Eat Smarter


If you only eat turkey at once or twice a year, reconsider! There’s good reason to add it to your diet all year round.

We generally think of turkey as a good source of low fat protein (and it is – it has more protein per gram than chicken). Yet we forget that it is also high in all sorts of vitamins and minerals that can boost your health.

Turkey is high in selenium, which is great for your thyroid and immunity and as a powerful antioxidant can help fight free radicals. Free radicals cause cell damage and contribute to ageing and illness.

Plus, turkey gives essential B vitamins including B3, B6 and B12, along with niacin and zinc.

You might have heard advice to eat turkey before bed because it makes you sleepy. It turns out that is not quite true. Turkey does contain tryptophan, which promotes a good sleep and a good mood by helping to produce serotonin and melatonin, but turkey is not very high in tryptophan.

To put it in perspective, a tryptophan supplement to help with sleep usually contains 1-4 grams, whereas a serve of turkey only contains around 205 milligrams.

So go ahead and enjoy your turkey for its protein and vitamins, but do not blame it for making you sleepy.

1 Thing You Can Do Today

Set an alarm for bedtime

What is the best time to set your alarm for an energised and productive morning? The night before.

We have all done it. It gets towards bedtime and you slip in one more episode of that series… which rolls straight into the next episode and the next. Or you decide to just check one more email… which leads to fixing up that document… and before you know it, it is hours past bedtime.

You go to bed late, wired and wake up tired and grumpy.

Sleep experts recommend setting a pre-bedtime reminder alarm. You set it up to an hour before the time you need to go to bed, to give you screen-free time to wind-down and relax.

Psychologist, sleep expert and author of The Women’s Guide to Overcoming Insomnia, Shelby Harris, says, “when we turn off screens and switch to more relaxing non-screen or non-electronic activities for the hour before bed, it helps the brain quiet down and fall asleep faster”. It also helps your body and brain get into the habit of being calm and ready for sleep.

You can also set a reverse “snooze alarm”. Just like you might set a second alarm in the morning in case you fall back asleep, you can set an alarm 15 minutes before bed as an extra reminder to stop what you are doing.

What is the Best Choice of Fluid When Exercising?

When you are exercising, sweating is the main way your body maintains optimal temperature. The more you exercise and the higher the temperature around you, the more you will sweat.

You will need to drink fluids during and after exercise to replace fluids lost in sweat and prevent dehydration.

When you are dehydrated, your exercise performance will suffer, the exercise will feel much harder, and the risk of heat stress increases. And you cannot rely on thirst when you are exercising, as you have usually lost significant fluid before you feel thirsty.

The choice of drink options can be confusing.

You cannot go past plain water, which is all you will need to replace fluid, especially in low intensity and short duration sports. But if you are involved in high intensity and endurance sports, a sports drink with added carbohydrate (often in the form of glucose, sucrose or fructose) and electrolytes will enhance your performance.

The carbohydrate in these drinks provides a muscle energy source as well as improving flavour.

Electrolytes such as sodium are lost in sweat and must be replaced during and after prolonged exercise. Sodium in a drink improves your fluid intake as it stimulates the thirst mechanism, promotes both carbohydrate and water intake in the intestines, and reduces the volume of urine produced after exercise.

And a word of warning about alcohol. It is not a good choice immediately after exercise. It impairs vital recovery processes and may also reduce your ability to rehydrate effectively.

5 Ways Napping Improves Your Life

Naps are often considered unnecessary but there are many benefits to getting in a little sleep during the day. Here are five reasons why a nap may be just what the doctor ordered.

1. Naps may help you live longer.

Research shows a regular nap can lower your blood pressure and cut your chance of having heart attack in later life. One study found that a 20-minute nap resulted in an average drop in blood pressure of 5mm Hg – that’s about the same as a low dose of blood pressure medication.

2. Naps help repair a sleep deficit.

Sleep scientists say for the best physical and mental health we should aim for between seven and nine hours’ sleep every day. Many of us don’t get anywhere near this, and a build-up of sleep loss over a few days can affect us physically, mentally and emotionally. Napping can help plug this gap.

3. Naps improve mood, alertness and energy.

A wealth of research has found that even a short nap can boost your energy and alertness. Other research suggests naps help improve emotional regulation and increase your ability to tolerate frustration.

4. Naps improve our ability to learn and remember.

Neuroscientists at the National University of Singapore reported in the journal Sleep that brief dozes revive the hippocampus, an area of the brain responsible for forming new memories.

5. Naps can lower your stress levels.

A short sleep during the day can help strengthen your ability to manage stress, says Psychology Today. Recent research shows that naps reduce stress and strengthen the immune system in people who are sleep deprived.