Fruit & Fructose

If you have been following my blog for a while then the chances are you will have often heard me speak of the dangers of consuming refined sugars!

It is widely acknowledged that too much of the sweet stuff can lead to weight gain, heart disease, disruption of the hormones, fluctuating energy levels, premature ageing of the skin and more! What’s more, is that refined sugar is added in excess to many of the processed and packaged foods that are easily available in the supermarket!

One of the most contentious points up for discussion when it comes to sugar is whether the natural sugars from fruit should be considered ‘bad’ as well!

Fruit contains glucose and fructose – both of which are simple sugars. Glucose can be used by the majority of the cells in your body, but only your liver is able to metabolise fructose.

If you are eating large amounts of fruit, and therefore consuming high levels of fructose, then your liver may have a hard time working through it all. This can then lead to excess fructose being stored as fat in the body. Furthermore, this can also lead to the onset of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Eating fruit provides a wealth of health benefits thanks to the delicious amounts of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients contained within. However, because of the natural sugars that are present, many fruits should be enjoyed in moderation.

There are some fruits that you can enjoy without worrying too much about the fructose content, such as avocados, kiwis, pears and berries. However, fruits that are especially high in sugars, such as grapes and mangoes, should be included only in small amounts.

It should be noted that if you are a very physically active person then you have much less to worry about when it comes to fructose in fruit. This is because when the body is active, it is much better equipped to handle simple sugars. So, if you want to continue to enjoy the fruits that you love without being overly concerned about fructose, then be sure to engage in an ample amount of exercise!

If you have seen my new wellness for women membership site – Truly Julie – then you will know that I am on a mission to inspire and motivate women to become healthier and happier – and I would love it if you would join me on this journey as we keep moving through 2017!

How to Rebuild Your Confidence

There are many reasons why your confidence and your self-esteem may have been negatively affected. It may have been the result of several small incidents, or perhaps even one ongoing situation. Regardless of the reason for your low confidence, the effects that it can have on your life can be difficult to overcome.

When you don’t believe in yourself or in your abilities, it can be tricky to motivate and encourage yourself to do the things that you truly want to do. It can seem impossible to actually give yourself the push you need to work towards your goals and ambitions.

So, how can you overcome this issue with your confidence and self esteem in order to lead a more fulfilling and ambitious life?

Taking care of your own needs is the first step, and in doing this you will be moving self-care to the top of your list of priorities! Self-care can take many forms, and essentially means you are recognising your own needs and taking productive and active steps to meet these needs.

I would encourage you to make a physical list of the things that make you happy, such as exercise, socialising, travelling, listening to music etc, and then ask yourself how often you actually do these things. I would then ask you to commit to finding the time to do these things often, and you can then notice how your perception of yourself changes and your confidence grows.

Next, try to establish what your negative views of yourself are – by this I mean the reasons for your low confidence levels. Do you perhaps think that you are not doing great at your job? Or, do you believe you aren’t taking care of your family well enough? Perhaps you don’t like the way that you look and would like to change your appearance in some way?

All of these negative views about yourself will have their roots in fear – a fear of change, a fear of failure, a fear of being judged. Whatever your fears are, it is important to recognise that these fears come from within you, and therefore you have the power to silence these thoughts and to kick them out of your mind!

Combatting negativity with positivity is key to a happy life, full of confidence. And, we all have the potential to enhance the positivity within us so that less and less space exists to allow the negativity in!

If you have seen my new wellness for women membership site – Truly Julie – then you will know that I am on a mission to inspire and motivate women to become healthier and happier – and I would love it if you would join me on this journey as we keep moving through 2017!

My New Favourite Non-Alcoholic Beer

As with anything else, alcohol is something that should be enjoyed in moderation. And, the negative health effects of not heeding this advice can soon become apparent!

The number of people choosing to drink less, or not drink at all, is on the rise – which is of course great for the health of the nation! And for those of us who don’t necessarily want to drink alcohol, but still enjoy the pleasure of having a beer, there is an ever-impressive range of alcohol-free beers available!

Heineken Zero Alcohol Beer JulieMontagu

Stats show that drinking habits in the UK have experienced a change in the last 15 years, with alcohol consumption dropping by a massive 26% between 2002 and 2012! (Source).

Heineken have recently released their very own alcohol free beer, Heineken 0.0 and it is rapidly becoming a favourite amongst those abstaining. Made with the same high quality brewing process as their regular creations, the alcohol is then gently removed afterwards, leaving a slightly fruity taste with the usual malty flavour. I was able to attend the launch of Heineken 0.0 in Barcelona during the Grand Prix and it was heaven to sit on the beach and drink this delicious beer!

Spanish F1 Grand Prix - Heineken

So what are the health benefits of choosing the alcohol-free version of your drink of choice?

Well first of all, of course, there’s the calorie count. Non-alcoholic beers contain roughly half the calories of their alcoholic counterparts, making them a better option for those watching their weight. The new alcohol free Heineken 0.0, for example, has just 69 calories per bottle.

Secondly, drinking alcohol dehydrates your body, and your skin will be the most noticeable thing that pays the price for this! When you drink regularly, you will be depriving your skin of the vitamins and minerals it needs to look its best. You will probably have noticed that your face in particular looks puffy and dry after a night out!

Your body will benefit in many ways from sobriety, but your mind will also be much clearer and free of brain fuzz! What’s more is your memory will of course not be affected on a night out when you opt for a zero alcohol drink!