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Could your diet be a better sunscreen than your actual sunscreen?

I am not a huge fan of chemical sunscreens.  Something just feels a bit unnatural about putting something on your skin that needs 15-20 minutes to “soak” in, then before it works.  The soaking in seems a bit strange.  I understand how it works, but then we need to stop seeing our skin as a barrier and more of an extension to the internal system, as it is all connected. 

 

So when you think about something needed to “soak in” to work, my mind goes straight to the thought of, “well, when does this get into my blood stream, if it needs to soak in?”  It’s a little bit the same as makeup and moisturisers, if you don’t think it is safe to eat, then why would it be safe to put on your skin?  I am more of a fan of physical zinc sunscreens that more “sit” on your skin to protect your skin.  I have yet to find one that I think is perfect, as there is a lot of questions about nano particles being very dangerous too. 

What if your diet could be an even more effective sunscreen? 

My posts never cease to mention the word “antioxidants” as they are a critical part of a healthy body.  Interestingly there was a study, done a long time ago, done in Australia, that showed a dramatic DECREASE in cancer cell production from an increase in eating omega 3 fatty acids.  In this study, the omega-3 fatty acid known as DHA not only stopped cancer cells from continuing their production cycle, it also resulted in apoptosis, which means the cancer cells died. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10945621?dopt=Abstract%20and%20http://www.pnas.org/content/98/13/7510.full.  Another study had a similar conclusion.  http://www.pnas.org/content/98/13/7510.full

Sources of omega 3, fish are great source, but a lot of fish is full of mercury too, so eating fish every day may not be the best solution.  Plant based sources include chia seeds, walnuts and flaxseeds.  But an amazing plant based source is algae, which is things like spirulina and chlorella.  These algae’s contain ALA which is the Omega 3 found in plants, while EPA and DHA are the Omega 3’s typically found in seafood.  We have some great supergreen sachets that you add to your cleanse online here: https://www.schkinnymaninny.com.au/products/shakti-superfood-blend

The miracle wonder drug that can help prevent cancer and heart disease!

Imagine if the news tonight ran a story about a new cheap wonder drug that could PREVENT you from getting cancer and heart disease.  What do you think would happen?  Would you run out and grab it, for you and everyone you know?  I am sure most people would.  Now what if I tell you that this affordable wonder drug ALREADY exists.  And it is available to everyone, everyday for most people, right around the corner. 

The wonder drug is called: FRUIT AND VEGETABLES.  A number of studies have shown a significant link between fruit and vegetable consumption and reduced cancer and cardiovascular mortality.  Vegetables may have a stronger association with mortality than fruit. Consumption of vegetables or salad were most protective, while frozen/canned fruit consumption was apparently associated with increased mortality.  This study adjusted for a number of other factors such as age, sex, social class, education, BMI, alcohol consumption and physical activity.  So eating at least seven portions of fresh fruits and vegetables per day may lower your risk of dying from cancer by up to 15% https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24687909

 Another study found that total fruit and vegetable intake was inversely associated with risk of cardiovascular disease, this means that eating more fruits and veg may LOWER your risk of developing heart disease.  Heart disease is the biggest killer of people around the world and yet doesn’t get the publicity that cancer does.  Of the food groups analyzed, green leafy vegetable intake showed the strongest inverse association with major chronic disease and cardiovascular disease.  It looks like just increasing your servings by only one more day you can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15523086

Easy ways to increase your vegetable intake:

  • Throw a few handfuls of baby spinach through your dinner – baby spinach wilts easily so you really don’t need any extra cooking. Just toss into a hot dish, stir through and viola!
  • For a pasta dish, half the pasta amount and replace with steamed cauliflower – the white cauliflower can easily “fool” your mind into thinking you are having a nice big comforting bowl of pasta
  • When making a meat dish, half the meat portion and add in extra mushrooms – mushrooms have a lovely meaty flavor when cooked with sauces.
  • Make more soups! There is no easier way to eat more vegetables than to throw a whole heap in a pot and cook them up.
February 07, 2017

Posted in diet, fruit, healthy food, heart disease, vegetables, weight loss


Why is everything we do vegan?

You might now by now that I am not an extremist.  I am not extremely one way or another, like an extreme vegan or extreme paleo or extreme anything.  I like to drink beer every now and also enjoy a bacon and egg roll (generally not together, but each in their right time).  Our offering is focused on short term kick starts like juice fasting, healthy salads and now we have our intermittent fasting programs.  You might still ask, so if you are not an extremist, why is everything you do all vegan?  Good question.  Here is why….

  • In several studies, vegan diets tend to provide more fibre, antioxidants and beneficial plant compounds. The diets also appear to be richer in potassium, magnesium, folate and vitamins A, C and E.
  • Many observational studies show that vegans tend to be thinner and have lower body mass indexes than non-vegans. Also, a range of randomised controlled studies have shown that vegan diets were more effective more weight loss than the diets they were compared to, with one study showing that participants lost more weight on a vegan diet compared to a calorie restricted diet. 
  • A vegan diet may help to lower blood sugar levels in diabetics, and also reduce their risk of poor kidney function by substituting meat for plant protein.
  • Lots of fresh fruit, vegetables and legumes and fibre are linked to a lowered risk of heart disease. Observational studies comparing vegans and vegetarians to the general population demonstrate the vegans may benefit from a 75% lower risk of developing high blood pressure.  And vegans may have up to a 42% lower risk of dying from heart disease.

 

Like I said, I am not advocating for everyone to become vegans for all their life.  But, there are benefits that could be gained from adopting some vegan habits, even if it is just 3 days every month!

January 30, 2017

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Why is alternate day fasting better than regular calorie counting?

Muscle retention

One review study also showed that intermittent fasting caused less muscle loss than continuous calorie restriction.  Typically, a weight loss diet involves reducing the calories you eat by 15%-60% which normally results in fat loss BUT also results in muscle loss.  Losing muscle means you have less calorie burning machines working for you, which can result in a lower metabolism and what some like to call “starvation mode” over a long term period like 3 months.  However, one study compared a continuous calorie restriction diet and an alternate day fasting program and found that both were equally effective at fat loss BUT only the alternate day fasting proved more effective at retaining lean muscle mass.

Easier to adjust to lifestyle

For me, I find it psychologically easier to adjust to just being very strict in my diet 3 days per week, instead of every day.   I can still eat cheat meals, have a beer on the weekend, and I can still eat ice cream if I chose.  I find it easier to chalk up those fasting days as the equivalent of when I am really busy and just simply cannot find the time to eat.  So I just drink lots of water, have a light dinner and go to bed.  I would much rather do this than every meal of every day be counting calories and have to cut out fun things from my diet forever.

Actually increases your metabolic rate

Lower insulin levels, higher growth hormone levels and increased amounts of norepinephrine (noradrenaline) all increase the breakdown of body fat and facilitate its use for energy.  For this reason, short-term fasting actually increases your metabolic rate by 3.6-14%, helping you burn even more calories.  In other words, intermittent fasting works on both sides of the calorie equation. It boosts your metabolic rate (increases calories out) and reduces the amount of food you eat (reduces calories in).

It can increase your lifespan

Studies in rats have shown that intermittent fasting extends lifespan in a similar way as continuous calorie restriction.  In some of these studies, the effects were quite dramatic. In one of them, rats that fasted every other day lived 83% longer than rats who weren’t fasted.  So alternate day fasting gets the same result for longevity as continuous calorie restriction but you can still drink coffee and alcohol (in moderation, obviously).  Bonus!

Still want to ask a few questions about our Schkinny Days Program?  You can email me directly at Catherine@schkinnymaninny.com.au or visit the program online here: http://www.schkinnymaninny.com.au/products/alternate-day-fasting-program

January 17, 2017

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What to do Post Juice Fast to help keep the weight off?

A cleanse is an amazing way to detox the body, the fresh fruits and vegetables cleanse and allow the bodies detoxifying organs to do their work whilst not wasting energy on digesting.  It really is an incredible way to kick start, snap out of bad habits and set yourself on a path to a healthier lifestyle.  But what if you want to lose more weight.  You have kick-started the journey, but need a little more help and you have a little bit further to go on your weight loss journey.  Enter Schkinny Days program….

We have created a program that combines the fantastic benefits of a diet rich in fresh raw fruits and vegetables with a scientifically validated weight loss method.  This program not only gives you an achievable, sustainable and effortless way to lose weight, it is also nourishing and nutritious .  

How does it work?  It is a way of eating where you fast every second day.  So one day eat normal, then next day restrict your intake to 500 calories, next day back to normal, then fast again, and so on. 

Why do it? Studies among overweight and obese adults show it may make you lose 3-8% of your body weight in 2-12 weeks and seems particularly effective with middle aged people, plus it seems to be easier to stick to and produces more fat loss than general caloric restriction (ie. Restricting your calories every day for an extended period of time, like 6 months)

Why I love it?  This has become such an easy way of life for me because it is such an easy way to manage my weight.  On Sunday morning, I didn’t baulk at having a bacon and egg roll with a hot chocolate because I knew that Monday would be my Schkinny Day again.  I have no fear and worry about what I eat on the weekend as I want to enjoy it, but with my set Monday, Wednesday, Friday modified fasting days, it takes all the thinking away from weight management.

 What the science says?  During intermittent fasting your body initiates important cellular recycle and repair processes (known as autophagy) and also hormonal changes that make stored fat more accessible.  Lower insulin levels, higher growth hormone levels and increased amounts of norepinephrine (noradrenlin) all increase the breakdown of body fat and facilitate its use for energy.  For this reason, short term fasting has been shown to increase metabolic rate by 3.6%-14%, helping you to burn more calories

Who can do it?  Anyone!  The reason I love this program so much is that its suitable for anyone not only trying to lose weight, but also people who want a fool proof method to maintain their weight without having to worry about the mid-life creep (that time in your life where somehow 5kgs crept up on you without you noticing).  Although, I saw everyone, we don’t recommend the program for pregnant or breastfeeding mums, but it is fantastic for AFTER breastfeeding.  You can check out my own video experience here. https://youtu.be/aO6Vuzh8oUM 

How to order? Online as usual.  It is a 6 week subscription program, so when you sign up it is only for 6 weeks, but you can always keep going.  This is great way to live your life, and it has definitely changed mine.  This is now a lifestyle for me.  Please let me know if you have any questions either email or phone 1300 021 601.  You can order here: http://www.schkinnymaninny.com.au/products/alternate-day-fasting-program

January 10, 2017

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The ultimate weight loss and detox programs COMBINED

We have been working on a great product for you and we are so excited to finally get it launched!

Our Schkinny Days program is a 6 week subscription program that combines the very best of everything we do!  A detox is a great way to kick start a healthier lifestyle, snap out of bad eating habits and really nourish the body, but then what?  I hear you.  Well, we can help that now too.  We have combined the benefits of a plant based diet, rich in healthy fats, soluble and insoluble fibre, loads of naturally occurring antioxidants, vitamins and minerals WITH the scientifically proven weight loss system to give you a program that will not only help your skin glow, your energy levels grow and your body sing BUT will help you conquer the weight management demon once and for all!

I have been using this program for a while now and love it.  I find it so easy to stick to, and found it very effective in losing my baby weight.  Since having my first child, I have found it very difficult to make the time to not only exercise, but just making myself a healthy salad is a time consuming task.  My body has become less of a priority in this new life!  Whilst I didn't have great deals of weight to lose, I was just struggling to lose the few kgs that would help my jeans not feel like compression tights.  

After 6 weeks, I had lost about 1.5cm from my waist and 2.5cm from my hips.  My pre baby jeans slid in perfectly!  I felt great, and I feel as if I have found a lifelong solution to managing my body and health.  You can check out the video here: 

https://youtu.be/aO6Vuzh8oUM

Interested in more?  This link will take you through to the subscription section for the Schkinny Days program but feel free to drop me a line with any questions, catherine@schkinnymaninny.com.au

Mindful eating this Christmas

Mindfulness is a bit of a buzz word lately, so what does it actually mean?  It means the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.  It may also mean just focusing on one’s awareness of the present moment.  Mindfulness can be used in meditation or therapy, but I think it can be used every day. 

Mindful eating is when you can focus on the actually act of eating.  It can be so many things like, chewing slowly to enjoy the texture of food on your tongue, enjoying a meal with friends and focusing on the conversation, sitting down to a nightly meal with family so you can learn more about each other’s day.  It also can be things like, being conscious of WHY you are eating, taking time to breath and ask yourself if you are eating because you are bored/tired/emotional or because you are actually hungry.  When do you stop eating, could it be possible you were happily sated 5 mouthfuls ago and yet you kept shovelling food in for some other reason.  Mindful eating can be applied to a lot of situations.  It is particularly relevant this Christmas time when overeating and over drinking are not only common but expected.   I don’t mean to take the fun out of Christmas day, I think a big part of enjoying it is to not be stingy, be generous, be giving, enjoy yourself, and if the Christmas pudding or pavlova was too delicious to say no to a second helping, then go for it.  Just be thoughtful, conscious and aware of why you are doing it.

For me part of this consciousness means waking the next day and asking myself, if I am really hungry for breakfast.  Chances are I feel like a great big vegetable juice with lots of water and can just allow my body to continue to digest, process and fuel itself from the food I have eaten, rather than starting the whole thing again.

How to be mindful this Christmas:

  • Take a moment to really feel if you are hungry or something else
  • Drink water with your meal to help slow down the scoffing
  • Chew every bite with consideration and intention
  • Indulge in seconds if you really want to, just understand why you are doing it
  • Be conscious of the wonderful opportunity to spend precious time with loved ones

 

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