Sleep… Why DO We Need It?

I’m sure this is something that we have all talked about and come across once in awhile. Our bodies are not meant to stay awake 24/7. Some people say we need to recharge our batteries hence the necessity for sleep. Sleep is a form of reviving our energy, or thoughts, or physical being. However there is more behind this. 

Sleep also aids the digestion process, and weightloss. There are 4 stages to the digestion process as follows:

Ingestion –
Ingestion is the process by which food is taken into the alimentary canal.
It includes the processes that take place while the food is in the mouth (mouth = ‘buccal cavity‘), such as chewing and grinding using the teeth, the lubrication and chemical effects of saliva released from the salivary glands, and swallowing of the food – which sends it onwards down the digestive tract.

Next comes Digestion –

Digestion is the process by which ingested (food) material is broken down in the earlier stages of the alimentary canal into a form that can then be absorbed and assimilated into the tissues of the body.

Digestion includes two types of processes –

  • Mechanical (e.g. chewing, grinding, churning, mixing), and
  • Chemical (e.g. action of digestive enzymes, bile, acids, etc.).

The mechanical processes include the chewing and grinding of food by the teeth and also the churning and mixing of the contents of the stomach.

Chemical processes that contribute to digestion also begin in the mouth with action of saliva on food. However, most of the chemical digestive processes occur in the stomach and small intestine – where the partly-digested materials are subjected to gastric juices, pancreatic juice, succus entericus and so on.

The next we have Absorption and Assimilation

Absorption is the uptake of fluids or other substances by the tissues of the body depending on its stage of passage through the digestive system is absorbed into the bodily fluids blood and lymph from the alimentary canal. Most of the absorption part of the digestive process occurs in the jejunum and the ileum of the small intestine, though alcohol is readily absorbed through the stomach. The small intestine is lined with minute finger-like processes (called ‘villi’, a single example being a ‘villus’), that greatly increase its surface area, and hence the rate at which absorption can take place.

Assimilation is the process by which components / chemicals from food (incl. liquid refreshments such as milk drinks, fruit juices etc.) are taken into the cells of the body – after the food/beverage has been digested and absorbed.

Elimination is the final stage of this 4-stage summary of digestion.

In physiology more generally the word ‘elimination’ can also apply to the entire process of excretion of metabolic waste products, including from the blood via the kidneys and urinary tract. **

** Taken from the website

Here is some information I dug up from the

Why Do We Need Sleep?

We tend to think of sleep as a time when the mind and body shut down. But this is not the case; sleep is an active period in which a lot of important processing, restoration, and strengthening occurs. Exactly how this happens and why our bodies are programmed for such a long period of slumber is still somewhat of a mystery. But scientists do understand some of sleep’s critical functions, and the reasons we need it for optimal health and wellbeing.

One of the vital roles of sleep is to help us solidify and consolidate memories. As we go about our day, our brains take in an incredible amount of information. Rather than being directly logged and recorded, however, these facts and experiences first need to be processed and stored; and many of these steps happen while we sleep. Overnight, bits and pieces of information are transferred from more tentative, short-term memory to stronger, long-term memory—a process called “consolidation.”

Researchers have also shown that after people sleep, they tend to retain information and perform better on memory tasks. Our bodies all require long periods of sleep in order to restore and rejuvenate, to grow muscle, repair tissue, and synthesize hormones.

How Much Sleep Do We Really Need? Healthy sleep is critical for everyone, since we all need to retain information and learn skills to thrive in life. But this is likely part of the reason children—who acquire language, social, and motor skills at a breathtaking pace throughout their development—need more sleep than adults. While adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per night, one-year-olds need roughly 11 to 14 hours, school age children between 9 and 11, and teenagers between 8 and 10. During these critical periods of growth and learning, younger people need a heavy dose of slumber for optimal development and alertness.

Unfortunately, a person can’t just accumulate sleep deprivation and then log many hours of sleep to make up for it (although paying back “sleep debt” is always a good idea if you’re sleep deprived).

The best sleep habits are consistent, healthy routines that allow all of us, regardless of our age, to meet our sleep needs every night, and keep on top of life’s challenges every day.

If you are interested in finding out more about the importance of sleep you can read the report here. 

If you found this information useful, please leave me a comment below. How many hours of good quality sleep do you get?

10 Benefits of Regular Exercise By Mary Ponce

We should all have a regular physical exercise regime, even if it is only half an hour each day for an energetic walk. The benefits of frequent exercise are enormous, these are ten real advantages that can be derived from physical activity.

1. Increasing your metabolic rate.

This is particularly helpful to people who want to lose weight. Your metabolic rate is the one at which your body burn off calories and therefore fat when it is at rest. Regular exercise increases your metabolic rate and it helps to increase weight loss.

2. Improves cardiovascular health.

Cardiovascular exercise, or cardio as it is often referred to, is the exercise that works the heart and lungs. Regular exercise includes such things as: swimming and cycling. These exercises can also be described as aerobic. They exercise the heart and lungs making them much stronger and healthier organs.

3. Stronger bones.

Regular weight bearing aerobic exercises such as: walking, jogging, aerobics classes, and dancing. All help to strengthen your bones.

4. Healthier skin.

Because cardiovascular exercise raises your heartbeat and gets your lungs working harder, this improves your circulation. Which in turn leads to an improved supply of essential nutrients to your skin, helping to detox your body and promoting healthy skin. Exercise also delivers more oxygen to the skin which helps it to fill out and promotes a healthier skin color.

5. Reduces stress.

The stress is caused by the presence of certain hormones in the bloodstream. Regular physical exercise helps to remove these hormones consequently reducing the levels of stress.

6. Improves mood.

Mood swings are governed by hormones called endorphins that are found in the brain. When our endorphin levels are low, we experience feelings of depression. It is proven that exercise increases endorphin levels thereby helping to reduce or alleviate feelings of depression. A survey has revealed that people who perform regular exercise are as much as 50% less prone to depression than people who do not exercise. It is also known that work outs promotes the production of the serotonin. Serotonin has been associated with calmness, therefore creates feelings of increased calmness.

7. Increased brainpower.

The brain, through its ability to stimulate increased blood flow, also facilitates a healthier and more active brain with exercise.

8. Improved immune system.

Regular physical exercise has also been linked with beefing up the immune system so that simple infections such and colds and flu are contracted less often.

9. Keeps you looking more youthful.

As mentioned earlier, habitual exercise also increases the blood supply and aids circulation. This helps to reduce the amount of fine wrinkles. This weight loss will also maintain you to looking and feeling younger.

10. A more flexible body.

If we do not exercise our joints and muscles tend to seize up. Regular exercise helps to keep our bodies more fluid, which facilitates our body’s agility and mobility.

It can clearly be seen just how good and also how important regular physical exercise is for us. It not only keeps us fit, but it helps us to lose weight, it improves our mood. It also prolongs our life by promoting a strong healthy heart and it allow us to look and feel younger too.

Article Source:

Finding Your Purpose

Without a life purpose as the compass to guide you, your goals and action plans may not ultimately fulfill you. – Jack Cairnfield

I personally believe we are all born with a purpose. Some people know their purpose really early on in life, while some take a while to wake up to the fact that they have a purpose and to then go on to find it.

I saw this in my children from a very early age, one son was always intrigued with taking apart his toys and trying to put them back together again. I knew he would do something with his hands. He is now a fully qualified mechanic and loves repairing cars for a hobby.

My youngest son was always interested in music from a very early age, he loved dancing, and he loved pretending to be a radio host and playing music. He is now in the entertainment world as a DJ and music producer.

For others it may take them a while it might not be blatantly obvious. For me I’ve always been passionate about health, this wasn’t something that came through at an early age. I was passionate about exercise and wellness when I was younger and this matured into being passionate about healthy eating and improving one’s diet to help one’s health. I found that my friends were always coming to me seeking advice on health, mindset and other areas in life. It was because I was an impartial person and never shared their ‘secrets’, this has now led me to becoming a Coach.

I did at one point in my life begin to question myself as to why I was here, and went through a phase of trying to find myself through religion, mediation, yoga that kind of thing. Trying to connect with myself spiritually I guess.

So if you find yourself asking, why are you here, and find yourself searching, but not clear on what you are searching for, this means you are beginning to awaken inside, beginning to search for your purposes, your meaning for being here.

I would say, think about what you love to do, what gives you ultimate joy, what makes you smile, what would you love to do, even if you were not being paid? This is your passion, so it is a good place to start.

What can you do in that area? Would you be able to support others? Is it to give pleasure to others, maybe you want to sing, or play an instrument, or love cooking or reading. It still takes time to develop your talents, when you find your passion. I love networking with others who are passionate about what they do, as we can share and co-create ideas on how to improve and scale up our ideas and areas of passion.

So ask yourself what two areas you love to express in or about yourself?

How can this be shared with others?

Remember everyone has a purpose, so you are here to find it and then give it away, help others by finding your purpose.

My two areas I love to express myself is through patience and love. I use them to empower and inspire others. Listening to their health concerns and issues, and guiding them to change. I love to see the transformation in others when they realise their passion and their purpose.

By being your authentic self you will drive others to you who are similar to you, who need your talents, to help trigger theirs.

When we find our purpose, it is not to be kept to yourself, it should be shared widely with others to help make a difference.

Some great books I have read about helping you to find your purpose can be found here

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Foods To Avoid During Your 3 Day or Any Day Detox

 So, you’ve decided to take the plunge and are going to give your digestive system a well deserved break!

You feel bloated, and sluggish. Its times for a detox to reset your digestive system, and metabolism.

Foods high in fat, and highly processed do take our digestive system into over drive. Therefore it is good to detox once in a while.

Having that bloated feeling?

Here are some foods which you may want to avoid until after the detox is over…

  1. Red meat, chicken, turkey and any meat products like sausages, burgers, and pate, these slow the digestive system down, and have a lot of fat, which the body finds difficult to digest, so will more than likely be stored.
  2. Dairy Milk, cheese, cream, these hold alot of bacteria good and bad, some people however are intolerant to Dairy products, and this can be manifested by a bloated stomach, constipation, joint pain, headaches, coughing.
  3. Butter and margarine
  4. Any food that contains wheat including bread, croissants, cereals, cakes, biscuits, pies, pastry, quiche, battered or breadcrumbed foods, etc
  5. Crisps and savoury snacks
  6. Chocolate, sweets, jam and hidden sugars, and
    Refined sugar
    White sugar
    Brown sugar
    High-fructose corn syrup
    Artificial sweeteners
  7. Processed foods, ready meals, ready-made sauces and takeaways
  8. Alcohol
  9. Coffee and tea
  10. Shellfish. Foods that tend to have moderate-to-high mercury levels, such as king mackerel, orange roughy, swordfish, tuna (bigeye, ahi, albacore, yellowfin), tilefish, bluefish, grouper, and mackerel (Spanish, gulf).

Here are some foods you may want to replace

Instead of the dairy products on the list above, opt for organic, probiotic-rich kefir and yogurt.

Besides wheat, avoid other gluten-containing foods such as barley, bulgur, rye, triticale, wheat bran, wheat germ, couscous, einkorn, farina, emmer, faro, graham flour, kamut, matzo, spelt, and semolina. Although oats don’t contain gluten, they are often processed in plants that produce gluten-containing grains. People with a gluten allergy or sensitivity should avoid them or opt for gluten-free oats.

Opt for fresh fruit and spices that have a sweet taste like cinnamon. Use natural sweeteners sparingly, such as honey, maple syrup, fruit jams, and fruit compotes. 

Cut back on caffeine from coffee, energy drinks, and soft drinks. Instead, try green, matcha, oolong, or white tea, which generally have less caffeine. Or enjoy caffeine-free herbal tea. Rooibos tea and spice tea are good non-caffeinated options. If you are used to drinking coffee and are finding it difficult to cut back, try black tea instead.

Hope you find this list useful, remember the whole idea of detoxing is to reset the gut, to help support a more effective immune system.

Having a good prebiotic and Probiotic is equally important to put back the good bacteria into the gut as detoxing removes good and bad bacteria. As you know we need good bacteria to help us fight infections and inflammation. Why not try PURE, as this has a high level of prebiotics and probiotics.

If you have any questions on detoxing, please leave a comment and let me know.

**** GUEST POST**** Working Out Builds Health in Body and Love

Today we are really excited to announce a guest blog post today from Tonya Vrba an accomplished writer who writes about health, career and dating issues. 

Working Out Builds Health in Body and Love
Have you ever tried to start a work out routine or eat healthier, only to have your efforts sabotaged by your partner? 
They may not intentionally do it, but they’re not on a health kick. Why should they give up the chips? 
Perhaps you have been on the other end of things, with your partner spending all this time working out when they could be cuddling with you at a movie. 

Whichever position you are in, you should seriously think about working out together. If health isn’t enough to motivate you, then let your relationship be the motivation. Studies show working out is a great bonding activity for couples.
Sex: Let’s get the obvious out of the way. You and your partner are both fit, healthy and flexible. In the gym you watch each other sweat from the effort of flexing muscles. With all that’s going on in the world, it may be best you conserve water and take a shower together.
Companionship: Having a cheerleader by your side at the gym is invaluable. Knowing that your partner is waiting for you at the gym instead of at home on the couch is a great motivator. On an off day, when you’d rather just go home and do nothing, you now have to confront your partner. If they do their job well, they’ll insist on working out. You can vent your stresses to each other over a pair of weights.
Competition: Friendly competition can improve your work out and bond couples together. You may have only planned to run 10 laps around the track, but if your partner is still going, you may suddenly find the energy for a few more. If you are both about equal in your fitness level, this may be a great time to get each other to branch out in other areas of life. Set a deal that the one who runs the most laps gets to choose the movie or dinner for the night. 
Improve Your Health Faster: Connecting all the dots, you’ll see that working out together will often result in working our harder and more often. This can be especially important if working out is necessary to avoid hypertension or diabetes. 
Rekindle Your Love: Sure, sex is great, but don’t forget about the love. Watching each other push yourselves and meet your fitness goal will remind you why you love each other. You will view your partner and they will view you as a strong and determined person. When you reach your goal, your partner will be right there to share the moment with you. 
Why are you sitting on the couch while your partner is at the gym? Look at what you are missing out on. If you want to try something a bit different than the gym, look into couple’s Pilates or yoga. Find something you both like to do and enjoy your health in both body and love.
Author Bio: Tonya Vrba is a passionate writer. Her work has been published in newspapers and blogs. She writes frequently about health, career and dating issues.
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