owner of The WellNow Co

New Year’s resolutions – you either love them or hate them. Either way, 80% of of people fail to stick with their planned changes. But it doesn’t have to be the case if you approach the changes you want to make in a smart way. With these 7-steps to success, goal setting can really help to set you up for creating the change you want and experiencing the wellness transformation you are looking for. In fact it’s a perfect example of proper self-care.

1. EXPLORE

Self-exploration is fundamental to setting goals and achieving a successful outcome. Consider every aspect of your life from health, career, finances, relationships and social or fun time! Is there an area that stands out to you as needing some attention? If so, then this is where your focus should be initially. 

2. PERSONALISE

It’s also important to be true to yourself when setting goals and make sure that whatever you are setting out to do is personal to you and is in line with your values. Figuring out your ‘Why?’ will help you with always working with your purpose and core values at the heart of it. 

Warning: Don’t look to social media and set goals you think you should be doing, do what you want to be doing for you.

3. VISUALISE

How would you like to be living so that you are really thriving in all aspects of your life, rather than just surviving? Take time to really think about this and etch that vision into your mind. Now look at what your life is currently like today compared to the vision you have just set. Look at where you want to get to and what you might need to change in order to get there.

4. FOCUS

Once you’ve identified the areas to focus on, you can start setting small, achievable goals that are going to help move you from where you are today to where you want to be. It’s a case of taking brand areas of focus and chunking them down to attainable changes.

5. READINESS FOR CHANGE

Observing your readiness for change in any of the focus areas, and also the smaller, more specific changes, is key to success. Take the low hanging fruit, the easy wins. This will set you up for success. And we know success breeds success. There’s no point in starting with the most challenging change. Once you have a few wins under your belt, your confidence will be up and you will find more change possible.

6. S.M.A.R.T

How many people decide on January 1st that they are ‘going to get fit this year!’? This is a well-intended goal for many people but it’s too broad and without structure, making it easy to fob off or push out to ‘next week’. So if we took the goal of ‘getting fit this year’ and put it through the S.M.A.R.T (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time Bound) test it might change to something like ‘I’m going to run 5km every Monday and Thursday evening and sign up to a 10km race in June this year.’

7. SUPPORT & ACCOUNTABILITY

Making any change is hard, even if you know it’s leading to a positive outcome. Going for a run every Monday and Thursday evening can be very difficult in the winter months, after a long day at work, refereeing kids at bath time and Netflix calling, but if you have a friend to run with or a partner encouraging you to go, you’re much more likely to succeed. It might be that you find an accountability buddy, or group, it may depend on what the task at hand is. But we know for sure, that together is better.

Everyone’s individuality should be catered for. Making changes right now may not be right for you. Although, one small change now that brings you closer to your overall goal is a great start. Just remember that one step at a time is all you need.

Suzanne Leyden Health Coach Contact

Featured image: Photo by Meritt Thomas on Unsplash

7 Simple Strategies to Staying Well

Dun Laoghaire harbour

As a busy working parent, I can totally relate to the struggle of juggling it all. Then throw a pandemic and homeschooling into the mix and there’s a perfect recipe for overwhelm and all the different ways that can play out for you. I’ve pulled together 7 simple strategies to staying well and feeling good to help you feel and manage the juggle a little better.

I thought I’d share some of my strategies with you for managing some areas that may be causing stress. None of this may be rocket science, but that’s the beauty of it. Sometimes we just need reminding of these simple things, and permission to do them. 

Start by asking yourself how you’re feeling and whether you could tweak your habits and routine to make you feel less stressed, more energised and more productive both at work and for you and your family. Then take a look at the suggestions below and see which ones might just be doable over the next week for you. Maybe just pick one or two to start with if that works for you. Or maybe you’re more gung-ho and want to change lots all at once. Changing behaviour is very individual so just be sure that ‘you do you!’. Take or leave as you wish:

  1. Take regular breaks that involve moving your body and settling your mind – if tight on time, then a few stretches and a few mins of box breathing can benefit hugely.
  2. Coffee has been a lifeline for me over the last year. I’m not joking! But it can play havoc with your body and mind, we know this. So, reducing your intake to 1-2 cups a day, and trying to limit to before lunchtime is best. This will have a positive impact on your sleep too.
  3. Stay hydrated – this is one I have to consciously do because otherwise distraction gets in my way. My trick to consuming my 2 litres per day is to fill my stainless steel water bottle in the morning (or even the night before so it’s to hand while I’m getting ready for the day), and drink some with my breakfast and then the bottle follows me to my desk and on my breaks, refilling it frequently. I can accurately tell how much I’ve had. It’s a game changer to be properly hydrated.
  4. Set clear boundaries, if you can. This is a tricky one. But as much as you can, delineate between working and not working. And similarly with homeschooling, whatever the duration that works for you, set a clear time for it. Have the phone off and focus on the task at hand.
  5. Have healthy snacks to hand. It’s not to say you can’t have something unhealthy to eat, but to opt for a healthy treat will stand to you, your energy and mood so much better than a raft of highly processed sugary ‘treats’. You can download WellNow’s Snack Recipes and Ideas for some inspiration.
  6. Stay connected. Talk to at least one friend or non-work related person every day, eve for just a few minutes. It may be to have a laugh, vent or just simply to say hi. It will keep your spirits lifted in this tough time.
  7. Journal – putting down on paper how you feel can offer a great release. You can also track your small changes in nutrition or movement and how your feeling so you can see your improvements or when you might need to tweak how you’re approaching something.
WellNow Chocolate Powerballs Recipe

As I said, there’s nothing revelationary here, but keeping things simple is just fine. I hope something here helps you feel a little better than before. 

Stay safe and stay well.

Suzanne

xx

Have Yourself a Healthy Christmas with your leftovers: Turkey Bone Broth

The WellNow Co Turkey Bone Broth

Bone broth has had something of a resurgence in the last few years but it is essentially stock, which is made from boiling bones of turkey, chicken or beef or another healthy animal. And who doesn’t want to have a healthy Christmas to help counteract some of the indulgences we all have?! Bone broth is packed with nutrients that help to support immune and digestive health along with having lots of benefits for the skin, teeth, hair and bones. It’s so easy to make but does take time to boil. If you don’t have a slow cooker or the full 8 hours to be at home while it’s cooking, boil it for as long as you can.


It’s a great use of the turkey leftovers and will contribute to having a healthy Christmas by taking advantage of all the benefits of bone broth and being sustainable while you’re at it. It makes it really sustainable to use any meat to it’s fullest. And by freezing any stock you don’t use straight away, makes it the Christmas present that keeps on giving! I usually make a big soup and freeze in portions, and will add it to casserole and risotto when using up other leftovers too.


I have included the vegetables that I regularly use when making bone broth but like many of our recipes, you can mix this up, depending on what you have in stock (pardon the pun!).

Ingredients:
1 Turkey carcass (preferably organic)
1 onion cut in half
2 sticks of celery, roughly chopped
2 carrots, roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic
2 litres of water (this might vary depending on the amount of bones and the size of your pot)
1 tsp dried turmeric
1 tsp Freshly ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
2 springs thyme
Salt (preferably pink Himalayan) & pepper to season

Method:

  1. Place the turkey carcass into a large saucepan along with the onion, celery, carrots and garlic.
  2. Pour in enough water to almost cover the turkey (approx. 2 litres).
  3. Now add the turmeric, pepper, bay leaf, thyme and season with the salt and pepper.
  4. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a light simmer.
  5. Leave to simmer with the lid on for up to 8 hours to get all the goodness from the bones. The longer the better!
  6. Remove the turkey and veg so you’re just left with the liquid. I usually drain the liquid into a separate container using a large sieve to catch the carcass and veg.
  7. The stock can be used straight away or left to cool and frozen.

Note: The stock can be frozen in small containers or ice trays for use in dishes as and when you need it.

Boost Your Wellness & Self Care Routine this Winter with our Wellness Giveaway

November Winter Wellness Giveaway WellNow Indeora Kocoono

By Emer Flnnery, Kocoono

Winter can sometimes be a difficult time to keep up with our positive wellbeing routine: gone are those long and sunny days when we exercised outside and spent time away, leaving our daily worries behind. Those positive lifestyle factors and ability to spend time in nature tend to reduce in the Winter time.We stay at home more, eat more and, at times, find it difficult managing our stress within our own four walls.  To help you keep up with your wellbeing and positive routine in Winter, we have put together a giveaway worth over €400 of Wellness Goodies For you and a buddy!

To Enter, Simply go to our post below or Click Here 





PRIZES

The giveaway includes these 3 amazing wellness products (all of them from Irish businesses☘️) :

Prize 1: Kocoono™ Shoulder Hug. RRP €75

Shoulder Hug Kocoono

Too much tension in your shoulder area? Do you feel stressed? Our Kocoono™ shoulder hug creates a hug like feeling reducing tension and anxiety immediately. It is particularly beneficial for anyone with shoulder tension, fibromyalgia, stress, anxiety or those with a heightened nervous system. It is a great tool to use while sitting at your desk, Watching TV, Reading and Meditating 

Prize 2:  A Years Supply of Award Winning Indeora Healthy Magnesium Deodorant worth RRP: €69.99

Get one year supply of the natural deodorant shortlisted by The Vogue Beauty Awards 2020 and the finalist of Irish Made Awards 2020. Why people are loving it? :

  • It has a Natural Magnesium Formula that Safely Neutralises body odour for up to 24 hours.
  • FREE from Chemicals.
  • Does not block your pores.
  • Fragranced with Natural Coconut & Vanilla Oils.
  • Does Not Stain Clothing.
  • It is Vegan & Cruelty Free
  • Breath Easy Natural Spray

Prize 3: Two Wellness Programmes (one for you & one for your buddy) RRP €69 each

The WellNow Co. is Ireland’s leading provider of online health coaching solutions based in Dublin.  If you win the giveaway you and your friend can enjoy a choice From Either Their 7 Week Stress Management Course or 3-Steps to Meal Planning For Health.

Learn More About Our Female Led, Irish Based Sponsors 

  • Indeora: Nominated in this year’s British Vogue Awards for Best In Wellness, Indeora Healthy Magnesium Deodorant, offers next generation healthy underarm care. Designed as a natural mist spray, Indeora is perfect to keep you protected naturally, on the go. Learn More about the health benefits of Indeora deodorant here.
  • The WellNow Co: The WellNow Co.’s mission is to empower you to establish and achieve your health and wellness goals. Through health coaching either online or in person, one-to-one coaching or group coaching, or through any of our online health and wellness programs we can help you to improve your life the way you want to. So whether it is a corporate wellness strategy, a new workplace wellness initiative or you’re an individual looking to improve your life, The WellNow Co has a course to help you. Learn More Here.
  •  Kocoono: Kocoono™ Weighted Blanket systems are designed to reduce stress, increase quality sleep and support your body and mind. Kocoono™ is the brainchild of Emer Flannery, a psychology professional from Belmullet, in the West of Ireland. Emer has worked in psychology for the last 9 years, in various care sectors both in Ireland and abroad. Learn more about Kocoono here.

* WINNERS ANNOUNCED THURSDAY NOVEMBER 26th

Supporting Our Immune System: Focus on Vitamin C

At the start of winter, we become conscious about how robust our immune system may be and look to how best to support it. This winter it’s even more critical. We need more than ever to ensure we keep as healthy and strong as possible in order to prevent unnecessary colds and flus which can be mistaken for the dreaded coronavirus. So what approach can we take ourselves in our day-to-day lives to best support our health?

IMMUNE SYSTEM

Our immune system is complex. In order to function well we need to approach looking after it in a balanced way. Healthy nutrition is really important, and the best approach for this is to eat a whole foods diet with plenty of lean protein. We also need to manage our stress levels as this can impact our immunity. Plenty of exercise, some or all of which could be done outside, along with getting our required amount of sleep, will help keep our immune system functioning at its best.

VITAMIN C

While there are numerous vitmains and minerals that help support the immune system, we focus on vitamin C here, as it is a well known supplement that is taken with a view to prevent colds and flus. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient, meaning our body cannot produce it so we must consume it. It has multiple functions, including the formation and maintenance of collagen. So it’s also needed to give support and shape to the body (ligaments, skin, bloods vessels). It is used up in about 2 hours by the body and takes 3-4 hours to be gone from the blood. So consuming foods high in vitamin C regularly will ensure ongoing support. 

It is generally recommended that we consume about 600 – 1,200mg of vitamin C daily. This can be managed through a balanced diet and can be boosted by focusing on foods known to be high in vitamin C.

SOURCES

The best sources are fruit and vegetables. Vitamin C is quite unstable though and can easily be lost during cooking, especially when using sources high in water and then cooking in water. This is why steaming is often recommended as a way to prepare your vegetables. There is definitely less loss of nutrients this way.

Top food sources of Vitamin C

Eating local and in-season fruit and veg means you are getting these foods at their best in terms of nutrient values. It also means they are more abundant, and usually best value. In addition to this you are supporting local producers so you are helping to ensure a steady flow of the food production over time.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CFykLSYAccj/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

VARIETY

While Vitamin C has been shown to stimulate the immune system, it is not stand alone and we need a range of essential nutrients to ensure good health. We need to focus on a healthy balanced diet, high in variety of fruit and veg, fibre, lean protein, healthy fats and generally take a whole foods approach to ensure we are optimizing the function of our body’s systems. By taking this approach we can avoid getting bogged down by the minutiae and get back to living a healthy and well life.

So there are many things we can do to support our immune system, many of which are small changes to our daily routine but can have a massively positive impact on our health and wellbeing. Consider taking on 1-3 small changes this week, and every week, to improve your health now.

If you’re looking to improve your meal planning to incorporate positive change, or you would like to manage your stress better, check out our online programmes and see which one is right for you. Or get in touch if you are interested in one-to-one health coaching.

​5 Gift Ideas for Kids this Christmas

With an increased consciousness of plastic usage, and wanting our kids to be healthier, happier and being as kind to the planet as possible, I wanted to put together a list of just a few gift ideas for Christmas for the young people in your life

Continue reading

Top 5 Summer Reads

It’s that time of the year where, if we’re lucky, we have a break of some kind on the near horizon. And very often the intense routine can ease off for a couple of months.

Continue reading