Botox Dangers: Protect Your Skin


Botox has become the norm in the world of cosmetic enhancements. But there is also a worrying trend of users getting younger and younger. Are you thinking about trying Botox, or are you dead set against it? Either way, we all need to be aware of the Botox dangers. Read on as we explore recent developments in the world of Botox=based cosmetic enhancements

What is Botox?

Botox is a brand name for Botulinum Toxin Type A, effectively a toxin that can be used to counteract the pull of facial muscles and thereby leave you with a smoother complexion. But what are the Botox dangers?

Of all inject able treatments, Botox is the most widely known. Botox can be highly effective and is very safe – as long as it is administered by someone who is experienced and properly qualified to inject it. Under the current regulations, Botox must be prescribed by a doctor, dentist or nurse prescribe only but legally, anyone can give a Botox injection if directed by the prescribe to do so. This means that those wishing to undertake Botox treatment should be extra careful.

There is worrying talk of everyday beauty therapists, with no real medical knowledge, wanting the right to carry out this specialized procedure. Even more ludicrously, some trumpet ‘Botox parties’ as a brilliant idea, as if a mixture of alcohol-fueled fun and unregulated cosmetic procedures would ever be a wise move. Bad Botox can result in drooping eyes, ‘frozen’ faces and other unpleasant side effects, but with an unqualified person, who is to say what they are injecting you with?

Always play safe with cosmetic procedures and always choose a registered medical professional who will happily advise and assist as required.

Who Injects Botox?

Some of the main Botox dangers occur when the treatment is in the wrong hands. All good medical practitioners are aware of the importance of only carrying out cosmetic procedures that are necessary for and beneficial to their patients. They rightly view it as a professional and moral obligation that they should ensure that those seeking treatment be given the appropriate advice during consultation. The majority of surgeons behave in this way, but there is evidence that a small proportion of disreputable Botox injectors in many cases not surgeons – are straying from giving such sound advice.

The United Kingdom is currently the fastest-growing market for cosmetic procedures in the whole of Europe. Industry estimates state that in 2011 there were 669,711 surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures carried out throughout the UK. The British Association of Aesthetic and Plastic Surgeons’, or BAAPS’, own figures state that 43,172 surgical procedures were carried out by BAAPS members in that year.

The Botox Market

Within the UK non-surgical market, injections of Botulinum Toxin Type A, or Botox, are a significant and widely recognised element. The non-surgical sector, of which Botox treatments forms the major part, had a value of £205 million in 2010. Looking at the largest cosmetic surgery and cosmetic procedure market, the United States, the most popular non-surgical procedure was also injections of Botulinum Toxin Type A (including Botox and Dysport). There were 8.5 million non-invasive cosmetic procedures during 2012, an increase of over 10%. Non-surgical procedures represented 83% of the total number of procedures performed.

Botox Dangers: Younger and Younger…

Botox dangers also lie in the targeting of ever-younger clients. In recent years, it has come to light in the media that young women in their late teens and early twenties are being offered Botox as a ‘preventative solution’. They are being told that they should ‘start young’ or being advised ‘the younger the better’, as if undergoing the procedures will prevent them ever developing lines and wrinkles in future.

Young women are believing this information in their droves, with some cosmetic surgery companies reporting a rises of over 50% in young adults under 25 requesting Botox. Some call this the TOWIE effect, as the popular Essex-based reality show influences viewers’ perceptions of what is normal in terms of physical appearance and maintenance.

The ‘preventative’ approach is wrong on a number of levels. Medically, it is far from proven that Botox administered to women this age is beneficial in the long term. In the short term it may simply alter rather improve their appearance, in a way that suggests those actively encouraging the young to go this route are putting profits before their ethics.

Moreover starting Botox treatments too young could have a negative effect as they enter old age. One of the results of using Botox over a very long period of time can be muscle atrophy, i.e. facial muscles starting to waste away due to lack of use. It should not be a major issue if someone starts to have Botox treatments at forty-five, but begin at 18 and the result could be a far older looking face in retirement than otherwise.

If young people are made aware of the full facts and possibilities before they decide whether to pursue Botox, they may be encouraged to avoid possible Botox dangers and make the best choices for their longer term well-being, as well as their looks.

Botox Dangers

Still Want Botox? Top Tips

  1. Only every seek advice form a reputable, registered clinician – give the beauty therapists a miss on this occasion: Botox may be commonplace, but it is still based upon the administration of a toxin.
  2. Beware the gimmicky and faddish offers that can sometimes be associated with this aesthetic treatment. Give 2-for-1s, Botox Nights and money-off promotions a wide berth. These are one of the major botox dangers. You only have one body, one face however deep you may feel your lines are, never hand your looks over to sometime who just want to make a quick buck.
  3. Don’t over-do it. Don’t be tempted to try to have sessions of too many Botox treatments: another one of the Botox dangers. A real doctor will not let you put yourself in harm’s way, which is why you are far better off sticking to a real pro.
  4. Give yourself a cooling-off period in which to check out the botox dangers. You may think you are desperate for Botox. But just in case, take time out before committing to a course of treatments. Always remember: beauty really is just skin deep and health and happiness count above all else!

Hot Buzz: Healthy Ginger Recipes


A super foods go, ginger, or ginger root, has been on our radar for a long time. But outside of cakes and biscuits, what can you do with it that tastes really good, gives a burst of heat in winter AND packs a real super food punch to your diet? Easy, just take a look at Qooton’s brilliantly healthy ginger recipes.

A Word About Ginger Power…

Ginger is the underground stem of the Zingiber official plant. Thia gnarled root has been used for millennia in natural medicine to calm the digestion, reduce inflammation, quash nausea including morning sickness and cease diarrhea, ease sore muscles, relieve upper respiratory infections, restore hair loss, and soothe burns—among st other things.

In fact, in one study, ginger was shown to be far superior to Dramamine, a commonly used drug for motion sickness. Ginger reduces all symptoms associated with motion sickness including dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and cold sweating. Moreover, some believe that certain key antioxidants that are present in fresh root ginger could also be instrumental in slowing the growth of cancer cells.

So: how should this zingy, zesty super food be cooked? Ginger recipes are best when they embrace the root’s natural flavour and ginger is wonderful, in terms of both flavour and health benefits, in combination with a high-protein meat, like the ginger chicken recipe, or with flash-fried ingredients, for example in a traditional Chinese stir-fry. However you want to roll, try out some of these healthy ginger recipes which deliver a tasty pep-up and a true health boost at the same time.

Top Ginger Recipes: A True Tonic

This time-honored tonic is great for colds. One of those super-easy healthy ginger recipes which is a really soothing pick-me-up.


1-inch piece ginger root (or more, to taste), peeled and roughly chopped

1/2 whole organic lemon

1 teaspoon honey, or to taste

1 oz whiskey (optional)


In a small pot over medium heat, heat the water, ginger, lemon juice, and honey. Strain the mixture into a mug and add the shot of whiskey, if using.

Zinger Ginger Rice

This tasty zesty rice makes a great vegetarian main, or a side dish with a difference. One of those healthy ginger recipes that you will keep using time and again.


2 cups brown rice

4 tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped

1 large handful of spinach

1 head of broccoli, chopped into florets

3 carrots, in medium batons

A large handful of mange tout

3 eggs

3-4 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

4 tablespoons soy sauce


  1. Cook all the brown rice according to package instructions and set aside.
  2. Heat some of the oil in a pan and scramble the eggs, and set aside.
  3. Once you have cooked both eggs and rice heat oil the remaining over a medium heat in a large pot or skillet. When the oil is nice and hot, just before the point of shimmering, add ginger.
  4. Leave the ginger to sizzle for about a minute until it becomes fragrant and then add all the chopped vegetables. Sautée until they are cooked through and tender, but still retain a bit of bite.
  5. Now add the reserved cooked brown rice and scrambled eggs to the ginger and vegetable mixture and stir well to combine.
  6. Season the whole dish with rice vinegar and soy sauce, and then mix thoroughly.

Ginger-Infused Kale Soup

This is a great, ginger-infused soup is healthy but filling and delicious – and so simple to make!


200g kale, chopped

50g courgette, roughly sliced

50g broccoli

500ml organic stock

2 garlic cloves, sliced

A large piece ginger, sliced

½ tsp ground coriander

Small piece of fresh turmeric root, peeled and grated, or ½ tsp ground turmeric

A pinch of salt

1 lime, zest and juice

A bunch of parsley, roughly chopped (some to garnish)

A tbsp sunflower oil


Put the oil in a saucepan, add the garlic, ginger, coriander, turmeric and salt, fry for 2 mins.

  1. Add 3 tbsp water and the courgette; make sure you coat the slices, then add most of the stock and leave to simmer for 3 mins.
  2. Add the broccoli, kale and lime juice with the rest of the stock and cook again for another 3-4 mins until the vegetables are soft.
  3. Sprinkle with parsley, take off the heat. Pour into a blender and put on high speed until it is a gorgeous green.
  4. Garnish with lime zest and the parsley, then serve, with a wholemeal roll on the side.

Healthy Pork and Ginger Stir Fry

This is one of those beautiful healthy ginger recipes that takes zingy Asian flavours and turns them into a brilliant midweek supper.


2 nests medium egg noodle

2 tsp cornflour

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp honey

1 tbsp sunflower oil

250g/9oz pork tenderloin, cut into bite-sized pieces

thumb-sized piece ginger, finely chopped

2 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 green pepper, deseeded and sliced

100g mange tout

1 tsp sesame seed


Boil a good-sized pan of salted water and cook the noodles according to the pack instructions. Meanwhile, mix the cornflour with 1 tbsp water. Stir in the soy sauce and honey, and then set the mixture aside.

Next, heat the oil in a wok over a high temperature. Add the pork and sauté for 2 mins until browned all over. Add the ginger, garlic, pepper and mangetout, and cook for 2 more mins until just starting to meld their flavours.

Turn down the heat and then add the soy sauce and honey mixture, stirring and cooking until the sauce bubbles and thickens. Share the drained noodles between 2 dinner bowls. Top each bowl with a generous serving of pork and veg, then scatter over the sesame seeds. Hey preston, ginger heaven!

Ginger Lassi

A ginger lassi is of the most delicious traditional healthy ginger recipes; both warming and refreshing, at any time of year.

Ginger Lassi


200ml natural yoghurt

200ml cold water

A handful of ice

1 heaped tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated

A pinch of ground cardamom

A pinch of brown sugar


Blend everything in a liquidizer and serve in tall glasses.

Go Vegetarian for a Week: Dinner Recipes


Love meat? You and several billion of us, but nonetheless there are plenty of compelling reasons why even the most ardent carnivore should at least consider giving the meat a rest, if only for a few days. From a health perspective, although lean protein is great, it is never a bad idea to feed your system with primarily high-fibre, nutrient-rich, water-packed treats for a while, which is far easier on a vegetarian diet.

Also, the environmental impact of eating meat has been much discussed in the past few years. According to studies quoted in The Guardian, when compared to potatoes, wheat, rice and other staples the environmental impact of beef per calorie is significantly extreme, requiring 160 times more land and producing 11 times more greenhouse gases, a shocking statistic.

Finally, it may be worth entertaining the thought that giving up meat, even just for a few days, could be fun! Just think: no more slabs of meat and two veg for a while – you can feast on quinoa and halloumi, or buttery spinach, or butternut squash with chilli oil drizzle instead.

Willing to give it a go and go vegetarian for a week? Here are a few dinner recipes that have been inspired by BBC Good Food. They are sure to see you through in style.

Butternut Squash and Chickpea Curry

This mild and warming curry contains earthy chickpeas and sweet golden squash that complement each other beautifully.


200g brown basmati rice

1 tbsp olive oil

1 butternut squash, diced

1 red onion, diced

2 tbsp mild curry paste

300ml vegetable stock

4 large tomatoes, roughly chopped

400g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

3 tbsp fat-free Greek yogurt

Small handful coriander, chopped


Cook the rice in boiling salted water, as per pack instructions. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large frying pan and cook the butternut squash for 2-3 mins until lightly browned. Add the onion and the curry paste and fry for 3-4 mins more.

Pour over the stock, then cover and simmer for 15-20 mins, or until the squash is tender. Add the tomatoes and chickpeas, then gently cook for 3-4 mins, until the tomatoes slightly soften.

Take off the heat and stir through the yogurt and coriander. Serve with the rice and a couple of wholemeal chapattis.

Vegetarian Casserole

Enjoy these delicious fresh ingredients when you go vegetarian for a week, in this simple, hearty, high-fibre casserole.


250g cooked lentil

250ml vegetable stock

2 x 400g tins tomatoes

1 tbsp dried thyme

3 medium carrots, sliced

2 medium sticks celery, finely sliced

1 red pepper, chopped

1 yellow pepper, chopped

2 courgette, sliced thickly

2 sprigs fresh thyme

1 onion, finely chopped

3 garlic clove, sliced

1 tsp smoked paprika

½ tsp cumin

1 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil


Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based pan. Add the onions and cook gently for 5 – 10 mins until softened.

Add the garlic, spices, dried thyme, carrots, celery and peppers and cook for 5 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, stock, courgettes and fresh thyme and cook for 20 25 minutes.

Take out the thyme sprigs. Stir in the lentils and bring back to a simmer. Serve with wild and white basmati rice or quinoa.

Mushroom and Camembert Hotpot

This hotpot offers all the earthy savoury goodness of delectable vegetarian cheese melded with mushrooms. Great on colder days when you are trying to go vegetarian for a week.


3 leek, trimmed, washed and roughly sliced

large knob butter

½ small Savoy cabbage, shredded

8 chestnut mushroom, sliced

4 tbsp crème fraîche

3 medium potato, peeled and thinly sliced

1 small vegetarian Camembert or other rinded soft cheese, sliced with the rind on

1 tbsp thyme leaf


In a shallow microwavable dish toss the leeks in half the butter and cook on High for 5 mins until they begin to soften. Stir in the cabbage and mushrooms and add the crème fraîche. Lay the potato slices over the vegetables pressing them down with a fish slice.

Dot the potatoes with the remaining butter and microwave, uncovered, for 15-20 mins on High until they are done. Scatter over the cheese and thyme, and either microwave on high to melt for 2 mins, or grill until crisp and brown. Leave to stand for a few mins and serve straight from the dish.

Vegetable Chilli

1 large onion, chopped

2 courgette, diced

1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped

1 yellow pepper, deseeded and chopped

1 tbsp chilli powder

100g red lentils, washed and drained

1 tbsp tomato purée

2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes

195g can sweetcorn, drained

420g can butter beans, drained

400g can kidney beans in water, drained


Heat the oil in a large pan. Cook the garlic, ginger, onion, courgettes and peppers for about 5 mins until starting to soften. Add the chilli powder and cook for 1 min more.

Stir in the lentils, tomato purée, tomatoes and 250ml water. Bring to the boil and cook for 15-20 mins.

Add the sweetcorn and beans, and cook for a further 10 mins.

Mediterranean Eggs

A colourful carnival of a dish that is very versatile when you go vegetarian for a week you could eat it for dinner, lunch or breakfast… or all three if you fancy!

Mediterranean Eggs


1 tbsp olive oil

2 or 3 courgettes, chopped into small chunks

200g/7oz pack cherry tomatoes, halved

1 garlic clove, crushed

2 eggs

A few basil leaves, to serve


Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan, then add the courgettes. Fry for 5 mins, stirring every so often until they start to soften, add the tomatoes and garlic, then cook for a few mins more. Stir in a little seasoning, then make two gaps in the mix and crack in the eggs. Cover the pan with a lid or a sheet of alumnium foil and then cook for 2-3 mins until the eggs are done to your liking. Scatter over a few basil leaves and serve with warm and crusty wholemeal bread.

Better Coffee In 2016 The Five Best Brewing Methods


Coffee is a staple in the diet of many westerners. However, few of us take the time to brew and enjoy a better cup of coffee, much to the dismay of Italians. If you want to experience coffee at its best then, as any coffee connoisseur will profess, you need to brew it fresh.

There are several ways to brew coffee these days; from traditional manual techniques to hi-tech automated processes. The method you use will have an impact on the flavor and quality of your coffee. So, it is a good idea to understand the various techniques and the results they each yield.

That could take a little while, so to shorten your research time we will highlight the five best brewing methods currently in use.


Invented by genius German inventor Peter Schlumbohm in 1941, the Chemex coffee brewer is considered by many to be the “perfect coffee maker.” It is a manual, pour-over drip brewer with special filters that are specifically made by Chemex. This unassuming looking brewer comes up on top of many ‘best brewer’ lists for several key reasons.

Firstly, it can keep the coffee-water mixture at the perfect temperature (195-205 Fahrenheit) from the start of the infusion. A difficult feat for many other top quality auto-drip makers.

A second reason is that the Chemex’s design allows you to have some control over the infusion time. Your pouring technique and coffee grind size will have an influence on the overall infusion time, which in turn varies the flavor and richness of the brew.

And lastly, it is super easy to keep a Chemex coffee brewer clean. Over time, many other similar coffee brewing systems become rancid with a build-up of coffee residue. This will ultimately lead to a decline in the flavor of the brews, which is not ideal. The Chemex has a hassle-free cleaning design to help prevent residue build up.


The Technivorm KBT741 could be mistaken for a standard electric drip brewer. It’s not. Where most drip brewers have an 800-watt heating element, the Technivorm comes with a 1400-watt warmer. This extra wattage enables the brewer to reach the ideal brewing temperature (~199F) fast. Thus reducing the time needed to brew a full carafe.

The Technivorm comes equipped with an insulated metal carafe with a pourable screw cap. This helps to keep the coffee warmer and fresher for a longer period than traditional glass carafes.

And, for those instances where you have to brew while not quite awake, there is a contact switch at the base of the tower where the carafe sits. No carafe, no brew. This feature will reduce mishaps and potentially arduous clean ups.


The Aeropress is a great pour-over coffee brewer. It was invented in 2005 by Alan Adler, president of Aerobie. It is a quick brew option that can produce a single cup in under a minute, depending on the coffee grind size used and how strong you want the flavor to be.

The Aeropress is made up of two copolyester cylinders, one of which has a rubber plunger. This plunger fits inside the slightly larger cylinder similar to a syringe.

To brew the coffee, you place a microfilter at the bottom of the larger cylinder. Place the coffee grinds on the filter, and pour hot water over the grounds. Stir for a few seconds and then use the plunger to force the water through the filter into the waiting mug.

Some of the benefits of using this method include the disposable paper filter that removes most, if not all, of the coffee solids, and, as mentioned before, the brew time is super short.

One downside is the need to heat the water in a separate vessel. It might slow things down a bit, but probably not enough to completely counteract the short brew time.

French Press

The French Press is similar to the Aeropress in that it utilizes a plunger-type action. There are a couple of key differences between the devices, though. Where the Aeropress is designed to force the water through the grounds sitting on the filter, the French press works by forcing the grounds to the bottom of the carafe with the plunger acting as the filter.

One of the great things about both the French press and the Aeropress is that the grounds are completely saturated with the water. This allows for full dispersion of all the flavor into each cup of coffee brewed.

Despite the convenience of the compact design, the French press is not without its drawbacks. The biggest one is that it requires a coarser grind as the finer grinds might seep through the filter into the brew.

French Press

Coffee Cone

Coffee cones are fairly self-explanatory. They are a type of filter shaped like a cone. Why does this make a difference? It has more to do with the dispersion of the water through the grounds.

The standard basket filter is a flat-bottomed paper filter. They can be purchased in large quantities at not much cost. The problem with those filters is that when grounds are placed in the filter, they either pile in the center or are spread evenly around the bottom of the filter. Most coffee brewers have a shower arm that puts the water at, or near the center of the filter. With a flat bottomed filter, this may result in a lower saturation of the grounds, with some possibly not being used at all.

With a cone filter, while still made of paper, the coffee grounds are funneled into a point at the bottom of the filter. This allows the water to come in contact with more of the grounds, making them more efficient and resulting in a fuller flavored cup of Joe.

Brewing a fresh cup of coffee is not as difficult as you might think. Not with great little brewing devices such as the ones mentioned here. Everyone deserves a better coffee. Make 2016 the year that you start enjoying this awesome beverage in all its freshly brewed glory. Be warned, though, once you start drinking freshly brewed coffee, you will never be able to go back.

Diet 2016: Back to Basics with Calories


Diets can be tricky: it can be confusing when deciding the best way to lose weight. There are many different methods, all of which can work well, but regardless of more exotic approaches, if you understand the calorie principle then you will be several steps nearer to controlling your weight for good. Calories have been speculated over in all kinds of ways, but in reality it is very simple. As time passes, we eat a lot of food and at the same time we burn calories every day. We must also remember that the drinks we drink can also be very high in calories. Alcohol is calorific and even if you’re enjoying a Dry January, your waistline will not thank you for drinking a ton of full-fat milkshakes.

So, taking into account everything, food and drink alike, whether we gain or lose weight is all simply a question of balance. If we consume more calories than we need it will definitely lead to weight gain. If we consume fewer calories than we burn, then we will lose weight. Here’s more detail about how to win the calorie war.

How Many Calories Should We Eat?

An average man needs around 2500 calories a day to maintain his weight. For an average woman, that figure is around 2000 calories a day. Many plans recommend that you reduce your intake by just 600 calories per day, others are stricter. It is not recommended that anyone drop below 1000 calories per day when trying to lose weight.

Why Try to Lose Weight?

Losing weight is well worth the effort and not just for looks. When we carry excess weight we are at far greater risk of a wide range of serious health problems. First, when we eat and drink more calories than we need, our bodies store the excess as body fat. Fat is not just unsightly, it can be very dangerous for our health, particularly the extra pounds of fat that so many of us can carry around our belly area. If this weight gain goes unchecked and continues over time then we will become overweight, and can even become obese.

Being overweight or obese causes an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and some cancers. Many adults in the West need to lose weight, and to do this they need to eat and drink fewer calories. Combining these changes with increased physical activity is the best way to achieve a healthier weight.

Remember, achieving a healthy weight is all about striking the right balance between the energy that you put into your body, and the energy that you use. To lose weight, you have to use more energy than you consume in food and drinks throughout the day.

Calorie Cutting: Low-fat Food

It makes sense to most people that if you don’t want to be fat, then you should probably eat less of it, right? This is common sense… but it is not the whole story by any stretch of the imagination. There are different types of fats and they act within your body in very different ways.

Everyone needs some fat as the body requires it to function properly. A small amount of healthy fat helps the body to function at optimum levels. But remember the calorie/ energy-burning balance.

Fat is very calorific every gram of fat contains 9 calories. Compare that to other macro-nutrients:

Protein: 1 gram = 4 calories

Carbohydrates: 1 gram = 4 calories

Alcohol: 1 gram = 7 calories

Eat too much fat and, at 9 calories per gram, it will obviously be fattening. However, not all fats stack up the same nutritionally and some fats are better for you than others.

All About Fats

These include both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Polyunsaturated fats come from plants and include olive oil, corn oil, and avocadoes among others. If you are trying to lose weight you should really stick to this category of fat on your diet.

Saturated fats come from animal products, for example meat and dairy foods. They increase the risk of heart disease because they raise the “bad” LDL cholesterol in the body. Only 10% or less of your daily calories should be from saturated fats.

Trans Fats are the worst types of fats to eat and too many of them can impact hugely on our health. Trans fats can be found in products like margarines as well as in many unhealthy snacks such as processed foods including cookies, cakes, pies, ready meals and potato chips. Trans fats can actually raise your bad cholesterol and as such, many medical experts recommend that you avoid them altogether.

Why Low Fat, Low Cal Works

On a low-fat diet, you restrict your calorie intake through fat to a lower than normal percentage. For example, on a normal weight-loss diet of 1,200 calories, you will limit fats to only 20% of total daily intake. This basically means that you can have 240 calories, or 26 grams, of fat each day, with a maximum of 120 calories, or 13 grams, coming from saturated fat. That leaves you with nearly a full 1,000 calories to “spend” on protein and carbohydrates.

Most dieticians would still encourage the consumption of some low-fat dairy products. They are rich in calcium and vitamin D and these help preserve and build muscle mass during a diet. The higher the percentage of fat in your body and the less muscle, the worse your ability to burn calories. Conversely, having a good muscle mass is essential for maintaining a super-efficient metabolism.

The Thermogenic Factor

Certain foods have a very high thermogenic effect, so you literally torch away the calories as you eat on your diet. Other foods contain nutrients and compounds that add kindling to your metabolic fire. Feed your metabolism with these wonderful dietary additions.

Whole grains

When your body tries to break down whole foods your body burns twice as many calories. This is especially true when it comes to those foods which are rich in fibre, like oatmeal and brown rice. If you only consume processed foods, you lose this advantage, as well as lots of fibre and vital nutrients.

Whole grains

Lean meats

Lean protein really is the dieters’ friend and it has a very high thermogenic effect. Did you know that you burn about 30% of the calories the food contains during digestion? This means that a 300-calorie chicken breast requires about 90 calories to break it down.


One cup of lentils packs in an amazing 35% of your daily iron needs. This is fabulous news, since up to 20% of us are iron-deficient. When you lack a nutrient, your metabolism slows down because the body’s not getting everything that it needs to work efficiently and to lose weight, your body needs to be working as efficiently as possible.

Hot peppers

Want to add some real fire to your metabolism and burn calories to diet as efficiently as possible? Capsaicin, the compound that gives chilli peppers their heat, warms up your body, so that you burn off additional calories. You can get it by eating raw, cooked, dried, or powdered peppers.

Green tea

It is a proven fact that good green tea infusions can help you dramatically lose weight, more than any other drink (apart from water). Drinking four cups of green tea a day helped people shed more than six pounds in eight weeks, as it was reported following a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. There is a compound in the green tea called EGCG and it temporarily speeds metabolism after sipping it.

Fabulous fish

Salmon is high in protein and contains essential omega-3 fatty acids. These have been shown to regulate a vital body hormone called leptin, which is involved in the regulation of energy, causing an increased caloric burn. Tuna is also an excellent source of omega-3s and should freely be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet.

Vitamin C Recipes: 7 Fresh and Healthy Options

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is essential throughout the winter, as well as the summer, spring and autumn, to support good health year-round. It is an enormously important vitamin. It is an antioxidant, protecting cells against free radicals, which may contribute to cardiovascular disease and cancer. Vitamin C also has antiviral properties with a particularly vital role in warding off colds. Did you know that because lemons are high in vitamin C they can prevent the disease scurvy which was common among sailors stuck on ships for months? Even today, the British Navy requires ships to carry enough lemons so that every sailor can have one ounce of juice a day.

The health benefits of the vitamins, also found in lime, orange, passion fruit and grapefruit include weight loss, skin care, improved digestion, relief from constipation, eye care, and treatment of scurvy, piles, peptic ulcer, respiratory disorders, gout, gums and urinary disorders.

Finally, ruby grapefruit has a huge additional nutritional bonus in lycopene, which gives the ruby red its distinctive colour. A member of the carotenoid family of plant-based pigments, lycopene is a powerful antioxidant in its own right. Antioxidants fight the free radicals believed to be responsible for disease and age-related cell damage.

The recipes below are delicious and moreover, all these recipes are contain citrus fruits with plenty of vitamin C. So tuck in and brighten up your health this winter.

Greek Lemon Delight

This light, fresh and fruity dessert is perfect all year round. The fat-free Greek yoghurt makes it a option healthier.


300ml 0% Greek yoghurt

A few drops of Stevia to taste

50ml white wine

Zest and juice from ½ lemon

A handful of blueberries, to serve


Whip the yoghurt and Stevia together until well mixed. Stir in the wine, most of the lemon zest and the juice. Spoon into glasses or bowls, sprinkle with the remaining zest and serve with blueberries scattered over each portion.

Lime and Coriander Rice

When you want a delicious side dish with a zesty kick, try this fabulous rice recipe. You add the lime after cooking so the Vitamin C content remains intact.


300g basmati rice

3 tbsp fresh chopped coriander

2 limes, zest and juice

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Dash of olive oil


Cook the rice according to the packet instructions and then stir in the coriander, lime zest and juice, salt and freshly ground black pepper and olive oil. Spoon into a bowl and serve.

Kiwi, Lime and Mint cooler


125ml boiling water

4 gold and 4 green kiwi fruit

80ml lime juice (from 3-4 limes)

A handful of mint leaves

10 ice cubes

250ml sparkling wine or water

A few drops of Stevia Clear to taste


In a large jug, add the Stevia to in 125ml of water, then place in the fridge to chill. Peel and roughly chop 4 gold and 4 green kiwi fruit, then blend until smooth with the cooled syrup, lime juice, mint leaves and ice cubes. Pour into a jug and top up with the sparkling wine or water. Serve with extra mint.

Passion Fruit and Mango Sorbet

This light sorbet makes a perfect pudding and shows off the very best of passion fruit, with plenty of mango to men you need no added sugar.


1 cup mango and orange juice

12 passion fruit, pulp only

1 cup diced mango

2 egg whites


  1. Combine the juice, passion fruit pulp and diced mangoes into a freezer-safe container. Freeze for an hour.
  2. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the fruit mixture. Freeze for another hour.
  3. Mix the sorbet, and return to the freezer until desired consistency has been reached.

Passion Fruit Party Sticks

Try these tasty fruity treats, ideal for a refreshing taste of summer during the winter months.


100g orange segments, halved

100g kiwi chunks

100g pineapple chunks

100g strawberries, halved

100g black grapes

For the drizzle

Juice 2 limes

4 ripe passion fruits, halved with the seeds scraped out.

  1. Mix the drizzle in a small bowl. If you want the sauce to be smooth, pass it through a sieve to remove the seeds, or leave them in if you prefer.
  2. Skewer the fruits onto wooden skewers and drizzle half the sauce on top. Put the skewers in the freezer for 45 mins, until just starting to freeze. Serve with the leftover drizzle.

Salmon and Chickpea Citrus Salad

½ pink grapefruit, peeled and segmented

1 lemon, juice only

1 lime, juice only

½ tsp caster sugar

salt, to taste

4 tbsp olive oil

For the salad

A handful butterhead lettuce, roughly torn

4 tbsp cooked tinned chickpeas

100g/2oz cooked salmon, flaked

1 tbsp fresh chervil leaves

1 red onion, sliced


Mix the dressing ingredients together in a bowl. Pile the salad leaves on a plate, pile on the salmon, scatter over chickpeas and slices of red onion, then the dressing.

Orange, Pomegranate, Walnut and Rocket Salad

This is a truly delicious vegetarian salad, bursting with vitamin C thanks to the fresh orange and pomegranate. Plenty more nutrients in the walnuts and rocket too: walnuts contain omega-3 fat alpha-linolenic acid unique and powerful antioxidants, plus vitamin E, folate and melatonin, whilst rocket is full of vitamin A, calcium, magnesium and more vitamin C.


2 large ripe oranges

1 pomegramate

100g rocket

1 handful of walnuts, shelled and halved

Olive oil

  1. Peel and segment the orange, removing all skin and pith. Break segments into pieces.
  2. Cut the pomegranate in half and tap out the seeds by bashing each half with a wooden spoon.
  3. Lay the rocket in a large bowl. Scatter over pomegranate seeds, the orange pieces and the walnuts.
  4. Drizzle with olive oil, season and serve.

Olive oil

Vitamin C: Stay Healthy Through 2016

To make sure you enjoy some of the most nutritious treats all year long, eat plenty of the most Vitamin C rich foods.

Vegetables that are high in Vitamin C are:

Bok Choy, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash, Green Pepper, Kale, Rocket, Swiss Chard.

Fruits that are high in vitamin C are:

Blackcurrants, Breadfruit, Grapefruit, Guava, Kiwi, Lemon, Lime, Lychee, Mango, Mulberries, Orange, Papaya, Passion fruit, Pineapple, Strawberries.

These delicious, nutrient-rich foods will keep you brimming with energy and vitality, so tuck in and max out on your Vit C!

Matcha: 7 Fab Superfood Recipes


It’s hot, it’s hip and it’s here: matcha is the Japanese powdered green tea that is ten times stronger than the standard green tea which the world has raved about for years. Matcha is chock full of detoxifying antioxidants and nutrients that boost the metabolism, energy and general well-being, plus vitamins and minerals help to prevent cancer, lower cholesterol and blood sugar and assist with weight loss. It really is a jolly green giant of a super food.

So: how did it suddenly come to our collective attention? Well, it was first discovered by Buddhist monks who were keen to stay more alert as they meditated. It was believed to increase the powers of concentration and modern-day fans feel that it does this without giving fans of matcha the jitters. Plus, it’s thought to be approximately ten times more potent than regular brewed green tea. Little wonder it is becoming as cool (or should that be hot) as coffee used to be on the achingly hip and health-conscious Californian scene. Moreover, the A list are becoming huge fans: Gwyneth Paltrow and Kylie Jenner are said to be enormous fans: in fact, check out

Paltrow’s lifestyle website Goop and you will find recommendations for matcha recipes and cool places to try it.

Tempted to try matcha for yourself? Here are 10 ways which you can enjoy this great, green superfood.

1. Drink as Matcha Tea

If you try a beverage such as EatClean Tea, which costs £18.85 for a 30-day supply, then you can benefit from a high quality, highly antioxidant, detoxifying drink which contains the nutritional equivalent ten cups of normal green tea. You can buy from the EatClean Tea website.

An equally good option is Steenbergs’ Matcha Tea, which costs £16.75 for a 30g tin. This organic drink is grown in the Nishio area of Japan, where much matcha has been drunk for eons. Buy your matcha in stay-fresh cans for a longer lasting deliciousness.

2. Try Matcha Hot Chocolate

Steenbergs also hand-blend an organic Matcha Hot Chocolate, to give a delectably different twist on a healthy hot drink. It costs £5.50 for 180g; you could serve it as a luxe indulgence that is sure to be a talking point at any tea table.

3. Tuck into Matcha Porridge

Love porridge? Want an even more health-conscious new option that is readily available on the high street? Popular chain Eat has introduced Matcha Porridge with blueberries and honey to its menu and at least some of the Qooton team have made it their new favourite breakfast!

4. Catcha Matcha Latte

Ever tried a matcha latte? If not, you’re in for a first-class antioxidant treat. Farm Girl in Portabello, London serve matcha lattes which cost £3.60 per serving. Also, independent Japanese café and deli called Tombo in Kensington serves green and matcha teas from the foothills of Mt. Fuji. They offer their own wonderful Matcha Latte Mix, which costs £3.60 per serving and it is a sweet, refreshing blend that many regulars love.

The Good Life Eatery in Chelsea also has a matcha latte on their menu and this superb outlet has got really ingenious with their offering, which can be enjoyed hot or over ice, not to mention with a choice of almond, or soy or regular milk.

5. Matcha Raspberry Smoothie

Take your antioxidant levels into overdrive, thanks to a super-healthy boost from this treat which features the bright sweetness of raspberries. So easy to make, try it at home – it’s especially good if you are trying to adjust to the unusual taste of matcha and want a little extra fruitiness.


1/4 cup raspberries. Frozen are just fine and will cool your smoothie right down too!

1/2 cup natural yoghurt

1/2 cup ice

1 tsp high quality matcha

Blend ingredients together in a blender until smooth and creamy. Pour your smoothie into a long tall glass and drink immediately.

6. Tropical Matcha Breakfast Bowl

½ cup reduced fat Greek yogurt

2 tsps high quality matcha

½ kiwi, sliced

½ juicy orange

¼ mango, in cubes

A good sprinkle of flax and chia seeds

A drizzle of premium honey

Sift the matcha powder over yoghurt and blend well. Then add berries and seeds and drizzle honey over the top. I always recommend organic berries when possible. This is a simple, nourishing breakfast which is rich in antioxidants and nutrients.

7. Simply Sprinkle

Of course, there are many other ways you can enjoy all the goodness of matcha if you give your favorite salads and dressings half a teaspoon or so of powder. Sprinkle and toss or blend and you’re good to go!

Simply Sprinkle

The Many Benefits of Matcha

So, there you have it: a large handful of ways in which you can enjoy the many benefits of matcha. In fact, here is a handy overview of the nutrients and superb health properties of this green wonder-powder:

Matcha has been discovered to be crammed with antioxidants including the powerful EGCg. EGCg appears to have powerful antioxidant effects against free radicals which can damage healthy cells and cause cancer as a result.

It can boost your metabolism and by doing so it helps to burn off calories

It provides vitamin C, selenium, chromium, zinc and magnesium

It’s rich in fiber, chlorophyll and vitamins

It can effectively detoxify the system, without the harsh effects of some cleansers… and it is 100% natural so it will have no negative effects on delicate constitutions. In other words, it will freshen and cleanse you without any side effects.

It has been shown to calm the mind and relax the body considerably

It reduces the presence of bad cholesterol and lowers the blood sugar to safer levels

Even moderate quantities can greatly enhance the mood, stimulate the mind and help with concentration

Research has shown that, if taken in sufficient quantities over a period of time, matcha may help to prevent serious, or even terminal diseases, such as cancer.

Dental trials have found instances where it has also strengthened tooth enamel…

…so, are you ready to give your taste buds and your health a treat? However you sample it, whichever recipes you try, matcha is sure to give you a tantalizing boost, morning or night. Bottoms up!

Survived Blue Monday? Stay Happy in 2017

Blue Monday

You see? It wasn’t so bad. You clearly survived Blue Monday which, due to the grey weather, post-Christmas skintness and general lack of cheer is supposed to be the worst day of the year. If you can get through that in one piece, then you should be just fine for the rest of the year, trust us! But to help bolster you through the harder days here are 10 top tips to help you stay happy in 2017:

1. Try to Think Positive

This tip always sound hard if you are feeling blue, but you really can think your way into a better frame of mind in many instances. If your job’s awful, think about the fantastic new one you can start working towards securing. If you are concerned about your health, think of ways that you can start an uplifting new regime. If you are simply worried about the state of the world in general, start thinking of changes you can make which will make it a better place. Read on for more ways to think yourself feel better and stay happy…

2.  Enjoy Some Exercise

Do take regular aerobic exercise and it will do you the world of good. Anything that gets you moving and that you really enjoy — walking, running, dancing, swimming, trampolining, cycling— will ensure that your body is flooded with happy hormones, endorphins, will help you burn off stress and leave you feeling calmer. Not to mention all the absolute brilliant toning, calorie-burning, fat-busting things exercise can do for your body, which will help you stay happy all over!

3. Eat Right, Day and Night

It is incredibly important that you eat the right things to help you stay happy. Filling yourself up with cheap, starchy, sugary rubbish might make you feel a rush or sated for a minute or two, but the cash will inevitably follow and in the longer term this way of eating will do you a lot of harm. The great new is, that if you eat foods that genuinely help you to stay happy in your body, mind and soul, then you will not only benefit hugely, but you can normally eat more of them too! Have fun discovering healthy recipes here on Qooton – full of fresh vegetables, fruits, fiber and super foods and eat well all year long.

4. Come into the Light

If you feel a little blue at present, regardless of what day it might be, it could be that you are not getting enough natural light. Natural daylight and bright sunlight help to stabilize the levels of serotonin and can trigger beneficial endorphin, both of which are key hormones when it comes to boosting the mood.

Never forget: we are animals with primal responses and it can be vital to satisfy some of these needs if we are going to stay happy. Try to get outside into the open air for at least ten minutes each day. Our grandparents may have talked about “blowing the cobwebs off” with a bit of fresh air and the truth is… it really does work! Go into the light and feel revitalized and reinvigorate.

Stay Happy Keep Learning

If you’re worried that you are falling behind in terms of your skills and education, then you are sure to find it harder to stay happier. The key to a better, more rewarding life is to make sure that you keep on re-skilling yourself: keep on learning.

One great way to do this is to identify an area of particular interest and then to take a course in it. This may seem prohibitive as it is an expensive undertaking for many people, but the fabulous news is that there are a number of exceptionally good value deals out there for courses, especially at this time of year. Whether you want to further your knowledge of a particular business discipline, or whether you want to learn new skills in order to obtain your new dream job, there is something for you, possibly at a bargain price and without leaving the comfort of your own lovely home: try looking at Group Online Courses for starter.

Stay Happy

Smile More, Every Day

You know exactly how the song goes:

Smile though your heart is aching

Smile even though its breaking

When there are clouds in the sky, you’ll get by

So, in other words… smile. Whenever you smile, your brain receives a huge payload of feel-good chemicals and your body relaxes enormously, so much so that your blood pressure may even be lowered. What’s more, if you smile you will make other people smile and so it goes, on and on, until the world is a happier place and better able to stay happy.

But, you have to ask, what exactly should you be smiling at? Well… if you can conjure up a merry face at the thought of a baby’s gurgle or perfect symphony, try more personal inspiration. What do you have to be happy about today. Maybe you woke up full of energy and health, or your children are in a great mood or simply maybe because you have enough money to buy some ingredients for a nice dinner. It is good to be grateful: it makes you feel optimistic and more likely to smile. If that doesn’t work and if you are feeling to tired, blue and immune to the blessing is your life, try volunteering – spend time at a homeless shelter, hostel or old people’s home. As well as helping out, you may be tempted to smile to encourage those who are far worse off. Moreover, you’ll smile even more because you will be feeling both grateful for your own relatively happy circumstances and very good indeed! But more than that you will smile because it is good just to give, for its own sake.

Stay Happy… All Year Long

So, there you go, a number of key ways in which you can stay happy from now until the next New Year and far beyond. If you feel the shadows of the blues creeping in once again, simply give yourself a ‘happiness review’ and look at what you can change for the better. Keep checking back to for more ideas to help you stay happy – we’re here to put a big smile on your face, after all!

Dry January? Enjoy Mocktail Hour!

Are you doing a dry January in 2016? How’s it going? Hopefully by undertaking a month without alcohol you are cleansing your system and feeling much lighter, brighter and more full of energy. Nice work! In fact, if you are one of the growing dry January devotees, you don’t have to completely deny yourself a liquid treat. It could be high time for you to enjoy an alcohol-free cocktail, or mocktail hour.

Why not try out a ‘virgin’ drink or mocktail from the tasty selection below. All of our delicious drinks are ideal if you are entertaining and would like to offer more than straight orange juice. Amounts are stated but you can vary to taste, depending on whether you prefer a sweeter or dryer drink. As long as there’s no alcohol involved, pour with a free hand!

Gin-free Slim

In the mix – Good quality tonic water, a generous twist of fresh lemon or lime, plenty of ice

This delicious twist on a cocktail classic can be deceptively satisfying when you make it with regular tonic water. Enjoy lighter version that tastes every bit as good, just by substituting regular tonic for a slim line version, or even a plain soda if you prefer. It is also a good mocktail to enjoy if you would like a discreet alternative to a GT. Refreshing and delicious.

Ginger Zinger

In the mix – Pineapple juice, ginger cordial, sparkling water, fresh lime juice

When you want a juicy drink with a kick but without the alcohol, this is a winner. Take a long slim glass, put in some ice cubes and fill it one third of the way with pineapple juice. Add a capful of ginger cordial, a generous squeeze of lime, then top up with sparkling water. This makes a refreshing and somewhat exotic, entirely alcohol-free mocktail.


In the mix – Peach juice, alcohol-free Prosecco

Like a Bellini, but better! The trick with this delicious cocktail is to make careful choices with the two vital ingredients. Go for the best quality, sparkling no-alcohol white wine that you can afford. Also, do not be tricked into buying a heavy, syrupy peach nectar or anything artificial. A great organic peach juice will be perfect – then just mix the drink with half and half of each for the perfect taste of summer wrapped up in one delicate, delectable mocktail.

Sour Apple and Cherry Mocktini

In the mix – Good quality sour mix, apple juice, cherry sparkling mineral water, crushed ice

This tangy treat is perfect for when you would like a zingy lift in the middle of the winter. Simple mix 2.5 oz sour mix with an ounce of apple juice – go for the most sour and refresh-tasting juice you can find, and the same again of cherry juice, serve over crushed ice for a fantastic alcohol-free mocktail treat.

Pure Sea Breeze

In the mix – Grapefruit juice (try ruby grapefruit if you like it sweeter), cranberry juice, sparkling water

No, it’s not a weather report, just another delicious mocktail which won’t sabotage your Dry January. A long glass, half full with ice, a touch of grapefruit juice, half as much of natural cranberry juice, all topped up with sparkling water. Simply perfect.

Skinny Berry Daiquiri

In the mix – Raspberries, strawberries or blackberries or all three mixed, honey, sparkling water, lime juice.

Take a cup of fresh or frozen berries – as long as they are completely natural and unsweetened. Then just through them into the blender with a splash of the water, and some ice. Really good quality berries need no extra sweetening although you may be tempted to a quarter-teaspoon of honey for greater depth of flavor. Then, just squeeze over some lime and serve. This makes a lovely bright mocktail which is cool and bursting with berry flavors.

Virgin Colada

In the mix – Coconut water, coconut cream, ripe pineapple flesh and juice, ice

Forget the fatty, creamy version of this beach holiday favorite. Using no alcohol, natural coconut water and cream is delicious and can cut lots of calories when compared to a regular piña colada. Fresh pineapple, as long as it is ripe and juicy, will add both fiber and fruity flavor. Just blend half coconut water and pineapple juice, add a heaped teaspoon of coconut cream and pineapple flesh, a touch of ice and stir well. Utterly delicious and indulgent-tasting.

Virgin Colada

Mocktail Mojito

In the mix – Mint, lime, Stevia or sugar, sparkling water

If made with Stevia, the all-natural sugar substitute, you will find this light, refreshing mocktail to be very low in calories. Of course, you would be better off without the sugar, but you are already going with the calorific article, so if your tastes demand it, keep some perspective and have 1 teaspoon.

Watermelon Fizz

In the mix – Watermelon, ginger ale, lime juice

Puree some water melon and place into a glass, reserving some cubes for decoration. Pour in 2 tablespoons lime juice and top up with ginger ale. It is a pretty interesting, tasty and different drink and great for celebrating with friends.

There you are a great selection of drinks to enjoy which won’t break your healthy resolution to enjoy Dry January. Naturally, they are perfect for enjoying all year long, including times when you’re the designated driver, want a lower calorie option or just don’t fancy the hard stuff at parties and on nights out. In addition to these exciting mocktails, you can of course simply keep drinking plenty of good old water, fresh juices in moderation, a tea, or coffee or matcha drink or two and you will easily be able to stay teetotal for the rest of the month – in fact, it will probably fly by! Keep going, stay booze-free and try making up your own favorite alcohol-free cocktail or throwing a mocktail party whenever you fancy – your body will only thank you for it. Cheers!

Exercise Don’t Hibernate!


Exercise well this winter, don’t stay shut away indoors watching films, over-eating and feeling shut in all day long – not for more than just a few festive days anyway. As the New Year approaches it is a perfect time to seize the opportunity to plan some winter exercise and start to look forward to a fitter shapelier 2016. Read on to discover the best antidotes to total hibernation this winter…

Enjoy Huge Health Benefits

Exercise offers an incredible range of benefits for the body, mind and soul:

It increases the lean muscle that eats up fat and glucose

It helps to shift unwanted fat

It increases your metabolism

It helps to reduce your waistline

It reduces your risk of getting diabetes and heart disease

It increases your feel-good serotonin levels in the brain

It can help with depression

It can reduce your stress levels

It can reduce your blood pressure

It makes your heart stronger

It reduces your cholesterol

It increases your circulation

It triggers the production of enzymes which remove bad LDL cholesterol

It increases the size of proteins to stop bad LDL clogging arteries

It makes bones and joints and stronger and more flexible, making us less likely to get arthritis and osteoporosis

It aids digestion

It improves our overall appearance.

Overcome Your Own Excuses

If you are the sort of person who will come up with lots of reasons why thy ‘can’t’ exercise in winter, then you are far from alone. But really, where there’s a will… Don’t dismiss exercise and an option because of the weather; be realistic. If you are cold to start off with, you won’t go out in the cold. Cold can immobilize, so make sure you are warm to start off with. You won’t venture out if you are already too chilly. Dress warmly and strip off layers, then simply carry them when warm. In the snow…walking or trudging is good as it is harder work and you do get puffed. Skiing and snow fights also make for great exercise when it turns very cold: let it snow!

Exercises to Burn Fat

If you haven’t exercised in a while and let’s face it many people haven’t then you need to go easy in your first few sessions. The type of exercises you need to do to effectively to get that fat burning, is exercise that gets you out of breath. The heavier you are the more weight you will lose initially. A good tip is to trick your body into thinking it is heavier. Carry weights in a back pack, it works a treat.


Walking is always a good exercise, whatever the time of year and you can build on your time. You can go all out and do an hour in one hit, or you can break it up and do 4 x 15 minute bursts. It all adds up. Eventually doing it all in one go can be better as you will be able to maintain an increased heart rate for a longer period and this helps strengthen your heart.

Step Tracker

If you can walk 10,000 steps a day you will lose weight. Investing in a decent step tracker is a good idea. You will be surprised at the number of steps you do each day. Unless you are a nurse walking all day most people don’t generally get near 10,000 steps.


Weatherproof exercising. There are so many exercise DVDs available, it can be hard to choose, but as a rule, the simpler the exercises, the better. Don’t overestimate your abilities by going for something super-tough at first; it will put you off. You should start with something you can easily manage and work your way up to harder exercises

Walk Aerobics

Put some music on and march on the spot for 20 minutes. You can mix it up with knee lifts, kicking legs forward and backward leg curls towards the buttocks. Do 10 of each and return to walking on the spot in-between. Try it, it really works; great for when it is tipping it down. Break it up in the beginning, it all adds up. Try to fit in 2 x 20 minute slots or 4 x 15 in the beginning and work up until you are doing an hour a day. Easy, and you can get the breathlessness that indicated fat-busting going. Doesn’t cost anything, except time.

Upper Body Exercises

As you get fitter you can bring upper body exercises into your walk routine. Start by raising your arms above your head as if doing weights. Got some food cans in the larder? Use these as weights, Rocky-style. It starts building that muscle you need. This really helps increase the heart rate.


Some people feel too embarrassed to walk or jog outside because of their weight. This is sad, but no excuse not to exercise. If this applies to you just walk around the house as much as possible: corridors, lounge, dining room and kitchen, up and down stairs as much as possible and try to cover several miles each day. This will lower your blood sugar levels and help you lose weight.

Don’t forget, you can make life even easier by buying a walking machine: you can position it in front of the TV if it makes you happier.

Home Walking

10 Top Home Exercise Tips

  1. Step up and down. Everyone has at least one step in their house. If you have stairs, try going up and down ten times. You will life your body weight and get puffed out.
  2. Squats. Find a table or bench top to steady yourself and do 5 squats.
  3. Washing line wind up. If you have a line with a winder, wind the washing line up and down a few times. A full line is even better when you get your strength up.
  4. BBQ Lift. If you have a large BBQ with a hinged lift open and close ten times. Try one-handed lifts.
  5. Cleaning windows. Great for upper arms and shoulder joints. Clean your windows once a week even if they are clean, or if you prefer try scrubbing the shower screens.
  6. Gardening has always been great exercise. Sweep your pathways, do some weeding and rake.
  7. Try stretching rubber resistance bands. These are clever, cheap exercising aids that physios use; but them in sports shops or online. They often come with a set of exercises that work key muscle groups.
  8. Swimming is fantastic and if you are lucky enough to have a pool at home, you will be in great stead. However, walking in water is also great resistance training for muscles. Plus you stay nice and cool and don’t put undue stress on joints.
  9. Bike riding is great fun and it really works the leg muscles. You can ride around your home town with relatively little fuss or outlay; if you don’t own a bike, second hand ones are not expensive.
  10. Stationary bikes are also excellent, as long as you do actually use it and don’t just let it sit there gathering dust. Set it up in front of a good movie and pedal yourself fitter.