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 🙂 

Healthy Toy Show Treats

Toy Show Time!!

IT’S TOY SHOW TIME!!!

Check out these yummy healthy recipes- perfect for watching all of the festive magic that is the Late Late Toy Show!

 

Home Made Popcorn

Popcorn has to be the yummiest of the whole grains! And it can be a healthy, crunchy, and satisfying snack. Make it fresh at home and avoid adding too much oil, salt and sugar. Perfect telly treat!

Image result for chocolate strawberry

Chocolate Strawberries

Who doesn’t love a little chocolate for a night in? Keep it more healthy and opt for some strawberries drizzled with dark chocolate.

 

Crispy Crunch Beans

Chickpeas and Edamame are doing a pretty good job of pretending to be popcorn these days, and they offer some satisfying plant protein. Drizzle with a little olive oil, sprinkle lightly with salt, and roast until crunchy. Add some Italian-inspired garlic, oregano, and parsley for added flavour.  (Tip: Check out our Good4U Veggie Protein range available in Tesco nationwide)

Good4U Smoky BBQ Packs

Veggie Sticks & Hummus

Try vegetables with healthy dips like hummus or tzatziki. Try to vary your vegetables to include green, red and orange options.

 

Frozen Grapes

If your sweet of choice is fruit flavoured chewies the you are sure to go over your recommended daily intake of sugar! Frozen grapes are the more natural choice and an excellent solution to sugar cravings. Why not try dipping them in some yoghurt before popping them in the freezer – delicious!

Enjoy the show!

 

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!!