Antibotics Resistance

Winter is only days away, along with cooler weather, we are about to enter flu and common cold season.. on an occasion like this,it is good to remember that antibiotics are not always the best choice to treat every illness..

Recently "Catalyst" edited very interesting video about antibiotics resistance,

To access video please copy link into your browser


Lets dont forget about Food Portions !!

f you want to see how inflated our portion sizes have become, don’t go to the supermarket – head to an antique shop. You spot a tiny goblet clearly designed for a doll, only to be told it is a “wine glass”. What look like side plates turn out to be dinner plates. The real side plates resemble saucers.


Back in a modern kitchen, you suddenly notice how vast everything is – 28cm has become a normal diameter for a dinner plate, which in the 1950s would have been 25cm. Just because we are eating off these great expanses of china does not of course mean that we have to serve ourselves bigger portions. But as it happens, we usually do. Brian Wansink is a psychologist (author of Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think) who has done numerous experiments to prove what you would hope common sense might already tell us: that oversized tableware makes us consume bigger portions. A large ice-cream scoop makes you take more ice-cream; a short, squat glass makes you pour more juice. Because it doesn’t look like much, we still feel we are consuming roughly the same amount. Wansink calls this the size-contrast illusion. The “real danger of these kitchen traps”, writes Wansink, is that “almost every single person in the world believes they’re immune to them”.

In fact, it seems that the only people who are immune to big portions are tiny children. Up until the age of three or four, children have an enviable ability to stop eating when they are full. After that age, this self-regulation of hunger is lost, and sometimes never relearned. This is a cross-cultural phenomenon, from London to Beijing. One study from the US found that when three-year olds were served small, medium and larger portions of macaroni cheese, they always ate roughly the same amount. By contrast, five-year-olds ate a lot more when the portion of macaroni cheese was oversized.

In a world where food is ever-present, many of us have become like Alice in Wonderland, controlled by cakes that say Eat Me and bottles that say Drink Me. As the nutritionist Marion Nestle remarked 10 years ago in her book, What to Eat: “It is human nature to eat when presented with food, and to eat more when presented with more food.” The trouble is that we are pushed more food, more often, every day. In 2013, the British Heart Foundation published a report called Portion Distortion on how portion sizes in Britain have changed since 1993. Back then, the average American-style muffin weighed 85g, whereas 20 years later it was not uncommon to find muffins weighing 130g. Ready meals have also ballooned in size, with chicken pies expanding by 49% and the average shepherd’s pie nearly doubling in size since 1993 (from 210g to 400g). To overeat in such an environment may be less about lacking willpower than being set in your ways. Food psychologists talk about “unit bias” meaning that we are inclined to think that a portion equals one of something, no matter what the size. Even when it’s the 2,000-calorie single slice of pizza that nutritionists managed to buy in New York City: a whole day’s worth of calories in a single snack.

But while portions in cafes and restaurants are often now gargantuan, the recommended portions on food packets may be unrealistically small. For most breakfast cereals, the “serving size” across the EU is 30g. In a Kellogg’s Variety pack, the Corn Flakes are just 17g. To my 16-year-old son, this is hardly more than a mouthful (admittedly, he is 6ft 11in). A couple of years ago, I interviewed a spokesperson for Kellogg’s, who said that these tiny recommended sizes are aimed at children but admitted that adults do “eat a bit more”. They certainly do. A study in 2013 found that when 140 British adults in Southend and Birmingham were asked to pour out a normal bowl of cornflakes, 88% of participants took more than 30g. The average was 44g.


Our confusion over portions in Britain is linked to the fact that we have lost so many of our basic instincts about cooking. When the Department of Health tells us that the ideal portion of broccoli is “two spears” whereas for cauliflower it is “eight florets”, it doesn’t bear much relation to ordinary meals. By contrast, a 2010 survey of nearly 1,500 elderly South Koreans found that there was still a remarkable level of convergence over how much to eat of particular foods, because of traditional cuisine. Almost all the Koreans in the survey agreed that a portion of polished white rice was 75g; sweet potato was 120g; spinach was a hefty 40g; and roasted white sesame seeds was 1g.

Without this kind of shared knowledge to guide us, we remain at the mercy of the food industry. In a state of overabundance, food companies have two possible strategies. One is to sell us smaller portions at higher prices – this January, Unilever announced that it was cutting the size of ice-creams such as Magnum and Cornetto by up to a third (though, needless to say, it did not bring the prices down by the same margin). The other, more universal, approach is to attempt to sell us more food. In 1988, you could only buy a Cadbury’s Dairy Milk chocolate bar in a single size: 54g. Now, you can buy it as 49g, 110g, 200g and 360g. Compared with the truly colossal 360g bar, the still-massive 110g looks almost modest.

Our problem with portions is partly this: no one likes the concept of “less”. We are conditioned from childhood onwards to yearn for the overflowing glass and the laden table. An easy way to address this at home is simply to use smaller tableware. Often at the end of a meal, I am not really hungry but yearn for something sweet. I find that if I get a tiny dipping bowl and pile it high with whatever I desire – dense chocolate brownies, sticky halva – I feel satisfied, even with a tiny portion. When I first tried this, it felt silly. Could I really be fooled by a plate? Yes. I could. And so could you. Last year, researchers at Cambridge University led by Theresa Marteau, director of the behaviour and health research unit, conducted an experiment in a local Cambridge pub called The Pint Shop. The researchers found that when larger glassware was used (370ml compared with 300ml), sales of a standard 175ml measure of wine went up by 9%. Marteau, whose research focuses on how people can be encouraged to adopt healthier behaviours, noted that the larger glasses made people feel they were drinking less, and so they gulped the wine faster. Marteau’s hope is that government will look at studies such as this and adopt policies to reduce the availability of large portions. The short-term effect of the study has been rather different, however. Having seen the impact on sales, The Pint Shop is now permanently serving its wine in larger glasses.

My approach to portion control is, like my sizable thighs, entirely hereditary. I got it from my parents. They were both raised in meagre surroundings during the second world war, with food in short supply and so, when they became parents, they went the other way. They made sure the table was always full. This was combined with the Jewish tendency – even among those Jews with no interest in God or his weird picky dietary laws – to overcater. Somewhere deep in the DNA is imprinted the message that tomorrow the Cossacks might be coming and so now you must eat, and who knows whether the Rosenbaums might be coming round needing to be fed, too.

Certainly, my late mother regarded enough food just for the members of the family as not quite enough, and I can’t help feeling the same way. I freely admit to having no idea what reasonable portion control is. When dinner involves individual items – a pork chop each, say, or a fillet of fish – I end up feeling edgy, for there is no excuse to cook more of them than the number of people eating. I am happier when it’s a one-pot dish, a stew or a ragu for pasta, where volume is allowable and leftovers an absolute certainty, even if as a family we do it justice. I did not get to where I am today by being blessed lavishly with self-control. What kind of restaurant critic would that be?

To be fair, mine is a house of home workers, so nothing gets wasted; last night’s overcatering is merely today’s fridge lunch. That said, there are irritations. I should by now know how much rice or pasta to cook for four people. They even tell you on the side of the pack. Do I pay attention to such things? Do I hell. Our fridge is always stacked with little white bowls of last night’s carbs. One day I’ll learn. Possibly.

Jay’s typical food day

Breakfast will usually consist of granola, yoghurt and milk. And a bucket of coffee (milk, no sugar), followed by a second bucket of coffee. For lunch, I’ll have some leftover roast chicken and salad, if I’m feeling virtuous. Cheese on toast, if I’m not. For dinner, I’ll typically make something like a Thai green curry, using four chicken breasts, cauliflower and green beans, and serve it with white rice, which I tend to avoid myself. I cook too much, so some ends up in the fridge. If it’s a drinking night, I’ll definitely have three 175ml glasses of white wine. And then, if I’ve had the wine, a mini-Magnum. One leads to the other.

I get kicks from feeding people. But I’m intrinsically greedy, too, so I need to be quite careful when serving up at home – if I’m feeding myself and my boyfriend, I’ve been known to look at our dinner plates and take the more heaving of the two plates. Even serving the same amount on each plate is actually crazy – I may be stocky and need a lot of fuel (I’m quite buzzy and run around a lot), but he’s 6ft 6in.

When I eat at home, my plate is mostly whole grains, pulses and vegetables. I eat lots of nuts, mostly cashews, an avocado a day. I’m getting more into things like tofu and tempeh, too, so serving size is of less importance there. I eat fish a couple of times a week and each year I’m eating less and less meat and dairy. Once a week I’ll make a Sunday roast with a big joint, or a whole chicken, and then use the remaining meat in dishes throughout the week. I’m really good with leftovers and I take solace in batch cooking, specifically to gauge how much food I’m meant to be eating – so, if I’m making a stew, I will portion it up into cartons to store in the freezer. But as a rule I don’t have food left on my plate – I pretty much always finish what I’ve served, eating until I’m bursting. Feeling full makes me feel sane.

Eating out is a minefield. I tend to go overboard – my friends have stopped me ordering now as I want to try different things and I can put food away at a jaw-dropping rate. I never really question whether this is going to affect my weight or health because when I line it up with how I eat at home, it ends up pretty balanced. I question my alcohol consumption, but that’s it.

Gizzi’s typical food day: For breakfast I’ll have two eggs, normally fried with half an avocado, and either a spicy tomato sauce and small corn tortilla, or loads of sauted spinach and mushrooms with a spot of creme fraiche. And a cappuccino. Mid-morning, I have a green juice, and I drink lots of water. Lunch is pasta with either a tomato-based sauce such as puttanesca or a cavolo nero, chili and anchovy pesto (I weigh 80g of good durum wheat pasta but add too much sauce and cheese). I don’t really snack but feed occasional epic chocolate cravings when they come. For dinner, I’ll have a recipe I’ve been developing – maybe a chicken stew with chorizo and barley and a green salad. And a decent glass of wine, four or five days a week.

Tamal Ray: ‘It’s difficult to not end up comfort eating in front of the telly’

Being a bit of a chubby kid, portion control wasn’t something I was particularly good at, and even now, I haven’t really nailed it. I’m totally incapable of self-control anywhere that has free food or a buffet, hoovering it all up like I’m still a hungry student surviving on baked beans and bits of stale bread. I’m terrible in restaurants, too. I still get really excited at the prospect of eating out, so I find it difficult not to go the whole way and have three courses. It’s almost a relief if the plates of food arrive with measly portions – at least I know that I won’t be leaving the dinner table uncomfortably full.

I grew up in a Bengali household, a culture where moderation doesn’t fit easily with our love of food. In a Bengali meal you’ll typically have a large plate with rice surrounded by a few small bowls each containing a different dish: dahl, vegetables, fish and maybe some meat. Each dish is supposed to be enjoyed individually with some rice, as eating them together would be considered to ruin the flavours.

When cooking for myself, I try to stay a bit more health conscious by sticking to a few simple rules. If the plate is divided up into vegetables, carbs and protein, then the vegetables should make up the biggest section on the plate. However, a quick browse of the latest health advice on portion control tells me something I could have already guessed myself: I eat too much meat. With a single chicken leg potentially being twice as much as my daily recommended intake of meat, it’s easy to end up overindulging. The solution is something I’ve been meaning to do for a while: cook more meals with vegetables as the stars rather than as the unimaginative side dish to the meat.

As I like to take my time when cooking, I tend to make large amounts that will last for a few meals. There’s an obvious temptation to overeat when faced with a big pot of food and a hungry stomach, so I try to decide on a sensible amount to plate up and never go back for seconds. Honestly though, arriving home mid-week, knackered and starving, it’s difficult to stick to the rules and not end up comfort eating in front of the telly.

Tamal’s typical food day: breakfast: a bowl of porridge if I’ve woken up early enough. More likely to be a slice of toast eaten on the drive to work. Morning snack: Overpriced cup of coffee. Lunch: roast chicken salad with plenty of leaves and a flapjack. Dinner: lamb meatballs with rice and a kale and butternut squash curry. Snacks: A couple of kiwi fruit and some yoghurt with honey and raisins.


Source -

17th April 2016 - World Health Day 2016 - DIABETES

Tomorrow is April 7th - World Health day - This year WHO has dedicated to diabetes - fastest growing epidemic, affecting over 347milion people around the world. Sadly WHO projects that diabetes will be the 7th leading cause of death by 2030. 90% of diabetics are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes..Lets all participate in World Health Day by reading more about this year cause..


In 2008, an estimated 347 million people in the world had diabetes and the prevalence is growing, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.

In 2012, the disease was the direct cause of some 1.5 million deaths, with more than 80% of those occurring in low- and middle-income countries. WHO projects that diabetes will be the 7th leading cause of death by 2030.

Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs either when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. Insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar, gives us the energy that we need to live. If it cannot get into the cells to be burned as energy, sugar builds up to harmful levels in the blood.

There are 2 main forms of the diabetes. People with type 1 diabetes typically make none of their own insulin and therefore require insulin injections to survive. People with type 2 diabetes, the form that comprises some 90% of cases, usually produce their own insulin, but not enough or they are unable to use it properly. People with type 2 diabetes are typically overweight and sedentary, 2 conditions that raise a person’s insulin needs.

Over time, high blood sugar can seriously compromise every major organ system in the body, causing heart attacks, strokes, nerve damage, kidney failure, blindness, impotence and infections that can lead to amputations.

World Health Day 2016: Key messages

WHO is focusing the next World Health Day, on 7 April 2016, on diabetes because:

1. The diabetes epidemic is rapidly increasing in many countries, with the documented increase most dramatic in low- and middle-income countries.

2. A large proportion of diabetes cases are preventable. Simple lifestyle measures have been shown to be effective in preventing or delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes. Maintaining normal body weight, engaging in regular physical activity, and eating a healthy diet can reduce the risk of diabetes.

3. Diabetes is treatable. Diabetes can be controlled and managed to prevent complications. Increasing access to diagnosis, self-management education and affordable treatment are vital components of the response.

4. Efforts to prevent and treat diabetes will be important to achieve the global Sustainable Development Goal 3 target of reducing premature mortality from noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) by one-third by 2030. Many sectors of society have a role to play, including governments, employers, educators, manufacturers, civil society, private sector, the media and individuals themselves.

Goal of World Health Day 2016: Scale up prevention, strengthen care, and enhance surveillance

The main goals of the World Health Day 2016 campaign will be to:

  • Increase awareness about the rise in diabetes, and its staggering burden and consequences, in particular in low-and middle-income countries;
  • Trigger a set of specific, effective and affordable actions to tackle diabetes. These will include steps to prevent diabetes and diagnose, treat and care for people with diabetes; and
  • Launch the first Global report on diabetes, which will describe the burden and consequences of diabetes and advocate for stronger health systems to ensure improved surveillance, enhanced prevention, and more effective management of diabetes.

Source :

The Abundance Factor

What a great watch ! If you are sick and tired of recent news on TV I recommend you watch this movie instead, very refreshing and veryinspiring..

funny enough I never asked myslef a question what abundance means to me, well not until I watch this movie !  Amazing how little we might need to be truly happy.. :)

Positive effects of massage on body image..

Positive effects of massage on body image.. well sounds like another good reason to book yourself for a treatment !!

Body image or the conscious sense of our body, is our perception of and beliefs about our own body’s appearance. Or simply the feeling we have of our own body. Constructed by the brain from past experience and present sensations, the body image is a mental representation of our physical appearance and is a fundamental aspect of self-awareness and self-identity. Body image depends on our internal ‘body maps’ that are modulated by somatic and proprioceptive input.

The term “body image” was introduced in 1935 by Paul Schilder, an Austrian-American neurologist, which refers to the mental pictures we have of our bodies or the way our bodies appear to us. It is the set of beliefs we hold about ourselves. The topic of body image is covered extensively in recent popular books: The Body has A Mind of Its Own by Sandra and Matthew Blakeslee and The Brain that Changes Itself by Norman Doidge. Distorted body image Body image can be disrupted in people with pain disorders, and the disruption can have profound physical and psychological effects. For example, body image distortion is implicated in people with eating disorders (such as anorexia nervosa). Anorexics experience their bodies as fat even when they are on the edge of starvation.

Body image can be distorted in people suffering from chronic pain, as complex regional pain syndrome, phantom limb pain, and back pain. Pain is commonly experienced as projected into the body. People say “My back is killing me!”, but not “My pain is killing me.” However, people having phantom limb pain show that we don’t need a body part or even pain receptors to feel pain. The only factor that controls this pain is our body image. Physician VS Ramachandran said that pain is an opinion on the organism’s state of health rather than a mere reflexive response to injury. The brain gathers evidence from many sources before triggering pain. Pain, like the body image, is a construct of our brain. Therefore he successfully used a mirror box to modify a body image and eliminate the phantom and its pain.

Dr. Lorimer Mosely, a scientist from Australia, have demonstrated visual distortions of the body image in patients suffering from chronic pain can significantly affect their perception of painful sensations. People with CRPS and phantom limb pain were shown to have decreased tactile acuity and distorted body image for the affected limb. CRPS and phantom limb pain patients tend to perceive the painful or phantom limb as being bigger than it really is. Lorimer also tested to use the mirror box to make chronic pain in a real limb disappear. He asked his patients to simply imagine moving their painful limbs, without executing the movements, in order to activate brain networks for movement. The patients also looked at pictures of hands, to determine whether they were the left or right until they could identify them quickly and accurately. They were shown hands in various positions and asked to imagine them for fifteen minutes, three times a day. After practicing the visualization exercises they did the mirror therapy, and with twelve weeks of therapy, pain had diminished in some and had disappeared in half. Lorimer also demonstrated that people with chronic back pain has disrupted body image. The patients were unable to clearly delineate the outline of their trunk and stated that they could not ‘‘find it”. This finding raises the possibility that training body image or tactile acuity may help patients in chronic spinal pain.

Massage is well known to make people feel more relaxed and better about themselves. While there are many evidences that suggest positive effects of massage on psychological health, several studies now showed the positive effects of massage on body image. Researchers have started to investigate massage as a way of improving body image. Thomas Pruzinsky in his book Body Image: A Handbook of Theory, Research, and Clinical Practice, writes that massage therapy is a somatic approach that is helpful in positively affecting body image “by helping the client reconnect to the body in a very concrete manner.” Dr. Marcia Hutchinson, the author of the book Transforming Body Image, suggested that since body image is a product of the imagination, it can also be changed using the imagination. Hutchinson describes an exercise called “imaginal massage” in which you visualize massage occurring allowing the hands of the massage therapist to transfer healing to your bodymind allowing acceptance of your body.

A study conducted by the Department of Nursing, Wonkwang Health Science College in South Korea evaluated the effect of massage on abdominal fat, waist circumference and body image of post-menopausal women. The participants received a full body massage once a week and massaged their own abdomens twice a day during a six-week experiment. Half the group received massages with grapeseed oil. The other half received an aromatherapy massage with a blend of essential oils. Both groups felt better and improved body image after the treatment, but the group receiving aromatherapy massage showed significant changes across all areas – body image, waist circumference and abdominal fat.

An  in-depth interviews study conducted by Mary Bredin in UK explored the experiences of breast loss in mastectomy with particular focus on body image issues in three women. A pilot study also investigated a massage intervention as a means of helping them adjust to living with their changed body image. The study showed that the availability of a body-centered therapy such as massage might help with certain aspects of life adjustment.

The Touch Research Institute in Miami studied the effect of massage on people with eating disorders including bulimia (overeating and vomiting) and anorexia. Body image dissatisfaction contributes to the development and maintenance of  these eating disorders. Adolescents with bulimia who received one month of twice weekly massages plus their standard daily group therapy treatment (versus adolescents with bulimia who only received the standard group therapy) had  fewer symptoms of depression,  lower anxiety levels, and lower stress hormone levels (urinary cortisol levels). Their eating habits also improved, and their

body image was less distorted. In another study on adolescents with anorexia at the same hospital the massaged women (versus the standard group therapy control women) reported lower anxiety levels and had lower  stress hormone levels.Over the five-week treatment period, they also reported decreases in body dissatisfaction on the Eating Disorder Inventory and showed increased dopamine and norepinephrine levels.

Massage may improve body image by decreasing negative body image and increasing positive body image. A positive body image accepts the body and respects it by attending to its needs and engaging in healthy behaviours. In a qualitative study, many college women with a positive body image indicated that they regularly received massages to take care of, appreciate, and pamper their body, showing that they view massage as pleasurable. Massage treatment could function as a positive feedback cycle, by not only lessening negative feelings about the body through increasing body acceptance, but also by associating emergent positive feelings with the body and partaking in a behaviour that honours and relaxes the body. Massage could also improve body image by reducing women’s objectification of their body. A woman with a negative body image often views her body as an object to be evaluated. Women in western cultures learn to survey their bodies through the eyes of their culture to avoid negative judgment. A woman can feel that her body brings unhappiness and shame because it is perceived as not measuring up to society’s ideals. A woman who receives a massage, can let her body becomes a vehicle for the experience of pleasure. Women who hold a negative body image may avoid massage due to shame or embarrassment.

A study conducted by scientists from Bridgewater State University, MA, USA looked at the effect of massage on state body image. The study recruited forty-nine female university students; they were randomly assigned to either a massage condition or a control condition. It was hypothesized that participants in the massage condition would report improved state body image following the intervention when compared to participants in the control condition. As predicted, participants in the massage condition reported a more favourable state body image than participants in the control condition post-manipulation. Certain body image evaluations were moderately associated with views that massage is pleasurable, with the link between Body Areas Satisfaction and viewing massage as pleasurable reaching significance.

In this study, it is conclusive that the female university students reported feeling better about themselves and their bodies after having massage. Meanwhile the control group, who did not receive massage, showed no change in their attitudes. A woman’s negative view of her body can make the body seem untouchable and grotesque. Massage can be a vehicle to have a positive experience the body could potentially break through these negative body image attitudes. Nevertheless, a woman who holds negative thoughts about her body may be less apt to seek out massage therapy. This attitude will need to be addressed for massage to be a viable therapeutic option. In addition to relaxation and a shift in focus from the body as an object, regular massage could help change negative thoughts about the body as the body becomes associated with the good feelings that it brings through the massage experience.


Bredin M. Mastectomy, body image and therapeutic massage: a qualitative study of women’s experience. J Adv Nurs. 1999 May;29(5):1113-20.

Cash TF, Pruzinsky T. Body Image: A Handbook of Theory, Research, and Clinical Practice. Guilford Press, 2004.

Dunigan BJ, King TK, Morse BJ.A preliminary examination of the effect of massage on state body image. Body Image . 2011 8(4):411-4.

Field T, Schanberg S, Kuhn C, Field T, Fierro K, Henteleff T, Mueller C, Yando R, Shaw S, Burman I. Bulimic adolescents benefit from massage therapy. Adolescence. 1998 Fall;33(131):555-63.

Hart S, Field T, Hernandez-Reif M, Nearing G, Shaw S, Schanberg S, Kuhn C. Anorexia nervosa symptoms are reduced by massage therapy.Eat Disord. 2001 Winter;9(4):289-99.

Hutchinson MG. Transforming Body Image: Learning to Love the Body You Have. The Crossing Press, 1985.

Kim HJ. Effect of aromatherapy massage on abdominal fat and body image in post-menopausal women. Taehan Kanho Hakhoe Chi. 2007 Jun;37(4):603-12. [Article in Korean]

Lotze M, Moseley GL. Role of distorted body image in pain. Curr Rheumatol Rep. 2007 Dec;9(6):488-96.

Moseley GL. I can’t find it! Distorted body image and tactile dysfunction in patients with chronic back pain. Pain. 2008 Nov 15;140(1):239-43.

Wood-Barcalow, N. L., Tylka, T. L., & Augustus- Horvath, C. L. (2010). ’But I like my body’: Positive body image characteristics and a holistic model for young-adult women. Body Image, 7, 106–116.

Original article was edited on January 7, 2016 -

Food myths busted !!! some at least... :)

1 Pasta makes you fat

As the carb-avoidance craze rages, many are dismayed to see pasta lumped with pappy white bread in the “white and refined” sin bin. Now, a concerted push is on to rehabilitate its nutritional reputation. Is it true that, as pasta company Barilla claims, its unique resistant starch structure makes it more slowly digested than the same amount of flour made into bread? As long as you eat it “al dente”, white pasta does indeed have a glycaemic index comparable with buckwheat or brown rice – so the argument that it gives a steady release of energy that keeps you feeling fuller longer, is plausible. It’s also a whole lot more appetising than a plateful of wholewheat spaghetti.

2 Dates are the new sugar

Thanks to the promotional efforts of “clean-eating” gurus, we can’t move these days without bumping into delicacies sweetened with dates. Are these sticky fruits any better than bad old sugar? If you’re talking about baking, the answer is yes. Weight for weight, dried dates contain about 68% total sugars, as opposed to actual sugar, which is 100%. Dates are also an excellent source of soluble fibre, and have a relatively low glycaemic index: the fibre stops the sugar from causing an insulin spike in your bloodstream. Unlike straight sugar, dates are packed with useful micronutrients: iron, potassium, B vitamins and more. Dried dates do contain much more sugar than the sweetest fruits, but if you’re eating them as a substitute for cakes and confectionery rather than fruit, they’re a good way to lower your sugar consumption and gradually un-sweeten your palate.

3 Kale is a superveg

Current king of the brassicas, kale offers a convincing portfolio of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and detoxifying micronutrients that appear to reduce our risk of major degenerative diseases, cancer in particular. Is kale nutritionally richer than cabbage or broccoli, or is it just popular because it makes great crisps? Well, kale’s stand-out quality is its impressively high levels of vitamin K, which supports bone health, so it’s great if you’re trying to avoid bone loss and fractures. Plus it’s dead cheap, and grows abundantly pretty much anywhere.

4 Coconut oil is best for frying

Look, almost anything has got to be better for you than the industrially refined, heat-treated, chemically deodorised stuff widely known as vegetable cooking oil; but cold-pressed coconut oil – the solid white stuff that’s sweeping the shelves in wholefood stores – does have lots to commend it. Raw, unrefined coconut oil doesn’t get damaged by oxidisation and go rancid the way other cold-pressed vegetable cooking oils do. It is a naturally resilient oil that stands up to the heat of frying without degrading nutritionally. It is also exceptionally rich in medium-chain fatty acids, which have antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial effects. Medium-chain fatty acids are immediately converted by your liver into energy, not stored as fat; some research studies suggest that eating foods rich in them can help you lose weight. So far, it looks as if the only negative thing about raw coconut oil is its price.

5 Red meat is a killer

Is Mother Nature a psychopath who designed red meat to shorten the life span of humans? Rich in essential fats, complete protein, vitamins and minerals, red meat is one of the most nutritious foods you can eat. The dodgy dossier against red meat is based on the shakiest type of evidence: observational studies in which researchers look for patterns in data drawn from notoriously unreliable diet questionnaires. It’s a tough morsel for the anti-meat lobby to chew, but a solid health case against red meat has simply not been made. For now, free-range, grass-fed, organic or wild red meat stays on the menu.

6 Bone broth is the new superfood

We’ve been bubbling up bones for soup since the stone age, but with the triumphant opening of the Brodo Broth Company in New York, and the UK patronage of the influential Hemsley sisters, stock made from bones has never felt more cutting edge. Bone broth is a DIY alternative to several expensive food supplements, providing you with minerals such as calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. Dissolved material from cartilage and tendons make it a natural source of chondroitin and glucosamine (sold as supplements for arthritis). It’s super-cheap to make, very satisfying, and the liquid essence of nose-to-tail eating: the frugal use of carcass parts that are all too often wasted.

7 Whole milk is back

Now that the anti-saturated fat consensus is in meltdown, choosing the skinny latte no longer looks like the best option. A robust study published last year found that people who consume full-fat dairy products are less likely to develop “metabolic syndrome”, the combination of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity associated with greater risk of heart disease and stroke. Time to ditch white water and return to whole milk, organic, unhomogenised and – if you can get it – raw.

8 Kimchi boosts your immune system

Fermentation is all the rage now that intense scientific interest is trained on the microbiome, or the population of bacteria in our guts. Fermented (cultured) foods teem naturally with lactic acid bacteria. The thinking is that, by eating them, we can reintroduce a healthier bacterial variety to our microbiomes, which have been depleted by antibiotics and sterile processed food. The health benefits of cultured vegetables, from eastern European sauerkraut to Korean kimchi, are not in question – but the efforts of newcomers to this ancient skill can be challenging. There are some grisly experiments out there (kimchi pizza, anyone?). Your microbiome might like it, but will your tastebuds?

Source : Daily Telegraph online, article from Sat 9th Jan 2016 by Joanna Blytham

Healthy smoothies not always very healthy..

And the winner is..... Fat free Mango Fruzie from Gloria Jeans with only 31tsp !!! OMG

HEALTH experts are warning Australians to be wary of store-bought smoothies, after a survey of 40 cold drinks found some contained more kilojoules than a Big Mac and more sugar than a bottle of soft drink.

A survey from government-funded health program LiveLighter found smoothies and frappés from Boost Juice, Gloria Jeans and McDonald’s were some of the worst offenders.

To put the following numbers in context, the recommended daily kilojoule intake for adults is 8700kj and the World Health Organisation recommends we consume no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar per day.

Boost Juice’s ‘Brekkie to Go-Go Super smoothie’ contains 2560kj, 500kj more than a Big Mac (2060kj) and 18 teaspoons of sugar.

The ‘Protein Supreme’ smoothie from Boost’s Black Label range, which is marketed as “premium smoothies with an abundance of nutrition”, contains 2360kj and 12 teaspoons of sugar. The Gloria Jeans ‘Mango Fruzie’, marketed as ‘98 per cent fat free’, contains 31 teaspoons of sugar and 2150kj.

McDonald’s Large Bananaberry Bash smoothie is labelled ‘99 per cent fat free’, but contains 17 teaspoons of sugar.

“Food outlets use phrases like 97% ‘fat free’ or ‘dairy free’ to make their smoothies and frappés sound healthy, but with up to 31 teaspoons of sugar and as many kilojoules as a Big Mac, these drinks can actually do more harm than good,” LiveLighter’s Alison Ginn said in a statement.

“Like with soft drinks and other sugary drinks, regular consumption of frappés and smoothies can contribute to weight gain and a build up of toxic fat around your organs, which increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.”

To limit the damage caused by these drinks, Ms Ginn recommends choosing the smallest size drink available, asking for skim milk or sharing with a friend.

Following the release of the survey results, Gloria Jeans says it will no longer market its Fruzie range as 98 per cent fat free.

“In order to better represent the drinks to consumers in line with feedback from the community, we have removed this reference,” said Gloria Jeans in a statement to

“In line with our commitment to be open and transparent with our guests, Gloria Jean’s Coffees now displays the kilojoule content for each product on all menus across the country.”

A McDonald’s spokeswoman said kilojoule information is also displayed on its menu boards to help customers make “informed decisions” about what they order.

Boost Juice said some of its smoothies are designed to replace meals. “Unlike a fizzy drink which offers empty calories, these products contain important things like healthy fats, protein,

vitamins, fibre and minerals, which the LiveLighter research ignores,” it said in a statement.

“For example our Protein Supreme contains coconut water, banana, honey, coconut milk,

chia seeds, dates, muesli, cinnamon and whey protein powder. The sugar in the product is

mostly naturally occurring, from fructose and lactose.”

Nutritionist Dr Joanna McMillan says consumers shouldn’t be sucked in by terms used to market smoothies.

“Just because something says it’s gluten-free or dairy-free or fat free or natural, doesn’t make it healthy. People get confused by those terms and some of the kilojoules in these things are off the charts,” she told

Dr McMillan says the healthiest smoothies are those made at home with mostly vegetables and a small amount of fruit to sweeten.

“If you’re going to buy a smoothie, look for the kilojoule count, look at the ingredients and don’t be bamboozled by trendy ingredients like coconut oil or coconut milk. They just add kilojoules,” she said.

Source : Rebecca Sullivan article from

Happy New Year !!!!

May your hair, your teeth, your face-lift, your abs and your stocks not fall, and may your blood pressure, your triglycerides, your cholesterol, your white blood count and your mortgage interest never rise. All the best in 2016 ! Lots of health,love & joy

With love from Tweed Coast Massage

The reason that your eyes go red in the pool....

Just when I discovered deep water running !

According to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it’s not the chlorine in a swimming pool that makes your eyes red and itchy after a swim – it’s the pee. You may want to think twice about not wearing goggles before swimming in that public pool.

Together with the Water Quality and Health Council and the National Swimming Pool Foundation, the CDC wants to let everyone know about the disgusting horrors you come into contact with when swimming.

There is a common misconception that chlorine immediately gets rid of all the nasties that people swimming in a pool may have. Associate director of the CDC’s Healthy Water program Dr. Michael Beach explains to Women's Health that "Chlorine binds with all the things it's trying to kill from your bodies, and it forms these chemical irritants. That's what's stinging your eyes. It's the chlorine binding to the urine and sweat."

Any germs present in the pool can actually take some time to be destroyed in the presence of chlorine. While the parasite Cryptosporidium, which can cause diarrhea, can take over 10 days to be killed off, the bacteria E. coli is completely eliminated in less than a minute.

Speaking frankly of diarrhea, disease outbreaks from public swimming pools are on the rise, according to Beach’s research. Those that swim while experiencing diarrhea are putting others at risk. They don’t actually have to poop in the pool, but any germs on their body could potentially spread to other people in the same water. This is why the CDC strongly recommends that swimmers shower before jumping into the pool.

If this hasn’t put you off swimming for life, the CDC has also outlined simple steps that everyone can follow to prevent illness and stay healthy while swimming


Thai massage

Just come back from Thailand, where I managed to enjoy a few massages, some of them better then others, always wondering how  the tiny thai ladies can turn into a baby rhino when they walk all over you.

 Massage by rhino

Massage by rhino

Thai massage (Nuad Bo-Rarn) in its traditional form, is a type of Oriental bodywork therapy that is based on the concept that there are "sen" (energy line) flowing in the human body. This sen cannot be seen and verified in anatomy. This energy line theory is also seen in Indian Ayurveda, and it is thus clear that Nuad Bo'Rarn is affected by yoga which originated from India.

The legendary historical founder of Thai medicine is Dr. Shivago Komarpaj. Shivago was from the north of India and said to be a close associate of the Buddha. While the recorded history of Thai massage was lost during the Burmese attack on the royal capital of Ayutthia in 1767, the surviving records are now inscribed in stone and can be found at Wat Po Temple in Bangkok.

Thai massage looks like a cross between acupressure, yoga, and zen shiatsu and is inspired by Buddhist teachings. The actual massage consists of slow, rhythmic compressions and stretches along the body’s energy lines, - sen in Thai. Over 70,000 sen are said to exist within the body, and Thai massage concentrates on applying pressure along 10 of the most important sen, using the palms of the hands, thumbs, elbows, and feet. The effort from the practitioner works to free tension within the body. Practitioners also position the body into yoga-like poses and gently rock the body to open the joints.

One of the most important principles of Thai massage is the continuous flow of sequential movements that prepares the client for the next step in the massage. The practitioner is always aware of his position so that an uninterrupted slow rhythm is maintained. Deep, sustained pressure ensures that the myofascia, or the muscle’s connective tissue, soften and relax in order to release the flow of energy along the sen and to prepare the client for the large-scale stretches that follow.

There are two styles of practice, Northern (Chiangmai) and Southern (Bangkok).

Some benefits of massage  (to name only few)

* increases flexibility and range of movement
* eliminates muscle pain and muscle spasms
* improves postural alignment
* calms the nervous system and promotes a deep sense of relaxation with an increased energy level
* allows for a significant release of deep, emotional distress
* stimulates blood circulation and lymph drainage
* stimulates internal organs
* relieves fatigue, swollen limbs, painful joints, and headaches