No. 23 - Clean Thirteen. Dirty Dozen.

 
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Eat organic everything? In an ideal world yes, we would. But in the real world it's not possible for most of us. So how to prioritise what's worth buying organic?

During my Nutrition School studies we learnt about the Clean 13 and Dirty Dozen compiled each year by Environmental Working Group.

Meaning? Fruits + veggies on the Clean 13 list have the lowest pesticide residue. Those on the Dirty Dozen list have the highest. So when choosing what to buy, spend your money on those on the Dirty Dozen list first: πŸ“πŸπŸπŸŒΆπŸ₯”πŸ‡
strawberries
spinach
nectarines
peaches
grapes
apples
pears
peppers
chillis
celery
tomatoes
potatoes

And if you eat them, choosing organic meat, fish and dairy makes sense too.

No. 22 - Calcium Doesn't Have To Come From A Cow

 
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Dairy makes my skin misbehave. Especially cow's milk and I get asked "so how do you get enough calcium?" Easy. I get calcium from plant sources like:

πŸ€sesame seeds - I add them to porridge and granola and salads.
πŸ€tahini i.e. another name for sesame seed paste - often used in hummus (yum!!)
πŸ€dark green veg like kale, rocket, cabbage, spring greens and broccoli
πŸ€almonds
πŸ€red kidney beans

No. 20 - What's Your Lipstick Made Out Of?

 
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πŸ’‹ Lovely lips. Since I switched to more simple, natural skincare, I've been applying the same logic to lips. The skin on our lips doesn't produce sebum and is more absorptive than other parts of our body: meaning what you put ON your lips matters. I found that using products made with mineral oil or petrolatum made my lips drier over time, especially the medicated ones I used to slather on. I've switched to products made with with natural oils like shea, beeswax and lanolin. A few of my favourites are:

πŸ’‹For glossy lips: @lanolips
πŸ’‹For smooth lips: @burtsbeesuk
πŸ’‹For colour: @absolution_cosmetics

Do you have any natural lip favourites?

No. 19 - Skin Loves Simple

 
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Strip it back.

I'm a massive fan of paring back everything to the absolute essentials... skincare included. I don't believe our skin needs loads of lotions and potions and thrives when we keep it simple. After sorting out my acne and eczema, my current skincare go-tos are:

  • cleansing with jojoba oil and a muslin cloth
  • moisturising then applying a natural sunblock during the day. I use @greenpeopleuk 
  • a facial massage oil at night
  • a gentle exfoliation with @renskincareAHA toner a few times a week

Simple. Quick. Skin loves it. What are your simple skincare secrets?

No. 18 - 5 Veg 2 Fruit

 
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7 a day. Yep I know it used to be 5 a day... The guideline is now 7 portions of veg + fruit each day to help us stay healthy.

And we're talking more veg than fruit. 5 veg and a couple of portions of fruit a day is a good thing. It's what I aim for and what I advise my clients. 

And variety is the spice of life here too. Mix it up as much as possible to get maximum nutrients πŸ₯¦πŸŒ½πŸ₯•πŸŒΆπŸ

No. 17 - Dried Fruit - Proceed With Caution

 
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A word on dried fruit: Yes it's fruit, it's natural and a few pieces of fresh fruit a day is a very good thing.

However dried fruit (as the name suggests....) has had all the water removed from it and what's left is the fruit in its most concentrated form.... and that means a pretty intense sugar hit too. Go for the fresh version, is what I tell my clients.

If you do veer into dried fruit territory now and again, have just a few (dates, figs, apricots...) and balance them out with a couple of nuts like almonds or walnuts.

No. 16 - Move Every Day

 
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Just Move. I sit on my butt way more than is good for it or me. Commute + desk is not a great daily combo for glorious wellness. So I have to make a conscious effort to move. Our energy, brain power and sleep is sooooo much better when we move daily.

Some of the ways I get in a daily dose of movement are:

1. stairs never the lift
2. when I'm on conference calls, I wander around inside (or outside, weather permitting) with my earphones in. Walkin' and talkin'.
3. I schedule in 2 early morning training sessions each week with @happyyouhappybody. Being accountable to someone else makes me 100x more likely to get out of bed to exercise.
4. A quick 20-30 HIIT workout with any of @thebodycoach YouTube videos. I pick one, put on some loud music and follow Joe's moves.
5. An evening yoga class. Sitting a lot tightens up our lower back, hip flexors and glutes. Having a good stretch helps massively.

How do you keep active?

No. 15 - Orange Juice and Coca-Cola

 
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Liquid sugar. I used to drink a glass of OJ each morning. Back when I didn't know that it contains about 10g of sugar per 100ml. Which is almost the same as in Coca-Cola. Yes OJ has vitamin C in it, but it's still a big shot of sugar into our bloodstream. And if it's followed by sweet breakfast cereal or pastries then we're over the NHS guidelines of 5 teaspoons max of sugar per day before we've even left the house. I just don't bother with fruit juices any more. Or sugary soft drinks.

No. 13 - Fat Is Your Friend

 
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Good fats: Olive oil, avocados, nuts, seeds and oily fish like mackerel and sardines make me think of all things Mediterranean - a way of eating that's full of mono-unsaturated fats and omega-3s to help keep our hearts healthy. I also notice my skin, hair and nails get a boost when I include these fats in small amounts each day. Low fat just ain't the thing anymore. We need fats to help us absorb vitamins A, D and E.

No. 11 - Greens at Lunch and Dinner

 
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Greeeeeen.

I've been asked a lot recently 'should I detox?'. I'm not a big detox fan 'cos our body detoxes pretty well by itself. However giving it a helping hand by eating a varied diet with lots of colour and crunch is always a good idea. Starting by increasing your greens is an easy way to get going. Add something green at lunch and again at dinner and you'll be taking steps in the right direction.

No. 9 - Eat More Veg

 
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All hail veg.

One thing I talk about in this month's YouTube vid and in my newsletter All Things Glorious is how I absolutely do not do the whole January detox thing. But I do love the notion of a reboot.

One way to get things feeling more glorious is to eat more veg. 5-7 veg a day is the bomb but if that feels too tricky then start by getting something green in at lunch and then at dinner. Then add another colour or two.

No. 8 - Eat Your Fruits

 
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I'm a fruit fan. One or two pieces a day is a very good thing. Packed full of vitamins and fibre, fresh fruit is damn fine.

However I'm not such a fan of fruit juice. Once the fibre's been removed (and for most of us, we need MORE fibre in our diet) fruit juice can lead to a blood-sugar spike. I recommend to all my clients that they eat the whole fruit.

I often get asked 'are smoothies ok?'....I say yes as they still contain fibre even though it's been whizzed up. That said, I make my smoothies with greens like cucumber, spinach, parsley, avocado and just a small amount of fruit for sweetness e.g. half a pear, apple or banana.

If you have any fave green smoothie combos, I'd love to hear πŸ’š

No. 7 - If You Can't Pronounce It, Don't Eat It

 
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Avoid the un-pronounceables // you know the list of ingredients printed on the food label? If it has gobbledy-gook sounding things listed on it, chances are that eating it isn't going to be doing you any favours.

Take a look at a few labels and make sure you can pronounce everything listed.

One of my bug bears is gluten-free foods in the supermarket. They're often packed with weird stuff. I used to buy gluten-free bread there until I realised it was full of less-than-glorious ingredients.

I now get my GF bread from a local bakery who use simple natural ingredients. They're called Artisan Bread Organic. Not an ad, just a shout out as I love what they do.

No. 6 - Beige Suits No One

 
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Beige does us absolutely no favours. Beige food tends to be devoid of much nutritional value - think biscuits, pastry, white pasta, white bread.

I used to think I was the epitome of chic wearing 'camel' aka beige until I realised it made me look washed out. Same thing happens when we eat beige. Instead go for colour, crunch, variety and vibrancy in your food 🌱πŸ₯‘πŸŽπŸ†and you'll glow from the inside out. If you're one of those lucky golden skinned people who suit camel, rock it ✌

No. 5 - Sugar Servings: 6 Is The Number

 
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6 is the number. 

I'm often banging on about the fact that sugar isn't the benign sweet little treat we're often led to believe. Too much sugar impacts our energy levels, skin (yes, sugar impacts our skin) as well as our waistline. 
When I give talks on this topic, one of the things I ask people to do is check food + drink labels.

On the nutritional label, there's a line that says 'carbohydrates, of which sugar'. We want that number to be less than 6g per 100g or 100ml to help avoid sugar spikes.

Next time you're in the supermarket, check a few labels. Especially on 'healthy' things like breakfast cereals, muesli bars and flavoured yogurts. Often there's a shed load more sugar in them than you might think. If there's loads more than 6g per 100g then give it a miss and swap for something with less of the added sweet stuff.