I saw a message on Facebook today about how pineapples can assist when you have a cough, and I thought that I would carry out some more research on the humble pineapple. I am flabbergasted!
Pineapple contains potassium, copper, manganse, vitamin C, beta-carotene, thiamin, vitamin B6, and folate, as well as soluble and insoluble fibre and bromelain.
The pineapple fruit is known to offer several benefits, which include a stronger immune system, weight loss, improved respiratory health and strengthened bones. It can also be used to reduce the inflammation of joints and muscles, particularly those associated with arthritis, so I am definitely going to increase my intake of pineapple.
Pineapple can also fight infections and illnesses and aid digestion.
As with anything, eat all things in moderation please.
I could go on and on, but it makes my attempts at making pineapple upside down cake when at convent school look rather lame now!
My energy levels have been really waining over the previous five or so years, coming to a head this year when, for the first time, I had to turn down work because my low energy levels, coupled with the pain of osteoarthritis meant that I could no longer fulful the work that I previously would have had no trouble in completing. I was devastated. My work has been such a part of my identity all these years that I felt that I was no longer Berni, and that somewhere along the way I had shivelled up and died, and I hadn't noticed, and the worrying thing was that probably nobody else had noticed too! Something needed to be done urgently! These are the tips I have been using ever since:-
Anyone who knows me knows that exercise and myself are not a marriage made in heaven! However if you don't use it, you lose it, so I now go on my stepping machine every day and it has made a real difference to me. Start out slowly and then work your minutes up.
Also, researchers have found that if you walk the stairs for 10 minutes, then this is a more effective energy boost than a 50g hit of caffeine!
Drink Plenty Of Water
Hydration has a major effect on energy levels and brain function. Drinking water half an hour before meals can help you feel fuller, so it may help with weight loss as well. If you suffer from headaches and migranes, then drinking enough water may be beneficial also to help prevent and treat headaches. I aim to drink 2 litres a day and I get my bottle ready every morning to drink throughout the day. It is also better to drink cold water, as the body warms this water up to body temperature, enabling it to use up calories. Better still, if you drink a glass of water with some of chunks of ice in, then this is a fabulous energy hit!
The Afternoon Slump
If you feel the afternoon slump coming on, go for a walk for 15 minutes. It will do wonders for you. Even if you are achy, plough through it, and you will feel better the next day. 10 to 15 minutes of sunlight will keep your Vitamin D levels up also. Don't forget the suncream if you are out for any longer.
I love my fizz sticks. Whenever I feel a slump coming on, I take a fizz stick in water and I feel so much better.
Write A List
I am an absolute avid list writer. If there is so much going on in your head that you don't have time to think, write each energy sapping thought on a post it note, stick each one on to the fridge and when you go past the fridge, peel one off, deal with the issue in hand, and there you have it, a clutter-free brain!
Laugh Off The Stress
And finally, laugh. It will do wonders for you. Whether it's watching again a favourite comedy clip, reading your favourite funny author, or going out with your friends, laugh. It will keep your humour up and will give you increased energy.
I decided to have a go at making Portuguese Tarts after one of my friends brought some into the office one day. They are like egg custards, but I think much nicer. The filo pastry makes them a lovely alternative.
To make 12, I used 175g of caster sugar, 2 large egg yolks, 1 large egg, 4tbsp of custard powder (I used Tesco's own), 1 and a half tsp of vanilla extract, (the recipe called for using vanilla bean paste, but I used extract on this occasion, again by Tesco. Every little helps and all that!). 600ml (1 pint) of semi skimmed milk, 2tsp of sunflower oil, 4 sheets of filo pastry measuring about 30.5 cm (12in) x 39 cm (15.5in).
Preheat oven to 200 degrees C (180 degrees C fan), Mark 6, and then put the first five ingredients mentioned above into a pan and whisk until smooth. Gradually whisk in milk and heat the mixture until boiling. Simmer for 2 mins, whisking as you go until it thickens. Set the mixture aside now whilst you brush a little oil in the cups of a deep 12 hole muffin tin.
Unroll ready made filo sheets onto a work surface, whilst keeping them stacked. Brush the remaining oil over the top sheet. Cut through all the sheets at the same time, divide into 12 equal squares to make 12 stacks containing 4 sheets in each stack. Press each stack into a hole of the muffin tin, with the oiled side of the filo pastry upwards.
Divide the custard among the filo cases and bake for 35 to 40 minutes until the custard blisters and turns slightly brown.
Leave the tarts to cool for 5 minutes in the tin and then use a small knife to lift out and cool on a wire rack.
As Gordon Ramsey would say, "Done"!
Here's the science stuff:-
152 calories per tart, 3g of fat, 1g of sat fat, 30g of carbs.
It is only since I have reduced my working hours that I have started to include walking into my daily routine. I know that sounds really bad, doesn't it?!!! I just never took the time, and having a sedentary job was my excuse I suppose to not walk as much as I should. But the difference I feel has been amazing after years of inactivity.
Please note that I am not medically trained All I can say is that my osteoarthritis doesn't seem so bad, and I feel so much better. Has got to be worth a try! Even a 5 minute walk in the fresh air is proven to improve energy levels faster than a power nap.
I now know that according to Norwegian researchers, getting fit in your 50s halves the risk of having a stoke in later life. I easily fit in a 25 minute daily walk, which could not only help your heart, but also help ward off dementia and boost your mood.
There are also many walking groups up and down the country which are easy to find on the internet. Have a look for them and not only your health, but maybe your social life may have a boost.
I am no financial expert, but I have learnt some hard lessons in 2017 where money is concerned.
We can all do it - spend more money than we intend. We start off the month thinking to ourselves that this month we aren't going to overspend, and before you know it, we are dreading looking at our bank account!
So, what can we do to resist the urge to spend?
Firstly, look out for triggers. I seem to want to spend more money when I am stressed, and I know I get tired nearer to the afternoon. I therefore try not to go out shopping in the afternoon.
I love going around the shops, especially department stores, who doesn't?!!. I now do not take a lot of money with me, and maybe only one credit card, so I resist the urge to spend.
If you are upset or fed up, you may feel that going shopping will lift your mood. Well, it will for a little while, but it won't help your credit card bill!. Go for a walk instead,
If you can sign up to restaurants' mailing lists, then you may get regular vouchers to spend in their establishments, and save on going out for meals. Ideal for me as I love going out for meals.
Tracking your spending is the key to successfully managing your budget. Even buying small items every day mounts up. If you spend £1 a day on a newspaper, then that is £30 or £31 a month. Maybe choose just to buy a newspaper at the weekend.
Track every pound you spend. Every pound your earn has to have a place. Make sure you know where it is!
If you can cut down on say a coffee that you buy out each day, that will save you approx £75 per montth. Imagine what you could do with that!
Pay in cash and don't rely on your credit cards. With cash you can physically see what you are spending, whereas with credit cards, there are no visuals.
Set a specific financial goal by saying, for example, I am going to save £100 this month. It gives you a clear, definable goal to work with, and is much more attainable.
Save 10% of any amount coming into a separate account. This will give you some breathing space should a big bill come in unexpectedly.
Check on how much you spend on going out, entertaining, etc.
Put some money away for Birthdays and Christmas. These events will always come around at the same time every year, so there is no excuse to not have the money to pay for these. It is a lot less stressful to have some money saved each month towards these.
And finally one that I love. Put £1 or £2 in a pot every day. That's either £365 or £730 by the end of the year to treat yourself with! Result!!