In this issue:
- Light and Sleep
- Cooking Methods
- Vitamin D Awareness Week
- Courses update
- Retreat – a holiday with a difference
- Salad stall
A study came out a few weeks ago not only confirming that working and playing on screens at night disturb sleep, but explaining why.
Our bodies naturally produce melatonin in the evening, which is a hormone that prepares us for sleep, and works while we're asleep to repair the body. It is triggered by fading light in the evening.
Daylight tends to have a bluish tinge which changes as the day closes, and it's this change of light quality which signals the body to start producing melatonin.
Screens give off a bluish light which mimics daylight and fools the body into thinking it's still daytime, so prevents melatonin being produced.
Unfortunately we don't just start producing melatonin the minute we turn off the screens, which is why we can have problems.
The obvious answer is to get off the screen at least an hour before bed, but we don't always do this, so there's a programme you can download which changes the light quality on your screen as the daylight fades. Have a go - it's at http://stereopsis.com/flux. Many people have found this useful and helpful – give it a try and see if your sleep improves!
Statins – Watch $tatin Nation!
Click on this link http://muvi.es/2011/65978 to watch a documentary about how we have been misled when it comes to cholesterol – a substance our body makes for many different purposes. It tells us about how cholesterol is important in the body for repair, hormones and more, and how blocking its production with statins also blocks production of an important enzyme, CoQ10, important for energy and heart health!
Anybody who has attended one of my courses or seen me for nutritional therapy – or maybe even had a conversation with me! – will know that I try to explain the importance of fat in our diet, and that fat itself is not the problem, but a) what happens to fats in the body when they are damaged, and b) the quality and origin of the fats we eat.
My take on fat is that in its ‘whole’ form, ie contained in nuts, seeds, avocadoes, naturally reared animals and their products (eggs, dairy etc), game meat and wild fish, is ‘good’.
It becomes ‘bad’:
- When it is processed and therefore damaged, changing its structure and preventing its proper use by the body.
- When it originates from intensively reared animals given little or no exercise and fed on foods they would not eat naturally, thereby changing the balance of fat types (including omega 3) to one which is less beneficial.
- When we don’t eat enough vegetables! Among the many reasons for emphasising vegetables and fruit in the diet is because of their antioxidant properties – oxidised fat is ‘bad’ and damaging, so in theory eating plenty of veg helps reduce oxidation of fats in the body.
Cooking Methods Affect ‘Healthiness’ of Food
Some research is now showing that moist, slow cooked food is better for us than quickly cooked foods at high temperatures. This is because high temperature cooking produces AGEs (Advanced Glycation End products) which can be damaging to our health, increasing inflammation among other things. Long, slow, moist cooking avoids this problem, keeps nutrients together and reduces the chance of damage by heat.
Just in time for winter – get that slow cooker out of the cupboard, and make delicious, warming, comforting stews and casseroles. None of the vegetable goodness is lost, and if you eat meat you can make lovely bone stocks which draw on the nutrients in the bones and do you even more good!
This week is ‘Vitamin D Awareness Week’
29th October to 4th November is Vitamin D Awareness Week. The government is becoming concerned about the decreasing levels of Vitamin D in the UK population, and has identified 4 key ‘at risk’ groups:
- The under 5s
- The elderly
- Pregnant or breastfeeding women
- People with darker skin pigmentation
- We are shy of eating oily fish, fish liver and fats generally (where vitamin D does exist in food, it is ‘fat soluble’ which means it’ll
- only be available in fatty foods).
- We are terrified of the sun! We slip, slap, slop and cover up probably more than we need to. While we don’t want to burn, we do NEED the sun, and all this covering up is preventing us from making vitamin D.
- Cholesterol is a precursor for vitamin D, which may mean low cholesterol = low vitamin D
- If we have darker skin we may have more difficulty making enough vitamin D in the northern hemisphere.
- We can’t make Vitamin D for 6 months of the year, and can only store it if we have decent levels to start with.
- Bone and tooth health
- Cancer protection
- Protection from auto-immune diseases like Multiple Sclerosis and Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Mental and brain health, eg Seasonal Effective Disorder, PMS, depression etc
- Muscle strength (important for prevention of falls in later life, and for strengthening bones, as well as fitness and aesthetics)
- Heart health
- Diabetes prevention
Alternatively you can get a skin prick test from Birmingham City Hospital for £25. It’s very simple and a fairly good indicator. Go to http://www.vitamindtest.org.uk/
Food-wise, we can get about 10% of our vitamin D from food, and this comes from eggs and oily fish.
Eating for Good Health Courses
These 5 week courses are designed to give you the basis of a healthy diet in an enjoyable, enlightening and practical format. We look at the science behind why certain foods are important for health, some of which are surprising!
- Blood sugar balancing and protein
- Fats – the good, the bad and the ugly!
- Nutrient Density
- Digestion and its importance for absorption and therefore health
- Putting it all together – having pulled everything apart, simple, easy to follow ‘rules’ showing you just how simple it really is
The approach is a pragmatic, realistic one – real food, readily available, for real people!
All you need is an open mind, an interest in decent food and a willingness to prioritise food for health. (And £80!)
The next course starts on Wednesday 7th November at Christ Church in Prince Edwards Road, Lewes, from 7-9pm, for 5 weeks.
To sign up for the course, see www.foodworks4u.co.uk/courses and scroll about half way down for the Registration Forms. Send a £10 deposit if more than 2 weeks before the start date, otherwise the full £80 please.
My aim is to start a course each half term, so if you miss one, another will soon come along.
Hove Course – I’ll be running the Eating for Good Health course in Hove in January as well. This will start on Thursday 10th January at 10.30 until 12.30, for 5 weeks, cost again is £80.
Plans are also afoot to run a day time course in Lewes and a vegetarian course, once enough people are interested.
Fancy a holiday with a difference?
I am planning a 6 day ‘retreat’, where the whole course and more is presented alongside cookery workshops - we prepare all our food together so that you get hands on experience you can take straight home and continue at the end of the week.
I am convinced this is a really effective way to change habits and give people the confidence to make changes for good.
I’m looking for venues at the moment, so if anybody knows somewhere which will comfortably sleep 10-12 people with a decent sized kitchen and preferably lovely countryside, please let me know.
If you might be interested, please let me know.
More information next time I hope.
Salad Stall at the Friday Market
This coming Friday will be my fourth at the Friday market in Lewes, open from 9.30-1.30, though people do turn up before then.
I am selling seasonal salads with a baked omelette in biodegradable salad boxes, making a complete lunch and selling at £4.50.
Here are some examples of the salads so far:
- Mixed green salad leaves
- Carrot with mustard seeds and lemon juice
- Raw beetroot with lemon juice and olive oil
- Coleslaw with Chinese leaf, carrot and apple
- Roasted root vegetables with balsamic vinegar
- Leek and Sorrel baked omelette/frittata
The salads will change according to what is locally available, so you can be sure you’re getting a true locally sourced, organic lunch box.
The advantage of a salad for lunch is that, apart from being surprisingly satisfying and filling, because it is low carbohydrate you don’t get a mid afternoon slump, which is common with sandwiches and other carb-based lunches.
That’s about it for this time. If you’ve read this far, thank you!
Wishing you good health,
Nutritional Therapist and Bowen Therapist
mBANT, mFHT, CNHC registered for Bowen
To sign up for this email, contact me via the contact form or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org