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Acorn Health Blog

What we love is great health...

...and we like to write about how we can all achieve better health, naturally. Sometimes tips on how you can DIY to better health and sometimes on the therapies that can make a difference to you, your health and wellbeing.
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Elevate Your Salad Game: National Salad Week Edition

General Health & Wellbeing, Workshops & Classes Posted on Tue, May 28, 2024 10:46AM

by Sally Race

Hello salad enthusiasts and weight loss warriors! As we gear up to celebrate National Salad Week from June 1st to 7th, there’s no better time to give our leafy greens the spotlight they deserve. At Mind Your Weight, we’re all about making healthy eating enjoyable and effective, and what better way to do that than by reinventing the humble salad?

Salad Savvy: Making Greens Great Again

Let’s face it, salads have often been unfairly tagged as boring or bland. But fear not, because we’re here to revolutionise your salad game and turn those greens into a mouth-watering masterpiece! 

The key? Creativity and flavour-packed ingredients that will have you coming back for seconds (and thirds).

The Do’s and Don’ts of Salad Success

When it comes to crafting a salad that’s both delicious and conducive to weight loss, there are a few guidelines to keep in mind:

Avoid the Trap of Empty Calories: Say goodbye to croutons and creamy dressings that can sabotage your weight loss efforts. These calorie bombs add little nutritional value and can quickly turn your healthy salad into a calorie-laden indulgence.

Embrace Nutrient-Rich Ingredients: Load up your salad with colourful veggies like beetroot, spinach, bell peppers, and cherry tomatoes. Not only are they packed with essential vitamins and minerals, but they also add a satisfying crunch and burst of flavour to every bite.

Protein Power: Don’t skimp on the protein! Whether you prefer grilled chicken, tofu, or chickpeas, adding a source of lean protein to your salad will keep you feeling full and satisfied for longer, helping to curb those pesky cravings.

Healthy Fats for the Win: Avocado, nuts, and seeds are not only delicious additions to your salad but also provide a dose of healthy fats that are essential for overall health and satiety. Plus, they add a creamy texture and rich flavour that takes your salad to the next level.

Dress to Impress: Opt for homemade vinaigrettes or light dressings made with olive oil and raw apple cider vinegar instead of store-bought varieties loaded with added sugars and preservatives. A little goes a long way, so drizzle lightly to enhance the flavours without overdoing it.

The Bottom Line

National Salad Week is the perfect opportunity to get creative in the kitchen and reinvent the way you think about salads. By focusing on nutrient-rich ingredients, avoiding empty calories, and embracing bold flavours, you can enjoy delicious salads that support your weight loss goals without sacrificing taste. So grab your chopping board and get ready to elevate your salad game to new heights!

For more tips, recipes, insights and so so much more, join us at one of our Mind Your Weight classes (https://www.mindyourweight.uk) and let’s make this National Salad Week one to remember!



Let’s talk about S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder) …

General Health & Wellbeing Posted on Tue, September 22, 2020 10:33AM

So, the nights are drawing in (far too quickly), the weather’s damp and miserable, the mornings are dark and dreary and you just want to hibernate … some people get very down and lethargic at this time of year due to the lack of daylight hours and the miserable weather ..  a condition commonly known as S.A.D. Seasonal Affective Disorder.

We all produce a hormone called Cortisol which should be high in the mornings to wake us up, and low in the evenings so we fall to sleep with ease.  It is therefore natural that when your alarm goes off in the dark, that your body is not hormonally ready to be up and about, and likewise, as the nights drawn in even more so, and your cortisol levels are lowering much earlier than in the summer months, that you are ready to go to bed at teatime!  In the evening your body produces another hormone called Melatonin to help you fall asleep. The cycle of your Cortisol and Sleep pattern is called Circadium Rhythm and it is essential you maintain a regular sleep routine as a first step to optimise your mood and overall health.  Sleep is recovery time for your body.  Think of it as your body recharging in the same way your recharge your mobile phone … and how dependent are we all on a mobile phone with a full battery?!!

S.A.D. is likened to Depression and therefore you can take diet and lifestyle changes to improve your mood and energy levels at this time of year, even when your Circadium Rhythm may not want to.

Foods to eat more which will help to increase Serotonin (the Happy Hormone):

Include some PROTEIN at every meal.  Animal protein, especially chicken and turkey, containing the essential amino acid Trytophan which is the precursor to Serotonin. 

Include ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS (EFAs) at every meal as they help to balance the nervous system, promote neurotransmitter balance and relieve depression.

You could add seeds to your breakfast, have some oily fish for your lunch and snack on nuts.

Eat WHOLEGRAIN CARBOHYDRATES which will help to stabilise your blood sugar levels and in turn your mood: 

You could eat oats for breakfast, wholegrain breads such as sourdough for lunch and Brown rice or quinoa for tea

If you are VEGETARIAN, eat plenty of avocado, beans, lentils and bananas as these food sources are also high in Trytophan.

Eat lots of WARM FOODS such as soups and hearty casseroles which will nourish your digestive system.  You don’t see Eskimo’s eating Salad!

Never, ever … skip a meal.  Food is fuel for every single cell in your body and brain.

Foods to avoid:

Any foods and drinks which stimulates a short-term mood lift, followed by a much bigger, and longer lasting drop in mood and energy levels … eg.


SUGAR, ALCOHOL, CAFFEINE, ARTIFICAL ADDITIVES

All of the above, can hugely disrupt your deep sleep, so steer clear, as a good night’s sleep, is a huge factor in factoring for a better mood.

Rachel Hill has been a BANT Registered Nutritional Therapist since 2009.

For further information visit www.rachelhillnutrition.co.uk Nutritional Therapy Consultations available at Acorn Natural Health Centre via Skype.  Please contact rachel@rachelhillnutrition.co.uk to book an appointment.