Living with …… Osteopenia – are you sitting comfortably?

Posture is the position in which we hold our body upright against gravity while standing or sitting down. But if like me you sometimes stand or sit incorrectly the result is a headache or back pain! Ouch.  

Daily Lyprinol can help ease the discomfort, but we also need to retrain our bodies to sit and to stand correctly. Our bodies were designed to move with rhythm and ease but far too many of us sit or stand for hours working at screens or equipment at the wrong height.

Our daily routine should be a mixture of sitting, standing and moving. However, the pace of modern life makes this difficult and consequently we spend our time hunched up in front of a screen or driving long distances. Pain and discomfort will result from adopting these uncomfortable postures for long periods, so get up and move around every 30 minutes when possible.  With correct posture and body in good alignment we can alleviate headaches, back and neck pain, and fatigue.  

Good posture involves training our bodies to stand, walk, sit and lie in positions where less strain is placed on supporting muscles and ligaments.  Strength and flexibility exercises can correct muscle imbalances, improve body awareness, make our backs strong and resilient and alleviate muscle tension.  Standing (or sitting) tall will boost your bearing and self-confidence and help you look and feel younger!

Don’t be a drip

Candles burning in a church background

To stop candles dripping, keep them in the freezer. This is particularly useful for cake candles – no more wax running into icing! 

And if you have a household tip to share with our followers just click here >

And did you know that Aggie Mackenzie is a qualified Yoga Teacher? Join her now for “Aggie’s Yoga!” And would you like a personalised video message for you or a loved one? Just go to and Aggie will record one for you.

Or check out Diana Moran’s fitness website at

We all need supplements by Dr. Sarah Schenker

Most high streets have at least one health-food shop stocked with shelves of supplements; supermarkets have at least one shelf and pharmacies usually a dedicated section meaning supplements are big business. But do we all need them? At first glance, the sheer range of supplements may suggest that we do – after all, there are supplements tailored for gender, age, life stage and health condition, for sports, or boasting specific ingredients ranging from echinacea to prebiotics.

Supplements can play a role in helping to keep us healthy, particularly at times when following a healthy, balanced diet is difficult, or when people are restricting their dietary intake or have suffered nutrient losses. For example, some vegetarians may benefit from an iron supplement, while individuals with poor bone mass or osteopenia may benefit from vitamin D and calcium supplements. Furthermore, there are life stages during which a supplement is key, such as folic acid before and during the early stages of pregnancy to avoid neural tube defects in the growing foetus, or vitamin D drops in infants and young children to avoid rickets. However, we followed the advice of nutrition experts and ate a well-balanced diet including a wide variety of foods, most of us would not need supplements. But as we all know life gets in the way of our best intentions including eating healthily all the time!

When choosing a supplement it is important to question whether the claimed or inferred benefits actually exist. Look closely at the labels, some supplements cannot make claims and instead the benefits are inferred through clever marketing while others are able to make approved health claims with a solid scientific foundation. For example, a claim approved in Europe is the benefit of taking 2g/day of fish oil supplements to help maintain normal blood-triglyceride levels. In Europe, a series of laws exist dictating that any health claims attributed to supplements must be approved by regulators – they should be based on science and must not mislead. Furthermore, supplements should not be harmful or contaminated with other ingredients, and they should not encourage deviation from a healthy, balanced diet.

The bottom line is that supplements can be helpful in fulfilling a specific role, but there is usually no need for their long-term use unless under medical supervision. Those with wide-ranging or extreme claims should be viewed with caution – if it sounds too good to be true, then unfortunately that is most likely the case!

Let’s get fruity…

Next time you’re stewing plums or rhubarb, grate the rind of an orange into the cooking liquid – it’s a delicious addition.

And if you have a household tip to share with our followers just click here >

And did you know that Aggie Mackenzie is a qualified Yoga Teacher? Join her now for “Aggie’s Yoga!” And would you like a personalised video message for you or a loved one? Just go to and Aggie will record one for you.

Or check out Diana Moran’s fitness website at


To snack or not to snack…? by Dr. Sarah Schenker

When considering how to lose weight there are plenty of opinions on snacking, is it a good thing – increases metabolism, prevents hunger pangs, or a bad thing – reduces the calorie deficit and interferes with appetite. Both fasting and grazing can affect metabolism but there exists a lot of confusion on how and to what extent. How often have you heard someone moan about their ‘slow’ metabolism or come across diets that promise to ‘boost’ your metabolism? And a quick google search will throw up plenty of misinformation on strategies, concoctions and spurious supplements that promise to put your metabolism into overdrive. But to really understand metabolism there are a few myths to dispel and a few concepts to explain.

At any one time there are millions of metabolic processes occurring simultaneously in our bodies. The speed of these processes is commonly known as metabolic rate and determines the number of calories your body will use up in a given time and yes, the faster your metabolism the more calories your body needs.

There is much debate on the effects of metabolism of fasting versus grazing. Many dieters believe they shouldn’t go for long periods with out food as it will slow their metabolism and a common complaint of people who struggle to lose weight is that previous dieting, particularly crash dieting, has ruined their metabolism. In response to long term starvation, metabolic rate slows to compensate for the calorie deficit, however, the rate to which the metabolic rate decreases during typical Western dietary practices of calorie restriction and weight loss is not significant enough to prevent weight loss. Regular controlled fasting has been shown to be an effective method of weight loss, such as two fast days a week (allowing yourself up to 800 calories per day), or simply leaving 4-5 hours between meals to allow the body to enter the fasted state. However, a major disadvantage is that it takes bucket loads of willpower, especially to begin with. If the result is that you end up feeling so hungry you demolish a packet of biscuits, fasting is clearly not for you!

While it may be the case that once you have lost weight, maintaining that weight is challenging, the metabolism is never ruined. In fact, studies show that overweight people have a higher metabolic rate than normal weight individuals, because it takes more energy to move a bigger body. In other words, your metabolic rate slows as you lose weight and increases as you gain weight. The key to weight maintenance often lies in additional exercise and building muscle mass to compensate for the slower metabolic rate.

Another popular myth is that it is better to eat little and often and many people believe eating six small meals per day or grazing is better than eating three traditional meals. It is thought that this practice will ‘stoke’ your metabolism and is linked to the knowledge that there is a rise in metabolic rate every time you eat known as the thermic effect of food. However, there is very little evidence that eating this way leads to an increase in net metabolic rate. This is because the thermic effect of food is directly proportional to the size of the meal and the energy consumed. So you get the same effect from one larger meal as two smaller meals. A downside to the grazing approach is that you don’t learn to regulate your appetite and can easily consume more calories than you need.

The key to striking the right balance when it comes to snacking or not is appetite regulation. In an attempt to help regulate appetite you may need to learn to deal with feeling a little bit hungry between your meals. This means trying to identify how you are really feeling; are you thinking about a snack because it’s a certain time of day – everyone else is eating! Is it habit, boredom or comfort? People often confuse mild thirst with hunger, so try having a large glass of water, wait for twenty minutes and see if the sensation passes. However, once hunger starts to become a distraction, then it’s time to choose an appropriate snack.

The Liiv Nutritionally Balanced Meal Replacement Shakes are perfect for helping to manage appetite. Not only are they a delicious and convenient way to help you control your calorie intake, they are also expertly nutritionally balanced, to ensure you consume all the essential nutrients you need to support good health while keeping you feeling fuller for longer due to their high protein and fibre content.

If you feel you need a snack, try to avoid anything high in sugar, sugar and fat combined or salt. Not only are these no good for your health, they are neither filling nor satisfying, meaning they are easy to overeat and they can disrupt blood sugar levels that leave you craving more soon after. The best snacks are nourishing and sustaining, here are some of the best ones to choose:

  • Mashed avocado on oat crackers
  • Hummus dips with veg sticks
  • Plain yogurt with crushed berries
  • Handful of unsalted nuts
  • Bowl of spicy edamame beans
  • Aubergine dip with wholegrain crackers
  • Slices of apple with peanut butter
  • Raita mint dip with cucumber spear
  • Buckwheat pancakes with chopped fruit
  • Spicy cauliflower popcorn