Win a Radiance Cleanse Gift Box!

As I’ve discussed before on my blog, I believe juice cleansing to be an amazing way to detox your body and restore the natural balance. The nutritional value of drinking fresh organic fruit and vegetable juices is incredible. When incorporated into your diet frequently, these juices can soon make noticeable changes to your energy levels and overall wellbeing.

Making your own juices is fantastic fun but can be time consuming. If you want to give your body some juice love but simply don’t have the time, then a Radiance Cleanse delivery can do all of the legwork for you!

What is a Radiance Cleanse?

beauty-diagonalFounded in 2009, by Clare Neill and Christina Agnew, Radiance is the creation of these two women who know firsthand the dramatic nutritional benefits of juicing. Having both personally experienced the life changing effects of a diet rich in fruit and vegetables, they pioneered the UK’s first organic juice cleanse programme that is available to be delivered anywhere in the country. They use only the highest quality, raw organic products to create their amazingly delicious juices.

How to win a gift box!

So, Radiance and I have come together to give you the chance to check  out these amazing juices absolutely free! The Health Box contains six different juices (Cashew Milk, Pure Greens, Power Green, Alka Green, Super Green and Vital Green) which you can sample at your own pace over two to three days. The health box will be delivered to the lucky winner for free at the end of the competition!

So, to give your start to 2014 the extra boost you might need as January comes to an end, get involved in my social media competition to win The Health Box for yourself. Become a super-active social media advocate for health, wellness and well, just feeling good! If you already write your Facebook statuses, post on Twitter and Instagram daily then this will be a walk in the park….

All you have to do to be in the running is follow these simple steps. Firstly, connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (if you haven’t already!) Then tweet or post a healthy picture or motivational image of your choice with the following message –

@juliemontagu and @radiancecleanse My #healthy today is………

And then include an image that says it all! It could be a motivational quote, your favourite workout pose or your favourite healthy foods – the list is endless! It just needs to be your healthy moment for that day. The more you join in the online conversation, the better your chances of winning this gorgeous Radiance Cleanse Gift Box!

Remember to Follow or Like both Julie Montagu and Radiance Cleanse (Facebook & Twitter) so that you can link to them in your status.

I will notify you of your win via email so it’s also imperative that you sign up for my mailing list to receive the exciting news of the Radiance Cleanse winner! Good luck!

Weight Control and Your Body!

As January creeps by and 2014 truly sets in, many people will have already given up on that New Year’s Resolution diet! It is an unfortunate fact that dieting doesn’t work the same for everyone. If you’re struggling to reach your diet goals then it could be more than a seasonal lack of motivation holding you back. Unfortunately an incorrect thought process has been adopted by the masses that weight control is a simple matter of calories in versus calories used up. This is a dramatic over simplification of how our bodies work and you are unlikely to reach your desired weight if this is your primary approach.

If you’re doing all you can to keep your weight under control but are still not achieving results then consider the following six possibilities. If you feel like one of them applies to you then arrange a consultation with your doctor and you could soon be on your way to being in control of your health!

1)      The gut is a very complicated portion of the body and the smallest of problems in this area can upset the digestive balance entirely. This can lead to a whole range of further problems. The gut is home to literally billions of various bacterium and studies have shown that this bacterium can be partially responsible for your weight maintenance. Further research is underway to fully understand how the gut extracts energy from food in relation to the bacteria’s ability to influence weight gain or loss.

2)      Leptin is the scientific name given to the hormone that fat cells produce. When leptin is produced it tells the brain to begin using existing fat stores for energy. Sound simple? Sadly it’s not. Leptin resistance can take place which results in the body entering starvation mode and attempting to store more fat instead. Eating a diet that is high in sugar and processed foods is likely to lead to leptin resistance. By consuming nutritious plant based foods and avoiding any products that could cause your blood sugar levels to spike, you can have more control over your leptin signalling.

3)      It is essential that your thyroid be functioning correctly when properly managing your weight. The thyroid is typically the first thing that a health care professional will check for when you are trying to determine a medical reason for why you are not losing weight. If your thyroid hormones are at a normal level then this immediately rules out your thyroid as a cause. This is a very simple thing to check for and can be easily eradicated as a possibility.

4)      Heightened levels of cortisol in your system can also be a reason for why your body is holding on to excess weight. Excessive levels of cortisol occur when the adrenal glands are not functioning properly. Stress is the primary reason why the adrenal gland function may go awry and making appropriate lifestyle changes can help to get this under control.

5)      Similar to leptin resistance, insulin resistance can also have an adverse effect on weight management. This happens when your body is producing insulin but is not using it as it should. This problem is associated with type II diabetes, but can also take place in people who have not yet reached the full diabetic diagnosis. Insulin by nature is a fat storing hormone so when type II diabetes begins to develop, it can become near impossible to lose or even maintain your weight.

6)      The presence of toxins in your body can have a surprising effect on weight loss efforts. Toxins contribute to several of the aforementioned issues and can exacerbate existing problems. For example, when toxins enter the body they are likely to attach themselves to fat cells which will cause the cells to over produce leptin.

Positive Diet and Lifestyle Changes for 2014

As the events of New Years Eve inevitably get placed in the memory bank of 2013, most of us are looking forward to the year to come with a positive attitude. The resolutions that we didn’t quite manage to fulfil at the beginning of last year are fresh on our minds again. More often than not, people fail to stick to the promises they make themselves at the start of a new year. If you don’t want to be part of this statistic in 2014 then it’s time to truly make a change!

Your diet plays a huge part in many other aspects of everyday life and changing your attitude to the foods you consume can help get other aspects of your life on track. Before you begin looking to make dietary changes, it’s a good idea to really analyse your goals. In doing this, it helps to be very precise about what you want to achieve. Let’s take a look at some typical New Year’s resolutions as an example.

1)      I want to lose weight! This is a great one but make sure you pick a figure! How much weight do you want to lose? What number do you want the scales to display when you look down at them in two months? Six months? A year?

2)      I want to drink less alcohol! This is also a great decision and your body will thank you for it. However, it’s better to have a measurable objective that you can strive towards. Will you only drink at weekends? Or special occasions? Or perhaps not at all! If you are only going to drink at special occasions then how many units will you attempt to stick to?

Once you have a concise list of your New Year’s resolutions, make a few copies and pin them up. Ensure they are in places where you will see a list at least once a day. By reminding yourself of your goals you will always keep them fresh in your mind and you will be more likely to apply them to everyday decisions. This will also help you to avoid the negative influences of other people who might be keen to lead you astray.

Next, it’s time to make some lifestyle changes. This is especially important if you have fitness ambitions in mind. Your energy levels are massively affected by the foods you eat and the amount of sleep you enjoy. Try to get at least seven hours of undisturbed sleep every night and ensure a wholegrain or protein rich breakfast is on the agenda in the morning. As lunch time hunger sets in, consider a plant based option that will also give you a healthy dose of essential fats. Perhaps an avocado and cashew nut salad prepared the night before. Eating well throughout the day will give you more opportunity to eat more carbohydrate dense foods in the evenings – guilt free! Steamed vegetables served with brown rice provides a satisfying and nutritious meal or perhaps opt for a wholegrain pasta dish.

Making some time before breakfast to meditate will relax you for the day ahead by providing you with the focus and perspective that you need to keep on track with your goals. Meditation can be practiced at any point throughout the day but I strongly recommend a brief session in the morning. Meditation is also useful for relaxing in the evenings and can help you better digest the events of your day, thereby putting you in a more peaceful state that will aid a good night’s sleep. Another good practice for the evenings is to write a page or so about what has happened in your day. This can be a comprehensive diary of your thoughts, feelings and actions or it can be just a few simple lines to remember your day. In doing so you can address any issues you have encountered during the day after you’ve had some time to reflect on them.

It’s important that you are honest with yourself during the whole process. Any setbacks that may occur are just that – setbacks, they are not a reason to give up entirely! It is perfectly okay to readjust the timeframe of your goals if you feel like you are getting behind. Following these simple steps will help you to avoid falling into the trap of reaching the beginning of 2015 and starting from scratch with the same resolutions!

Click here for some professional nutrition advice to help you with your positive changes!