How to start your day great!

My Grandma lived to the ripe old age of 99.9, and for 99 of those years she was in good health. One thing she swore by, and attributed her good health to, was starting each day with a shot of Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV).  I have been doing since I was 13 and it has become a morning ritual I enjoy. Mostly I put 2 tablespoons of the vinegar in a mug of hot water and drink it like a tea, but when I’m on the run, a quick shot is the way to go.

They encourage this practise at Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat to stimulate your digestive enzymes. The shot of vinegar is usually followed by fruit, as many fruits contain digestive enzymes too. This is then followed by breakfast.

Apple Cider Vinegar

A spoonful of medicine

Lemon juice in water has a similar effect, and a great alternative if the vinegar is a bit too sour for you. Just thinking about the ACV has my salivary glands working!

Health benefits of ACV

  • The Father of Medicine, Hippocrates, used ACV around 400 B.C. for its health giving qualities. It is said that he had only two remedies: honey and apple cider vinegar.
  • Apple cider vinegar is made from fresh ripe apples that are fermented and undergo a stringent process to create the final product. The vinegar contains a host of vitamins, beta-carotene, pectin and vital minerals such as potassium, sodium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, chlorine, sulphur, iron, and fluorine.
  • Pectin (a fibre) in the vinegar helps reduce bad cholesterol and plays a role in regulating blood pressure. The vinegar also helps extract calcium from the fruits, vegetables and meat it is mixed with, which is beneficial in maintaining strong bones.
  • Apple cider vinegar is loaded with potassium.  The potassium in this vinegar also helps in eliminating toxic waste from the body. The beta-carotene also helps mop up free radicals assisting the detox process.
  • It is said to maintain firmer skin and a youthful appearance.
  • Apple cider vinegar helps break down fat which helps in natural weight reduction.
  • It also contains malic acid which is very helpful in fighting fungal and bacterial infections. This acid dissolves uric acid deposits that form around joints, helping relieve joint pains. The dissolved uric acid is gradually eliminated from the body.

Tip

Although you may be tempted to by the crystal clear looking apple cider vinegar, but the one that contains all of the health benefits is the organic and unfiltered vinegar . It has a brownish tinge to it and looks as though it has a cobweb-like substance floating in it. That’s the one to buy, the clear one has been steamed and distilled, this process may make it look more appetising, but removes most of the good bits.

Some purists encourage you to drink the vinegar through a straw to minimise the vinegar’s contact with the enamel of your teeth. Throwing your shot to the back of your throat has the same effect. Grandma sipped it (for nearly 100 years), and for the most part her teeth were fine.

Cheers kx

My Top 10 Weight-loss Tips

What you eat and drink will have a massive impact on your health. If you want to lose weight, and keep it off, you need to include a nutritious and varied diet for life. There are a lot of mixed messages and conflicting information regarding nutrtiton however, there are a few golden rules that always ring true.

Look and feel great!

1. Drink 8 glasses of water each day – Even more if you exercise and/or drink tea, coffee, alcohol or soft-drinks. (And if you do drink soft drinks… why? They are nasty!)

2. Eat a healthy breakfast with protein – such as:

- Muesli or porridge with nuts, seeds and fruit

- Eggs (not fried or drowned in Hollandaise) with low GI bread such as sourdough or spelt.

- Fruit, nuts and yoghurt.

3. Cut out refined sugars on 5 of the 7 days. Refined sugars are lollies, cordial, soft drink, cakes, bsicuits… you know the crap I’m talking about. Also, eat less processed foods. The more Human Intervention (HI) gone into a food (i.e. the more processed it is) the less likely it is to be good for us.  Fresh is best. Eat low HI.

4. Reduce alcohol to no more than 2 standard drinks per day. And try to have a few alcohol-free days in a week too.

5. Eat 5 serves of veges everyday, and at least 3 of the serves should be raw. Preferably, seasonal, local, organic and whole fruit and vegetables.

6. Try and have a FRESH vege juice 5 out of 7 days a week. If you’re feeling devilish add some greens (spinach, parsley, wheatgrass or lettuce).

7. Don’t skip a meal – you’ll get hungry, crave something bad for you, and then binge.

8. Eat low GI where possible:

- Swap white bread for wholegrain or sourdough

- Eat raw, unprocessed cereal over packet if possible

- Eat basmati or brown rice over white

9. Include Protein at every meal (lean meat, fish, nuts, lentils, eggs, white cheese).

10. Snack wisely – Fruit, cheese and crackers, hummus and crudites, nuts, salad, good bread and olive oil, vege or fruit juices are all good snacks… Snacking is where you can consume loads of additional calories you don’t need. Manage your calorie intake based on how active you are. If you’re active you burn more calories, so exercise certainly helps with weight loss.