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9 Apps every healthy person should have

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9 Apps every healthy person should have

Our inseparable smartphones, depending on how we use them, can be powerful tools for productivity or a mind-numbing well of distractions. The app store is flooded with apps for anything imaginable, and finding the right apps can make a huge difference to your productivity, helping you save time and money. 

Today I’m going to share with you the 9 useful apps that have made it really fun and easy for me to create and maintain healthy habits. I made a video too so be sure to check it out!

1. Clear is by far the coolest task and to-do list app. The interface is really easy to use and fun for the fingers. I use it for ALL my lists, and in this case I suggest using it for your shopping lists to make sure you never run out of groceries. 

2. Headspace is the go-to app for anyone interested in learning meditation and mindfulness with a simple and down-to-earth approach in just 10minutes a day. I specially recommend this app for meditation beginners.

3. My Timer is for more experienced meditators who have a personal daily practice. It allows you to set a timer for your meditation. I love it because I can immerse myself into the bliss of meditation knowing that it will bring me back exactly 20 minutes later to the gentle sound of a Tibetan singing bowl. 

4. Deliciously Ella for healthy recipes of course! In this app you will find over a hundred simple and easy-to-follow plant-based recipes, from smoothies and juices to snacks, salads and main dishes. Deciding what to make for dinner was never this easy.

5. Happy Cow, a planty’s best friend. This app is an extensive guide that lists all the vegetarian, vegan and veg friendly restaurants all around the world. Bonus: It also lists health-food stores. Happy Cow is a really helpful resource for (traveling) plant-based eaters. 

6. Instacart for organic grocery delivery, unfortunately only for those of you in the USA. You can make an order in the morning and have it delivered by dinner time. Although I personally think its nicer to hit the market, this app can sometimes be a real time saver.

6. YogaGlo is for traveling yogis. As a yoga addict I can’t go a day without practicing, which is a challenge during travel. Enter YogaGlo - a membership site that allows you to save up to 10 classes for offline viewing, so you can have access to full yoga classes anywhere, anytime. 

7. Seven is the app I use occasionally to get in a quick full body workout when I travel. It provides different high intensity interval training circuits without equipment in just a few minutes a day. The cool thing is that everything is configurable so you can adjust it to your own needs. 

9. Kindara is for you ladies. It logs, tracks and predicts your menstrual cycles, ovulation and fertility. I highly recommend this app for women who want to understand their bodies and cycles better, or women who avoid birth control and want to track their periods, get pregnant or avoid pregnancy the natural way. 

Originally my idea was to share with you 10 cool apps, but I was one short... Could you help? Is there one app that you use to create or maintain healthy habits? If so please share it in the comments so we can complete this list :)

🙏🏼

 

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HOW TO EAT

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HOW TO EAT

We tend to be so conscious about WHAT to eat - fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, quality fats and proteins, sprouts, herbs etc. But HOW to eat is just as important, if not more. 

You see, your body and your brain need to engage fully in the experience of eating so they can properly perform the heavy-duty task of digestion. If your brain is distracted or stressed it won’t communicate well with your digestive system and food won’t be properly digested, sitting on your stomach causing you problems like bloating, gas, lower energy levels and eventually getting stored as fat.

So, if the food is not well digested you will not absorb all the nutrients in the food - which means your body is not getting the nutrients it needs and  there’s no point spending money on the best quality food if your body is not absorbing and getting the most it can from it.

Putting in practice the following tips will help you eat more intuitively, avoid overeating, loose weight and improve your digestion and energy levels.

1. Eat when you are hungry.

We are so used to snacking and picking at food all the time that we forget what hunger feels like. We also tend to eat for non-hunger reasons. Because food can make us happy instantly we tend to eat when we are overwhelmed, sad, stressed, anxious, bored, etc. If you eat when your body isn’t ready for food because its busy doing other tasks, that food won't be digested becoming sludge that weighs you down and gets stored as fat. To make sure your body is ready for food (fuel) wait until it signals you with hunger - the rumbly feeling in the stomach - then eat. 

2. Eat without distractions.

Once you are ready to eat put away all distractions, plate your food and sit down somewhere comfortably. Enjoy your own company or whoever else is there, without a distracting TV, phone, laptop or book around. If your attention is somewhere else and you eat mindlessly, all too soon the meal is over and you are left feeling unsatisfied. Because you missed out on the experience of eating you may go for second servings even if you are no longer hungry. 

3. Slow down, chew and savour.

Slow down and put your fork down after each mouthful (don’t worry no one will take your food away!). Enjoy each bite with your full attention - make it a meditation. If you love eating, give food the attention it deserves to fully enjoy and participate in the experience of eating by chewing and savouring the flavours, textures and aromas of your food. 

4. Stop when you are no longer hungry.

It is easy to overeat, specially if you eat fast and mindlessly, but if you slow down, chew, savour and eat without distractions it’s easier to realise when your body has had enough. When you no longer feel physical hunger - when you no longer NEED more food (as opposed to WANT more food), stop eating - put the fork down and wait a few minutes (don’t worry, your food won't go anywhere :) If you still feel hungry after - eat more, otherwise - stop there. This is the “point of energy” where the body is refuelled and fully energised. Any more and it will weigh the body down making your body more fat and tired instead. Its OK to leave food on your plate if you are done, as Michael Pollan says “better to waste than to waist”.

5. FIND your own rhythms.

Who said we need 6 meals a day or to eat every certain hours? Just because some diet says 'eat 6 times a day' doesn't mean it will work for you. We all have different needs and rhythms. Our bodies get hungry at different times everyday - it depends on how much you ate the previous meal or previous night, how quickly that food gets digested, how quickly your body burns it, how active you are, etc - so its silly to think that some diet knows more than your own body. Instead of following someone else's schedule, find your own. By practicing step 1 - eat when you are hungry - you are listening to your own body's needs and eating when is right for you.

 

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How to protect your skin this summer

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How to protect your skin this summer

It’s that time of year again… time to stock up on sunscreen…

But before you do, did you know that your sunscreen could be doing you more harm than good? In this article I want to focus on why you should consider ditching your sunscreen.

Popular belief says that the sun is dangerous and that to avoid cancer and premature aging we should wear sunscreen. Not surprisingly, many of us still think that our best defence against the sun is sunscreen.

But here’s the thing… these very same products could actually cause us more damage. All of the conventional sunscreen products have harmful chemical ingredients that bake into our skin as we toast away in the sun. Some of these ingredients can actually cause more skin lesions and even cancer. Many of these chemicals also act as oestrogen in the body which may be the cause of many of the hormone-based concerns that are increasingly popular. 

Here’s a list of the most harmful ingredients found in these products:

  • aluminium
  • oxybenzone
  • retinyl palmitate or vitamin A
  • octinoxate
  • methoxycinnamate
  • homosalate
  • octisalate
  • octocrylene
  • octyl-dimethyl

Now here's why you should go in the sun without protection:

Sunshine is good for us. In the right amount sunshine is actually essential - it makes us feel good by increasing our serotonin levels, gives our skin a beautiful glow, it is also energising and healing, but more importantly it helps our body produce vitamin D. 

This vitamin - also called the ‘sunshine vitamin’ is actually more of a hormone than a vitamin. Vitamin D plays a key role in almost all our physiological functions and is absolutely vital to vibrant health. It prevents most cancers, reduces the risk of osteoporosis, obesity, diabetes, depression and seasonal affective disorder, ah and it decreases risks of winter flu. 

The best way to receive this vitamin is through the sun, but most of us are deficient because of no sun exposure during the winter and too much sunscreen in the summer. Here’s the thing, when you slather SPF all over your body you actually block your body’s ability to produce vitamin D. 

The most effective way to produce vital levels of vitamin D is to expose large surfaces of skin such as chest, arms and legs for 15-30 minutes everyday, without protection. If this is not possible for you, consider taking a Vitamin D supplement. 


So here are some strategies for safe sun exposure:

  • build up tolerance to the sun gradually without sunscreen
  • when you start to feel the burning sensation on your skin (your body telling you "enough sun") get in the shade or cover up with a nice hat or a shirt
  • when you are going to be in the sun all day use a non-nano zinc oxide sunscreen
  • after sun exposure apply aloe vera or coconut oil to nourish your skin
  • avoid the harsh sun between 1 and 3 pm
  • and don’t forget to protect your delicate eyes with sunglasses

Important: avoid getting burned at all costs!!!

And this is what you can eat to protect your skin:

  • antioxidant-rich food such as berries, grapes, cacao and goji berries
  • yellow, orange and red foods such as tomatoes, carrots, oranges, bell peppers, turmeric, ginger, salmon, shrimp, etc.
  • coconut oil and grass-fed butter
  • drink matcha and green tea for its powerful antioxidant activities
  • take a good quality omega 3 supplement that has EPA and DHA

 


In conclusion,

Any product that has a long list of chemical ingredients that I don’t recognise or can’t even pronounce is enough to make me avoid it completely.

In this modern life our bodies are bombarded and burdened with toxic chemicals all the time. Some of the exposure to these toxins is beyond our control and unless we live an isolated life somewhere remote we will be constantly in touch with toxicity through polluted air, cigarette air, chemical cleaning products and off-gassing building materials, just to name a few.

Fortunately, there are other toxic things such as beauty products, food and water where we have more control over. We can greatly reduce our exposure to these toxins by optimising what we eat, drink and apply on our bodies - this includes sunscreen. 

After all, the problem is the accumulation of toxins overtime, so minimising the toxin load on the body will result in a healthier and happier body.

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