Cityscape Wellbeing & Fitness
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Category Wellbeing & Fitness

New Year, New You

Sure, you might have started the year with good intentions, but how are those New Year’s resolutions panning out? Cityscape grabs the Year of the Goat by the horns, consults the experts and finds out what’s on the cards for 2015 and how to get back on track with rocking your best year ever. From the hottest exercise and nutrition, why change is good and why you need to de-clutter – this year, it’s all about you.

The Libbster


With New Year’s resolutions fraught with failure,Cityscape caught up with lifestyle guru and holistic nutrition specialist Dr Libby for the lowdown on creating a healthier you.

A new year often sparks a desire to change aspects of your life you feel may not be serving you. Yet, whatever the radical ideas for the New Year may be, many people embark on unsustainable and far-from-healthy plans. Let’s look at sustainable steps to improving health and wellbeing.


For some, the word detoxification conjures up images of eating rabbit food and feeling awful, but what is often forgotten is that detoxification is a process that goes on in our bodies constantly every day. The body is extremely efficient at detoxification,
but it is the lifestyle choices we make that determine how efficiently our liver is able to do this job. One of the easiest ways to naturally support detoxification processes is
to take a break from coffee and alcohol. Support this change with green tea and a diet rich in fresh leafy green vegetables, such as watercress, rocket, spinach, dandelion leaves and Chinese greens, and you are well on your way to a more energised you.A challenge I often like to set people focusing on improving their detoxification processes is to avoid anything that comes in a packet for 10 days.

Skin Health

The way to achieve healthy and radiant skin is through nourishment. For healthy skin, keeping hydrated is essential. In the summer months, drinking plenty of water and isotonic drinks like coconut water can be beneficial. Skin also loves essential fats: sources include oily fish, flaxseeds, avocado, coconut, walnuts and pecans. Vitamin-Crich foods such as citrus, berries, kiwifruit and capsicum all support optimal collagen formation and maintenance for glowing skin.

Emotional Connection

What does the New Year represent for you? When making a resolution, approach it from a constructive place. Aiming to improve your health is far more motivating in the long-term than wanting to fit a particular clothes size. When I ask audiences what happens when they go on a diet, ironically, most people answer that they gain weight. You’re not demolishing everything in the pantry because you think you’re doing something good for our health. Consider what it is you are trying to make up for or suppressing by over-eating or choosing bad food. When people overeat they are often looking for soul food, not food food. Identify the feelings you are seeking and fulfil this need more often with alternative activities (to overeating) that support your health.

Things to Embrace This Year

Weight-bearing exercise Functional weight bearing exercises that strengthen the muscles that we use for everyday movements like pulling, pushing, lifting and squatting help us to retain and improve our ability to continue these movements as we age. Weight-bearing exercises are also important for building and maintaining bone density, which becomes especially important in order to prevent osteoporosis as we age. 

Bitter greens Bitter greens are all round superstars. Greens like kale, rocket and mustard greens are rich in vitamins A, C and K as well as minerals like magnesium and calcium. Bitter greens also help to stimulate the production of digestive enzymes. Digestive enzymes help to break down our food, and the more completely our food is broken down the better nourished we are.

Fermented foods Fermented foods are a great way to add flavour and health benefits to your meals. Fermented foods retain all of their original vitamins and minerals, and then the fermentation process creates enzymes and bacteria, which support digestion and gut health. The health of our gut is paramount to all-round good health, so try adding sauerkraut, kimichi or other fermented veg to your diet.

Less time sitting So many people spend the majority of their day sitting; they sit at work, sit in the car and then sit in front of the television at home. Many of us have lost the ‘accidental activity’ and style of work that was part of every day life 50-100 years ago. Take the stairs or walk to work or the store. An emerging trend is to work at a standing desk; instead of sitting to type at your computer, try standing. You can also try squatting to type, with your computer on a low table. It is great “exercise”. More movement and standing is better for your posture and muscle tone, both of which are factors in increasing quality of life and wellbeing.

Top 5 Switches For 2015

1. Ditch coffee for green or herbal tea for 4 weeks.
2. Choose eggs over high sugar breakfast cereal to start the day.
3. Trade a chocolate bar with something you’ve prepared from Sweet Food Story.
4. Swap all cold drinks for water and freshen it up with some lemon and lime.
5. Switch the focus on your weight for a focus on your health … and watch your weight fall into place!




Are you running out of space around the house, but still buying more acquisitions? Is your house starting to look more museumy/shriney than homely? If so, you could be on the highway to hoarding. So before the family intervention rocks up with the TV cameras rolling, you might wanna consider an access-all-areas decluttering. Sufferers of stuffocation (too much stuff) can often feel anxious, frustrated and out of control, and decluttering brings about the generation of fresh energy, creates physical and mental space and helps chase off negative emotions. Living more with less doesn’t mean getting all Yoko Ono minimalist on your life, but chances are if you haven’t worn or used something (think about all those ‘as seen on TV’ gadgets) in 6 months, then you might not need it. Take baby steps when starting out; combined, small steps will lead to big improvements that will be easier to maintain long-term. Why not join the growing number of people who are trading gathering more possessions for enjoying experiences such as holidays, festivals, the theatre, and spending time with friends?

Attack the robe Make a start by binning 5 pieces of clothing you never wore last year (or the year before that!). go on, rip off that plaster – it won’t hurt a bit!


Social-Media-AnxietyDo you find yourself constantly checking your phone at all hours of the day and night just to keep tabs on the updates of all your “friends” on Facebook and Instagram? If so, chances are you’ve contracted a case of FOMO (fear of missing out), brought on by watching the filtered lives of others and thinking they’re having a better time than you – or, worse, MOMO (mystery of missing out) when you start freaking out if there’s a lull in prolific poster’s feed – seriously, what could they be doing that’s SO amazing they can’t post about it? Now you’ll never know what they had for lunch. Time to consider a digital detox or mobile diet (switch your phone off for five hours) – you need to avoid adding Liker’s Thumb to your digital medical file!



After decades of being told to avoid butter because of its saturated fat content, butter is now being hyped as a health food. So what gives? Rich in fat-soluble vitamins including A, E and K2, butter is a natural product, and unlike substitute products with long chemical numbers and colouring codes, it’s easily absorbed by the body. The most easily-absorbed form of vitamin A, butter also helps in the absorption of vitamins and minerals from vegetables when you cook them in it. It’s also filled with antioxidants and Lecithin ... perhaps it’s time to make the switch back?




With modern medicine born of the natural world, many are now looking beyond computer-aided drug design and back to natural sources – the wild substances that form the basis of our medicine cabinets. The resurgence in using natural tonic herbs to treat the body instead of popping a pill offers a more natural approach to treating ailments (with fewer side effects), while also nourishing and protecting the body and organs. Try the natural alternative at The ApothecaryThe Herb CentreThe Herbal Dispensary and Pascha – Nourishing Body and Soul.




Cityscape caught up with Pascha – Nourishing Body and Soul’s Jonathan Spark to find out why a change will do you good.



We have all heard how change is the one constant in life; we want change, but do we seek change? I have come to see that change can feel hard, sometimes too hard, but even in resignation to not changing we cannot ignore the voice and feeling inside that tells us we need to change. This year I invite you to consider the change you want, not the change you should embrace.

There is a difference in changing because of unhappiness and self or others’ criticism and changing because you can feel you are more, that there is more and that you want more. This is about the change that is inviting alignment with your true self. Because change can be hard, and because at times, after 20 years as a therapist, I have wondered if people change that much, I have been really looking at some simple steps that allow change for the good.

Here’s what I’ve found: Know the feeling of what you want change for in your life – be it your health, abundance, happiness, relationships. Know and imagine how this may feel and give yourself time to be with the feeling, not just the idea or thought, but the feeling. You need to feel the energy for the change you want to have, and this requires an element of committed focus. You will not sustain positive change out of reaction to unhappiness or discomfort. This can be a trigger for needed change but it will not sustain the change you want. The positive change that aligns you with the feeling of flow in your life asks you to know what is good and right for you; it asks you to keep doing what is good and right. Let go of what you know is not good for you. To allow change, to be open to good change, change that can bring good things, let go of what no longer works, the patterns and behaviours that do not really support the real you. You know what these are. In doing so you make space and room for something else, something better to come into your life, and it may just be the thing you really want.



Cityscape tapped the genius of health and fitness consultant and the office personal trainer Jean Scott to find out what we can expect in fitness trends this year.


Getting in shape this year is all about going back to basics with bodyweight training. Bodyweight exercises are a simple, highly effective way to improve balance, flexibility, and strength without machinery or weights. From legs and shoulders to chest and abs, every part of the body can get stronger through body resistance alone. What’s more it can be done practically anywhere. Turn your lounge or backyard into your gym and make with the planks, push-ups, squats, pull-ups and ab rolls.

I think we will also see an increase in running because it’s so convenient. You can go for a run from home and be back in 30 minutes and back into life. Interval training will still be a big hit. Fast, intense and challenging for a short period. People don’t have the time to exercise for long periods, so they are looking for smarter ways to achieve their goals. More people will also take up group training. It’s encouraging, social and for those that crave it, competitive.


Cityscape is the essential Christchurch directory of where to eat and drink, what to do and where to shop. From the best events to add to your calendar to tips to ensure you squeeze out the very essence of the city, Cityscape has the city of Christchurch covered inside and out.


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Guest 24 February 2018