Change Your Health Direction: Week 5

We’re now over 5 weeks in to our Change Your Health Direction campaign. Delightfully, we can confirm that hundreds of you are still active in the programme, losing weight or quitting smoking with the support of our colleagues in pharmacy.   Well done for sticking with it!! Only 3 weeks left to reach your goals.

avrilOur resident CYHD expert, Avril Reilly, Pharmacist in our Governey Square branch, is back this week with an update, this time focused on a particular range of products that are making a significant difference to her CYHD participants…

‘I have mentioned on previous occasions that some of our CYHD participants are using two great Irish products from True-Life to help them along their weight loss journey – Heart Up and Shake Up. Heart Up is a low GI wholegrain barley which delivers high levels of fibre and beta-glucan and it has been scientifically proven to both lower cholesterol and reduce blood sugars and in doing so it helps to sustain energy, fill you up and prevent cravings. It comes in three varieties; blueberry, red berries and original and a scoop of the product can be conveniently added to porridge, soups, salads, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes etc. A very worthwhile product and we are receiving excellent feedback from those who are using it regularly. Definitely worth a try!!

During the first couple of weeks of the CYHD weight loss program I had been noticing that some of the participants were not eating regularly as they were on the go and found it difficult to bring snacks with them to keep them going in between their main meals. I recommended that they try True-life Shake up as it provides a balanced, convenient snack that they could take anywhere with them and as it contains protein it helps to sustain energy and maintain balanced blood sugars. This daily protein shake also helps to maintain healthy bones, muscles and joints. It comes in three delicious flavours; strawberry, chocolate and vanilla. As it is sweetened with the natural sweetener stevia it won’t upset blood sugar balance, and it is packed full of goodness – even the protein it contains is 100% Irish whey protein from outdoor grass fed cows! It is so much more than a protein shake as it is also high in calcium, low in fat, gluten free, high in fibre and contains 100% RDA vitamin D! The participants who have been using this product have been finding it excellent and even though it is not a weight loss product it has really helped them throughout the past number of weeks on the program and several of them have mentioned that they plan to stay on it long term as it is very affordable and the benefits are outstanding!!’

Fantastic advice as usual from Avril in Carlow; keep it up!!

Change Your Health Direction: Week 4

It’s over 5 weeks now since we kicked off our Change Your Health Direction programme here at LloydsPharmacy and we’re just so proud of the results so far. Hundreds of customers across the country are being supported by our pharmacy teams in losing weight or quitting smoking. And with fantastic results!! We’ve lots to share with you this week after hearing some of the amazing stories from our teams.

CYHD Carlow

Avril Reilly, Pharmacist in our Governey Square branch, is back this week and she has some very real advice for us based on her experience supporting customers through this 8 week programme…

avril‘Can you believe we are over half way through the program already?! Over the past week I realised the true value of our weekly consultations and I’m pretty certain that without this program many of the participants would have thrown in the towel by this stage. I’m sure you will all agree that whenever we try something new or try to implement changes in our lifestyles, it can be very difficult to maintain the momentum and the motivation over the longer term.

Some of our participants are doing superbly whereas others are struggling at this point. I am doing my best to remind them of the goals that we set out at the beginning and to share as much advice and tips as I can. I have noticed one massive difference between the successful individuals and the ones who are finding the experience challenging – mind-set. Those who are doing really well have decided that this is a long-term lifestyle change and have really settled into a new way eating and nourishing their bodies. They are excited about the program and are reaping the benefits. If they have a slip, they get back on track straight away. Others are struggling at times because they have a “diet mentality” – rather than embracing the change, some of them are feeling deprived and see this as merely an eight week program. When these individuals fall off the wagon, they find it very difficult to get back on track again and think “well, I’ve blown the diet today; I may as well eat whatever I want and start again tomorrow!” Rather than having one unhealthy meal in the week, which would probably have had very little impact on their progress, it turns into several and then they also have to deal with the feelings of failure and guilt! Temptation is all around us, we are bound to indulge every now and again and when we do we should enjoy it, but it’s all about getting the right balance of course. My advice is to just get back on track straight away rather than waiting until the next day or the next week! Keep looking forward rather than worrying about those biscuits you really shouldn’t have had at 11am!

Organisation is another key to success. Meal planning sounds like such a pain but it really does help. If you are absolutely starving and you haven’t a healthy option to hand, it’s all too easy to grab something quick to satisfy the hunger. And we all know that if we allow ourselves to get hungry, we would reach for just about anything at times! Always try to have a healthy snack to hand and preparing meals in advance can really help too. A couple of hours a week of planning and prepping food is a seriously good investment of time and will definitely help keep you on track!

Finally, I just want to share a couple of successes from this week! I have one lady who has already reached her goal of one stone weight loss!! I cannot even express how happy I was to tell her how well she had done. Before I weighed her, I asked her how she was feeling and she replied “Amazing, I just feel so much happier and healthier. Aside from the weight loss, the best part is just how great I feel”. One of her goals was to feel happier and healthier and her second was to lose a stone. Phenomenal!!

I also had a lady who came in this week, feeling like she wasn’t doing great. She was really down in herself and thought that she wasn’t making progress. She had a great first week, followed by two weeks where she didn’t lose anything. On those weeks, she fell off the wagon but used it as an excuse to overindulge, promising herself that she would just try harder the following week. I had advised her not to feel bad if she had a slip and just to get back on track ASAP. This week she admitted that she had a takeaway and a bar of chocolate but unlike before, she didn’t let it ruin her week. She lost two more pounds this week which means she is bang on target to achieve her eight week goal. When I told her this, she was a new woman completely and left with a new sense of positivity and motivation. And it only took ten minutes to turn it all around for her.

Best of luck to everyone else still working hard on reaching their goals!’

Amazing!!! As usual, very awe-inspiring work going on in Carlow. It makes us so proud to hear about what a difference Avril’s support is making to the CYHD crew there – best of luck to all of you! Check out our recipe blog to learn about some healthy pancake Tuesday options!!

CYHD Limerick

Last Sunday, the team in LloydsPharmacy Castletroy held a rather wonderful event. The crew there wanted to do something extra to help motivate their CYHD participants so they held a group walk. Despite a horribly foggy morning, they had a great turnout. Customers were treated to some fresh fruit salad and yoghurt, and got the chance to try some of our favourite products, True Life Heart-Up and Oxylent – both of which were extremely popular.

The group are going to repeat this event at the end of the 8 weeks, and who knows; maybe this will become a regular event! Check out some of the great pictures the team sent in…

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CYHD in Cabra

Jessy Gallagher is our resident Change Your Health Direction Coach in LloydsPharmacy, Cabra, and her support is all the more valuable after she lost a significant amount of weight herself last year, abiding by the guidelines we work to as part of CYHD. Jessy is in the middle of a nutrition course and is providing some amazing support to her customers. The Cabra team is also losing lots of weight themselves with her weekly advice and motivation.

Jessy took some time to give us a snapshot of her own diet and sent us some pictures showing the Cabra team in action.

Jessy’s workday eats!

Lunch – wholemeal wrap, with red pepper hummus (no butter or mayo here!), chicken, baby spinach and red onion.

Snack – an apple with 6 almonds

Dinner – mini pizzas, made with a round wholemeal pitta bread cut in half, with tomato puree (slightly watered down), baby spinach, a sprinkling of cheese, chicken and top with chilli flakes!

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We’re so proud of you Jessy! Well done.

Make sure to check out our recipe blog, which includes one of Jessy’s recipes for cookies – who can say no to cookies?!

Best of luck to all of our CYHD participants!! We know that with the support of our amazing pharmacy teams, you will reach your target weight…

Change Your Health Direction: Week 3

Avril Reilly, Pharmacist in our Governey Square branch, is back this week with an update on how the Change Your Health Direction (CYHD) programme has been progressing in Carlow. The team held an evening event for all their CYHD participants last week – they’d a great turn out in spite of some awful weather. And this week, Avril also shares another fantastic recipe – we’re hungry just thinking about it!!

‘It’s been another great week here with CYHD! As mentioned last week, we held an event in our store for our participants. The evening was all about healthy and simple snacking, aiming to help add diversity to our customers’ diets.

govOn reviewing our customers’ CYHD Diaries, it was obvious that many of them were struggling to have their two snacks during the day and many of them were relying on eating fruit and nuts only. This is a common problem; snacking in between larger meals is something a lot of us aren’t used to, right? But it’s all about keeping your blood glucose levels even throughout the day, helping to maintain a healthy metabolism and manage your food cravings. But it’s important to snack on the right foods at the right times.

For our customer event in Governey Square, we provided a range of tasty snacks for our participants to try. Many of them said that it was a great idea as they were reluctant to buy foods that they had never tasted before in case they didn’t like them! I was really pleasantly surprised to see everybody sampling all that was available & really enjoying it!

We also did tastings of the Heart-Up and Shake-Up, which I’m a massive fan of and from which our customers have been getting great results. The Heart-Up is really nice in Greek-style natural yoghurt – you have to try it!

It was a great opportunity for some of the participants to meet up, share ideas, tips, recipes, to motivate one another and most importantly to feel part of a supported group network. We got fantastic feedback from the attendees. They said that as well as finding it fun and enjoyable, they really learned a lot and feel a lot more confident and motivated to continue on with the CYHD programme! So overall, a great success :).’

gov 3Once again, WOW!!  What we loved about this event was the sharing of ideas and stories, and the support and motivation that comes with knowing you’re not doing this alone. We’re so proud of the whole CYHD crew in Carlow, the participants and our pharmacy colleagues giving such great support.

One of Avril’s snack recipes was a particular hit at last week’s event so she’s kindly agreed to share it with the rest of us!!

Avril’s Tasty Lettuce Wraps

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This delicious, protein-packed snack can be prepared in minutes! Just mix the contents of one small tin of pink salmon with a couple of tablespoons of cottage cheese in a bowl & then spoon into lettuce leaves. I used the little gem lettuce but larger lettuce leaves can be used & wrapped around the filling – just use a cocktail stuck to secure it. Another tasty option is to mash an avocado with tinned salmon or tuna & fill the lettuce leaves. Delish!! 🙂