3. GRAB A CUPPA
Although black tea is Australia’s most popular choice of tea, it is green tea that has the most benefits for your health. One study published in the Journal of Research in Medical Sciences found people who had type 2 and drank four cups of green tea per day were associated with a greater chance of weight loss and lower blood pressure. Another study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, found people who regularly drank green tea were at a lower risk of developing type 2.
Through steaming (or pan-firing) fresh leaves, green tea is able to retain antioxidants known for providing anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and cholesterol-lowering benefits. In addition to this, green tea contains the amino-acid L-theanine, which has a calming effect, reducing stress and anxiety levels. While this is good news for people with, or at risk of, type 2, not everyone likes the flavour of green tea. Try alternating a cup of green tea with Tony Ferguson Mango Green Tea (available at TerryWhite Chemmart, $17.95 for a 20-pack). This flavoured tea is high in vitamin C, low in sugar and incorporates probiotics to help maintain a healthy digestive tract and good gut health.
As green tea naturally contains caffeine, discuss the potential effect tea may have on your BGLs with your health care team first.
4. RETRAIN YOUR BRAIN
A world of constant technological alertness means we are no longer able to concentrate effectively, and are less engaged and more forgetful. Research conducted at King’s College’s London Institute of Psychiatry found people who were distracted by phone calls and emails had an IQ drop of 10 points. This equates to double the impact of smoking marijuana. More than half of the 1100 participants said they responded to an email as soon as they could, and 21 per cent claimed they would interrupt a meeting to reply to one. These interruptions have a similar effect on the mind as losing a night’s sleep.
However, you can retrain yourself to concentrate better. This begins by learning to slow down. Try these tips to get started:
- Set aside at least 30 minutes per day to switch off all technology).
- Try to do what you really want to do at least once a day, without any distractions.
- No phones at the dinner table, especially with friends or family.
- If all else fails, take a deep breath to consciously slow your body down.
5. LET’S GET PAINTING
Ever admired a child’s ability to paint what they want, and to consequently be super proud of their end product? As we grow older, we forget how to simply enjoy this pleasurable pastime as we begin to associate every action with a specific goal. Whether it is something as simple as “I want to paint beautiful flowers” or to “bring the colours of the ocean to the page”, when we don’t see ourselves working towards a goal, we start seeing the activity as a chore, causing extra stress on our body.
But that’s the best part about painting. Anyone can do it, and it doesn’t have to resemble anything at all. Grab some paint and brushes, and simply start focusing on brushing colours onto a canvas, letting your mind and hand flow where they want to go without a particular object or scene in mind.
The more you consciously practise your ability to paint without knowing the end product, the more you will begin to find that joy in the activity once again.