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    How One Woman Lost Half Her Bodyweight – And Kept It Off

    Inspiring stories reach us all the time – stories about grit and perseverance. And this story of how one woman lost half her bodyweight is for sure one of them. Here’s how school teacher Tanya Laubscher lost a whopping 105 kilograms – and kept it off.

    The Gain

    At 157 kg, Tanya Laubscher felt completely out of place in her own body. She’d avoid planes, social gatherings and strategically plotted her movements to avoid looking in mirrors as much as possible. “I think for someone at that size, [there are] struggles and things that they don’t realise. It’s tough to go for a hike with your friends when you’re that big or go on picnics,” says the 34-year-old. 

    Added to that, her health was in jeopardy: she was struggling with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), type 2 diabetes as well as depression. So she saw a doctor who recommended bariatric surgery as the best way to help her lose weight and reclaim her health.

    READ MORE: How To *Actually* Lose Belly Fat With Diet And Exercise

    How she lost half her bodyweight

    In March of 2020, Tanya’s journey began with bariatric surgery. Thereafter, she needed to completely overhaul her lifestyle to see results and slim down. To start, she worked with a dietician and opted to cut out refined foods, choosing to down protein shakes in the morning and snack on fruit and healthy foods throughout the day. Since her stomach had shrunk due to the surgery, Tanya prioritised protein and vegetables to give her body the nutrients it needed.

    She followed the advice of her psychologist to deal with emotional eating and identified her triggers, then found ways to avoid or work through them. She also needed to stay active to burn fat stores. To do that, she committed to walking at least 10,000 steps daily and cycled 10 kilometres twice a day on her stationary bike. It was no easy feat, but she kept at it. “[It] was quite difficult in the beginning but as you consistently do it, it does become part of your routine. And as you lose the weight, that also becomes a lot easier to do,” explains Tanya.

    READ MORE: How One Personal Trainer Lost 30kg – And Kept It Off

    The gains

    Over a year and a half, Tanya saw the fruits of her efforts and lost 30 kilograms, then 50, then 75. With each milestone, she made a point to celebrate in different ways. For a big reward, she flew to Cape Town to conquer Table Mountain; her very first plane trip. “That was a big one. I’d never flown before because I was too scared of fitting into the seats,” explains Tanya. Other rewards included getting a new piercing or a new tattoo. 

    Now at 105 kilograms lighter and countless hours spent exercising, Tanya is the happiest she’s been. Not only has she lost over half her bodyweight, but she’s happier, too. She no longer avoids mirrors and can hike to her heart’s content. “I walk and can go everywhere and I move freely,” she says. “And I have this joy! Spending some quality time outside, dancing and not hiding away from the world any more – those are the things that make life worthwhile.”

    READ MORE: Walking For Weight Loss: Does It Work? Plus, 9 Tips To Get You There

    Tanya’s weight loss tips

    Try A Specific Diet

    Tanya found that sticking to a specific way of eating helped her shed kilos. “If those are things that are possible for you, I would suggest applying that to your life.”

    Make Yourself Accountable 

    “Tell people what you’re busy with, why you’re doing it and ensure that your goals are set out for you. Most importantly, stick to them.”

    Set Rewards

    “I made sure to reward myself at the end of every milestone that I hit. It was a big thing for me.” More

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    5 Low-Calorie Smoothie Recipes That Legit Taste Like Milkshakes

    These healthy and delicious smoothie recipes for weight loss are a great way to cool down and pack in nutrients. So give these five under-300-calorie concoctions a whirl, and sip your way to a slimmer body.

    A Penn State study found that people whose smoothies were blended for five minutes ate 12 percent less food afterwards and felt fuller than those whose smoothies were minimally blended. Now that’s a great weight loss tactic we can so get behind!

    READ MORE: The “Amazing Skin” Smoothie Recipe That Actually Works

    5 Low Calorie Smoothie Recipes For Weight Loss

    1. The Cherry Bomb Smoothie

    This low-calorie cherry smoothie is made with frozen cherries, kiwi, orange juice, coconut water and honey.

    Simple Cherry Smoothie Recipe

    This low calorie cherry smoothie is made with frozen cherries, kiwi, orange juice, coconut water and honey.Serves 1. Per serving: 665kJ, 1g fat (1g sat), 38g carbs, 129mg sodium, 5g fibre, 3g protein.

    Prep Time 5 minutes mins

    Course Breakfast, Drinks, SnackCuisine Healthy, Vegetarian

    Servings 1 personCalories 159 kcal

    ¾ Cup Frozen cherries1 Kiwi, peeled and quartered¼ Cup Orange juice½ Cup Coconut water¾ tsp Honey3 Ice cubes

    Up the ante: Add a scoop of vanilla protein powder for an additional 15 to 25g of protein.

    Keyword breakfast, healthy, Smoothie

    2. Apple Mojito Light Smoothie

    With only 107 calories, this apple smoothie is great as a breakfast, snack or cocktail. That’s because it’s made with apple juice, peach, cucumber, sparkling water, lime juice, mint and honey. So delicious!

    Apple Smoothie Recipe For Weight Loss

    With only 107 calories, this apple smoothie is great as a breakfast, snack or cocktail. It’s made with apple juice, peach, cucumber, sparkling water, lime juice, mint and honey. Delicious!Serves 1. Per serving: 450kJ, 1g fat (1g sat), 27g carbs, 3mg sodium, 3g fibre, 2g protein.

    Course Breakfast, DrinksCuisine Healthy

    Servings 1 personCalories 107 kcal

    ¼ Cup Unsweetened apple juice1 Medium peach, peeled, pitted and quartered¼ Medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and quartered⅓ Cup Sparkling water¾ tsp Fresh lime juice3 leaves Fresh mint¾ tsp Honey6 Ice cubes

    Up the ante: Add two tablespoons light rum (about 270kJ) and have it at happy hour.

    Keyword breakfast, healthy, Smoothie, vegetarian

    READ MORE: This Delicious DIY Tropical Coconut Granola Will Be Your New Breakfast Staple

    3. Island Refresher Smoothie

    This 221 calorie smoothie for weight loss is made from pineapple, mango, soy milk, cottage cheese and coconut flakes. Just trust us on this one; it’s so creamy, filling and delicious!

    Pineapple Weight Loss Smoothie

    This 221 calorie smoothie for weight loss is made from pineapple, mango, soy milk, cottage cheese and coconut flakes. Trust us on this one; it’s creamy, filling and delicious!Serves 1. Per serving: 925kJ, 2g fat (1g sat), 38g carbs, 244mg sodium, 4g fibre, 11g protein.

    Prep Time 5 minutes mins

    Course Breakfast, DrinksCuisine Healthy

    Servings 1 personCalories 221 kcal

    ¾ Cup Pineapple, cubed½ Cup Frozen mango¾ Cup Soya milk (with a drop of vanilla essence)3 Tbsp Low-fat cottage cheese¼ tsp Unsweetened coconut flakes, for garnish

    Up the ante: Add one tablespoon ground flaxseed for an extra two grams of fibre.

    Keyword breakfast, healthy, Smoothie

    4. Rise And Shine Smoothie

    Still looking for more smoothie recipes for weight loss? Then try this delicious and filling smoothie made with avocado, sweet potato, banana, milk and honey.

    Easiest Avocado Smoothie For Weight Loss

    Try this delicious and filling smoothie made with avocado, sweet potato, banana, milk and honey. Serves 1. Per serving: 1 215kJ, 8g fat (1g sat), 50g carbs, 135mg sodium, 7g fibre, 9g protein

    Course Breakfast, DrinksCuisine Healthy

    Servings 1 personCalories 291 kcal

    ¼ Avocado, peeled, pitted and cubed2 Tbsp Cooked sweet potato1 Small frozen banana, sliced¾ Cup Low-fat milk½ tsp Honey

    Up the ante: Blend in 1/4 cup raw or cooked oats for a thicker texture and more energy-fuelling carbs.

    Keyword breakfast, healthy, Smoothie

    READ MORE: The 12 Best Healthy Green Juice Recipes You Can Make With A Blender Or Juicer.

    5. Awesome Almond Smoothie

    Start your morning with a super satiating 233 calorie smoothie made from banana, kale, almond butter, cinnamon, nutmeg and ground ginger. So yum!

    Awesome Banana, Almond & Kale Smoothie

    Start your morning with a super satiating 233 calorie smoothie made from banana, kale, almond butter, cinnamon, nutmeg and ground ginger. Yum!Serves 1. 975kJ, 8g fat ( More

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    How To *Actually* Lose Belly Fat With Diet And Exercise

    How to lose belly fat remains one of the top searches on our site. Everyone seems to want to get rid of their pooches, for myriad reasons. And while that may not be you, the science warns that the more fat in the belly, the more health risks become apparent. You should never feel the need to lose weight unless you actually want to. But stomach fat in particular can be harmful.

    “Stomach fat is not a good idea,” says Dr Tracy Nelwamondo, a weight loss GP. “We advise to keep abdominal circumference less than 88cm. This is not only for cosmetic reasons, but we find this puts you less at risk of disease.”

    Meet The Experts: Dr Tracy Nelwamondo is a weight loss GP and Roystinn Davids is a personal trainer.

    What are the health risks of belly fat?

    Fat cells in your stomach are made of two main kinds. The one you can see when you squeeze your tummy is known as subcutaneous fat and sits on the outer edge of your organs. The more worrying fat is the kind that lies deep within the abdomen, known as visceral fat. They’re biologically active cells that are linked to a host of chemicals in your body, further linking to a wide variety of diseases.

    Subcutaneous fat is linked to a higher proportion of beneficial molecules, while visceral fat is less so. It’s made up of proteins called cytokines, which when triggered, set off low-level inflammation in the bod. The risk? Heart disease and other chronic conditions, like dementia, asthma and even breast cancer.

    Per Harvard University, a waist circumference of 88cm or higher is considered a sign of excess visceral fat – but it may not apply to you if your overall body size is large. A better indication is an expanding waistline.

    READ MORE: Here’s Why It’s Important To Lose That Belly Fat

    So it’s clear that this kind of fat in your bod is dangerous, losing your gut can be more easier spoken about than done. But we’ve rounded up the expert advice, coupled with research, to determine the exact steps to take to minimise belly fat and keep your body healthy. The good news, per research, visceral fat responds better to diet and exercise than the fat you collect on your butt and hips.

    Exercise for belly fat

    Studies show that in order to nix belly fat, you need to be training for at least 30 minutes on most days. That includes long walks or casual spins on the stationary bike. Added to that, Dr Nelwamondo recommends at least two days of resistance training. That’s because resistance training builds muscle, which in turn works to burn fat – and it’s metabolically more active than fat tissue is.

    READ MORE: The 3 Most Important Changes To Make If You’re Trying To Lose Belly Fat

    Ab workouts won’t melt belly fat

    Keep in mind that it’s simply not possible to train only your midsection if you’re looking to lose stomach fat. Spot-training doesn’t work, and in fact, fat is breathed out from the body when you’re working out and your heart rate is high. So look to workouts where your entire body is working hard and your heart rate is higher. “There is no magic, overnight solution for losing belly fat,” says Roystinn Davids, personal trainer. “The best way to shed excess weight is by making permanent lifestyle changes. This often involves a combination of diet, exercise, stress management and other strategies.”

    Examples of fat-burning exercises include:





    Group fitness classes

    Your belly fat nixing move

    Davids recommends 20 minutes of cardio, followed by strength training. He recommends the following strength training moves to help shift the needle:


    inverted rows



    power cleans

    “Do eight reps of each, for four sets. Rest for one minute in between sets,” says Davids. When training, don’t discount the power of planking. “A plank is Ideal for losing belly fat because it engages multiple muscles at the same time, increasing metabolic rate and benefiting core strength,” he says.  

    READ MORE: Try This 7-Minute Fat-Blasting Workout

    Eating for less belly fat

    “Include plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats,” says Davids. “Choosing healthy options like these can make it easier to ensure you get the proper amount of micronutrients, such as vitamins and minerals.”

    Eliminate processed food

    While that’s easy enough to do, indulging in processed foods like chips and sodas should be avoided when trying to eliminate stubborn belly fat. “Generally, better eating always consists of incorporating fibre and protein and reducing ultra-processed foods, keeping them as an indulgence in moderation instead of making them a daily habit,” warns Dr Nelwamondo. Also, look at your hydration levels and make sure you’re not dousing your system with sweetened drinks, which spike your glycaemic load and allow fat deposits to collect.

    Get specific with your intake

    Per the American Diabetes Association, there are also specific tweaks you could make to ensure you’re eating just enough to lower your risk of holding onto belly fat. That includes:

    Keeping the total fat to only 20 to 30 percent of your overall calorie intake (calorie tracking apps like My Fitness Pal help with this)

    Keeping saturated fat to less than seven percent of your overall calorie intake (watch the fries!)

    Limiting harmful trans fats, found in doughnuts and other fried foods.

    This means that if your daily caloric intake is at 2000, 700 calories should come from fat (about 77g) and only 140 from saturated fat (around 15g). Added to this, make sure to prioritise protein in your diet. Per observational studies, people who eat more protein have less abdominal fat than those with a low-protein diet.

    READ MORE: 5 Ways To Burn More Fat During Your Walking Workouts

    Lifestyle tips for excess belly fat

    Quit smoking

    Seriously! Even vaping moves the needle towards a larger waistline. Per studies, heavy smoking increases insulin resistance and is associated with increased fat deposits in the midsection. In another study published by PLOS One, authors note that among smokers, there appears to be “more metabolically adverse fat distributions”. Translation: the heavier the smoker you are, the more harmful your fat can be.

    Sleep well

    Never getting to sleep at a reasonable time? If you always find yourself in sleep debt, this could be one thing that is contributing towards your expanding waistline. Per one study, a lack of sleep majorly boosts the hunger hormone ghrelin and decreases the hormone leptin, which suppresses your appetite. The result? You’re constantly hungry, leading to overeating.

    Another 2022 study found that among people who slept only four hours a night had a nine percent increase in subcutaneous fat and an 11 percent increase in abdominal visceral fat, compared to people who got nine hours of shut-eye.

    READ MORE: Is Your Sleep Schedule Making You Fat?

    Boost your mood

    Per studies, people with larger bellies have an increased risk for both anxiety and depression. Plus, another study found that the older you get and the more body fat you accumulate, the less mental flexibility you’ll have. That mental flexibility refers to reasoning, thinking laterally and problem-solving.

    It goes the other way, too: long-term stress is linked to increased abdominal fat. There are tons of ways to find your way to a calmer – and hopefully slimmer – bod. Try meditation, journalling, exercise (it really does wonders) and delegating more tasks.

    The good news? It turns out that people who meditate are less likely to be obese and have less belly fat, per one study. That might be because getting zen lowers cortisol levels and regulates emotions, leading to less emotional eating. More

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    Cycle Syncing: How (And Why!) To Tweak Your Workouts, Diet And More Around Your Menstrual Cycle

    Until recently, I’d been on some form of birth control since I was 13 (I’m 32 now). Now that I’ve stopped popping a little pill every day, I’m learning that while I may have skipped some of the not-so-fun aspects of a regular cycle (cramps and bloating, anyone?), I also didn’t get to experience the powerful parts, like bursts of energy and strength.

    I also never learned how to support my body through its various shifts. With periods making a consistent appearance again, I want to do all I can to have as pleasant an experience as possible. Enter: cycle syncing, a buzzy concept that has nothing to do with getting your period at the same time as a friend.

    What is cycle syncing?

    Cycle syncing is the idea of matching how you eat, work, exercise and recover to the stages of your menstrual cycle. You may have heard about tailoring your fitness routine to each phase—this is the same idea, but expanded into other facets of life.

    This general practice has been around for a while, but the term itself is newer. Female athletes, coaches and researchers have realised that athletic performance changes with hormonal shifts throughout the month and training can be tweaked accordingly. So, the weeks when a woman has higher stamina may include harder workouts and times marked by less energy are more recovery-focused. (More on this in a minute!)

    READ MORE: Cycle Syncing Sex: 28 Days Of The Best Sex Of Your Life

    What are the benefits of cycle syncing?

    Anyone who has a cycle can benefit, but it’s especially useful for the following issues, says Dr Jessica Ritch, a minimally invasive gynaecologist and medical advisor for Elix herbal supplements.

    Optimising your routine around your cycle can ease discomfort leading up to and during menstruation, like low mood, cramps, diarrhoea, bloating and acne. The result? A happier, more stable you.

    How To Start Cycle Syncing By Phase

    Once you know the stages—menstruation, follicular phase, ovulation and luteal phase—you can adjust your routine. While there isn’t a ton of research on this trend, studies on individual practices as well as anecdotal evidence point to the merits. Here, a map for riding the wave at every stage.


    Each cycle starts with menstruation (i.e., when you see red). Levels of the hormones oestrogen and progesterone drop, which causes the thickened lining of your uterus to shed and may lead to cramping and bloating. The cells that form the uterine lining begin to break down and flood your system with inflammatory substances called prostaglandins, the culprit behind cramps and inflammation.

    Food Focus

    “It’s important to replenish the nutrients you lose during bleeding,” says Dr. Ritch, so eat foods high in iron and vitamin B12, as well as those with anti-inflammatory properties. When iron levels are low, cramps can be worse, likely because iron helps red blood cells deliver oxygen to muscles. Load up on iron-rich dark leafy greens, nuts, lean red meats, egg yolks, lentils and clams, as well as foods high in vitamin C, such as broccoli, citrus, strawberries and bell peppers, to optimise iron absorption, says registered dietician Melissa Groves Azzaro.

    Consider spicing up your meals and drinks with turmeric and cinnamon, which can tame that internal fire too. High-fibre foods as well as ginger help regulate the dreaded “period poops,” says Dr. Ritch. Also key: Magnesium, found in favourites like dark chocolate and pumpkin seeds, pulls double duty in promoting better sleep and reducing muscle cramping in the uterus and bowels.

    Workout Focus

    When it comes to cramps, “I recommend movement, but nothing strenuous,” says Dr. Ritch. Think: yoga and walking…or whatever feels good. “Recovery is also really important during this time to help with inflammation,” she adds.

    Life Focus

    Women who get fewer than seven hours of sleep or go to bed after 11 p.m. are more likely to experience cramps during their cycle, per a meta-analysis from the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. This is a good time to make adequate shut-eye a must (though it should be all month long, as you know!).

    READ MORE: Pop Quiz: Do You Actually Know What’s Going On With Your Vagina?

    Follicular Phase & Ovulation

    The former starts on the first day of your period (it overlaps with menstruation) and continues until you ovulate. Your body releases follicle-stimulating hormone, which tells the ovaries to grow and prepare eggs for ovulation. Throughout this stage, oestrogen levels climb, leading to a thickening of the uterus to get ready to host the egg. This phase lasts for roughly 16 days and is usually smooth sailing symptom-wise (once you’re past the earlier cramps, etc.).

    Then ovulation occurs as rising oestrogen levels trigger the release of luteinising hormone, which causes your ovary to release a mature egg. This is signalled by a slight uptick in body temp—usually right in the middle of your cycle.

    Food Focus

    Ovulation can be ouch-inducing for some and omega-3 fatty acids may offer relief by decreasing inflammation. Go for fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines. Not a fan of seafood? Opt for plant-based sources like walnuts and chia. Just one serving two or three times a week will boost your levels almost immediately and throughout the month, says Azzaro.

    Ground flaxseed (2 to 4 tablespoons daily) and mix into smoothies or yoghurt parfaits. This can also help regulate hormonal ups and downs. “This is something I recommend for symptoms of high or low oestrogen, as well as high androgens, as seen with PCOS,” says Azzaro. Flax contains plant-based omega-3s and phytoestrogens called lignans that help balance hormones.

    Workout Focus

    The peak in oestrogen and release of testosterone during ovulation can boost sex drive and energy. The rise in both hormones also increases your pain tolerance, says Dr. Ritch. In other words, this is a great time to pursue heavier lifts, HIIT workouts, or endurance training, since you can exercise harder with more ease. Nice!

    Life Focus

    The later follicular phase, right before ovulation, is the time to really go for it in your career and social life. This is when people typically feel their best, says Dr. Ritch. During this window, many women feel less fatigued on fewer hours of sleep. “Whatever event will take the most energy that month, like a work presentation or a big party, this is a good time to schedule it,” she says.

    READ MORE: Here’s EXACTLY How To Skip Your Period Every Month

    Luteal Phase

    This begins after ovulation and loops back to menstruation—and it’s admittedly “a crappy time for people who have symptomatic periods,” says Dr. Ritch. The decline in oestrogen and rise in progesterone can lead to breast tenderness, migraines, bloating and digestive issues such as diarrhoea and constipation. PMS symptoms start popping up due to an increase in cortisol and a decrease in serotonin. Feeling sad and experiencing trouble with concentration are common during this roughly 14-day span.

    Food Focus

    You feel low, so you turn to coffee, alcohol and doughnuts for a lift, but they can have the opposite effect. The drinks lead to dehydration and the sugary and salty foods fuel inflammation. Instead, reach for high-fibre, slow-digesting carbs like quinoa, grains and potatoes to stay full longer and nix cravings.

    FYI: Vitamin B6 and calcium are your shields against severe PMS symptoms. “You can get calcium from dairy and leafy greens like bok choy and collard greens and B6 is found in salmon, chicken and chickpeas,” Azzaro says. Need additional help? The same nutrition advice for alleviating discomfort during menstruation is handy here too.

    Workout Focus

    Cardio performance tends to suffer during this time due to the spike in cortisol and drop in serotonin. The progesterone rise can lead to water retention that makes you want to curl up in bed instead of hitting the gym. If you want to keep moving, Dr Ritch recommends strength training, walking, or yoga during this time. It’s okay if your body is leaning toward gentler movement or favours recovery. A little push: Know that activity can be beneficial for combating low moods that come along.

    Life Focus

    Staying calm is essential, as cortisol is already higher than normal and research shows that added life stress can contribute to period cramping. So get your favourite restorative rituals on the calendar, whether they’re a call with a friend, a movie night, a group dinner out, or extra journaling or meditation time.

    This article, written by Kristin Canning, was originally published in the May/June 2023 issue of Women’s Health US. More

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    This Plant-Based Ploughman’s Sandwich Is A Vegan Dream

    When transitioning over to a plant-based diet, you might really miss one thing: cheese. Luckily, plant-based cheese options abound. What’s more, this recipe delivers those cravings in the form of a plant-based ploughman’s sandwich that you’ll dream of.

    A ploughman’s sandwich is a rustic meal which includes a hunk of cheese on crusty bread, sweetened with a sauce and soured slightly with something pickled. This plant-based version delivers that.

    For this recipe, you’ll be using two types of Fairview plant-based cheeses. And, the mature flavours are so present that you’d be forgiven for thinking you’re eating the real thing. Layers of Fairview cream cheese and Fairview mature cheddar accompany streams of sweet chutney, making this an all-around treat.

    Finally, this sandwich contains a healthy dose of baby marrow, crisp green apple and baby spinach, delivering crucial minerals and vitamins, key for good heart health and brain function.

    READ MORE: 10 Keto-Friendly Vegetables That Are Incredibly Low-Carb

    Plant-Based Ploughman’s Sandwich

    This plant-based sandwich delivers maximum flavour and is healthy, too.

    Prep Time 5 minutes minsCook Time 10 minutes mins

    Course Main Course, SnackCuisine Sandwich, Vegan, Vegetarian

    1 Medium baguetteFairview Plant-Based Cream CheeseFairview Plant-Based Cheddar50 g Baby marrows1 Green apple1 cup baby leavesFairview Deli Chutney
    Slice the baguette in half lengthways and spread bottom half with cream cheese.Slice the baby marrows into long thin slices and grill for 1 minute on both side on medium heat.Place the grilled baby marrow slices on the sandwich.Top the sandwich with four thick slices of cheddar and thinly sliced apple.Finish with baby leaves and chutney.Slightly press down with the top half, slice and serve.

    Keyword Sandwich, Vegan, Vegan Cheese

    Try out the range here:

    Fairview’s range of plant-based cheeses is expansive and includes mozzarella, cheddar and cream cheese, which you’ll use to create this plant-based ploughman’s sandwich. All products are available at selected South African retailers.

    Fairview Plant-Based Cream Cheese

    The Fairview Plant-Based Cheddar

    Fairview Plant-Based Mozzarella

    READ MORE: This Plant-Based Burger Patty Tastes (And Cooks) Exactly Like The Real Deal More

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    Is Psyllium Husk A Cheap Ozempic Alternative? Dieticians Explain The Fibre Supplement’s Benefits (And Limits)

    Ozempic has been a buzzy medication for more than a year. The prescription type 2 diabetes drug caught fire on social media after people said they lost significant amounts of weight on it. Then, a slew of speculation surfaced online that certain celebrities were using Ozempic off-label for weight loss.

    The medication has faced shortages for months. And because it’s designed to be used for people with type 2 diabetes, most health insurances won’t cover it off-label (i.e. weight loss).

    Plus, you need a prescription, which requires a trip to your doctor’s office, hanging in the waiting room for ages and more hassle. It’s no surprise, then, that plenty of people are looking for a less expensive and more easily accessible alternative to Ozempic.

    Enter psyllium husk.

    Dubbed “the poor man’s Ozempic,” this fibre supplement is suddenly getting a lot of attention. But what is psyllium husk and is it ~actually~ like Ozempic?

    Meet the experts: Jessica Cording, R.D., is the author of The Little Book of Game-Changers. Keri Gans, R.D., is the author of The Small Change Diet.

    Women’s Health went straight to registered dieticians to answer all your questions about the so-called “natural Ozempic.”

    What is psyllium husk?

    Psyllium husk is a type of fibre—specifically, soluble fibre, which means it attracts water and turns to gel when it’s being digested, explains Jessica Cording, R.D., author of The Little Book of Game-Changers.

    “It’s typically used as a fibre supplement,” she says.

    Psyllium husk is found in the seeds of a herb grown in India called Plantago ovata, says Keri Gans, R.D., author of The Small Change Diet.

    What are the psyllium husk health benefits?

    There are a few different perks of psyllium husk, Gans says, including:

    Constipation relief

    Blood sugar management

    Lowered cholesterol

    “Sometimes you’ll see it in the context of weight management products or supplements for weight loss because the fibre helps you to stay full,” Cording says.

    READ MORE: ‘Nature’s Ozempic’: What Are The Benefits Of Berberine?

    Can you lose weight by taking psyllium husk?

    If we’re looking for Ozempic-level weight loss, the answer is no.

    “If someone is making other changes to their nutritional intake or their exercise routine and they’re using psyllium husk as part of that, it can be supportive of weight management because of the impacts on fullness and blood sugar regulation,” Cording says. “But just introducing psyllium husk is not enough to cause weight loss.”

    Gans says you might lose a little weight while taking psyllium husk, simply because you’ll be more satisfied.

    “Fiber, overall, may help with satiety,” she says. “The more satisfied and full a person feels at mealtimes, the less likely they are to overeat.”

    Is psyllium husk safe?

    In general, yes.

    “For most individuals, psyllium husk is completely safe,” Gan says. “However, if on any medications or being treated for an illness, one should always check with their primary physician before adding any supplements to their diet.”

    You can also overdo it on psyllium husk or any type of fibre, Cording says.

    “As with anything, too much of a good thing is possible,” she says. “Some can be beneficial, but you don’t want to go above and beyond the recommended dosing.”

    READ MORE: How To Lose Weight If You Don’t Know Where To Start, According To A Dietician

    Can you take it every day?

    Yup, you can take psyllium husk every day if you want, Gans says. Be sure to follow the recommended dosing on the label.

    If you’re new to fibre supplements, it’s best to start with a small amount, like ½ teaspoon in a 250ml glass of water once a day, according to Mount Sinai. Then, you can gradually increase your dosing as needed.

    Does psyllium husk work like Ozempic?

    Not really. Ozempic mimics a protein present in your own body called glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) and activates GLP-1 receptors in your body, Cording explains. The activation of these receptors causes an increase in insulin, which helps escort glucose to your cells, where it’s converted to energy.

    Ozempic also slows your digestion, making you feel fuller, longer, and therefore less likely to overeat. Psyllium husk works differently in your body.

    “Everything is being called the ‘new Ozempic,’” Cording says. “Psyllium husk can help with reducing blood sugar and it can help you to feel more full so you may not be as prone to snacking or eating quite as much. But it’s not the same as Ozempic.”

    What kind of side effects might you have when consuming psyllium husks?

    The biggest risk is the risk of developing gas.

    “If a person is not used to consuming fibre in their diet, it may cause gas and bloating at the start,” Gans says. “Therefore, I would recommend starting slowly, less than the recommended dose and also drinking plenty of water to help acclimate one’s body.”

    You can even end up constipated if you take too much psyllium husk and not enough water, Cording says—so make sure you’re having plenty of H2O if you use the supplement.

    Overall, experts say psyllium husk can be a supplement worth your time—just check in with your doctor first. And manage your expectations.

    “A supplement can be part of a comprehensive approach to weight management but it’s not the end all, be all, Cording says. “Most healthcare providers also recommend dietary and lifestyle changes.”

    This article was originally published by Korin Miller on Women’s Health. More

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    This Delicious DIY Tropical Coconut Granola Will Be Your New Breakfast Staple

    What could be better than a delicious (and healthy) bowl of granola in the morning? Umm, nothing! Homemade granola is actually surprisingly easy to make. Here’s how…

    The first thing you should know is that you can literally throw anything into the mix. That’s because homemade granola is one of those awesome, good-for-you foods, that you can tweak to suit your taste. After making this at home you’ll wonder why you ever bought the pre-made version in the first place. Forget the Pinã Colada, this tastes way better!

    READ MORE: The “Amazing Skin” Smoothie Recipe That Actually Works

    Homemade Tropical Coconut Healthy Granola

    Gina Beretta

    What could be better than a delicious (and healthy) bowl of granola in the morning? Umm, nothing! This healthy, tropical granola recipe is naturally-sweetened by honey and is the perfect breakfast for warmer months.

    Prep Time 8 minutes minsCook Time 1 hour hr

    Course BreakfastCuisine Healthy

    1 Baking sheet
    3 Cup Rolled oats1 Cup Almonds, chopped roughly¼ Cup Poppy seeds¼ Cup Mixed seeds½ Cup Coconut flakes1 tsp Cinnamon½ tsp Salt½ Cup Dried pineapple¾ Cup Coconut oil, melted1 Tbsp Honey
    Preheat the oven to 130 °C. Combine the dry ingredients (except the pineapple – set it aside for later). Whisk the wet ingredients until smooth. Combine the wet and the dry ingredients in a large bowl until everything is mixed through.Spread the mixture on the baking sheet in a thin layer (use two pans if necessary).Bake for an hour, stirring every 20 minutes. During the last 20 minutes of baking, stir in the pineapple chunks.Remove the granola from the oven and leave to cool a bit. You’ll be tempted to stir the mixture right away but don’t! The granola will form crunchy clusters as it cools.Store in an airtight container or jar.

    Keyword breakfast, cereal, vegetarian

    Shop The Ingredients For This Homemade Granola

    This tropical granola is packed with good-for-you ingredients!

    Not only is honey full of antioxidants, it’s also better for blood sugar levels than regular sugar.

    Almonds are high in Vitamin E which is linked to lower rates of heart disease, cancer and more.

    READ MORE: 3 High-Protein, Low-Carb Breakfast Recipes You’ll Actually Love To Eat

    Women’s Health participates in various affiliate marketing programmes, which means we may get commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. More

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    Summer Adventure Awaits: Nurturing Bone Health With MenaCal.7™

    In the tapestry of a woman’s life, strong bones are the threads that uphold vitality and empower adventures. MenaCal.7™ emerges as a beacon, urging women to invest in their bone health from the early years, an act of self-love that paves the way for a life of boundless possibilities. As summer beckons, it’s time to embrace the warmth and embark on adventures, supported by the strength that MenaCal.7™ brings.

    Summer Adventures Await 

    With the arrival of summer, the call for adventure grows stronger. Hiking through scenic trails, exploring new destinations, or revelling in the joys of outdoor yoga – all these experiences are enhanced when supported by strong, flexible bones. MenaCal.7™ stands as your partner, ensuring your bones are up for every exhilarating challenge the season brings.

    Self-Love: Nourishing Your Foundation 

    Caring for your bones is an act of self-love, a promise to your body that it will carry you through a lifetime of experiences. MenaCal.7™ embodies this self-care, infusing your bones with the nutrients they need to face the world with strength and grace. It’s a reminder that taking care of yourself is a beautiful, powerful act.

    READ MORE: Empower Your Journey: Unveiling The Secret To Strong Bones With MenaCal.7™

    Investing in Your Future Self 

    The early years are the foundation of a robust future. MenaCal.7™, with its dynamic blend of calcium, Vitamin D3 and Vitamin K2 (MK-7), helps bones grow strong and resilient. By investing in bone health early on, you gift yourself the promise of an active, adventurous life.

    MenaCal.7™ is more than a supplement; it’s a commitment to your future self. By nurturing bone health early on, you set the stage for a life of vibrant adventures and self-love. As the summer sun warms your spirit, let MenaCal.7™ be the foundation that supports every step of your journey.  More