Nutrition & Better Ageing

08/08/2019, Melanie Waxman, SHA Wellness Clinic

Melanie Waxman, a nutritionist at SHA Wellness Clinic is considered to be a pioneer in natural health and nutrition awareness. She has dedicated the past 36 years to the study and practice of macrobiotics, feng shui, body therapy, and energy of food. Melanie has trained chefs, consultants, and therapists from all over the world in the field of macrobiotic nutrition. Below Melanie explains what makes the SHA diet so special and how good nutrition can positively affect the ageing process.

How does nutrition affect the ageing process, and is it ever too late to redress our imbalance and nutrient deficiencies?

Nutrition makes a big difference to the ageing process. It is important to have high energy foods that keep the body fresh and functioning smoothly. These foods contain antioxidants, healthy fats, a high water content, and good quality minerals. A plant based diet is excellent for anti-ageing and includes whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruits, Olive or sesame oil, herbs, fermented foods, condiments and sea vegetables. Foods that age the body more quickly include meat, dairy, sugar, sodas, alcohol, coffee, fried food in poor quality oil, and refined carbs. Stress is also very ageing for the body so it is important to discover ways to help to reduce that. It is never too late to change!

What makes the diet at SHA so special in your view and what are the principals behind it?

The diet at SHA is very well balanced in terms of nutrients – proteins, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins and healthy fats. It includes a broad diversity of plant based ingredients which contain many important macro and micro nutrients. These nutrients are vital for nourishing the body and keeping the mind active and sharp. We also include fermented foods, unique teas and mineral based condiments, which are designed to increase energy levels, help the detox or weight loss process, and improve digestión. The SHA diet is low in saturated fats, sugars, and refined products. Where possible, the foods come straight from the fields rather than being highly processed in a factory. The diet is also balanced in terms of acid and alkaline and is low on the glycemic index.

The SHA diet is based on the principles of macrobiotics and also the diets of all the worlds long standing cultures (gong back at least 10 thousand years). More recently the diet at SHA has been updated to align with the latest research on health and nutrition. Macrobiotics means - the way to a great life. The key is -the way - meaning that health is a movement, a journey, something you want to go towards rather than away from.

How do you view the 5: 2 diet, the Mayr detox and other weight loss programmes, and why is SHA a better eating philosophy in your view?

The origin of the word, diet or dieta means, a way of eating, or food and drink regularly consumed. Today, many people view diet as a restriction, something to do for a short while for a specific reason like losing weight or detoxing. The problem with these kinds of diets is there is no back up after the period of time is over so people often return to what they were doing before, gain back the weight or are unable to stick to the regime at all. After years of trying these kinds of diets, it becomes challenging for people to lose any weight, and the body becomes sluggish Ageing happens more quickly

At SHA we aim to educate guests on how to enjoy long term healthy habits. The SHA diet is a way of eating and can be adapted to suit any culture, climate, age or activity. Guests are encouraged to begin adding healthy foods and dishes into their current diet and to replace unhealthy with healthy alternatives. It is important to understand that it is what we eat and do on a daily basis that makes the difference, not what we might have as a special treat or once in a while.

What does a typical breakfast, lunch and dinner comprise of at SHA?

We have three menus which are adjusted to suit the guest and their goals at SHA.

Breakfast includes dishes such as different whole grain porridge, miso soup, various juices, hummus, guacamole, fruits, compotes, scrambled tofu, crepes, muffins and different teas and infusions

Lunch and dinner include, soups, whole grains, beans, tofu, tempeh, seitan, vegetables, salads, sea vegetables, pickles, condiments, sauces, dressings, sugar-free desserts, teas and infusions – there is an option of fish and shellfish for those wanting animal protein.

There is also a tea time which offers a healthy snack and various teas and infusions

What other activities & practices best help with weight loss and detox the SHA way?

Spending time outdoors and aligning with nature is one of the most positive things you can do for your health. It is one of the best ways to destress, lose weight and feel great.

Humans used to spend at least 80% of their day active. Now we spend the same time sitting which is not good for health on any level. The more active we are the better. It is important to find activities we enjoy otherwise it is hard to continue – gym, HIT, spinning, yoga, pilates, zumba, biking, tennis etc

Mindful exercises are also very beneficial – taking time to notice the small stuff – walking slowly, eating slowly, really tasting our food, breathing slowly and finding ways to calm the mind.

Having fun – it's important to not take life too seriously – and not to overly focus on losing weight as that makes it more difficult – it is better to focus on being healthy or getting fit or increasing activity.

Various treatments can also speed up the anti-ageing, weight loss and detox process such as ginger compress, seaweed wraps, shiatsu, cryotherapy, vela shape, indiba, icoone, and watsu. These, along with many other treatments, are offered at SHA

If this blog has got you interested in starting your wellness journey call our wellness advisors at 020 7843 3597 or enquire here.

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