7 ways to live a healthier life

Updated: Apr 2, 2019

1.Please go to bed.

Top tip, sleep more! As most of us are well aware, being over weight is not good for our health or longeveity of life but poor sleep dramatically alters the way the body responds to food and lack of sleep can be a vicious loop in a stress response. Sleep deprivation will actually dull activity in the frontal lobe of the brain and trigger hormones that make us feel hungry. The frontal lobe is in charge of decision-making and self-control and so you can see will power gets less and we eat more. Stress can also trigger the body to store fat, ready for times of need and emergency ( think primal and famine). So where do we begin? Bedtime ritual, no screen time for half an hour before, take a bath or shower, and light a candle. Experiment with essential oils, Lavender, Frankinsense, Marjoram, ( if this isn't possible every night, try washing just your feet and see how well just that makes you sleep!) Make the room pitch-black dark, and set the thermostat between 60 and 67 degrees. ( For some people a window open helps) Stick to a regular sleep schedule, going to bed and getting up at the same time each day. If you struggle to sleep I would also recommend the Lumi lightclocks. These wonderful lamps, gradually dim the light over half and hour and you will be surprised how it lulls you to sleep. They are also my favorite for getting up on dark winter nights as the light begins dim and gradually gets to a very bright and full light ( you canalso use full spectrum bulbs) by which time I feel lively and ready, not rudely awoken by a light or noisy alarm.

I would also highly recommend the Calm App which I've been using for 12 months. It is fantastic for bedtime stories, meditations and sleep music.

2. Don't go to sleep straight away.

Sex and making love, increases feel good hormones, (oxytocin), bringing on deep relaxation and good sleep. Oxytocin is sometimes referred to as the "love hormone," because levels of oxytocin increase during hugging and orgasm. It is the skin contact and touch that releases this hormone. It is related to the feeling of bonding ( belonging) and feeling safe. It may also have benefits as a treatment for a number of conditions, including depression, anxiety and intestinal problems. The hormone has been described as "an important component of a complex neurochemical system that allows the body to adapt to highly emotive situations." The hormone is said to contribute to relaxation, trust, and psychological stability. Its not all about sex ! Its all in the touch! As a Massage practitioner of over 25 years I am well versed in the benefits of touch. Practice longer hugs, 20 seconds or more! Grab a friend!

3. Ripeness matters.

New research shows that fully ripened fruit has more life-lengthening health benefits. Fully ripened pears and blackberries have more disease-fighting antioxidants. And in watermelon, a deep red color signifies more lycopene, an antioxidant that may reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. In todays culture of imported food it is tricky to find naturally sun ripened food, which means we also loose on flavour. And what this comes down to is eating seasonal foods and ones that aren't travelling from half way around the world. We can not grow everything we need in the UK so Europe is our best option for a wide variety of foods. I remember the first time I ate pineapple in India! Oh my watering mouth still to this day, its one of those moments, sweet does not begin to tell you of the deliciousness of this fruit. Not tart! And so it was when I discovered tomatoes in Greece, peaches and figs in Portugal! Savour your food. Cook with love, eat with gratitude.

4. Spice it up.

Eating hot chili p