The top 5 questions a nutritionist ALWAYS gets asked about hydration:

Do I have to drink only water to hit my fluid intake?

Nope. Milk, juice, coffee,tea..basically  all sources of fluids contribute to your intake. Of course water is an excellent choice because it is readily available, inexpensive and is the healthier choice. Sipping on fluid throughout the day is very important but don’t get too stressed about just drinking water. Aim for no added sugar sources of fluid as we can often forget that drinks can add extra calories to our overall intake. One can of fizzy drink can contain around 200kcal. Also be aware that certain sources of fluid can contain caffeine. Some people are more sensitive than others so it’s important to be mindful of our overall intake.

For healthy adults, up to 400 mg/day is considered safe. Pregnant or breastfeeding women are advised to consume no more than 200 mg/day. A regular cup of instant coffee usually contains around 100mg of caffeine.

How much is enough?

People will have a wide variety of fluid requirements. We lose water every day through perspiration,excretion and even through breathing. People who are pregnant, breastfeeding, ill or exercising need different amounts of fluid and this is extremely important to be aware of. A rule of thumb is for the average, healthy person to aim for at least 2 litres of water per day and closer to 2.5 or 3 litres for men.

I find it so hard to drink plain water and it is stopping me  from drinking enough – help!

Have you tried adding some fruit to plain water? Or some no added sugar cordial? Setting yourself some goals throughout the day to drink more can really help. For example, mark a spot halfway down on your bottle and vow to drink much by 11am. Continue this throughout the day and see how you feel!

What really happens if we do not drink enough water?

Dehydration can occur very, very easily and it can hinder the body from carrying out it’s normal functions. We will have less energy, feel tired, dizzy and have darkly-coloured urine. Always ask yourself – Am I feeling thirsty? If you are exercising, ill or even during warmer weather you will automatically need more to keep hydrated.

Some food contains water too – does that count?

Food can help with fluid intake but you should still aim to drink 2L per day. Food like fruit and vegetables have high water content and soups and stews can help us to top up our overall fluid intake and prevent dehydration.

Often when we feel thirsty we are already dehydrated. Maintaining adequate hydration helps maintain energy levels, focus, keeps skin clearer, aids digestion and can help prevent muscle cramps. 

Stay hydrated with our top tips, hacks and fun facts during the Good4U 4×4 Challenge!! Stay tuned!

Emma

6 tips to help you stay active- even when it’s cold outside!

1) Do a 15 minute workout at home! Youtube has any hundreds of workouts that can be done at home. Choose one which you know you will enjoy whether that be yoga, resistance exercises or dancing. Set aside 15 minutes of your day to get a quick workout in – you’ll feel a whole lot better!

2) Try an indoor activity class. Many local community centres or gyms have a number of activities running throughout the day which can fit into any schedule and which suit all ability levels. Signing up for a few weeks usually also brings down the price. Bonus!

3) Go walking or running with a group. It is much easier to motivate yourself to do something with other people rather than heading out in the cold on your own. Even going with one other person can help us stay motivated.

4) Try exercising in the morning if you can. This will help to wake you up and will help you feel you have accomplished something before the day has even begun. Exercising in the morning also frees up your time in the evening and means you don’t feel you have to push yourself to head outside if you don’t want to.

5) Go ice skating! Many towns have ice rinks set up this time of year and this can be a great way of getting some movement into your day and having a laugh! Just please be careful!

6) Layer up! It sounds simple but ensuring your body is insulated well will help you feel more comfortable when you are and about and it won’t be so daunting the next time you venture out. You can always take the top layer if you get too warm. No excuses!!

Keeping active throughout the year has amazing benefits for out physical and mental health so although it may be FREEZING, try and keep active in whatever way you can!

That’s why this January Good4U are running our 4X4 Challenge- simple changes that you can do ANYWHERE! Check it out here.

There are some AMAZING nutrients in your Christmas Dinner!

Nutrients in Christmas Dinner

Normally when people think of their Christmas dinner they are excited but know that at the end they will be half asleep on the couch too full to move but still with one hand in the Roses tin beside them.. sound familiar?!

Did anyone ever think of the health benefits of their Christmas dinner? If not, read on, you could be pleasantly surprised!

Turkey: the lighter coloured meat on turkey is a great source of easily absorbed protein. Choosing the lighter coloured meat also ensures you do not consume as much fat. The darker coloured meat and the skin contain a higher fat content but if you enjoy them go ahead – it’s one day of the whole year remember!!

Brussel sprouts: you love em’ or hate em’! If you’re like me and you ADORE  a good brussel sprout then congratulations because you’ll be stocking up on valuable nutrients like vitamin C to boost immunity, folate for DNA synthesis and repair and fibre to keep our digestive systems healthy. All hail the humble sprout!!

Carrots: contain beta carotene which is needed in the body to make Vitamin A. Vitamin A can help with our vision. Carrots are also a great source of fibre.

Roast potatoes: SPUDS!! Potatoes are a source of potassium which helps with muscle contraction, healthy blood pressure and fluid balance in the body. These are a source of both fibre and vitamin C. 

Cranberries: Mmmm I’m dreaming of them already!! Cranberries are packed with antioxidants to fight free radicals in the body, keeping us healthier and free from disease. Why not make your own cranberry sauce this Christmas? By doing this you can control exactly what goes into it and reduce the sugar content in comparison to shop- bought varieties!

Parsnips: Delicious roasted parsnips are filled with valuable fibre, potassium and vitamin C! Plus they are so tasty!

Smoked salmon: This is a brilliant source of Omega 3 fatty acids which are so important for healthy brain function in particular. Smoked salmon is delicious AND healthy! Bonus!

Now, don’t go mad on Christmas Day and tell everyone you’re eating 5 plates of dinner because ‘it’s full of nutrients-Emma told me!’. It’s just nice to know we are getting some pretty amazing nutrients from our lovely Christmas meal. As I said before – it is ONCE a year, enjoy it!

Have a very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy new year!

Emma 🙂 

THE TOP 10 FACTS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PROTEIN

 

1) Protein comes from animal and plant sources. Animal sources include meat, fish, eggs & dairy. Plant sources include pulses, grains, nuts, seeds, tofu and soya products

2) Protein is made up of amino acids. Some of these must be obtained from food and are therefore called ‘essential amino acids’. Animal sources of protein contain all of the essential amino acids while plant sources may contain more of one essential amino acids but less of another. However, eating a variety of plant protein sources throughout the day will ensure you get all of the essential amino acids that you need.

3) We do not need to drink protein shakes. Protein shakes should act as a supplement to the diet only if you are not reaching your protein goals from food first. They are a handy thing to have on-the-go if you have not got time to make a meal, however, they are not essential.

4) Eating protein at each meal can help absorption and make it easier to hit protein intake targets. Aiming for 20g of protein per meal can be a good starting point for this.

5) Different ages of people and different lifestyles need different amounts of protein. For example, a breastfeeding woman will need different amounts compared to a sedentary elderly person.

6) An active person will require between 1.2g-2.2g of protein per kg of bodyweight depending on their goals. A person involved in heavier resistance training may need more protein to help repair muscle damage so they should opt for approx. 1.5g – 2.2g per kg of bodyweight.

7) Protein is needed for repair and growth of all body cells but also has a role to play in keeping our bodily tissues and immune systems healthy.

8) Snacking on higher protein snacks can be a great way to boost protein intake.

9) Protein has a satiating effect (it makes us feel fuller). In this way it is helpful for people who are trying to lose weight.

10) NEW GOOD4U PROTEIN BALLS ARE HIGH IN PROTEIN, FIBRE AND ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS!! They are the perfect high protein snack to

Meal Planning

It seems that on social media we are bombarded with images of people meal prepping. It’s all about bulk cooking and being aware of what we are eating and what we are planning to eat in the week or two ahead. Which is great! It’s cost effective and helps us to ensure we get a balanced home cooked meal at least once a day.

Do you meal prep? If so, do you prep your snacking options too or do you find it difficult to add some variety and find a functional snack? I know personally that if I’m out and about or driving it is so great to have a healthy snack on hand to grab, feel full and satisfied.

This is one of the reasons Good4U are now offering a range of our snacks in multipacks. Snack prep for the week is sorted! We now offer our delicious Veggie Protein range, NEW plant-based Protein Balls (in yummy Orange Crisp and Vanilla Crisp flavours) and NEW Nutriballs (in Strawberry and Apple and Blackcurrant flavours) for kids in multipacks.

Our Veggie protein range and Protein Balls are high in plant-based protein, low in calories and high in fibre so you can be reassured your snack will be filling, nutritious and affordable. Available in a pack of 5 – one of each day of the week!

Our NEW Nutriballs are soft, chewy balls made from milled seed and fruit. They contain 21% of a child’s RDA for calcium and are nut, gluten and dairy free. Say goodbye to lunchbox arguments! These are also available as a pack of 5 and have been taste-tested and approved by kiddies and parents.

So, meal planning just got a whole lot easier! Thank us later.

5 Reasons To Love Nutri Balls

Ever stuck for something tasty, nutritious and lunch-box friendly?! Fear not friends, Good4U has gotcha covered. We have done extensive research to identify what kids (and parents) want from a healthy snack and we reckon we have cracked it. Introducing BRAND NEW ‘Nutri Balls’!! These portion controlled snacks are made from milled seeds and freeze-dried fruit and come in two delicious flavours.

Good4U Nutriballs

Here is 5 reasons why kids and parents are going to LOVE these brand new healthy snacks:

1)  These Nutri Balls are portion-controlled for children! All Good4U products are made developed by our Dietitian Shelley and our fabulous, innovative Product Development Team and Nutrition Team. It takes time, research and lots of trial to create the perfect, nutritious snack but it’s worth it in the end!

2)  They are lunch-box friendly! Good4u products are all nut and gluten free so they are perfect for adding to those lunchboxes. Plus, they are available in multipacks of 5 – one for every day of the week!

3) They really are healthy. No.. really. We only use natural ingredients and absolutely no added sugar. They are naturally sweet from the fruit inside and are high in fibre to help keep our digestive systems healthy. They also contain 21% of a childs RDA for calcium. So yes, they really are healthy!

4) They taste AMAZING! See, we let the kids decide and we had our own panel of expert tiny tasters to determine which flavours were out and which were in. Our expert tiny tasters decided that Apple & Blackcurrant flavour and Strawberry flavour were the way to go so that is exactly what we have created.

5) We provide a lot more than just the snack. Good4U are proud to provide nutritional information to kids and to parents through our BRAND NEW website, social media channels and through our nutrition service offered to schools and businesses across Ireland.

What are you waiting for? Grab them now in Tesco stores nationwide!!

Fitness for Beginners

Exercise: you can love it or hate it but you cannot deny it has endless health benefits, both physically and mentally. Regular exercise has been link to a reduced risk of disease, better mood and overall body composition. The one thing we all must try and do when it comes to exercise is to find something we enjoy and can keep up for a long period of time. Just because your colleague runs 5km every morning does not mean it’s something you will enjoy and be able to keep doing. Walking, dancing, cleaning, skipping, playing sports, lifting weights.. the list of possible exercises is endless. Maybe you’re a water baby and love swimming or water aerobics! Go for it. Find what you and make it a habit.

Setting goals is important when it comes to fitness as it can help to motivate and reward you. Make sure your goals are measurable and relative to you and your fitness level. For example, if your aim was to run 5km by Christmas you wouldn’t go out right away and pound the pavement. Break it down into achievable steps each week. A journal  is a great way to do this and make sure you acknowledge your achievements. Even if you went a quick 5 minute walk at lunchtime or walked to another bus stop to make your commute a bit longer make sure you say ‘well done me!’

Exercise with a friend or family member. When someone else is involved it can make things much less daunting, make time go faster and can motivate you greatly. Pick one or days per week and book a ‘fitness date’ with a friend. Promise each other not to bail and you’ll be much more likely to keep it up for longer.

Don’t put pressure on yourself! Simply moving more is an amazing way to boost your physical and mental health. Try not to compare yourself to others online, it’s not helpful! They are not the same person as you and do not have the same goals or lifestyle.

Simple tips to move more during the day:

Go for a walk at lunch – even for 5 minutes!

Get off one or two stops earlier if you take public transport to work.

Walk to work if possible or walk part of the way.

Integrate walking meetings into your work schedule. You’ll find you and your team are more creative with this too!

Get up 10 minutes earlier and do some stretching, yoga or a short walk in the morning. It will help to wake you up and you’ll feel better before seizing the day!

Turn coffee and lunch dates into coffee/lunch & exercise dates. Or take that coffee to go and chat and walk instead of sitting down.

Bottom line: move a little more and find what works for YOU!!

 

Emma

 

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8 Top Tips For Eating Well In College

Going to College changes your normal routine and eating habits. This combined with a million choices surrounding the campus and occasionally few too many drinks the night before can lead to some poor food decisions.

Use these tips to help you make good choices and stay healthy.

1.Eat a good breakfast. It is the most important meal after all. When there isn’t time to sit down and enjoy your morning meal, grab some toast with a piece of fruit. Most of these items can be easily stored in your residence hall room.

2.If you eat junk food, choose wisely. Choose pizza with a thinner base or half the cheese or a baked potato or green salad with reduced calorie dressing. Limit the really high fat options like French chips or fried chicken.

3.Keep healthy snacks on hand. This way, if hunger strikes during a late night study session, you won’t be tempted high sugar alternatives. Fresh or dried fruit, pretzels, popcorn, rice cakes or whole wheat crackers are all great snacks that you can keep in your bag until you need them.

4.Eat plenty of foods rich in calcium. Your twenties are the ideal time for building up stores of calcium to prevent osteoporosis later in life.

5.If you are trying to lose weight, be careful. Starvation and/or diets that offer a quick fix are usually unrealistic and can be harmful. Follow a well-balanced diet and exercise- you will see results!

6.Limit your sugar intake – Sugar provides calories in your diet but has little nutritional value otherwise. Try sweeteners in tea/coffee instead and opt for snacks with no added sugar content.

7.Limit your alcohol intake. We’re not saying all alcohol is bad but it is very important to be mindful about what you drink. Alcohol, like sugar, supplies calories but no nutritional value. A light beer, a glass of wine or an ounce of liquor each has about 100 calories. There may also be health problems associated with drinking alcohol.

8.Drink lots of water. Your body requires roughly 2 litres a day, and, if you exercise a lot you may need more. Carry a water bottle along to class and keep it handy during late night study sessions.

 

P.S. Don’t forget to have FUN 🙂

 

Lunch Blox- Build A Healthy LunchBox

Our healthy Lunch Blox were designed by our amazing Nutritionist, Emma as a simple guide to creating a well balanced meal for school lunches. Just choose one item from each of our nutrient blocks and your healthy lunchbox is good to go 🙂

5 ways to make lunch fun for kids

Getting a nutritious lunch in school is not only important for your child’s physical development, but it can help them to stay focused throughout the school day.

That being said it isn’t always easy convincing them to finish their meal when you aren’t around. Research shows that children are more likely to eat something if it has a fun element to it.

Here are a few easy tricks to try to make your child’s school lunch that little bit more tempting:

1.Cut sandwiches into shapes! This can be done so easily with a few cookie cutters. Let the kids help and allow them to enjoy making their own lunch. This way they will be more likely to eat it all up!

2.Pop some fruit, veg or cheese cubes onto skewers. Making skewers with yummy colourful ingredients can make lunches seem fun for kids.. and adults too!

3. Let the children pick their own lunch. If you lay out all of the lunchbox components and the child to pick one carbohydrate source, one protein source, some fruit & veg and some dairy it will allow them to be more comfortable with what they are eating and can help reduce leftovers.

4. Put smiley faces on things! Be creative and have some fun with lunchbox foods.

5. Bake some healthy homemade muffins at home and use decorative muffin cases. These can be made with kids and they can bring them along for lunch in school.

 

Good Luck 🙂