No more excuses; introduce ‘fitness’ into your life!

Ross Loughran 5/11/2016Pic : Lorraine O'Sullivan

Ross, Pharmacy Technician, Rowlagh

Change your health direction. What does it mean to you? To me, as a pharmacy technician and a personal trainer, it means changing your outlook on fitness, and not just physical fitness, but also your mental wellbeing. It’s about making positive little steps and changes to ensure you improve your overall fitness. From a personal point of view, this is what I did. I underwent that change 5 years ago. Making that shift towards positive healthy habits and I’m all the better for it.

People tend to come up with all sorts of excuses not to exercise… a popular myth out there at the moment is ‘if I’m sick, I can’t work out’ and yes, in some cases this is the truth. I’d never accept a client if they hadn’t got the all clear from a doctor. BUT fitness starts at home. By this I mean, what’s on your plate. It’s about making those small changes. Any commitment too big will never last. Start small… swap your cereal for oats. Swap that chocolate bar for a banana. Do something enough, it becomes a habit. Do it long enough, it becomes part of your life. The same can be said for exercise. Start small… take that flight of stairs to the next level, walk to the shops instead of driving.

Look at the simple habit of sitting down, yes we all do it, BUT even the action of sitting down is part of a very popular gym move; a move that works all muscles of the leg by sitting down and standing up, a move that has one of the highest calorie burning stats of any resistance move… the squat. Try this, before sitting down in front of the TV, go to sit but stop RIGHT before your bum touches the cushion. Then stand. That’s one rep. No barbell, just your own body weight. Repeat it 10 to 12 times. That’s a set. Something so simple but then you’ll have earned that seat. You’ll have raised your endorphins, making you feel good and you’ll have boosted your metabolism, getting the most out of your food. It’s making these changes that help improve fitness. Not just your body but also your mind.

Make 2018 the year of the small but mighty changes!

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Good health’s not just for January, it’s for life!

Laura Dowling

Laura, Supervising Pharmacist Manager, Stillorgan

New year, new you! …. Screams every second Facebook post and magazine article that I have read over the past couple of weeks. The post-Christmas bulge and general feeling of guilt after a month (or more!) of over indulgence during the silly season generally encourages people to jump on the health bandwagon. Dry January, gym memberships and dieting can all contribute to a healthier lifestyle but a proper understanding of nutrition and portion sizes can lead to a healthier you for life.

Here at LloydsPharmacy we can help you to achieve your health goals with nutrition and exercise advice as well as taking regular measurements of your weight, waist circumference and upper arm. We can guide you through our eight week programme with enthusiasm and understanding. But our aim is to ultimately arm you with the tools that will help you to carry on with your new, healthy lifestyle for the months and years beyond our programme.

We will encourage you to set realistic goals when it comes to weight loss. Most calorie restrictive diets flounder after five weeks as calorie restriction in the long term is very unachievable. Life just tends to get in the way! Nights out, weddings and parties often end up with our patients falling off the weight loss wagon. Sometimes people just find it too difficult to get back on it again and they are plagued with feelings of guilt and self-loathing which in turn can lead to more overeating.

I always give my patients the following tips:

  • Meal planning and preparation with lots of vegetables, whole grains and lean meats is so important. It prevents you from overeating the wrong kids of foods when you are very hungry.
  • Experiment with new recipes: herbs and spices add delicious flavours to food, chickpeas are nourishing, very versatile, cheap and so easy to add to recipes.
  • Alcohol provides empty calories that does not satiate and often causes overeating, so limit your alcohol consumption.
  • Correct weight loss involves 80% diet and 20% exercise. Pounding away in the gym is of little benefit if your diet is not healthy and portion controlled.
  • Portion size is so important. The correct portion size for rice, pasta and potatoes is the cooked amount that would fit in the palm of your hand. This is considerably less than the large platefuls of pasta that we have become used to eating. You can bulk up your plate with fresh veggies and salads to satiate your appetite and fill your belly!
  • Increase your activity levels. Get your heart rate going and break a sweat! For some this can be as simple as a 20 minute brisk walk every day. You will achieve your weight loss goal quicker and healthier if you do this.
  • Focus on inches lost rather than kilograms/ pounds lost.

The ‘feel good’ factor of living a healthier life should not be underestimated.  A healthy lifestyle can lead to elevated mood, increased energy levels and libido. Clothes will fit you better and you will look much better too. The health benefits are numerous:  lower blood pressure, less likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes, lower cholesterol, lower incidences of depression and anxiety… the list goes on.

Vitamin and mineral supplements can really help you to achieve your goals too, especially in the first few weeks of the program. They can boost your energy levels (Revive Active, Quinton Cell Nutrition, Oxylent), decrease your sugar cravings (Miss Fit Crave, Pharma Nord Chromium) and help to increase your overall feeling of wellbeing. A good Vitamin D supplement can also help with mood elevation as we definitely do not get enough sun in this dreary part of the world, especially during these cold and dark winter months.

I will end by reassuring you that everyone falls off the wagon at some stage. At LloydsPharmacy we are here to help you to get back up onto it. We don’t judge, we just offer sound advice and empathetic encouragement. Good luck!

Laura Dowling is the Supervising Pharmacist Manager at LloydsPharmacy in Stillorgan Shopping centre.  She is a health and wellbeing enthusiast and mum to three young boys.

What is ‘Change Your Health Direction’?

Lisa Walsh Headshot Corporate

Lisa Walsh
Life Coach and Training Specialist for LloydsPharmacy

Change Your Health Direction (CYHD) is a FREE 8-week programme offering you the opportunity to visit your local LloydsPharmacy, where one of our trained in-store coaches will speak with you on a weekly basis about your health goals. Our instore health advisory services include smoking control support, blood pressure and BMI checks, weight management diary, lifestyle and health coaching sessions. 

The New Year is a wonderful opportunity for us all to align our health goals and lifestyle habits to keep us on track with everyday healthy living and wellbeing practices. Rather than taking something away from your life as a resolution, I love to ‘take on’. This year I am taking on healthy habits that will improve my lifestyle and wellbeing.

So I am super excited to be part of the ‘Change Your Health Direction’ 8 week programme. What I adore about CYHD is that it gives me 8 weeks to monitor the healthy habits I wish to commit to with the support of a Health Coach in my local LloydsPharmacy and it’s for FREE! Yes, I can have a one-to one mini consultation session with the CYHD coach on a weekly basis all for free!

After the Christmas eating, TV watching and couch cuddling, I am ready to increase my exercise levels again, monitor my immune system, care for my skin more and focus on eating a balanced nutritious diet.  The first step is to meet with my LloydsPharmacy Health Coach and set realistic achievable goals. I can’t wait to ‘take on’ the CYHD programme.

Small changes can make a big difference. Whatever change you choose to ‘take on’ your LloydsPharmacy Health Coach is there to support you as you introduce healthier habits into your lifestyle.

Happy New Year to you all and best of luck with whatever you choose to “take on” for 2018.

 

Strawberry Swirl Frozen Yogurt Terrine

Berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries etc) are by far the most nutrient dense of all fruits, and there is now solid evidence that the plant compounds and antioxidants found in berries may protect the brain from age-related disease. Strawberries are an exceptionally rich source of antioxidants associated with numerous health benefits from heart health, lowering blood sugar and helping to prevent cancer. Strawberries are particularly high in vitamin C (a potent antioxidant), manganese (important for multiple biological processes), folate (essential for cell function and tissue growth) and potassium (regulates blood pressure).  I use non-fat Greek yogurt for this recipe as fat is added-back using hazelnuts (hazelnuts, like olive oil, contain healthier monounsaturated fatty acids). Dark chocolate is of course a delicious, nutrient dense add-on but feel free to leave it out if you prefer.  The terrine can be prepared up to 1 week in advance and stored in the freezer.

Serves 8 | Preparation Time: 15-20 minutes + 8hrs to set | Rating: Moderate

You Will Need:

  • 1x 8-by-4-inch loaf tin
  • Plastic wrap
  • 2x 500g tubs of 0% fat Greek yogurt (or shop bought plain frozen yogurt, softened slightly)
  • 2 tbsp raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla powder
  • 250g fresh or frozen strawberries
  • 60g chopped toasted hazelnuts
  • 50g 85% cacao dark chocolate

Method:

  1. Line an 8-by-4 inch loaf tin with plastic wrap, leaving a few inches of overhang all around.
  2. In a bowl combine the yogurt (or softened frozen yogurt), honey and vanilla and set aside (*see recipe notes).
  3. Blend the strawberries with a splash of water until pureed.
  4. Fold the strawberry puree gently into the yogurt to create a marble effect (don’t stir through completely).
  5. Pour half of the yogurt & strawberry mixture into the loaf tin. Tap the tin gently onto an even surface to distribute the mixture (store the rest of the yogurt in the fridge until ready to use for the second layer).
  6. Sprinkle the hazelnuts on top to cover the yogurt completely. Then roughly chop the dark chocolate and do the same.
  7. Cover lightly and freeze for about 2 hours until the top is partially set. Remove from the freezer and pour over the remaining yogurt mixture.
  8. Cover completely with the plastic wrap and place back into the freezer for at least 8 hours (or overnight) until completely set (you can store in the freezer for up to five days).
  9. To serve, carefully remove the terrine from the loaf tin and place onto a plate. Peel of the plastic wrap and cut the terrine into 1/2-inch thick slices.

Nutrition

*Recipe Notes: using plain Greek yogurt without an ice cream maker can cause ice crystals to form in the terrine. To serve allow the terrine to soften at room temperature before slicing using a knife rinsed under hot water. The alternative is to churn the yogurt in an ice-cream maker before adding the strawberry purée, or to use a shop bought plain frozen yogurt (again, soften before use).

Created by: Pamela Ryan Qualified Nutritionist**

Website: www.thehealthonist.com

Instagram: @the_healthonist

** Pamela Ryan (Dip.NT, NTOI) is a Qualified Nutritional Therapist recognised by the Nutritional Therapists of Ireland (NTOI), the professional association supporting qualified nutritional therapists. All NTOI members study biomedicine and nutrition for a minimum of 3 years at a recognised college, are trained in clinical practice and must comply with NTOI requirements for Continuous Professional Development (CPD). Nutritional Therapy is an evidence-based approach to maximising health through individually formulated nutrition and lifestyle strategies. Pamela continues to attend training and lectures on a regular basis through various bodies including The Institute of Functional Medicine and The Institute of Health Sciences. These trainings help her to gain increased expertise in the ever advancing field of nutrition.

Sharing Lamb with Ribbon Courgette, Mint Yogurt & Hazelnuts

This sharing lamb with ribboned courgettes, rocket leaves and minty yogurt dressing is a real treat and bursting with flavour.  You can barbecue, griddle or grill the lamb but at this time of year it feels great to cook (and eat) outdoors, weather permitting.  Meat can absolutely be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet but its important to prioritise nutrient-dense and fibre-rich whole foods on a daily basis (think green leafy and starchy vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds and some fruits). You could very easily substitute with sirloin steak or butterflied chicken breast depending on personal tastes, but lamb works particularly well with these flavours. This dish is a lovely treat and proof that healthy does not equal boring…..I hope you enjoy it!

Serves 2 | Preparation Time: 10 minutes | Rating: Moderate

You Will Need:

The Lamb:

  • 2 lamb steaks
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • A good pinch of sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped oregano leaves (or 1tsp dried)
  • 1/2 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary (or 1tsp dried)

The Courgette & Rocket Salad:

  • 2 medium sized courgettes
  • 2 cups rocket leaves
  • 1 spring onion, finely sliced
  • 1/2 oz (about 1 tbsp) finely chopped, toasted hazelnuts
  • 1/2 – 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

The Mint Yogurt Dressing:

  • 30g plain, low fat natural yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
  • 1 small garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped or grated
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained and crushed (optional)

To Serve: 2 small wholemeal flatbreads (optional – add approx.130 calories per serving, check brand info)

Method:

  1. Prepare the salad: Trim the ends of the courgette and use a vegetable peeler to cut the courgette lengthwise into ribbons.  Scatter onto a large serving plate with sprinkle of sea salt.  Rinse and drain the rocket leaves, and scatter on top of the courgette with the sliced spring onion.
  2. Prepare the mint yogurt: Put the yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, mint, capers and water into a bowl and stir well with a fork to combine. Season lightly with a little salt set aside.
  3. To cook the lamb: pre-heat a grill, barbecue or griddle pan to medium. Season the lamb steaks with salt and pepper, rub with olive oil and the finely chopped fresh herbs. Sear the lamb on both sides for 3-5 minutes each side (3 minutes for medium, 5 minutes for well done).  Remove from the grill and leave to rest before trimming the fat off the meat and slicing into strips.
  4. To assemble: transfer the lamb onto the serving plate or board on top of the courgette and rocket leaves. Sprinkle over the hazelnuts and a few dollops of mint yogurt. Serve alone as a salad or with wholemeal flatbreads.

Nutrition Approx.

Created by: Pamela Ryan Qualified Nutritionist*

Website: www.thehealthonist.com

Instagram: @the_healthonist

* Pamela Ryan (Dip.NT, NTOI) is a Qualified Nutritional Therapist recognised by the Nutritional Therapists of Ireland (NTOI), the professional association supporting qualified nutritional therapists. All NTOI members study biomedicine and nutrition for a minimum of 3 years at a recognised college, are trained in clinical practice and must comply with NTOI requirements for Continuous Professional Development (CPD). Nutritional Therapy is an evidence-based approach to maximising health through individually formulated nutrition and lifestyle strategies. Pamela continues to attend training and lectures on a regular basis through various bodies including The Institute of Functional Medicine and The Institute of Health Sciences. These trainings help her to gain increased expertise in the ever advancing field of nutrition.

Antioxidant Blueberry Smoothie


There are lots of great smoothie recipes available these days, and for the most part it, if you combine any fruit or veg with a liquid, you’ve got a great meal. But I wanted to create something that has a little more nutritional purpose using foods that are truly evidence based as being effective in supporting the immune system, brain function, energy levels and reducing inflammation.  Each of the ingredients here has been carefully considered for their nutrition density – leafy greens, blueberries, walnuts and cacao contain potent antioxidants that protect our cells and tissues from damage, omega-3 fatty acids (DHA, EPA and ALA) in Eskimo Fish Oils and Walnuts (respectively) support brain health and reduce inflammation, and plain Greek yogurt is a great source of protein. Shine plant based protein powder provides an added protein boost, along with its other ingredients such as spirulina  which provides a number of essential B vitamins and iron.  The fish oils are of course optional, but I guarantee there is no strange taste and is a great way of including fish oils in your diet if you find it hard to take directly off the spoon! Serves two as a meal or divide into four as an accompaniment to breakfast or as an afternoon snack

Serves 2-4 | Preparation Time: 5 minutes | Rating: Easy

Nutrition: approx. 323 calories per serving. Protein-rich, a source of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants.

Ingredients:

*you will need a blender / hand blender

  • 2 cups cold water (ice optional)
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves (washed)
  • 125g blueberries (fresh or frozen, washed)
  • 150g 0%-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 banana, peeled and sliced
  • 1 heaped tablespoon Shine Protein (available in LloydsPharmacies nationwide)
  • 1oz (about 28g) raw walnut halves
  • 2 squares (20g) 85% cacao dark chocolate
  • 1-2 teaspoons of Eskimo-3 Pure Omega Fish Oil (available in LloydsPharmacies nationwide)

Method:

  1. Pour the water into a a large blender cup, add the spinach and blueberries and pulse to break down.
  2. Remove the lid, add the remaining ingredients, and blend again until smooth.
  3. Divide between 2 glasses and serve (can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 days)

Created by: Pamela Ryan Qualified Nutritionist*

Website: www.thehealthonist.com

Instagram: @the_healthonist

* Pamela Ryan (Dip.NT, NTOI) is a Qualified Nutritional Therapist recognised by the Nutritional Therapists of Ireland (NTOI), the professional association supporting qualified nutritional therapists. All NTOI members study biomedicine and nutrition for a minimum of 3 years at a recognised college, are trained in clinical practice and must comply with NTOI requirements for Continuous Professional Development (CPD). Nutritional Therapy is an evidence-based approach to maximising health through individually formulated nutrition and lifestyle strategies. Pamela continues to attend training and lectures on a regular basis through various bodies including The Institute of Functional Medicine and The Institute of Health Sciences. These trainings help her to gain increased expertise in the ever advancing field of nutrition.

GRILLED SEA BASS WITH SALSA VERDE, NEW POTATOES &TOMATOES

This dish reminds me of summer holidays on the Med bursting with flavour from nutrient dense herbs, garlic, capers and an assortment of antioxidant-rich tomatoes. Jersey royal new potatoes which have a distinct, sweet flavour, and whilst many diet camps have shunned the white potato in favour of sweet potatoes, white potatoes are in fact a better source of essential minerals such as iron, magnesium and potassium, as well as being a great source of vitamin C and fibre.  Fish is a lovely light alternative to meat on warm summer evenings and I particularly love Sea Bass.  It’s an excellent source of protein, selenium and omega-3 fatty acids whilst being light and low in calories.

Serves 2 | Prep & Cooking Time: 30 min | Rating: Moderate

Nutrition: approx. 435 calories per serving. Source of omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, iron, magnesium

Ingredients:

  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 large handful of fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 1 large handful of fresh basil
  • 1 large handful of fresh mint leaves
  • 1 heaped tbsp capers
  • 1/2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp Bragg apple cider vinegar (available in LloydsPharmacies nationwide)
  • 4 tbsp good quality extra virgin olive oil plus 1/3 tbsp for frying
  • 2 fillets sea bass approximately 180g raw weight (or other white fish like sea bream, hake or cod)
  • 175g Jersey Royal new potatoes
  • 150g assorted tomatoes plus 1 large beef tomato
  • Sea salt flakes and finely ground black pepper

Method:

  1. To make the salsa verde, de-stem the herbs and finely chop along with the garlic and capers on a large chopping board. Transfer to a bowl, stir in the dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar and slowly add 4 tbsp of olive oil, mixing well. Taste and season with a pinch of sea salt flakes and finely ground black pepper. Transfer to an airtight jar or serving bowl. (This salsa verde recipe makes up to four servings, so the extra can be stored in the fridge for 3-5 days).
  2. Slice the new potatoes into halves and steam or boil for 8 minutes until tender and then remove from the heat.
  3. Arrange the tomatoes onto a large roasting tray with the potatoes and carefully lay the two sea bass fillets on top, skin side up.
  4. Season with sea salt, freshly ground pepper and a 1/3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Place under a grill on a medium-high heat and grill for about 10-12 minutes until the fish is cooked and the skin starting to crisp.
  5. Remove from the grill and serve with a tablespoon of salsa verde spooned onto the top of each sea bass fillet. Enjoy!

Created by: Pamela Ryan Qualified Nutritionist*

Website: www.thehealthonist.com

Instagram: @the_healthonist

* Pamela Ryan (Dip.NT, NTOI) is a Qualified Nutritional Therapist recognised by the Nutritional Therapists of Ireland (NTOI), the professional association supporting qualified nutritional therapists. All NTOI members study biomedicine and nutrition for a minimum of 3 years at a recognised college, are trained in clinical practice and must comply with NTOI requirements for Continuous Professional Development (CPD). Nutritional Therapy is an evidence-based approach to maximising health through individually formulated nutrition and lifestyle strategies. Pamela continues to attend training and lectures on a regular basis through various bodies including The Institute of Functional Medicine and The Institute of Health Sciences. These trainings help her to gain increased expertise in the ever advancing field of nutrition.