Food and DrinkLifestyle

Healthy Food & Exercise Is All You Really Need

Healthy Food & Exercise Is All You Really Need

So, I’m sure you will agree, eating healthy can come as a challenge if you’re used to skipping breakfast, snacking on the go or just filling your face with chocolate on a bad day!

I’ve always been thin and generally thought I was pretty fit and healthy, even when I did eat junk food. I grew up doing Gymnastics which was good for my health,  in general, I was a very active child.

Gymnastics

Running up to my mid-twenties and into my late thirties, I was always running around. I worked as a waitress/barmaid and looked after my children and studied at the same time. My food intake was little, the usual quick food of McDonald’s whilst going between work and college to driving home hours later.

As I approached 40 I still thought I was healthy, it just goes to show we don’t really know what’s going on inside us. I had not been feeling right for a good while and decided to get my health checked over after moving to Spain.

We joined Bupa when we moved over from the UK. We have seen a massive difference when it comes to waiting times and general medical care. We do not have to wait months on end for x-rays, scans, appointments, check-ups and results.

I had an MRI appointment, the actual scan and the results in the space of a week, you can’t get better than that. Blood tests and results you get back in 24 hours. This takes away the stress in huge quantities when your health is a worry you want results fast.

Anyone can join a Bupa plan, pop online and get yourself a quote, you won’t regret it.

Spain

My blood results showed I had very high Cholesterol. I was also offered an MRI scan for my other symptoms of extreme lower back and neck pain. It turns out I have Osteoarthritis in my spine. Not what I expected to hear at my age of 41, but sadly for millions of other young ones this is also happening.

First things first, I would have never guessed my Cholesterol would be high, we think because were thin we can’t possibly have that! Wrong, you can. Mine was nearly 300 which required medication, Atorvastatina, and was hereditary.

doctors help

As for Osteoarthritis, that was another shocker but really shouldn’t have been as it also runs in the family. I guess I just started early opposed to many that get it when they hit 50 and above, hey ho!

Straight up, I changed my diet. No more crisps, biscuits, chocolate, fried foods, nothing. Just good healthy food. I sat for a while thinking, now what do I eat? I mean, I wouldn’t say I ate bad all the time but when it comes to having to rethink your whole diet, it’s pretty difficult.

Chocolate image

I soon found some great ideas as to what I could buy and cook. My fridge was soon full of fruit, fish, skimmed milk, naturally low-fat yoghurt & vegetables.

My cupboards now consist of chia seeds (Salvia hispanica) a concentrated food containing healthy omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, antioxidants, and calcium. I also eat rice regularly, chickpeas, beans & lentils.



I don’t eat anything fried and stay away from large amounts of white bread, I must admit I was a sucker for crispy rolls.

In the beginning, I found the food change quite tricky. I never really was a fan of beans and lentils, so I had to turn my way of thinking around.

beans

Here are 8 of the healthiest beans and legumes you can eat!

  1. Chickpeas. Also known as garbanzo beans, chickpeas are a great source of fibre and protein.
  2. Lentils.
  3. Peas.
  4. Kidney Beans.
  5. Black Beans.
  6. Soybeans.
  7. Pinto Beans.
  8. Navy Beans.

Every morning I start my day with a bowl of healthy goodness. I chop my Mango, Pineapple, Grapes, Persimmon (see below if you’re not aware of this fruit) and Apple up, add a little low-fat yoghurt, Chia seeds and I`m in heaven. I then move onto lunch eating most days Avocado, rice and an assortment of seeds and beans with whole grain cracker bread.

Dinner for me consists of Salmon, Spinach salad and brown rice. This has to be one of my favourites. It’s easy to cook, tasty and very healthy. I do change it up a little as the same thing can get boring so ill add a few new items to my plate like tofu, homemade Sushi or Gnocchi with broccoli and mushrooms.

Persimmon Fruit Are Enriched With Goodness

Persimmon fruits, if you’re wondering, are red-brown or orange fruits that grow on trees like plums and look like a small, rather flat tomato capped by a calyx.

There are two kinds, one is stringent and one isn’t, the latter being pleasingly sweet. To avoid bitterness, the paler varieties should be eaten only when very ripe, usually peeled.

persimmon fruit

This fruit is sweet, flavorful and packed with antioxidants and nutrients, it’s no wonder that the persimmon fruit was named “the divine fruit” by the Greeks, they knew real goodness.

Persimmon is packed with nutritious and delicious flesh, its widespread popularity in many Asian countries and has now become increasingly common in other areas around the world like Spain and is featured in many seasonal pies, cakes and desserts.

This incredible fruit it can also provide you with some serious health benefits like dropping cholesterol and blood pressure. Not to mention the important nutrients, such as vitamin A and C and Magnesium.

Exercise daily

My week consists of walking around 20 miles, with added exercise routines for my spine like swimming and bike riding. When starting out, its best to take it slow, I was advised to be gentle with myself and not go rushing off like a crazy woman as I normally do and start a vigorous regime.

Osteoarthritis makes you feel extremely stiff and most people will endure pain daily. One of the best exercises for this is water therapy, get yourself to the local pool or the sea if its warm enough and get those limbs moving, its way better when your body is weightless.

Static bikes are also another good one if you’re up for it. You can stop at any point and don’t have to worry about hills, people and running out of water! The kitchen is always close by for a quick cuppa when at home.

Or, if your feeling more energetic than get yourself out onto some quiet lanes and enjoy the fresh air whilst cycling a few hours away.

bike ride

I personally think we all need to be a little more aware of our health, especially if we have hereditary illnesses. We think we will be here forever and don’t really realise how fragile we are until something starts to go wrong.

We are nothing without our health! I am now happy to say my health is monitored regularly and I feel a different person. We can’t help some health-related issues when it comes from our ancestors but I have always believed the saying ” You are what you eat”.

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  1. […] levels were sky high and a reading of high cholesterol, hmmm not great. You can read my other blog here on healthy eating with […]

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