Blend It Up

Feb 20, 2022

Food - fun and healthy….not a chance I hear you say, but there are ways of being creative with food which will keep even the fussiest eaters coming back for more.

If you’re struggling to get your ‘5 a day’ into your daily routine, or worse are still struggling to get the nutrients into your children (if you have them), then smoothies can be a healthy and fun alternative.  There are however certain do’s and don’ts…

The don’ts

The main problem with blending all your fruits into one giant drink is that there is a high likelihood that it will be a sugary paradise and the exact reverse of what you are trying to achieve.  Blended fruits have a lot of the fibrous (sugar stabilising) content broken down while at the same time liberating large amounts of fructose sugars.  The combination is stressful on your liver, bad for your blood sugar and will assist you on a pathway to adding fat to your body which is probably not why you...

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Nutrition At New Years

Feb 03, 2022

If you’re like most people when the new year comes around, you’re full of good intent to make positive changes in your life.  In fact around 25% of us make resolutions in January with the majority focused towards weight loss, exercise and nutrition.  

The difficulty with nutrition based goals is that there is a great deal of confusion with what is good and what is not.  All the way back to 1992, the UK government published nutritional recommendations with four key components 1. eat more fruit, vegetables and salad,  2. cut down on fat,  3. eat more fibre and 4. eat more starchy carbohydrates. 

When researchers asked the public ten years later if they could name some of these recommendations and despite spending significant sums of money on awareness campaigns, only 16% of people interviewed could remember even 3 or 4 of these core principles.   

On reviewing the current nutritional guidelines provided by...

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The Art Of Goal Setting

Jan 17, 2022

For many of us, as we transition through the first quarter of 2022, we feel that urge to make significant changes in our lives, but while it is easy to say, it is much more difficult to do and even harder to maintain.

So where does one start when the urge to make change comes over us - it all comes down to strategy.  At this stage people often question, are we just better off simply getting on with it rather than wasting time planning it all out?  

The answer to the question really depends on you, the individual.  If you are the type of person that is quick to change and then quicker to change back, then strategy is the key.  There are 4 key areas that are useful to consider when planning life-changing.

1) Plan around your weaknesses

We all have things that we enjoy doing and things we don’t, so when considering change the first thing to do is work out what some of the difficult areas that are potentially holding you back.  The reason that this is...

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The Wonders Of Willpower

Dec 08, 2021

As we hurdle towards the end of the year and the chocolates start mounting up on our desks, the older parts of our evolutionary brain come under increasing pressure to focus on the long-term outcomes rather than the short term gratification.  

Willpower is often thought of as a ‘have or have-not’,  however researchers have shown that willpower is actually more like a muscle.  Like any muscle, if you put it under too much strain for too long a period it begins to fatigue.  Equally, like any good muscle, if you continue to strengthen it, it becomes able to handle more stress and strain for longer periods of time.  So how do we apply this to chocolates on our desk and the fact that it’s nearly the holiday season...

Daytime fatigue - as willpower is like a muscle it's better in the morning.  That’s why most people are more disciplined earlier on in the day.  If you have an arduous task that you have been...

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Decisions, Decisions

Nov 09, 2021

The world we currently live in is surrounded by knowledge and facts.  The internet has become the go-to place to search for new information,  the answer to a riddle,  a funny skit or even medical diagnosis.  The question is often asked whether we can sometimes wait for too much information before we make a decision and in that respect how much is too much.

The late General Colin Powell famously quoted the 40-70% rule of decision-making.  The rule would state that, if you make a decision with less than 40% of the information you were making a guess - a stab in the dark approach, shooting from the hip.  There wouldn’t have been enough information to assess the risks, consequences and the possible outcomes of taking such a decision.  While there was a chance that you could succeed you could just as likely, fail.  

If however, you wait to make a decision until you know more than 70% of the information then you may have waited too long...

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Adaptation

Oct 27, 2021

 

While many of us will have heard about PTSD it may be a surprise to find that covid-19 has led to psychologists categorising the pandemic as a collective trauma.  Their reasoning was because it was experienced by all and its psychological impacts were felt by many.  Data collected by Case Western Reserve University from 556  adults revealed a number of interesting statistics:

59% felt highly alert feelings and reactions

58% reported negative moods

30% were avoiding distressing thoughts and feelings

12% were recalling unwanted memories

86% reported 1 or more trauma symptoms

Furthermore, covid-19 has also led to a generalised loss of normalcy, lack of control of one’s life and a loss of trust in public systems.  The researchers stated that 94% people reported at least one symptom of grief and 23% admitted to sensations of overwhelm.  

With this in mind, how does an individual or society as a whole, repair the effects of such significant life...

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Hybrid Highs

Oct 14, 2021

Many companies have started to introduce choice to colleagues, allowing people to choose the days that they would like to come into the office the days that they would rather work from home.  With the offer of a new 'hybrid' working arrangement, many have started to work a ratio of 3:2, with 3 days being in the office and two working from home. 

The most common days to work from home run either side of the weekend depending on work commitments and as a result, these members of staff are working TW&T days (as seen on twitter) which stands for Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.  

Understanding that employees are faced with two different working routines, how do we ensure that we get the best of both worlds, and reduce the chance of a two tier culture?  The first thing to realise is that there are advantages and disadvantages of both working arrangements.  The predicament that many are faced with is extracting the best parts of working...

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Blog - Control Your Capacity

Sep 14, 2021

When I was young I learned to juggle. I could take 3 juggling balls and swiftly elevate them into the air in a whole host of various and complicated patterns. Then someone would throw a 4th ball into the mix and without thinking I could absorb the extra strain and just about manage to keep the routine going.  A 5th ball would be introduced but this time it was too much and then...disaster, I would drop them all -  I had reached the limit of my capacity!  The point is, I didn’t just drop the two that I was struggling with, even though I was easily able to manage three, trying to manage 5, meant they all came tumbling down.

So what’s this got to do with you?  If you entered an elevator you would always see a sign warning you of the capacity of the lift.  If you exceeded the capacity there would be undue strain on the cables and pulleys which could lead to poor performance and even put the inhabitants at risk of danger.  The...

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Psychology Of Happiness

Sep 01, 2021

What is happiness? 

Leading behavioural psychologists tell us that it’s often a combination of factors. Firstly, an overall sense of wellbeing. Someone who feels in control of their health, is active, and conscious of what they need to do to stay healthy. Secondly, someone who not only experiences positive situations, but someone who recognises the positives and welcomes those feelings too; for example after an appraisal at work, not only focussing on the stuff to improve, but also recalling and telling others about the positives too. Lastly those who have plans, goals, a direction they are heading in, whether that be work or personal. 

Now of course you can be inactive, not very healthy or have any true direction and still be happy, but would having them make you even happier?

That said, what can we all do to improve our happiness and have more chances of experiencing the emotion more regularly? 

‘You don't find happiness, you create it.’

This is a...

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Perfect Posture

Aug 17, 2021

For many, having worked from home for an extended period, we have realised the importance of having a good work-station set-up to keep us functioning and out of pain.  So as we begin our transition towards hybrid working we must remember that good ergonomics is vital.  As a reminder, good ergonomics is not just about furniture.  Rather, it is more focused on people in their working environment with the aim of increasing comfort and productivity. 

Although there are numerous factors that need to be taken into consideration we consider the five top tips to remember:

  1. Environment: Is your environment that you work in comfortable?  This can include the lighting, the temperature, which way you are facing, noise, distractions.  Pay attention to these factors and this in itself can enhance how much work you get done.

  2. You:  Good ergonomics has to take into account your body with all its attributes.  If you have a stiff neck when you look down then...
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