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Friday, January 6, 2012

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Feelgood

Right balance Unique lifestyle plan for those who want to de-stress and drop weight: 8, 9, 10

TIME OUT

Put your wellbeing ďŹ rst with a detox spa break: 7

LITE BITES

Eight low-calorie foods put to the health test: 11

CLEAN START

Face into the new year with the right exfoliant: 12


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2 News front Kate O’Reilly WHAT’S ON ■ ISPCC VOLUNTEERS: The ISPCC in Cork and Waterford is looking for volunteers. In Waterford, they are recruiting for Childline volunteers, and in Cork they are also recruiting for Childline and for Advocacy. Interested people are invited to a ‘group information and interview evening.’ These meetings are a chance to learn about volunteering with the ISPCC, and the training and commitment required. The first of these meetings takes place on Tuesday next, January 10, at the ISPCC office in Penrose Wharf, Cork, at 7pm. The Waterford meeting will be in the ISPCC office in the Cleaboy Business Park at 6.30pm, on Thursday, January 12. For more information, contact Sinead McKee at smckee@ispcc.ie, or on 086-7226788. ■ STAR GAZING: If you would like to find out more about the Star of Bethlehem, visit CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory’s ‘first Fridays’ at the Castle tonight. The free open night on the first Friday of every month has activities for visitors of all ages, from 6pm to 9pm, and tonight’s epiphany theme is astronomy and astrology. Nick Addey will point out the Star of Bethlehem, while BCO’s resident astronomer, Frances McCarthy, and astrologer, Terri Blanche, will discuss the similarities and differences between astronomy and astrology. For more information, visit www.bco.ie, or call 021-4357917. ■ MAKE SPACE: Oxfam Ireland recently launched a new campaign called Make Space for Oxfam, to highlight Oxfam shops’ urgent need for donations. Over the past year, donations have reduced by up to 40% and stock levels are now critical in many shops. To find out more, visit www.oxfamireland.org/shop/. ■ HEART CLINICS: Free, monthly blood pressure and cholesterol clinics provided by the Irish Heart Foundation on alternate Wednesdays in Cork city, Midleton, Carrigaline, Ballinlough and Farranree, will close in 2012. The Irish Heart Foundation regrets this decision, which is due to a shortage of funding. The IHF will continue to support the community in Cork, with all their programmes and services, including the National Heart and Stroke Helpline, 1890-432787. ■ SHEP COURSES: SHEP (The Social and Health Education Project) have four new courses for adults starting shortly. Each course costs €50 (or €25 unwaged). Introduction to personal development — Monday evenings, starting January 23 in Blackrock, Cork — explores issues that affect emotional well-being. Managing stress in our daily lives — Tuesday mornings, starting January 24 in Blackrock, teaches basic skills in the management of stress. Family communication — Wednesday nights, starting January 25 in Ballincollig — will focus on new ways of communicating effectively with children. Men’s health and well-being — Wednesday evenings, starting February 1 in Ballincollig — will explore emotional health. For further information, call SHEP on 021-4666180. ● Items for inclusion in this column can be sent to koreilly8@gmail.com

FeelgoodMag

Feelgood

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Participants on TV’s Operation Transformation can change their lives forever by losing weight, says Arlene Harris

Sizing up G

ETTING fit is an obligatory new year resolution. There are very few who haven’t vowed to lose weight and get in shape for the coming year ahead, and if, like the majority of us, your fitness regime lost momentum by the end of January last year, then fear not, because help is at hand. The new series of Operation Transformation (OT) has just returned to our screens, and, like previous years, the programme promises to be user-friendly and representative of every shape and size in the country. The 2012 team comprises of two men and three women, ranging in age from 18 to 40. With the help of the resident health and fitness experts, the five hopefuls will aim to lose weight and get in shape, while encouraging the audience at home to do the same. Fitness expert Karl Henry says programmes like OT are an incentive to viewers to take control of their health from the comfort of their own living room. “Ireland has one of the fastest-growing rates of obesity in the world and something needs to be done to reverse that trend,” he says. “OT provides an easy-to-use plan — comprising of diet and exercise — which is accessible, achievable and motivational. “Watching the leaders undertake their various challenges adds an element of drama and also encourages viewers to follow suit.” No stranger to OT viewers, Henry says

SEEING THE LIGHT: Operation Transformation team 2012, left to right, Adrian Brereton, Natalie Cox, presenter Kathryn Thomas, Grace Batterberry, Kayleigh Yeoman and Killian Byrne.

although times have been hard for Irish people, getting fit is something we can all do to benefit our lives and our pockets. “2011 was a tough year all round and while 2012 may be just as tough, we can all make changes to our health, which, in turn, will make us feel fitter, more energetic, positive and ultimately happier with our lives. “Changing the way we eat will keep our shopping bills down and will reduce health costs, because being healthier will stave off coughs, colds in the short-term and other more serious conditions in the long-term. “Signing up to the OT challenge only

takes 60 seconds. The website is easy to follow and once you have found the leader which represents your age, shape and lifestyle, you are ready to begin the transformation to a healthier and happier version of you.” This year’s participants five are: Adrian Brereton, 40, Edenderry; Natalie Cox, 24, Crumlin, Dublin; Kayleigh Yeoman, 18, Limerick; Grace Batterberry, 32, Castletownroche, Cork; Killian Byrne, 39, Rathfarnham, Dublin. ● For more information on taking part in the OT challenge, visit www.rte.ie

HEALTH NOTES With Christmas officially ending today, many of us are feeling the pinch — with our clothes. In a recent survey, almost half of people questioned about their eating habits said they consumed one and a half times more over the Christmas holidays than they throughout the rest of the year. A further 24% of people said they eat twice as much. The main cause of this overeating behaviour was identified as eating larger dinner portions than usual. Chocolate came in as a close second, with 61% of respondents stating that they overate the sweet treat, and 46% stating that “constantly snacking” is their main downfall. However, the research, on behalf of Aviva Health Insurance, also found that 55% of respondents exercised over the Christmas period.

TAKING ACTION: Radio and TV presenter, Máiréad Farrell and model mum Sarah McGovern join forces to encourage the nation The Get Ireland Active website (www.getire- to get fit and healthy as they take on the Aviva landactive.ie) is a good resource for anyone Get Fit Action Plan. Picture: CPR who would like to get more active and is looking for advice and suggestions on where to begin. The website, developed by the HSE and its partners, is a one-stop information source on how to get involved in physical activity. It lists all events taking place in counties across the country with a search facility to allow you to select activities by date, age group, ability or cost.

www.irishexaminer.com www.irishexaminer.com

A single gene may provide important clues to the causes of some types of deafness, research suggests. When the FGF20 gene was “knocked out” of mice, the animals appeared perfectly healthy but had absolutely no ability to hear. In humans, the gene has already been associated with inherited deafness in otherwise healthy families. Disabling the gene caused a

www.irishexaminer.com feelgood@examiner.ie

FRIDAY, JANUARY 6, 2012

loss of outer hair cells, a special sensory cell in the inner ear responsible for amplifying sound. Mice lacking FGF20 were missing about two-thirds of their outer hair cells. However, the number of inner hair cells which transmit amplified sound signals to the brain, appeared normal. “This is the first evidence that inner and outer hair cells develop independently of one another,” said lead researcher Dr Sung-Ho Huh, from Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, US. “This is important because most age-related and noise-induced hearing loss is due to the loss of outer hair cells.” The findings were reported in the online journal Public Library of Science Biology. A cousin of the common cold virus offers the first hope of an effective vaccine against the chronic liver infection hepatitis C, it was revealed this week. Early trial results mirror responses seen in the minority of people with natural immunity to the disease, which can lead to severe liver damage and early death. Scientists from Oxford university are encouraged by the findings but caution that it may take several more years to develop a fully approved vaccine. Hepatitis C is caused by a virus that can remain hidden in the bloodstream for decades before showing any symptoms.

Editorial: 021 4802 292

Advertising: 021 4802 215


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In Profile

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THE SHAPE I'M IN

Lottie Ryan

Ryan’s daughter L

OTTIE RYAN — showbiz reporter on RTE’s The Daily Show — is the oldest child of the late Gerry Ryan. Lottie graduated with a BA in journalism and visual media, and in 2009 interned in New York on the Golden Globe award-winning set of The Good Wife, which starred Juliana Margulies and Sex And The City’s Chris North, better known as Mr Big. She says she had a great mentor in her late radio legend father. “I obviously got to learn the trade from very early on.� The 25-year-old trained as a dancer from a young age — she has choreographed routines for Westlife’s supporting acts and has taught dance at some of Dublin’s premier dance schools over the past nine years. Lottie is an animal lover and has teamed up with cat food company, Whiskas, to for their campaign, A Cat Would. “I think cats’ personalities are brilliant. I used to have a cat and then we got a dog. He was a terrier and lived until he was 22,� she says. Lottie says she loves Italian food, not entirely unexpected as her boyfriend, Fabio Aprile, has Italian roots. “His family is from Frosinone, a tiny village in the middle of the mountains. I’ve been there a few times and I didn’t want to come home because of the food.�

I’m a worrier. I wish I didn’t worry so much.

Do you pray? Yes, I do — on a daily basis.

What would cheer up your day? A hug — everyone appreciates a good hug.

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Helen O’Callaghan

  

      

What shape are you in? I’d like to think I’m in good shape. I’m not a gym person, but I dance a lot. Do you have any health concerns? As a dancer, you get so many injuries. I’ve had everything from torn ligaments to collapsed arches. You get used to it after a while. Currently, I’m injury-free, knock on wood. What are your healthiest eating habits? Probably fruit and water. I snack a lot on fruit — I love all types of berries. I drink six to eight glasses of water a day.

       

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What’s your guiltiest pleasure? Chocolate, hands down. What would keep you awake at night? I’m a planner, so I guess planning the next or coming days, and trying to get ahead of myself, would keep me awake. Even if my body’s exhausted, my mind can’t shut down sometimes. How do you relax? I like to listen to music. I have very broad tastes, but I like chill-out music. I listen to jazz. I like Sirens of Swing or Norah Jones. Reading a good book also relaxes me — Hotel California is one of the books I’ve read recently. I’m into chick-lit too.

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What would you change about your appearance? I try to be happy with what God gave me. I think imperfections are what can make people attractive — it’s the quirky things that catch people’s eyes. I’m only five foot three, for example, but that means I can wear five-inch heels and not look like a monster.

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What’s your favourite smell? Cotton Candy perfume. Who would you invite to your dream dinner party? Oprah, James Dean, Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe — I find her story riveting. What trait to you least like in others? Selfishness. I don’t find self-absorbed people very attractive — those who don’t put others’ needs before their own. What trait do you least like in yourself?

Feelgood

       

DADDY’S GIRL: Showbiz reporter Lottie Ryan learned the trade from her father Gerry. Picture: Leon Farrell Photocall Ireland.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 6, 2012

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Male health health 4 Male

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Brush up for the new year N

EARLY half of all Irish adults will have made a new year resolution last week. Indeed, one in four of those resolutions will have fallen by the wayside by this weekend. But very few will have made oral health their priority despite its importance to all-round good health and success. Giving up smoking, drinking less, losing weight, taking more exercise and reducing stress are some of the most popular health resolutions and all regularly feature in the top 10 resolutions each year. However, if you’re one of the unlikely few who made a resolution to adopt a good oral health routine in 2012, it’s not just your mouth that’ll benefit. Adopting good oral health can contribute to avoiding potentially serious health conditions such as diabetes, strokes and heart disease. “There is overwhelming evidence that sugars in food and beverages are the main dietary cause of tooth decay and erosion in children and adults,” says Dr Conor McAlister, president of the Irish Dental Association. “In Ireland, we have one of the highest per capita soft drinks consumption in the western world at over 100 litres per capita per annum, an average of at least one 330ml can per day. In addition to dental decay, people who consume excess sugar suffer higher rates of heart

Deirdre O'Flynn MOSTLY MEN

disease and diabetes.” In addition to your physical health, you mouth — and its health — impact on your quality of life. Speaking, smiling, kissing, drinking, tasting, chewing, and swallowing all involve your teeth, lips, mouth and jaws and damage to them can negatively impact on your self-image and self-esteem. A simple review of your new year resolution can help prevent many of these issues, from bad breath to serious heart disease. To help, you should brush for two minutes twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Cut down on how often you have sugary foods and drinks. Visit your dentist regularly, as often as they recommend. And, cleaning in between your teeth using interdental brushes or floss will help to form a great routine.

GLASS ACT: Good oral hygiene will have a beneficial effect on way more than just your mouth. Picture: iStock

Guide to help you survive redundancy

Walsh among hair restoration celebs

IF you’ve been made redundant recently, it can be difficult to remain positive. However, a free booklet, A Simple Guide to Surviving Redundancy, which outlines coping skills may help you work through this difficult time. Produced by life coach and business consultant Paula Picture: iStock Reddy, she says the booklet is aimed at giving people a focus,

ON Brendan O’Connor’s TV quently interpret hair transplanshow recently, Louis Walsh tation as a cosmetic ‘vanity’ spoke about his hair restoraprocedure,” said Dr Collins. tion, a sensitive “Nothing can be topic not usually further from the truth discussed in public as it brings about an by male celebriimprovement in ties. Wayne self-esteem and Rooney and self-confidence. James Nesbitt “To give you an have also been idea of the extensiveopen about the ness of hair loss, a issue. few stats — 30% of The X Factor men at 30 are affectjudge’s hair transed, 40% at 40 and plant procedure 50% at 50.” was carried out at The pop supremo’s Hair Restoration openness on the Picture: Vipireland.com Blackrock (HRBR) issue may help to in Dublin by its medical diaddress the stigma and anxiety rector, Dr Maurice Collins. that is sometimes associated “The general public frewith hair loss.

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and to get them to look after themselves. “Having coping skills and the ability to manage ourselves through change is crucial for a happy and healthy life,” says Reddy. The alternative is stress, health issues, relationship conflict, etc. The booklet is available free from worksoutheast@gmail.com. There’s also a Facebook page, A Simple Guide to Surviving Redundancy.

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GREAT BALM: Badger Balm, €8.99, is one of the best organic salve for cracked, chapped, rough, weathered and dry skin, according to the team at Nelsons Dispensary. It has the mild scent of sweet birch and wintergreen oils, which have been traditionally used as an antiseptic, a muscle rub, and to ease the occasional symptoms of skin problems like psoriasis and eczema. Badger Balm is tough enough to soothe rough, dry skin, but gentle enough to use every day. And Nelsons also recommend water-resistant Badger Balm SPF 30, €19.95, which provides sun protection on the slopes, while moisturising the skin.

Feelgood

DId you know...

US presidents live longer than their peers (Source: University of Illinois, Chicago, US)

Winter skincare for men

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SUN SAFETY: It’s as important to protect your skin against sun damage on the ski slopes as it is on a sun holiday. High altitudes mean high levels of UV rays and snow reflects rays off the ground, causing more exposure. Edelweiss grows at high altitude, where UV rays are strong, so it has evolved to give a natural defence against UV light. Green People’s natural sun-care range, (SPF 8 to 25), €22,77, contains Edelweiss extract, which sits on the surface of the skin to bounce UV rays, for effective protection. Green People products are available in health stores, or mail order the above products from Nelson’s homeopathic dispensary, 15 Duke Street, Dublin 2 by calling 01-6790451.

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HEALING HEMP: Dry indoor air and freezing cold air outside can really take its toll on men’s skin. The skincare people at the Nelsons Homeopathic Dispensary suggest using Cowshed Bullocks Soothing Moisturiser €17.90, made with healing hemp oil which the manufacturer says maintains and restores skin moisture levels without leaving greasy residue or shine. With essential oils of grapefruit and palmarosa, they say it particularly suits men’s skin. Cowshed products are free from parabens, petrochemicals, sulphates, artificial fragrances and colours. Stockist details at Naturelle De La Riche, 01-8903070.

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ACHING MUSCLES: Nelsons Arnicare Cooling gel, €7.25, is useful for soothing aching muscles after a long New Year hike, or après ski. Grapefruit and menthol oils soothe and calm the skin while arnica helps to ease muscle pain. Simply rub into your sore leg and arm muscles to cool and soothe. For bumps and bruises, Nelsons homeopaths also recommend Arnica 30c pilules, €8.25. Arnica is a natural anti-inflammatory which helps to reduce pain and swelling.


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The GAA’s Off the Booze campaign is asking members to abstain from alcohol for a month to highlight the negative aspects of drinking. Arlene Harris reports

A balanced goal

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OWN through the years, sporting events have been punctuated with alcohol — whether it’s a few beers to drown the sorrows or a winner’s cup bubbling with champagne, no-one would argue that the local pub plays a big supporting role. But this could be about to change, as this month the GAA is urging players to take part in their new campaign, Off the Booze and On the Ball. Colin Regan is the national co-ordinator for the campaign. He explains the thinking behind the programme. “Off the Booze and On the Ball was devised as a non-threatening, fun, interactive way of getting a message about sensible drinking across to all our members, while also highlighting how this goes hand in hand with the sort of healthy lifestyle ethos the GAA continually promotes,” he says. “The information pack that all participants receive contains material on recommended drinking levels, how to achieve your ideal weekly activity levels and basic dietary and nutritional information. “It is aimed at our adult members — however, we hope that by getting adults in clubs to abstain from alcohol for a month, it would give a great example to our juvenile members too. Our experience shows that our younger members are much more health-conscious in general. However, they are not immune from the pervasive binge-drinking culture that exists in this country and are, therefore, equally susceptible to it.” The ex-Leitrim football player says developing sensible drinking habits will result in better health and greater success on the playing field. “I played inter-county football for Leitrim for over 10 years and enjoyed the social element, which usually revolved around a few drinks after major games or in the off-season,” he says. “However, while we enjoyed a drink, we also trained about four times a week on average and the health benefits of my sporting career within the GAA greatly outweighed any negatives associated with alcohol consumption.” Niall O’Riordan is a footballer with Cavan Gaels. He says while alcohol was an integral part of his sporting career two decades ago, the youngsters of today are less interested in going to the pub after training and this new initiative by the GAA will help to cement the knowledge that healthy players will perform better on the pitch. “When I was younger, we would always go to the pub after training — a couple of pints was the norm,” he says. “Sometimes, we would go training in the morning and spend the rest of the day in the pub. “Anyone who didn’t drink was seen as a bit odd, but youngsters today are a lot cooler about alcohol — some of them don’t even drink and it’s not a big deal for them to admit it.” The 37-year-old kitchen designer says the January initiative is a great way of bringing a community together. “GAA clubs around the country are often the hub of the community, particularly in rural areas,” he says. “The Off the Booze campaign will encour-

Feelgood

DRY RUN: GAA player Niall O’Riordan, who is giving up alcohol for the month of January, at his club, Cavan Gaels. Picture:Lorraine Teevan

age people of all generations to work towards a common aim — we want to encourage a family-friendly club, so players, ex-players, committee members, mothers or fathers, whoever wants to get involved will be welcome. “Not only will we be using the scheme to

encourage people to get in shape for January, we will also be hoping to change a drinking pattern and to educate ourselves about the negative aspects of alcohol. “And instead of going to the pub, participants will be getting sponsorship, so if they fall off the wagon and turn up at training

worse for wear, no-one is going to thank them for it. Obviously, the GAA isn’t telling people to give up the booze altogether, but just to enjoy it in moderation,” he says. ● For more information, visit www.gaa.ie/asap www.drinkaware.ie

Getting your drinking habits on track for 2012 BINGE drinking is common in Ireland and in 2010 the average person aged 15 and over drank an estimated 11.9 litres of pure alcohol. The website, www.drinkaware.ie, encourages people to take stock of their drinking levels in 2012. ■ Keep your focus on the benefits of drinking responsibly. You may be concerned about health, perhaps you want to lose weight or improve family relationships. Remember these to maintain motivation. ■ While it’s good to make a resolution, it’s better to keep it realistic. The Department of Health and Children advises that low-risk weekly limits are up to 14 stan-

dard drinks for women and up to 21 standard drinks for men. One standard drink is roughly equal to a glass of beer or a small glass of wine, or a pub measure of spirits. ■ Set up your own personal online drinks diary on www.drinkaware.ie. This adds up the drinks you have consumed in any given week, so you can easily compare your drinking with the recommended weekly low-risk limits. As an added feature, you can also keep an account of your spending by calculating how much each drink costs.

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■ Daily low-risk drinking limits are two to three standard drinks for women and three to four standard drinks for men. However, it is important to include some alcohol-free days over the course of the week. Pick a day or two each week when you will not drink alcohol at all. Why not use this free time to take up a new hobby, start a course or rejoin a team? ■ It can be easy to slip back into old habits when out with friends. Simple tips, like alternating alcoholic drinks with water or soft drinks, avoiding rounds and taking a limited amount of money on a night out, will help keep you on track.


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6 Psychology

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How we talk and think about our appearance too often undermines our sense of attractiveness

Body language Tony Humphreys

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HE confusion of a person’s physical appearance with their sexuality causes considerable pain for individuals and can seriously interrupt an intimate relationship with another. This confusion that sexuality is conditional on physical appearance is mirrored in certain expressed beliefs: ‘sexuality is only for the young and good-looking’ ‘how would anyone want someone who looks like me, with this kind of body’ (for example, small stature, small breasts, fat body, balding head) ‘I’m good-looking, so I’m sexy’ So many women’s and men’s sense of worthiness, sense of lovability and sense of attractiveness, has become conditional on physical appearance. There is a covert belief that: ‘if you approve of my body, you approve of me’ ‘if you are attracted to my body, you are attracted to me’ ‘if you desire my body, you desire me’ ‘if you criticise my body, you criticise me’ ‘if you reject my body, you reject me’ The tie-up between appearance and being sexual often blocks the emergence of a mature expression and enjoyment of our sexuality, because ‘how could I dare express myself sexually given how I look’. Of course, the sexual expression of a person who believes ‘I like my body because I’m slim and fit’ is also entrapped, because any falling short of having the ‘perfect’ body results in feeling sexually unattractive. The fact that the body houses our sexual organs challenges us to separate out one from the other. We tend to do this easily in the early years of children’s lives, but, regrettably, from seven years upwards, the sexualising of children, especially girls, through how they look and are dressed is not at all uncommon. It is wonderful to dress in ways that enhance one’s own and a child’s unique body, but it is a different matter when this is done to look sexual. Arising from using the body as a means to look sexual, many women have fixed social ideas of what is the ‘right’ female body: Firm, full breasts Lovely skin Right hair Toned body Thin, but not too thin No wrinkles Teeth perfect and white Right height — tall, but not too tall Right clothes Right make-up Not surprisingly, from the above-listed social expectations, many women experience hopelessness, envy, anger, sadness, hiding of their bodies, obsession with ‘parts that are wrong’. These emotional reactions are manifested in such expressed concerns as: Shoulders too big Thighs too fat Legs too short Breasts too small Breasts too obvious

Feelgood

The media, films, magazines, television, advertisers, marketing people, clothes designers, perfume makers all contribute to promoting the ‘body beautiful’ and the cosmetic industry thrives on this social engineering

Pictures: Getty Images

Hair ‘too fine’, ‘too thick’ Body ‘too thin’, ‘too big’. The media, films, magazines, television, advertisers, marketing people, clothes designers, and perfume makers all contribute to promoting the ‘body beautiful’ and the cosmetic industry thrives on this social engineering. Adults, young people, and the parents of young children need to separate physical appearance from sexuality and sexual attractiveness. Sexuality is a given — part of our human nature, but so is physical attractiveness. Your body is attractive in itself as a unique living presence. Women carry the confusion more than men, but there is an increase in men who associate their physical appearance with their sexuality and sexual expression. Anorexia nervosa is significantly on the increase among young men and the cosmetic industry is honing in on the ‘body beautiful’ for men. There are certain affirmations that adults need to make about their bodies: I have a body, but I’m not my body. I can see and feel my body and what can be seen is not my true self My body may be slim or plump, small or tall, desired or not desired, but none of that has anything to do with my true self, the self that is always perfect. My body is always deserving of unconditional care and respect. My body is attractive simply by being. My attractiveness is a given Beauty is from the inside out. Dr Tony Humphreys is a clinical psychologist, author, national and international speaker. His book Whose Life Are You Living is relevant to this article. www.tonyhumphreys.ie

FRIDAY, JANUARY 6, 2012

HEALTH& LIFESTYLE ADVERTISING Target more females in Munster and Cork than any other daily newspaper. To reach them, advertise in ‘Feelgood’.

Call Lori Fraser

Tel: 021 4802265 lori.fraser@examiner.ie


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Renew year

Relaxation time

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Need to detox and rest? Arlene Harris looks at some top spas countrywide

Somewhere to chill

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T’S cold outside and you’ve just seen off a stressful year — so what better way to kick start 2012 than to relax and unwind in one of the many luxury spas around the country. From facials to massages, there is no more indulgent treat than an hour or so away from the a busy life. There are hundreds of top-notch venues in Ireland, too many to mention here, so we decided to focus on a broad range of spa treatments from a selection of health and wellness destinations around the country.

Stone Massage, a Connemara Facial, and an Organic Feet Treat. Cost: Full packages start at €215. For more information visit www.delphimountainresort.com or call 095-42208 The spa at the Four Seasons Hotel in Dublin offers a range of massage, skin and body treatments and wide selection of Sodashi facials. This oasis in the city offers a range of alternative therapies including a deeply meditative chakra balancing therapy involving massage, special essential oil blends and healing crystals.

Recently awarded a Fáilte Ireland accreditation for 2011-2013, Catlemartyr Resort spa in Co Cork specialises in using blend of aromatic essential oils, trace elements and marine ingredients. Signature treatments include the Gaelic Beauty facial, a face and eye therapy incorporating a smoothening and tightening treatment by using cryo-therapy ice cubes and serums.

Cost: Full-day packages cost from €290. For more information visit www.fourseasons.com or call 01-665 4602 The spa at Dromoland Castle in Clare was re-launched early in 2008 to include six luxury treatment rooms, two dedicated manicure and pedicure rooms and an outdoor hydro spa covered with a gazebo for all-year round use. Signature treatments include the organic Fig Leaf Therapy, a which comprises of a fig body scrub followed by a fig and seaweed wrap and a full body massage. This Garden of Eden experience lasts for two hours.

Cost: Half-day packages, from €110. For more information visit www.castlemartyrresort.ie or call 021-4219060. The Maryborough Hotel & Spa in Cork has also been awarded the

current Fáilte Ireland spa accreditation. A stress-relieving full-day spa includes a welcome foot ritual and lifestyle consultation; herbal tisane; ESPA salt and oil scrub and massage followed by lunch and refreshments. In the afternoon, enjoy an ESPA re-hydrator facial and holistic hand and nail treatment with hot stones.

Cost: €199. For more information visit www.dromoland.ie or call 061-368144.

Cost: Full-day package from €330. For more information visit www.maryborough.ie or call 021-4918350.

Pictures: iStock

Ballygarry House Hotel and Nadur Spa is located at the foot of the Kerry mountains and has been in the McGillicuddy family for over 50 years. Visitors can enjoy a range of holistic treatments including a selection aimed at mothers-to-be. Pregnancy treatments include the maternity massage, a head-to-toe massage which helps relieve fatigue, sciatica, nausea and fluid retention.

cial and Tone. A trim-and-tone oil is used to break up fatty tissue and eliminate toxins. This is followed by a traditional Rasul bath and concluded with a soothing foot soak.

begins with a choice of Burren Wilderness or Basalt Stone Massage before a luxurious Ocean Deep Cleansing Facial and followed by a manicure or pedicure.

The Kinsale C Spa in Co Cork has recently been awarded the Fáilte Ireland spa accreditation and features 10 treatment rooms, which includes a couples suite, where you and your partner or a friend can enjoy a total pampering treatment or package together. Signature treatments include a range of anti-ageing facials that firm and rejuvenate the skin.

Cost: Rasul package €115.

Cost: Day packages start at €375.

Cost: Treatments start from €49.

For more information visit www.thebrehon.com or call 064-6623917.

For more information visit www.doonbeglodge.com or call 065-9055600.

For more information visit www.carltonkinsale.com or call 021-4706000.

Cost: Maternity treatments range from €70 to €130.

The White Horses spa at Doonbeg Lodge in west Clare is just a splash away from the sea and perfect for those who enjoy a coastal break. Kerstin Florian is the featured skin care product line and natural ingredients such as thermal mineral water, mud, algae and essential oils are on offer. Signature packages include the Doonbeg Pure Indulgence which

Winner of the Irish Tatler Spa Innovation Award 2011, the Delphi Spa and Mountain resort in Galway specialises in seaweed baths, holistic and organic treatments using products that are all certified organic. Using seaweed from the Connemara shore, signature treatments include the Delphi Deluxe Day, which includes an hour in the thermal suite followed by a Delphi Seaweed Hot

The spa at Monart in Wexford has recently been voted one of the top three spa resorts in the world by Condé Nast Traveller. Monart offers a wide range of treatments, including hamam, dry floatation, facials, massage, and body treatments, including polish, scrubs and wraps. Product ranges used are Pevonia Botanica and Voya.

For more information visit www.ballygarryhouse.com or call 066-7144560. Located in the breathtaking Killarney scenery, the Brehon Hotel and Angsana Spa has won awards for its luxury and tranquility. All treatments carried out in the spa are based on authentic Thai techniques and use natural ingredients. Signature packages include a range of bathing treatments such as the Rasul Spe-

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FRIDAY, JANUARY 6, 2012

Cost: Spa treatments start from €50. For more information visit www.monart.ie or call 053-9238999.


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8 Renew year You’re stressed, overweight and feel tired most of the time? By following our six-week plan, using a unique new mind-body approach to losing unwanted pounds and calming your mind, you could turn your life around. Anna Magee reports

T

HE term ‘stress’ was invented in the 1950s by Hans Selye, a German scientist who noticed his patients had all dealt with long-term mental pressures. Today, the condition is ubiquitous. According to a 2010 European health-and-safety survey, 80% of companies perceived workplace stress to be as critical as workplace accidents, and in Ireland a 2006 Small Firms Association report found stress is replacing back pain as a cause of absenteeism. A new book, The De-Stress Diet (Hay House, €17.15), which I co-wrote with nutritional therapist Charlotte Watts, addresses stress through nutrition, gentle exercise and daily relaxation, making us feel calmer and helping us lose weight. How stress leads to poor health and weight gain Every time stress hits, the body activates its stress response, flooding the system with get-up-and-go hormones, adrenalin and cortisol, that stimulate and motivate. Constantly drawing on stress hormones causes the body’s blood sugar to roller-coaster. It leads the body to redirect its nutrients and energy away from the skin, sex drive and digestion and into the muscles to deal with stress, which your body perceives as a threat. This is why people get bloated or suffer skin problems or low libido under stress. This leads to exhaustion, lack of concentration and impatience as your adrenal glands — two small, oval-shaped glands that sit just above the kidneys — have only a finite ability to pump out the stress hormones they manufacture. It may also lead to serious health problems, such as chronic digestive complaints and a compromised immune system. According to the Irish Heart Foundation, stress affects heart health by increasing blood pressure and cholesterol and affecting the blood’s clotting systems. Now, mounting evidence shows stress is the secret reason we gain weight or fail on regular calories-in-out diets. “When we’re stressed, our bodies create the hormone cortisol that encourages the body to release calories, fat and energy into the bloodstream,” says Professor Carol Shively, a stress researcher at Wake Forest University School of Medicine in the US, who has studied the effect of long-term stress on primates for 25 years. Stress isn’t harmful in the short-term. But when it never lets up — whether that’s due to money or work worries or family pressures — our systems become flooded with cortisol and that signals the body to store stubborn fat around the belly, hips and thighs. “Excess stress and cortisol also make us crave sugary and fatty junk foods that feed stubborn fat. Stress is the missing link in the weight-loss equation and it’s almost always overlooked by regular diets,” says Shively. When stress is a good thing “Not all types of stress are bad,” says Professor Mark Mattson, director of the laboratory of neuroscience at the National Institute on Ageing in the US. “The right kind of stress can make you stronger.” Regular exposure to mild stressors causes a defensive response in the body which leads to a building-up of the body’s defence systems, a strengthening process sci-

Feelgood

Get balanced

XH - V1

BEAT THE STRESS Stress isn’t harmful in the short term. But when it never lets up — whether that’s due to relentless money, work worries, or family pressures — our systems become flooded with cortisol and that signals the body to store stubborn fat around the belly, hips and thighs

Picture: Getty Images

entists have named ‘hormesis’. Positive stressful challenges are within our control (or seem to be), they’re short-term and have a beginning and end in sight, and are followed by a period of recuperation. Exercise and short, regular intellectual challenges are examples of good stressors. Negative or ‘bad’ stress is ongoing and feels out of our control, for example having a bad boss, unhappy marriage or ongoing money problems. Moving away from low-fat messages “The weight-loss wars of the last few decades have focused on high-carbohydrates/low fat versus high protein/low fat,” says nutritionist Charlotte Watts.

“But not all fats are created equal. Our brains are fat-rich and — especially under prolonged stress — need to be replenished. If you’re wondering why you feel on edge and overwhelmed when you’re under stress, one of the reasons could be because you’re not eating enough good forms of fat. “High-fat intake from sedentary, grain-fed animals and damaged trans-fats from fried and processed food increase risk of cancer, liver and heart disease,” says Watts. “The right fats, however, are essential to mood, weight-stabilisation, appetite satisfaction and overall health,” she says.

9

Connecting to true hunger Research from Canada’s McMaster University found that 97% of women have food cravings as a result of something other than true hunger. Stress stimulates cravings for sugar, and habitual anxiety eaters may have lost touch altogether with how true hunger feels. During your six-week plan, you’re encouraged to eat three meals a day, snacking only if you really need to. This will help you reconnect to real hunger and distinguish it from false hunger and cravings brought on by stress. Real hunger comes on slowly and is sometimes ac-

companied by tummy rumbling. Mindless eating or false hunger may hit after overwhelming feelings or as a reaction to the smell or sight of food. “During this time, step back and ask yourself if you’re snacking based on hunger or habit,” says Watts. “If you really feel the energy demands of your day necessitate some raw nuts around 4pm, then that will be right for you. But if you don’t feel truly hungry, there is not need to snack for the sake of it.”

Ask yourself

AFTER implementing the six-week plan these are the healthy eating guidelines recommended in the De-stress Diet:

Six weeks to a slimmer, calmer you By lowering stress-hormone production in your body and minimising comfort eating and sugar cravings, The De-Stress Diet can not only help you feel better, but followed for six weeks it can also help you lose up to ten pounds. For the following six weeks, follow the guidelines listed here. The De-Stress Diet principles are designed to be followed long-term, so if you feel (and look) better at the end of your six-week journey, you may want to take the principles into the rest of your life.

Protein with every meal : It’s muscle-building and energy-giving and aids the loss of stored fat, satisfies appetite and contains essential amino acids that help keep the blood sugar balanced longer (read: fewer sugar lows and mood swings). Have a serving at each meal and choose from eggs, nuts/seeds, lean — ideally organic — meats, poultry and fish.

For the next six weeks avoid the following: ■ Processed fats low in omega 3 oils — vegetable and seeds oils (especially not for cooking), poor quality spreads (use butter or olive oil), refined oils and commercially-prepared salad dressings. ■ Poor quality meat, eggs and fish — unhealthy fats from sedentary, poorly-fed animals. Opt for free-range and grass-fed meats, wild fish, if you can, and free-range eggs, organic where possible. ■ Sugar and junk food — sweeteners, ready-meals and take-away foods, along with all sugars. Stress can cause a vicious cycle of sugar cravings, but it doesn’t take long to wean yourself off sweet tastes. Watch labels for undercover sugar: anything ending in -ose as well as maltodextrin, corn syrup, cane juice, barley malt, molasses or brown rice syrup is still sugar. ■ Toxic-fish — tuna, swordfish and marlin can contain mercury. Add coriander, garlic, cabbage and watercress to meals containing fish to detoxify any mercury. ■ Roots that need cooking — high-starch potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, yams, cassava, tapioca. ■ Dairy — although a little full-fat Greek yoghurt and goat’s cheese is fine along with some full-fat milk in your tea or coffee, avoid milk and skimmed milks (especially non-organic), fruit yoghurts and processed cheeses. If you suspect you have food intolerances, then check out the three-week plan in my De-stress Diet book. ● The De-Stress Diet (Hay House, €17.15), by Charlotte Watts and Anna Magee, is now available from easons.com. For downloadable yoga and fitness videos, shopping help, and to sign up to a free emailand podcast-support programme for your six-week de-stress diet plan, log on to de-stressyourlife.com. ● Before making major changes in diet and lifestyle, it is best to check with your doctor.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 6, 2012

The foods that keep you in top form

CRAVE CAUTION: A love of chocolate may be affecting your stress. Picture: iStock ARE you stressed and fat? Take this 30-second quick quiz and find out: Q. Do you have more and more difficulty coping with stress? Q. Do you turn increasingly to sugar and stimulants such as coffee as a “fix” for flagging energy? Q. Is your sleep and energy not what it used to be (think morning wrestles with the snooze button?) Q. Has your waist size been slowly thickening over the last decade? Q. Do you have difficulty finding time to relax and put your feet up? Q. Do you crave chocolates, biscuits, sweets and/or crisps during times of stress? ● If you tick three or more positive responses, addressing your stress levels through this six week De-Stress Diet, lifestyle and exercise programme will help you release weight and relax into a slimmer, calmer you.

Healthy fats: Good fats at every meal are key to appetite satisfaction as well as keeping sweet cravings at bay. Great sources include avocado, almonds, nuts, seeds, olives, flaxseed, sesame, coconut or extra virgin olive oil and even a pat of butter on your vegetables — it helps you feel more satiated than having them fat-free and helps you absorb their protective fat-soluble antioxidants. Plenty of vegetables: Both cooked and raw, add two to three cups of vegetables to most meals for added nutrients and fibre and dress them with unrefined, cold-pressed oils such as olive, flax and sesame oil with lemon or lime juice.

kalised. Liver-supporting foods: Eat sulphur-rich foods such as watercress, garlic, onions, leeks and fennel as they aid the process of liver detoxification and could help you feel better, faster on your six-week plan. Bitter foods: Use endive, radicchio, chicory, romaine or cos lettuce in salads. Their bitter taste stimulates digestive juices when it hits the tongue, making them particularly good before a meal. Other bitter foods include grapefruit and olives — perfect starters with meals. Fresh fruit: Stick to two pieces of fruit eaten whole daily and try and avoid fruit juice. Although it’s rich in nutrients, fruit juice is high in sugars and can keep a sweet tooth active. Good fruit choices are apples, pears and berries. Adequate liquid: Have non-sugary, non-caffeinated drinks in between meals as your thirst dictates. But don’t force yourself to glug down litres of water at once as this can strain the kidneys. Stay hydrated by taking healthy liquid in different forms, pure water is one, along with green or herbal teas and coconut water (a good hydrator), but also plenty of vegetables.

Alkalising foods: Vegetables, fruit, seeds, herbs and spices are all alkaline foods that can help balance the acid in our systems that can build up from a high stress lifestyle or processed diet. Great sources include almonds, coconut, sesame seeds, pine nuts and lemon juice added to water and dressings. Have warm water in lemon juice each morning to wake up digestion and keep your system al-

■ See page 10 for more tips to stay destressed


TERAPROOF:User:margaretjenningsDate:04/01/2012Time:17:14:34Edition:06/01/2012FeelgoodXH0601Page:8

Zone:XH

8 Renew year You’re stressed, overweight and feel tired most of the time? By following our six-week plan, using a unique new mind-body approach to losing unwanted pounds and calming your mind, you could turn your life around. Anna Magee reports

T

HE term ‘stress’ was invented in the 1950s by Hans Selye, a German scientist who noticed his patients had all dealt with long-term mental pressures. Today, the condition is ubiquitous. According to a 2010 European health-and-safety survey, 80% of companies perceived workplace stress to be as critical as workplace accidents, and in Ireland a 2006 Small Firms Association report found stress is replacing back pain as a cause of absenteeism. A new book, The De-Stress Diet (Hay House, €17.15), which I co-wrote with nutritional therapist Charlotte Watts, addresses stress through nutrition, gentle exercise and daily relaxation, making us feel calmer and helping us lose weight. How stress leads to poor health and weight gain Every time stress hits, the body activates its stress response, flooding the system with get-up-and-go hormones, adrenalin and cortisol, that stimulate and motivate. Constantly drawing on stress hormones causes the body’s blood sugar to roller-coaster. It leads the body to redirect its nutrients and energy away from the skin, sex drive and digestion and into the muscles to deal with stress, which your body perceives as a threat. This is why people get bloated or suffer skin problems or low libido under stress. This leads to exhaustion, lack of concentration and impatience as your adrenal glands — two small, oval-shaped glands that sit just above the kidneys — have only a finite ability to pump out the stress hormones they manufacture. It may also lead to serious health problems, such as chronic digestive complaints and a compromised immune system. According to the Irish Heart Foundation, stress affects heart health by increasing blood pressure and cholesterol and affecting the blood’s clotting systems. Now, mounting evidence shows stress is the secret reason we gain weight or fail on regular calories-in-out diets. “When we’re stressed, our bodies create the hormone cortisol that encourages the body to release calories, fat and energy into the bloodstream,” says Professor Carol Shively, a stress researcher at Wake Forest University School of Medicine in the US, who has studied the effect of long-term stress on primates for 25 years. Stress isn’t harmful in the short-term. But when it never lets up — whether that’s due to money or work worries or family pressures — our systems become flooded with cortisol and that signals the body to store stubborn fat around the belly, hips and thighs. “Excess stress and cortisol also make us crave sugary and fatty junk foods that feed stubborn fat. Stress is the missing link in the weight-loss equation and it’s almost always overlooked by regular diets,” says Shively. When stress is a good thing “Not all types of stress are bad,” says Professor Mark Mattson, director of the laboratory of neuroscience at the National Institute on Ageing in the US. “The right kind of stress can make you stronger.” Regular exposure to mild stressors causes a defensive response in the body which leads to a building-up of the body’s defence systems, a strengthening process sci-

Feelgood

Get balanced

XH - V1

BEAT THE STRESS Stress isn’t harmful in the short term. But when it never lets up — whether that’s due to relentless money, work worries, or family pressures — our systems become flooded with cortisol and that signals the body to store stubborn fat around the belly, hips and thighs

Picture: Getty Images

entists have named ‘hormesis’. Positive stressful challenges are within our control (or seem to be), they’re short-term and have a beginning and end in sight, and are followed by a period of recuperation. Exercise and short, regular intellectual challenges are examples of good stressors. Negative or ‘bad’ stress is ongoing and feels out of our control, for example having a bad boss, unhappy marriage or ongoing money problems. Moving away from low-fat messages “The weight-loss wars of the last few decades have focused on high-carbohydrates/low fat versus high protein/low fat,” says nutritionist Charlotte Watts.

“But not all fats are created equal. Our brains are fat-rich and — especially under prolonged stress — need to be replenished. If you’re wondering why you feel on edge and overwhelmed when you’re under stress, one of the reasons could be because you’re not eating enough good forms of fat. “High-fat intake from sedentary, grain-fed animals and damaged trans-fats from fried and processed food increase risk of cancer, liver and heart disease,” says Watts. “The right fats, however, are essential to mood, weight-stabilisation, appetite satisfaction and overall health,” she says.

9

Connecting to true hunger Research from Canada’s McMaster University found that 97% of women have food cravings as a result of something other than true hunger. Stress stimulates cravings for sugar, and habitual anxiety eaters may have lost touch altogether with how true hunger feels. During your six-week plan, you’re encouraged to eat three meals a day, snacking only if you really need to. This will help you reconnect to real hunger and distinguish it from false hunger and cravings brought on by stress. Real hunger comes on slowly and is sometimes ac-

companied by tummy rumbling. Mindless eating or false hunger may hit after overwhelming feelings or as a reaction to the smell or sight of food. “During this time, step back and ask yourself if you’re snacking based on hunger or habit,” says Watts. “If you really feel the energy demands of your day necessitate some raw nuts around 4pm, then that will be right for you. But if you don’t feel truly hungry, there is not need to snack for the sake of it.”

Ask yourself

AFTER implementing the six-week plan these are the healthy eating guidelines recommended in the De-stress Diet:

Six weeks to a slimmer, calmer you By lowering stress-hormone production in your body and minimising comfort eating and sugar cravings, The De-Stress Diet can not only help you feel better, but followed for six weeks it can also help you lose up to ten pounds. For the following six weeks, follow the guidelines listed here. The De-Stress Diet principles are designed to be followed long-term, so if you feel (and look) better at the end of your six-week journey, you may want to take the principles into the rest of your life.

Protein with every meal : It’s muscle-building and energy-giving and aids the loss of stored fat, satisfies appetite and contains essential amino acids that help keep the blood sugar balanced longer (read: fewer sugar lows and mood swings). Have a serving at each meal and choose from eggs, nuts/seeds, lean — ideally organic — meats, poultry and fish.

For the next six weeks avoid the following: ■ Processed fats low in omega 3 oils — vegetable and seeds oils (especially not for cooking), poor quality spreads (use butter or olive oil), refined oils and commercially-prepared salad dressings. ■ Poor quality meat, eggs and fish — unhealthy fats from sedentary, poorly-fed animals. Opt for free-range and grass-fed meats, wild fish, if you can, and free-range eggs, organic where possible. ■ Sugar and junk food — sweeteners, ready-meals and take-away foods, along with all sugars. Stress can cause a vicious cycle of sugar cravings, but it doesn’t take long to wean yourself off sweet tastes. Watch labels for undercover sugar: anything ending in -ose as well as maltodextrin, corn syrup, cane juice, barley malt, molasses or brown rice syrup is still sugar. ■ Toxic-fish — tuna, swordfish and marlin can contain mercury. Add coriander, garlic, cabbage and watercress to meals containing fish to detoxify any mercury. ■ Roots that need cooking — high-starch potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, yams, cassava, tapioca. ■ Dairy — although a little full-fat Greek yoghurt and goat’s cheese is fine along with some full-fat milk in your tea or coffee, avoid milk and skimmed milks (especially non-organic), fruit yoghurts and processed cheeses. If you suspect you have food intolerances, then check out the three-week plan in my De-stress Diet book. ● The De-Stress Diet (Hay House, €17.15), by Charlotte Watts and Anna Magee, is now available from easons.com. For downloadable yoga and fitness videos, shopping help, and to sign up to a free emailand podcast-support programme for your six-week de-stress diet plan, log on to de-stressyourlife.com. ● Before making major changes in diet and lifestyle, it is best to check with your doctor.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 6, 2012

The foods that keep you in top form

CRAVE CAUTION: A love of chocolate may be affecting your stress. Picture: iStock ARE you stressed and fat? Take this 30-second quick quiz and find out: Q. Do you have more and more difficulty coping with stress? Q. Do you turn increasingly to sugar and stimulants such as coffee as a “fix” for flagging energy? Q. Is your sleep and energy not what it used to be (think morning wrestles with the snooze button?) Q. Has your waist size been slowly thickening over the last decade? Q. Do you have difficulty finding time to relax and put your feet up? Q. Do you crave chocolates, biscuits, sweets and/or crisps during times of stress? ● If you tick three or more positive responses, addressing your stress levels through this six week De-Stress Diet, lifestyle and exercise programme will help you release weight and relax into a slimmer, calmer you.

Healthy fats: Good fats at every meal are key to appetite satisfaction as well as keeping sweet cravings at bay. Great sources include avocado, almonds, nuts, seeds, olives, flaxseed, sesame, coconut or extra virgin olive oil and even a pat of butter on your vegetables — it helps you feel more satiated than having them fat-free and helps you absorb their protective fat-soluble antioxidants. Plenty of vegetables: Both cooked and raw, add two to three cups of vegetables to most meals for added nutrients and fibre and dress them with unrefined, cold-pressed oils such as olive, flax and sesame oil with lemon or lime juice.

kalised. Liver-supporting foods: Eat sulphur-rich foods such as watercress, garlic, onions, leeks and fennel as they aid the process of liver detoxification and could help you feel better, faster on your six-week plan. Bitter foods: Use endive, radicchio, chicory, romaine or cos lettuce in salads. Their bitter taste stimulates digestive juices when it hits the tongue, making them particularly good before a meal. Other bitter foods include grapefruit and olives — perfect starters with meals. Fresh fruit: Stick to two pieces of fruit eaten whole daily and try and avoid fruit juice. Although it’s rich in nutrients, fruit juice is high in sugars and can keep a sweet tooth active. Good fruit choices are apples, pears and berries. Adequate liquid: Have non-sugary, non-caffeinated drinks in between meals as your thirst dictates. But don’t force yourself to glug down litres of water at once as this can strain the kidneys. Stay hydrated by taking healthy liquid in different forms, pure water is one, along with green or herbal teas and coconut water (a good hydrator), but also plenty of vegetables.

Alkalising foods: Vegetables, fruit, seeds, herbs and spices are all alkaline foods that can help balance the acid in our systems that can build up from a high stress lifestyle or processed diet. Great sources include almonds, coconut, sesame seeds, pine nuts and lemon juice added to water and dressings. Have warm water in lemon juice each morning to wake up digestion and keep your system al-

■ See page 10 for more tips to stay destressed


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10 Renew year

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Get balanced

Jumpstart!

With your diet sorted, free your body up for natural highs Vitamin plus

S

WE live in a world where all the nutrients we need are not always available in food because of poor soil and large-scale farming. Furthermore, the amounts we do get may be used up quickly because of stress, pollution and mediations (both prescription and over-the-counter). The following supplements could help aid your liver detoxification and energy levels during the next six weeks.

O YOU are now more wise about what foods to eat to fuel your body for action. But aside from your diet, there are other lifestyle guidelines from my book, The De-stress Diet, which are important to follow to complement your new year get-up-and-go resolutions: Easy breathing: Don’t force yourself to meditate for hours. Five minutes gentle breathing morning and evening can calm you down for the day and feels achievable. Lie down in bed or on the floor with your head supported and body covered by a blanket. Observe your breathing without forcing it to change until it naturally becomes longer and slower, helping you relax.

Multivitamin and mineral: To help replace the energy nutrients such as B vitamins lost due to stress and also shown to support weight loss efforts. Try: Biocare VytaMyn Complex — 1 with breakfast

Walk it off: This regulates stress hormones without generating more — as running and other hard exercise can. It also helps relax tense shoulder muscles and the habitual breath holding that stress causes. Try and walk outside for 30-45 minutes each day. If you can, get a pedometer and try and clock up 8,000-15,000 steps throughout the day.

Vitamin C This natural anti-inflammatory nutrient is used quickly when we’re under stress and may help reduce sugar cravings. Try: Natures Plus Super C Complex — 1 with breakfast

Rest: Not only sleep. We can’t avoid those screaming children or bosses but opting for rest between stressful times helps prevent the development of the hard-to-shift stress related conditions listed above. As well as sleep, the odd opt-out Sunday duvet day can help. But according to leading sleep cycle researcher Dr Matthew Edlund, author of The Power of Rest: Why Sleep Is Not Enough, we also need active rest — think swims or walks in nature and regular calming yoga sessions — along with social rest such as socialising with people you like. Find natural highs: Sugar creates a surge of ‘beta-endorphins’ or natural opioids in the brain — as well as weight gain — and repeated studies have shown that continuous stress increases cravings for it. But we can make our own beta-endorphins by laughing, dancing, exercising, listening to music we like and having sex. Less-is-more fitness: Hours on the cardio machines can lead to increased stress hormone production, sabotaging weight loss. “Research now shows short bouts of targeted exercise increase fat-burning metabolism for up to eight hours after your workout,” says Dr Chris Shaw, exercise research scientist at the University of Birmingham. “Best effects come from just 15-25 minutes resistance training using lots of muscle groups in moves such as squats, lunges and press-ups or interval training, where on the bike,

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Omega 3s Low omega-3 oils (found primarily in oily fish and algae products) and high omega-6 oils (found in commercials oils and processed foods) can exacerbate inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis as well as joint pain that can flare up under stress and make weight loss difficult. Try: Natures Best Fish Oil 1100mg — 2 with dinner Probiotics Low levels are linked to weight gain and inflammation in the body, taking probiotics have been shown to help reduce stress-related anxiety and aid the immune system. Try: Terra Nova Probiotic Complex with Prebiotics — 2 with dinner Pictures: iStock

cross-trainer, rower or walking or jogging you go as fast as you can for one minute and slowly for one minute for a total of 15 minutes three to four times weekly,” says Dr Shaw. ● At de-stressyourlife.com you can download a 25-minute strength training workout video to do three to five times a week or find it in the book. Drink smart: Champagne or dry white wines may contain less sugar than sweeter wines or a pint of the dark stuff, and are the best choice for anyone wanting a celebratory drink. If you’re going for red wine, the most antioxidant rich are the deeper reds, especially merlot and cabernet sauvignon grape varieties.

Taking 1000mg of vitamin C the night before and the morning after may help your liver detoxify alcohol quicker. Try Nature’s Plus Super C Complex. Try yoga: Gentle but deep daily yoga practice is the cornerstone of the De-Stress Diet lifestyle. This doesn’t mean complicated handstands and pretzel poses but foundation postures that encourage deep, slow breathing, muscular tone and mind focus. Yoga counters the effects of stress such as a racing mind, muscles tightened by the flight-or-freeze stress response, postural stiffness from sitting on chairs and lack of continual natural movements. In long-term practitioners, it’s also been shown to lead to a lower-than-average weight — a good reason to start. ● At de-stressyourlife.com you can download morning and evening yoga videos, or find them in the book.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 6, 2012


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Renew year

Food survey

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Low and behold

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E make all sorts of promises to ourselves about getting in shape at the start of the new year, particularly if we are guilt-ridden following days of lazing by the fire with a tin of sweets for company. It’s only natural that promises will be broken if we look for short-term results — fitting into your favourite jeans, for example. But dropping weight isn’t just about looking good in our clothes, it’s also about core health. So take a look at your BMI weight and decide if it needs to be closer to normal than tipping into the overweight curve, for the sake of your heart, liver and general well-being. How we go about this weight reduction for the long haul is the hardest, yet easiest, question. We know we should eat less and exercise more. We know we need to get into a routine that is sustainable by being enjoyable, so we stick with it. Where eating is concerned, the best tip I can give is to buy well. When the right foods are in the house, we have some chance of avoiding what we know will not help us in our efforts. If we stick to simple, unprocessed foods we are giving ourselves a head start. A piece of beef with potatoes and salad is far better than a processed

Roz Crowley meal or takeaway curry that has beef in it. If we look at snacks, it’s easy to see how we can fool ourselves. We try low-fat, low-salt, low-sugar products, and then often eat twice as much, as we feel virtuous. Many snack foods are not satisfying, so we try getting satisfaction from eating more of them. In fact, some can even stimulate the appetite. We may cut out what we think is fattening carbohydrate in the form of sugar, but a sugar-free product may have caffeine in it, which, like carbohydrates, stimulates the production of insulin, the fattening hormone. Products make claims about lower fat and sugar and no doubt they can support them, but it’s up to us to read between the lines and see what is in them, instead. For the first survey of 2012, I looked at such products to illustrate my point.

SLIM CHOICE: Buying simple, unprocessed foods increases the likelihood of healthy eating, but be wary of over indulging in low-salt, low-sugar foods. Picture: iStock

Hellmann’s fat-free vinaigrette, 235ml €1.82

Jacob’s reduced-fat cream crackers, 200g €1.26

Chilli mini rice cakes, 5 packets of 22g, €3.09, Marks & Spencer

McVitie’s light digestives, 400g €1.69

FAT-free vinaigrette seems like a contradiction in terms, as vinaigrette is made from vinegar and oil. Instead of oil, this product has water thickened with carrageenan and xanthan gum, which give it a jelly-like texture with suspended flecks of dark green parsley and red bell pepper. There is added sugar, offsetting the tartness of the spirit vinegar, and this is high at 10.8%. The result is quite a sweet dressing with seven calories per tablespoon. Salt is 0.93%. Not a bad total, but the taste is oversweet and could give us a taste for more sweetness.

With 50% less fat than the regular type, there is still plenty of carbohydrate at 78.9% — 2.2% are sugars. There is 6.1% fat, of which 2.4% are saturated. There is protein at 11.6%, so some satisfaction, which may keep hunger away, but be careful, two crackers still have 68 calories without toppings.

For many, rice cakes feel and taste like cardboard, but a flavouring of chilli helps here. These mini cakes are surprisingly satisfying, fairly hot from chilli flavouring, which is also quite salty. No nasty chemicals here either. These will help stave off hunger, with each packet providing 370 calories, which is still quite a lot for a snack, so try to share.

Glucose-fructose syrup on the list of ingredients puts me on the alert here as this is a form of sugar which amounts to 20.1% in a carbohydrate count of 69.5%. There is 7.3% protein, which is satisfying, but not enough to compensate for the other weighty ingredients. The taste doesn’t suffer from having 30% less fat than the regular version, but with 14.4% fats these won’t help calorie reduction. We love the taste, but not the sugars.

Score: 6.75

Score: 4

Lifefibre healthy oat loaf, 500g €1.99

Dolmio low-fat sauce for bolognese, 500g, €2.09

Wth 35% less salt, gives a good health message here. There can be quite a lot of salt in bread to give it flavour and this one has just 0.7%. However, sugar at 3.9% is high to make up for it. Protein at 9.1% is helped by 13% oatflakes and oatbran, so overall quite satisfying.

With 78% tomatoes and 14% tomato paste, onions and lemon juice, there is plenty of good stuff in this sauce. Fat content wouldn’t be particularly high in this type of sauce, anyway, with no saturated fats. What we need to watch for is sugar, which, at 5.4%, would come come naturally from tomatoes, but there is added sugar too. Not impressive as a product with greatly-reduced fat, but as a decent, low-fat sauce in itself. Heat with bits of meat, fish or vegetables to make an easy supper with rice.

Score 6

Score: 6

Linessa light cranberry juice drink, 1 litre 99c, Lidl This light cranberry juice has less sugar than other juices, but also has the sweetener sucralose. This gives it an unnatural sweetness, which overpowers the already well-diluted cranberry taste — fruit content is 25%. Score: 3.75

Diet cola, 2 litre, €2.09 The trouble with diet drinks is they contain chemicals which replace the sugar. This one has the sweetener aspartame, acesuphame K, which scientists argue can affect some health conditions. It adds no nutritional value to our diet. (I am concerned about sweeteners becoming addictive, however, this has yet to be proven.) Calories are low, at 0.5 per 100ml.

Score: 6.5

Score: 4

Score: 7

Feelgood

FRIDAY, JANUARY 6, 2012


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12

Beauty

Renew year

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Women in cold climates age faster so a radiance cream is a must, but before you apply it, scrub well to remove dead skin cells

A cleaner you

The news on... Clinique Moisture Surge Intense THIS is a good time to release a new moisturiser, especially one for hydration, which most skins feel in winter. New from Clinique is a cream-gel that takes one of their moisturisers, moisture surge intense, and gives it more of a hit with both intense hydration and improved moisture barrier-repair technology. Sounds good to us. Clinique moisture surge intense skin fortifying hydrator, €45.50, is available from selected department stores and pharmacists nationwide.

Take three...

Emily O’Sullivan

Under-Eye Brighteners We’ve still weeks of winter ahead, so if you need brightening up try one of these.

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HERE’S a look that takes over my skin around this time of the year — I call it sludge-face. It’s not pretty. I stare in the mirror and hopelessly try and convince myself that I am not older than I am, all the while looking at a complexion that is determinedly grey. Recent research has shown that women in colder climates age quicker than those in hot ones. This is more than evident in January — a month when not only does the effect of the weather take its toll, but the effect of drinking large vats of bad mulled wine and eating porky treats on a stick starts to takes its toll. There’s a lot that I don’t like about the beauty industry — the lies, the feeding on insecurities, all that — but there’s one thing I do like a lot. And that’s a radiance cream. Bring it on. Radiance creams come in two forms — you can fake it (which we like), or you can go for the real thing (which we like, too). But whichever you decide to opt for, the first thing to get to grips with is a good scrub. Exfoliating may or may not be something you do, but it’s one of the quickest ways to brighten your skin. And it’s important, because if you have a layer of dead skin cells colonising your face then no cream, no matter how brilliant, is going to be able to have any effect. Most exfoliators on the shelves work well. Personally, I like to stay away from anything over-fragranced, but that’s just my bag. You can go for whatever one you fancy, or you

Bobbi Brown Tinted Eye Brightener, €33. This is the best eye brightener I know. Others are not half as good. This one reigns. I’m saving up for a new one as we speak. As well as brightening up the under-eye area, it’s also great for the eye lid to even out tone and colour. Okay, it’s tiny and not cheap, but it works great.

SKIN DEEP: Dead cells impede the absorption of the radiance cream, so exfoliate first. You can buy a two-in-one radiance cream and exfoliator. Picture: iStock can even go for a cleanser and a muslin cloth. Used daily, the cloth actually exfoliates the skin, naturally and gently, which is why Liz Earle’s hot cloth and polish has become such a global bestseller. If you want to get creative, then why not opt for a cleanser that also acts as an exfoliator. Bonus: you save time and money at the same time. Elemis’s tri-enzyme resurfacing facial wash — a non-abrasive face wash makes the skin feel and look squeaky clean and rather smooth. But our best discovery of the last six months is Trilogy’s active-enzyme cleansing

cream. It’s really very good, and has definitely made a difference to the tone and texture of our skin. I like it a lot. And don’t underestimate how much difference the odd face mask makes — I like to turn to Lush’s products. For a quick pick-me-up try Lush Ayesha Face Mask, €8.50. In terms of cream, Decleor’s double life radiance cream, €54, is a good choice. It’s packed with plant oils and soft focus pigments. It also feels gorgeous on the skin, and is a great one for cold weather days, too, as it’s very rich and comforting.

squeaky clean and super-fresh. It foams quite well, too.

face cloth here, too, but the muslin cloths are lovely and soft).

Olay Complete Care Multi-Radiance Cream, €9.49. I’m impressed with Olay at the moment, they pretty much deliver in a rock-solid way with all of their skincare products, at affordable prices, too. This cream is nourishing and rich, and if you fancy giving your skin a light, sun-kissed glow, then opt for the complete care everyday sunshine.

Trilogy Age Proof Active Enzyme Cleansing Cream, €33.15. I’m not that pushed about cream cleansers, but this one is right up my street. You smooth it all over the face and rinse it off with warm water. It really makes the skin feel super-clean and, actually, perceptibly more radiant. I love it.

Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat, €35. The famous concealer has lost none of its oompf since its launch in 1992. It has been upgraded from a single shade to many, so that you can get an exact colour to match your skin tone. There have been many imitators, but none come close, and for under-eye bags the light silky formulation of Touche Éclat works a treat. Benefit Erase Paste, €27. Products with pasty textures are not generally great for using under the eyes, as the skin there is so delicate it can easily gather in small folds and look unpleasant. Still, this one from Benefit manages to be creamy and light, although you only need apply a tiny amount. It does work very well and can also be used on the eyelid to even out tone.

STUFF WE LIKE Avon Anew Rejuvenate Flash Facial Revitalising Concentrate, €26. You wonder whether it was necessary to give this product such a long name. Still, this is a nifty little concentrate that helps to give a radiance boost and reduce pores. You can wear it day and night under your regular moisturiser, or you can give your skin a double boost by opting to wear it with the rejuvenate flash facial revitalising cream. Nifty. Elemis Tri-Enzyme Resurfacing Facial Wash, €38. Anything with “resurfacing” in the title makes me wince a little, but this is a very nice cleanser that doesn’t feel harsh at all and yet manages to make your skin feel

Feelgood

Liz Earle Hot Cloth and Polish, €15.50. What a fab cleanser. Not only does it really feel like it’s cleansing your skin very, very well, but the use of the hot cloth to wipe it off helps to exfoliate (truth be told, you could probably use a

Kiehls Over-Night Biological Peel, €48. Don’t be scared off by the phrase “biological peel”, this is an over-thecounter make-up product so you’re not going to end up with a bad chemical-peel face. If your skin is in the doldrums, then this is exactly what you

FRIDAY, JANUARY 6, 2012

need to pep it up. It’s specifically designed to help the skin restore itself — just pop it on before bed, and you wake up in the morning looking refreshed and lovely. Well, almost. Lush Ayesha Face Mask, €8.50. Lush does a good line in face masks and this one is no different (I’m also a fan of The Sacred Truth). It looks hideous on the skin. A kind of Halloweeny hideous. But the good news is that when you wash it off, your skin looks tighter, more even and more radiant.


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Renew year 13

Reading up

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As we attempt to get back into shape after the festive season, there’s a plethora of diet books to help us. Hannah Stephenson has a quick flick through them

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ITH the excesses of Christmas behind us, there’s a raft of slimming books to fulfil those new year resolutions to fight the flab and do more exercise. But while faddy diets such as the grapefruit, cabbage soup and acai berry come and go, experts are advising readers to tackle their ‘spare tyres’ through mind-control techniques and life changes rather than calorie counts and unachievable exercise programmes. Among the predicted big sellers is Dr John Briffa’s sensible guide, Escape The Diet Trap (Fourth Estate, €16.94), which shows how conventional advice — to eat less and exercise more — causes the body to resist weight loss. His science-based approach won’t offer any quick fixes or unrealistic exercise rituals, but rather concentrates on eating the right foods to stay healthy and establishing a healthy relationship with food. This one is probably ideal for yo-yo dieters who can’t keep the weight off, as it’s more a way of life than a diet and there’s no calorie counting involved. Other experts are treating obesity in the same way as other addictions, including Dr Mike Dow, who has written Diet Rehab (Michael Joseph, €17.65). Dow, who trained at the famous Betty Ford Centre in California, throws at us scientific studies which claim that it takes two weeks to detox from junk food, compared with the two days it takes to withdraw from cocaine. Dow says that we crave certain foods as they actively change our brain chemistry, making us feel happy or relaxed. His 28-day programme gradually substitutes these problem foods with healthier alternatives and activities that release feelgood brain chemicals, and so avoid the crippling highs and lows of a cold turkey detox. Of course, the majority of diet books are aimed at women, and none more so at the start of 2012 than Run Fat Bitch Run, by Ruth Field (Sphere,€14.95). With its shocking title, this offering from the self-styled ‘Grit Doctor’ aims to get the unmotivated off their couches and into a dramatic exercise programme. Not for the faint-hearted, those who buy it should be pounding the pavements in no time. Skinny Meals In Heels (Murdoch, €19.80) is aimed at ‘girls on the move’ and sees food writer and stylist, Jennifer Joyce, making stressed dinner parties a thing of the past with this guide to cooking and entertaining without the calories. With glamorous line illustrations, it features chapters on everything from snacks and nibbles to weekday dinners in under an hour.

Feelgood

Picture: PA Photo/thinkstockphotos

For those looking for a cerebral answer to their weight problems, diet coach, Janet Thompson, offers a step-by-step plan, in Think More, Eat Less (Hay House, March 5, €17.50), to re-programming your thoughts surrounding food. It shows how your hormones control your body weight and how you can manage them by introducing a system whereby the food you eat helps to burn fat and cleanse your body. Its aims are to ditch dieting, calorie counting, weighing and measuring, and embrace a new understanding of your body. The De-stress Diet, by Charlotte Watts and Anna Magee, (Hay House, €17.65) — featured in our cover story this week — may be appropriate for people who comfort eat because of their anxieties. The nutritional therapist and health writer say that stress is the missing link in the overweight equation. This book offers advice on how you can eat, relax and gently exercise your way to a better body, with fewer cravings, more energy and a calmer mind. It features personalised nutrition, calming techniques and targeted exercise to alleviate stress, lose excess weight and increase energy. More specific areas of weight gain, including

bingo wings, love handles and man boobs, are tackled by health guru and nutritionist, Max Tomlinson, in Target Your Fat Spots: Get Your Body In Shape (Quadrille, €14.99). Using a home fat-pinch test, he shows you how to drop your old eating habits and embrace healthier foods and attitudes, guiding you through a straightforward two-step programme. This begins with a week-long detox to kick-start your healthy habits, followed by one of six six-week programmes designed to shift your fat spot. Each specific programme encourages you to eat the right foods, take the right supplements and do the right exercise. There are also tips on how you can keep that weight off for good.

drates — and embarking on brief, intense periods of exercise.

Anyone who wants to be able to ‘eat lots, exercise little, shed 5lbs in one week, lose fat, gain muscle, look younger and feel stronger’ may want to invest in The De Vany Diet, by Prof Arthur De Vany (Vermilion). The 72-year-old scientist and former athlete looks to our ancestors’ lifestyle of eating a lot and moving a little, claiming we can beat obesity, diabetes and heart disease by living simply on meat, fruit and vegetables — and practically no carbohy-

And if you just want something to slip into your handbag when the willpower is low, look no further than The Little Book Of Diet Help, by Kimberly Willis (Piatkus, €13.60), a pint-sized guide which offers common-sense tips for when you’re out and about. Did you know, for instance, that rubbing your finger between your nose and top lip can help relieve cravings? Acupressure, hypnotherapy and yoga are also advised, but most of it is about common sense.

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There’s also help at hand for people of a certain age with Eat Yourself Young, by Elizabeth Peyton-Jones (Quadrille, €17.65), a book which reckons you can take years off your looks by changing what you eat. The nutritionist and naturopath outlines the five food types that are most ageing and then the five super-food age-busters that research shows have a ‘youthing’ effect. The programme starts with a deep-cleansing detox to refuel the body, followed by a youthful eating plan featuring more than 60 recipes, plus strategies and tips to aid progress. Within three months you’ll look five years younger, she says.


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14 Medical matters

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Q

My four-year-old son has just been prescribed a second course of antibiotics for a persistent chest infection. What can I do to ensure he makes a full recovery?

Dr Julius Parker is a GP with HSF Health Plan’s free 24 GP advice line. For more information visit www.hsf.ie or lo-call 1890 473 473

If you have a question about your health email it to feelgood@examiner.ie or send a letter to: Feelgood Irish Examiner City Quarter Lapps Quay Cork

A. If this is a single episode of illness and your son is normally fit and well, it’s unlikely this should be cause for concern. There are several potential infectious causes for a chest infection, and bacterial resistance to antibiotics is increasing. It’s not uncommon, if a first-choice antibiotic has been ineffective, for your doctor to prescribe an alternative. The overwhelming majority of previously healthy children make a full recovery from a chest infection. You should finish the full course of antibiotics. Don’t worry if his appetite takes a while to fully recover. Make sure he has plenty of rest — it might help to have a sleep in the day even if he doesn’t usually have one. Being unwell is no fun, whatever your age, so getting better is a good time for some extra, tender-loving care and a treat or two. One key risk factor for chest infections is passive exposure to smoke, so your home should be a no-smoking zone. You can’t wrap your child up in a bubble, and at nursery or school they are going to pick up infections. This is also how we develop immunity for the future. I’d expect your son to make a complete recovery. Only worry if his symptoms are persistent, or if he keeps getting repeated chest infections that are slow to settle. In this situation, you would need to see your GP. Q. I’ve just completed treatment for breast cancer. The surgery, radiation and chemotherapy have left me feeling very run-down and depressed. I’d like to get my old energy levels back again — what do you suggest? A. You’ve had a complex course of therapy that’s challenging, physically and mentally. Everyone takes time to recover, and fatigue is one of the most common and persistent symptoms once treatment has finished. It can be very frustrating and it’s important not to be too hard on yourself. I hope you have the support of a specialist nurse and sympathetic friend or family member. Following surgery and radiotherapy, there is often some tissue damage, which can restrict

NEWS UPDATE

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IRISH smokers will soon be confronted with graphic photographs depicting the negative impact that smoking has on health. Minister for Health Dr James Reilly signed regulations last month that will require tobacco manufacturers to place disturbing photographs on all packaging of tobacco products sold after February 1. Research and experience in other countries has shown that health warnings combined with coloured photographs can be an effective means of discouraging smoking and informing people about the health risks related to smoking. “We should never lose sight of the health consequences of smoking which remains the greatest single cause of preventable illness and premature death in Ireland, killing more than 5,200 people a year,” the minister said. “Every year, premature deaths caused by tobacco use in Ireland are far greater than the combined death toll from car accidents, fires, heroin, cocaine, murder and suicide. “I am committed to reducing the number of young people starting to smoke and to do all that I can to assist people in quitting this habit. “If, by introducing these graphic images on cigarette packs, some people are shocked into considering how smoking is impacting on them and their families then the warnings will have achieved their objective.”

movement. A physiotherapist can show you a range of exercises, which you should do daily, to improve this and I’d encourage you to take up regular exercise. A healthy diet, rich in fruit and vegetables, is important, as is getting enough sleep. Research shows that, despite the satisfaction of finishing treatment, a proportion of women go on to develop symptoms of depression and anxiety. If these occur daily, you should

HEALTH SCOURGE: Smoking causes an estimated 5,200 deaths in Ireland every year. Picture: iStock The minister and the Department of Health are hoping that these particular measures will have a positive impact on reducing the numbers of young people starting to smoke while also encouraging current smokers to quit.

talk to your nurse or GP, as they can help. Additionally, having had surgery can affect your self-esteem and personal relationships. Some people find relaxation therapies, or tapes, help them feel more positive about the future. You’ve obviously been through a tough period in your life, and you may never feel completely the same as you did before your diagnosis. You need to give yourself time.

NOTE: The information contained in Dr Julius Parker’s column is not a substitute for medical advice. Always consult a doctor first

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Catherine Shanahan MUM’S WORLD Feelgood

HERE are times in a woman’s life, chief among them pregnancy, when hormonal commotion is a pretty legitimate excuse for rudeness. Why, at a time when her moods are swinging more wildly than excited couples at a key party, would you ask if she was “trying” to get pregnant? Can she reasonably respond with “how’s your love life, stranger?” Why is it that pregnancy suddenly makes your private life public property and your body open to clawing and commentary? I cannot abide strange paws on my belly. In any other circumstances, a fellow could get himself arrested. For reasons difficult to fathom, carrying offspring seems to trigger the kind of observations never normally articulated, because the filter between brain and mouth would not permit it. “You look about ready to pop” or “are you having twins?” are rarely winners in the tact category, particularly if the due date is months away. Besides, women having twins usually volunteer this information. For the pint-sized, the only way to go is straight out and all around, and no-one should need to point this out. When someone says you look “hot”, take it from me, they don’t mean the Eva Longoria brand of heat. It’s a reference to

the beads of perspiration from the effort of shopping with two young kids in tow and a stomach that looks about ready to explode. “YOU’RE PREGNANT? WHAT? I could never tell!” is another gem, carrying, as it does, the implication that extra weight is part of your normal physical make-up. In other words, you’re fat, and carrying a baby ain’t ever gonna change that. There are other classics. Take the card-carrying Green whose sole consideration is what another child will do to the environment and the impact this will have on your carbon footprint. Or those who tell you to “enjoy your sleep while you can” at the only time in your life when you can truly empathise with the plight of a beached whale: bloated, cumbersome, too huge for your surroundings and with a bladder you would gladly donate to science if you thought it would benefit mankind. The best advice comes from Dave Barry, Pulitzer Prize-winning American author, in his list of ‘things that it took me 50 years to learn.’ “You should never,” he warns, “say anything to a woman that even remotely suggests you think she is pregnant unless you can see an actual baby emerging at that moment.” Alternatively, wait until after the baby is born and that surge of oxytocin, better known as the ‘love hormone,’ leaves New Mum at peace with the world.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 6, 2012

When someone tells you you look “hot”, take it from me, they don’t mean the Eva Longoria brand of heat. It’s a reference to the beads of perspiration


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Natural health

Q

Megan Sheppard Do you have a question for Megan Sheppard? Email it to feelgood@examiner.ie or send a letter to Feelgood Irish Examiner City Quarter Lapps Quay Cork

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I am in my mid 30s and had my first baby a little over a year ago. Last Christmas I was feeling shattered and a blood test revealed that I had an underactive thyroid. I gradually built up to 100mcg Eltroxin which hasn’t made any significant difference to my tiredness. A few weeks ago my GP took another blood test which revealed that my thyroid was still underactive so my dose has now increased to 125. I am totally fed up with this wiped out feeling. I exercise daily, eat a wide variety of food and have a healthy BMI. I am a coeliac as well. I would love to conceive again soon but want to get my health back on track and get a bit of pep in my step.

tions than others — no matter how healthy the food on your plate. Although trial and error is the best way to discover what specifically works best for you, there is a basic set of guidelines which will help for starters. The theory underpinning food combining is that each food group requires a different digestion time, and proper utilisation and assimilation of nutrients is achieved through combining foods with similar digestion times. A rule of thumb is to eat either proteins and vegetables or carbohydrates and vegetables at the same meal, but not proteins and carbohydrates together. Avoid combining acid and alkali foods. Eat fruit on an empty stomach, and all melons should be eaten alone. Dark circles and fatigue also indicate that your liver is working overtime, so A. You are very wise to get your health do take note of my spotlight below on and energy levels back to normal before detoxification. Sandra Cabot’s book, conceiving again, since pregnancy, The Liver Cleansing Diet, has been birthing, and breastfeeding takes a lot out around for about 15 and it remains a of you. The combination of underactive straightforward and effective guide thyroid and coeliac disease will certainly which most people find easy to incordrain your resources, so it is important porate into their daily lives. to be vigilant about your dietary require- BE SELECTIVE: Food combining is based on the theory You mention that you get plenty of ments for a healthy functioning digestive that each food group requires a different digestion time. sleep. This is a great start, since so many system. Digestive health, particularly in Picture: iStock people skimp on sleep. The trick is to situations where an underlying digestive ensure that the sleep you get is good disorder is present, is the key to recovery. You quality and uninterrupted. When we sleep, will need to maximise your nutrient uptake the body produces HGH (Human Growth which are important for the transformation through the foods you eat, and by addressing Hormone). HGH is crucial for skin cell reof T4 to the much more potent T3 are at how effectively they are absorbed via the newal. If you go to bed by 9pm, your imoptimal levels” says Dr Magovern. “Likeintestines. mune system has the chance to function opwise, it is important that there is proper Since your thyroid gland is not functioning timally, with physical repair taking place adrenal function”. well, this will take its toll on the functioning within our body between the hours of Dr Patrick Magovern’s clinic is in Dublin, of your other bodily systems. The thyroid 10pm-2am. Between 2am-6am the brain re(3, Drummartin Road, Goatstown), and he gland controls all aspects of your metabolism leases chemicals which enhance the immune can be contacted at 01-2965993 or see including blood-pressure, heartrate, libido, system, which is why lack of sleep leads to www.drummartinclinic.ie. breathing rate, and mental alertness. In your an increased susceptibility to illness. case, the thyroid isn’t producing enough thyDrinking water is important for detoxificaQ. I’m a 32-year-old woman and suffer roid hormone, leading to an imbalance of tion, hydration, and optimal functioning of from very dark circles under my eyes. I chemical reactions throughout your body every organ and system in your body. I have a healthy diet and sleep well. I had causing bodily processes to slow down. would recommend two litres per day. my bloods checked in July and they were Kelp is sometimes recommended for hyAdding the juice of half a lemon to your normal but lately I feel very tired and my pothyroidism (underactive thyroid) because it water first thing in the morning and then a periods have become irregular. Is there can help to regulate functioning by raising squeeze of lemon juice to your water any herbal remedies that you could reclevels of thyroid-stimulating hormone, and throughout the day will certainly help to ommend? I’ve been putting green tea bags increasing the metabolic rate. The required support your liver and contribute towards reunder my eyes but they haven’t helped the dosage of Eltroxin will almost certainly ducing the dark circles under your eyes. The appearance of my dark circles. Could they change as your system does, so you are doing lemon juice also optimises hydration, since be the sign of an underlying medical conthe right thing by touching base with your you are effectively creating an electrolyte dition? GP to reassess your medication needs. drink. Also, try the fresh inner gel from aloe I suggest you contact Dr Patrick Magovern vera leaves to help decrease the dark circles. A. It sounds as if you would do well to look who has a special interest in thyroid function. Work with these suggestions for at least at gut sensitivities for starters — particularly He will take a look at your complete health three to four continuous months — increasif you are eating a very healthy diet and are picture and use a combination of conventioning your water intake, practising good food still feeling washed out. The dark circles ceral and alternative therapies, including nutricombining, optimising your sleep quality, tainly suggest that you may have either an tion, acupuncture, homeopathy, and testing and cleansing your liver using the Sandra intolerance to a particular food or foods, or for food intolerances. Cabot method. If you are still finding that it could be as simple as changing the way Dr Magovern believes that an individual your periods are irregular and you are fayou combine foods. who is having problems with their thyroid tigued then it may be that you need to step Some people, particularly where the digestherapy needs to have their free T3 and free it up and visit a traditional Chinese medicine tive tract has been previously compromised, T4 measured. “I also consider it important practitioner who uses a combination of herbs are more sensitive to certain food combinathat minerals such as iron, selenium, zinc, etc, and acupuncture.

■ NOTE: The information contained above is not a substitute for medical advice. Always consult a doctor first.

Megan puts the spotlight on:

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NE of the top new-year resolutions is a detoxification programme/diet. These are often regimented and restrictive and difficult to manage during the winter, so a high number of detoxers fall off the wagon early. Simple, effective changes are more easily incorporated into your lifestyle, and if you still feel the need to do a big cleanse, save it for spring and summer. 1. Water I often tout the benefits of water — to flush the toxins out you need to drink plenty of pure water. Many common ailments, such as headaches, skin problems, and digestive disorders can be helped by drinking water. Use a filter not just for the water you drink and

Feelgood

cook with, but also for the water you use to wash skin and hair. 2. Movement The more you move, the more effectively the organs and systems of your body function and detox. Walking a minimum of 30 minutes a day add years of great health to your life. 3. Breathing Most people only use 10-20% of their breathing capacity. Breathing correctly is essential to the filtering and removal of toxins via the lungs, circulation, and skin — make sure you set time aside to practise

Six simple detox tips conscious breathing on a daily basis. Check out your local library, the internet, or chat with a yoga or qi gong instructor for breathing tips. 4. Whole foods A cleaner body starts with diet. Eating organic whole foods is great if the budget allows, otherwise check out your local farmers’ market for spray-free options. Home-gardening is one of the best solutions, since it also incorporates movement, fresh air and sunlight. Check out www.irelandmarkets.com for farmers’ markets.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 6, 2012

5. Dry-skin brushing Dry-skin brushing helps to move lymph around the body,

carrying waste and toxins out via the lymph nodes. Use a natural-bristled brush and work from the soles of your feet, then buttocks and lower back, belly, upper back, chest, finishing from fingertips to upper arms. Always brush towards the lymph nodes (armpits and groin) using a dry brush on dry skin. This improves circulation, detoxification, removes dead skin cells, improves skin texture, and supports immunity. 6. Happiness Make time to do things you love, and spend time with people who make you smile. Spending time in toxic relationships, or investing energy in activities we despise, truly takes a huge toll on our physical and emotional well-being.


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FRIDAY, JANUARY 6, 2012

Feelgood Supplement Jan 6, 2012  

Uniquelifestyleplan forthosewhowantto de-stressanddrop weight:8,9,10 R e n e w l e d it io y e a r - s p e c ia Faceintothenewyear withtheri...

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