Woman & Home (South Africa) - - Boost Your Self-esteem -

El­iz­a­beth Pey­ton-jones is a natur­opath, food and health ex­pert, and au­thor of Eat Your­self Young and Cook Your­self Young (both Quadrille).

PUT YOUR­SELF FIRST Weight gain is com­mon in mid­dle age. Our oe­stro­gen lev­els de­cline, thy­roid lev­els fall, we might have more stress and poorer sleep, so higher cor­ti­sol lev­els also mean we metabolise slower. See this as an ideal time to tackle your diet. You’ve spent years nur­tur­ing oth­ers, eat­ing what’s eas­i­est for the fam­ily or what ev­ery­one else wanted. Now you may be cook­ing for fewer peo­ple, you can cre­ate a kitchen to nur­ture you.

‘Think healthy, not thin’

GIVE UP ONE OF FIVE THINGS... ...from groups we eat or drink too much of – sugar, gluten, dairy, meat and al­co­hol. If you give up one, you’ll feel and see a change.

FOR­GET SU­PER­FOODS There are thou­sands of great veg. Most of your plate should be colour­ful; and eat as wide a range of veg as you can.

EAT HERBS Think thyme, rose­mary, mint, co­rian­der. Don’t just sprin­kle as a gar­nish. They help with di­ges­tion and me­tab­o­lism, heal skin and strengthen cells. Use them as you do veg­eta­bles and throw hand­fuls into casseroles be­fore serv­ing, or drink them as tea.

FO­CUS ON HEALTH, NOT THINNESS Ex­treme di­ets don’t work, as we can’t keep them up. Once you’re happy with a healthy diet and good ex­er­cise, your body will set­tle on its op­ti­mum weight.

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