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Planning a Healthy Lifestyle

Planning a Healthy Lifestyle

by Helen Blanchfield

Everyday living was abruptly halted by the appearance of covid-19 back in March of this year. Being stuck at home with no particular routine became a factor that has affected us both individually and as a community .We must not forget that in the current context there are many aspects that are essential for optimal health.  The management of stress and emotions is as essential as physical wellbeing in this time of worry and uncertainty.

With life after lockdown continuing with guidelines in place gyms, classes, clubs and support groups are there to help us become a healthier person. It isn’t about making one big change but small decisions to improve your lifestyle one day at a time. Before making any sudden changes to diet or daily level of activity talk to your healthcare professional for example GP or dietician. Discuss your health goals, and having tests such as bloods is a great way to track progress in the future. Checking thyroid health, indicators of type two diabetes and being cholesterol aware are extremely important. High levels of stress hormone cortisol makes it difficult to lose weight. Make a catch up appointment with your primary care doctor today and follow up on any missed screening tests too.

Deny it as we may Christmas is not too far around that corner. Dropping a dress size before Santa comes to town and wearing your favourite dress to that party…numbers permitting is entirely possible. Diet fads come and go but there are scientific based top tried and tested fat fighting tips.

• Cut out all processed foods

• Choose lean protein and wholegrain carbs.

• Don’t skip a healthy breakfast. It fuels up the metabolism for the day ahead.

• Eating healthily at regular intervals keeps your metabolism at optimal functioning.

• Keeping a food diary can be helpful to make you aware of your nutritional choices.

Slimming world is a warm and friendly community group with all the advice and support you need to set you on your weight loss journey. If you have come out of lockdown feeling concerned about your weight there is no better place to help you achieve your goals. The program is built on a deep understanding of how people feel, and gives up to date advice and plenty of encouragement. Groups are re-opening in a safe manner and you can find your local group online

Homemade smoothie with fresh blueberries on a rustic turquoise background  Slimming world will help you make changes on how to shop, cook, and eat without feeling deprived.

Other practical ways of implementing positive changes include

• Switch to skim, low fat, or low fat soy varieties.

• Be aware of hidden sugars in bottled juices and smoothies. Choose fresh where possible.

Horans Health Stores are 100% Irish owned. First established in 1988, they have grown steadily since with fourteen stores in the Munster region. They have the experience and knowledge to offer the best products at the best prices. Horans facilitate nutritional health advice and are providers of organic, Fairtrade foods, quality supplements and vitamins.Good nutrition is essential for optimal energy, vitality, mobility, flexibility, and immunity. Phone 0667119418 or


Another simple but effective tip for a healthy lifestyle is to get a good night’s sleep. For those with busy schedules this is easier said than done but it is still a worthwhile goal. Shut off screens, create a calm surroundings and wind down before going to bed.

The Scotia clinic Tralee is open with triaged clinics. Appointments are available via skype or telephone consult. Services at Scotia include gynaecology, fertility, maternity care paediatrics and ophthalmology. Consultant led and midwife led care is tailored to the individual with great emphasis on safety and high quality clinical care. Scotia is also home to a range of other medical services for full details call. Email or phone 066 7181100.

You don’t have to be a great athlete to walk, swim, or cycle your way to a healthy lifestyle. Walking regularly is the easiest way to stay in shape. work to promote a culture for walking for everyone. It is a sport Ireland initiative supported by healthy Ireland and mountaineering Ireland. The physical activity of a gym session stimulates brain chemicals that leave you feeling happier, more relaxed and less anxious as well as obvious health benefits. You may feel better about your appearance and yourself when you exercise regularly, boosting your confidence and self-esteem too.

Sandy Feet Fitness an airy well equipped gym opened its doors on September 10th, and will stay open all year round. The facility is situated within the grounds of the farm at Cappaclogh, East Camp. Locals and visitors alike can come and enjoy any number of activities and improve their fitness levels under the expert supervision of Angela o Mahoney. Angela is a sports development graduate from the Institute of Technology Tralee. Angela spoke to Connect about membership, classes and operating under the covid restrictions.” We offer a tailored membership package for €50 a month that allows for unlimited access to the gym, Classes are extra”. Due to the current restrictions, people book their session online This means that when you turn up its safe and everyone is socially distanced.” Access is not solely restricted to members. They also offer a pay as you go option. Their weekly timetable features a comprehensive suite of classes including Tabatha, a four minute intensive training session that works by using the 10 seconds on, 10 seconds off principle, Body blitz, Boot camp and functional strength. Classes run from Monday to Saturday and cover all fitness levels from beginners to advance. Check them out on @sandyfeetfitness or follow them on Facebook.

The team from Spirit Gym at The Rose Hotel have some fantastic packages ready for you kick start the autumn in a healthy way, including personal training packages to suit all requirements.

When it comes to diet; A diet rich in vegetables, pulses and grains is the perfect counterbalance for what life throws at us. Legumes which are fresh beans, peas, pulses and nuts are an important part of today’s diet worldwide. They are amongst the most versatile nutritious foods and great for combatting inflammation as they are enriched with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds and proteins. They reduce the risk of diseases such as heart attack, diabetes, stroke and cancers. Containing zero cholesterol and being 20% fibre they provide us with minerals such as potassium, magnesium B1 and B6.Hummus made from chickpeas is a great source of all these minerals. Check out our recipe for classic homemade hummus.

The Latin saying mens sana in corpore sano meaning healthy mind healthy body has never rung as true. The brain is the site of high metabolic activity with a demanding rate of nutrient turnover. Fuelling the brain optimally is essential and never more so than during heightened stress such as what we are experiencing in these different times. Keeping your focus and concentration on point requires a sound nutritional strategy.

We need to mind our health and wellbeing today. Plan a healthy lifestyle.  Live life to the fullest .Find your perfect balance. Enjoy the simple things in life and remember Laugh often.


Classic Homemade Hummus


1 Can of Chickpeas, Rinsed and Drained

1/4 Cup of Fresh Lemon Juice

See Also

1 Clove of Garlic

1/2 Teaspoon of Sea Salt

2 – 4 Table spoons of Ice Water

1/2 Teaspoon of Ground Cumin

1/4 Teaspoon Paprika

1 Table spoon of Extra Virgin Oil


1. Drain the chickpeas and rinse.

2. Mix lemon juice, garlic, salt and cumin in a food processor unit until it becomes a creamy puree, add chickpeas and blend again until it thickens.

3. Ad 2-4 spoons of water to achive the consistancy you want

4. Add lemon juice, garlic, cumin and salt to taste.

5. Transfer to a serving bowl and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil

6. Sprinkle with paprika and serve with pita bread.

7. Garnish with herbs

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