FebFast http://febfast.org.au a pause for the better Wed, 20 Aug 2014 12:28:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Why are vapour cigarettes illegal? http://febfast.org.au/why-are-vapour-cigarettes-illegal/ http://febfast.org.au/why-are-vapour-cigarettes-illegal/#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 12:28:16 +0000 http://febfast.org.au/why-are-vapour-cigarettes-illegal/ The use of vapour or E-cigarettes is not encouraged in Australia, and is outright illegal in certain states. Continue reading

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Vapour cigarettes, otherwise known as E-cigarettes, are battery-powered devices designed to stimulate the effects of smoking. In essence, they heat nicotine liquid into vapour to be inhaled and exhaled. Some look like traditional cigarettes and others don't.

These have always been illegal in Australia, but their use has been under fire in the Western Australian court following the prosecution of a company in April who sold dispensers and nicotine-free "e-juice" through its Website. This has led to a crack down across all the states and territories as it establishes a precedent for them to follow.

Why are these illegal?

The Court decision ruled that if a device involves hand-to-mouth action and results in a vapour being emitted, it resembles a tobacco product. This is seen as encouraging smoking and could result in higher levels of cancer in future. 

Under the current law, it is illegal to sell any food, toys or other products designed to resemble cigarettes or cigars.  

An April 27 article published in the Sydney Morning Herald revealed there have been no long-term studies about the health effects of using E-cigarettes.

Why do people use E-cigarettes?

Many people turn to E-cigarettes to help them stop smoking, as the routine of hand-to-mouth contact can help to treat the behavioural aspect of tobacco cravings.

These products often contain nicotine but are believed to be less dangerous than conventional cigarettes as they do not contain the other harmful chemicals.

However, in Australia they are not recognised as a quitting tool. Instead, the Therapeutic Goods Association warns that these items could deliver an unreliable dose of nicotine and they could contain other toxic chemicals or carcinogens that could be dangerous.

The Australian Quitline instead advises smokers wanting to quit to seek guidance from a professional to help manage the emotions and habits linked to smoking and quitting medications.

Trying a 28 day detox program may help you curb those urges as it can  provide you with support from your peers. If you broadcast your intentions to a group of your nearest and dearest you may be less likely to slip up. 

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The top benefits of summer sports pre-season http://febfast.org.au/the-top-benefits-of-summer-sports-pre-season/ http://febfast.org.au/the-top-benefits-of-summer-sports-pre-season/#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 17:14:10 +0000 http://febfast.org.au/the-top-benefits-of-summer-sports-pre-season/ Do you play a summer sport? Why not quit drinking or go on a digital detox for 28 days and spend that time on your game? Continue reading

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No matter which summer sport you play, pre-season training is a great way to get ahead so you will be on form for your first match.

Here are some of the benefits of pre-season training and how you can more easily implement this into your day-to-day regime.

Boost your fitness

It is likely that in the off-season you may have let your fitness slide, seeing as there were no matches to keep you on your toes.

Enjoying a pre-season training regime will help you boost you maintain or improve your fitness levels so that you can perform at your best when you need to, according to the Australian Sports Commission (Ausport) .

Why not complete a digital detox and use the time you otherwise would have wasted on the computer or in front of the TV on exercising and preparing for the summer sports season?

Reduce your risk of injury

Spending some time in the lead up to the Summer season preparing for the rigours of the sport can help to prevent injuries when the game starts.

This is because you will be fit and ready for the physical demands expected of you.

A balanced training program will improve your strength so your muscles and joints can handle sudden or large forces. It will also enhance your endurance so you can play for longer, your speed so you can move quickly and your flexibility so you have a greater range of motion and will be less likely to injure yourself.

Improve your skill development

If you want to be at your best when you get back on the field, pre-season training is an essential.

It can help you to build up and work on your technique so you are ready to go. In fact, you could use your pre-season training to work on any elements of the game you want to improve.

If you stop drinking for 28 days you may feel better and can enjoy getting up early to spend time training. Alcohol can stay in your system and impact your reflexes, so you may feel sharper on the field without a drink.

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All about junk food addiction http://febfast.org.au/all-about-junk-food-addiction/ http://febfast.org.au/all-about-junk-food-addiction/#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 17:13:22 +0000 http://febfast.org.au/all-about-junk-food-addiction/ Junk food addiction is real with many people finding it hard to keep away from the biscuits, chippies, chocolate and lollies. Continue reading

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We all know that it is important to nourish our bodies with healthy food to ensure we have enough vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.

However, many of us continue to eat junk food with a low nutritional level.

If you fit into the category of people who can’t steer clear of chips, lollies, crackers and baked goods, you may well be in the grip of a junk food addiction.

A study by the Scripps Research Institute in Florida revealed how the over consumption of junk food can lead to a compulsive habit.

Neurobiologist Associate Professor Paul Kenny and colleague Paul Johnson studied the impact of junk food on rats and found the brain’s reward pathways do not work as well when they are overstimulated. This may lead to more and more junk food being consumed in order to satisfy.

This is similar to the effects of other drugs and can lead to binge eating as addicts try and get their fix.

It can be hard in modern day society to avoid these temptations as junk food seems to linger at every corner and the bright packaging is carefully designed to lure you in.

Doing a 28 day detox program is a great chance to help you overhaul your diet and improve your health.

To get a head start, make sure when you head to the supermarket that you only stock your pantry and fridge with healthy whole foods – avoid buying anything processed as it could be a drain on your willpower.

You should also make some plans to help you cut down on buying ready-made food. It is often much easier and cheaper than you think to make meals from scratch. See what delicious treats you can come up with!

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The warning signs of social media addiction http://febfast.org.au/the-warning-signs-of-social-media-addiction/ http://febfast.org.au/the-warning-signs-of-social-media-addiction/#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 17:09:26 +0000 http://febfast.org.au/the-warning-signs-of-social-media-addiction/ Not sure if you are spending too much time on your digital devices? Why not see how you would cope doing a 28 day digital media fast? Continue reading

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Are you not sure whether your relationship with social media is normal or if you have ventured into dangerous territory? Here are a few of the signs of social media addiction to look out for.

Spending all your free time on Facebook

How much time is too much time? Any longer than two hours in a row or three hours daily on Facebook could be a sign that you have become addicted.

Do you compulsively log in to make status updates? While it is normal to want to let your followers know what major events are happening in your life, you may want to rethink logging in to let them know where you are eating every lunch!

A sign that strongly indicates you are addicted to social media is that you lose time. Do the minutes turn into hours and you find yourself immersed in your newsfeed? You may be addicted.

You add hashtags to everything

Hashtags are great on twitter but when you start inserting them into work emails and text messages, it could signal you have a problem.

It’s the first thing you check when you wake up

If you immediately wake up and head straight over to check your retweets, Instagram likes, Snapchat views and Facebook status updates you are probably in the throes of an addiction.

PR Daily suggests if you do any of these things immediately after brushing your teeth you are at high risk.

Putting social media first

Do other tasks get pushed into the “tomorrow” pile or the “too hard” basket in favour of checking into social media?

Have you ever had an early appointment and spent the night before on social media rather than getting that early night you need? This could be a real sign of an addiction, particularly if you are lying to others about how much time you really spend online.

Whether you are concerned about your social media use or just want a break, why not consider a social media fast? See if you can go 28 days without checking in!

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How to look your best for the wedding season http://febfast.org.au/how-to-look-your-best-for-the-wedding-season/ http://febfast.org.au/how-to-look-your-best-for-the-wedding-season/#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 17:07:35 +0000 http://febfast.org.au/how-to-look-your-best-for-the-wedding-season/ Wedding season is around the corner and it is important to ensure you feel and look your best, no matter whose nuptials you are attending. Continue reading

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Wedding season is just around the corner and whether it is your best friend, daughter, sister or yourself who is tying the knot, there is no doubt you will want to look and feel your best.

Good health can ensure your make-up goes on flawlessly and your dress fits like a dream – here are a few tips to help you look and feel great.

Diet tips and tricks

Whether you want to drop a few kilos or just radiate good health, your diet is the first place you should look. This doesn’t mean cutting out every delicious food, though!

Even if you cut sugar out for a month, there are still plenty of delicious recipes you can try. Not only that but it may give you motivation to sample a new range of fruit. After all, these are nature’s lollies.

Alcohol consumption is another area of your diet where you may be spending calories with minimal nutrition. Giving up those after work drinks is an easy fix to slim down and also improve the look of your skin. Alcohol can dehydrate you and make your skin look dry and red. It can also lead to bloating – not ideal if you have a tight dress to squeeze into!

You should also allow plenty of time for exercise so you can be fit and healthy on the big day.

Find the perfect dress

Have you ever put on a dress that makes you say “wow”? That is the look you should be aiming for. Once you have the body, start shopping!

If you’re worried about prices, an alcohol detox can help. Sounds a little left field, but with the average drink costing $5 at the bar, the cost of a night out can skyrocket. Why not save this money for a month and see what you can end up with? It could help you splash out on something fancy – you deserve it!

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Does plain packaging work? http://febfast.org.au/does-plain-packaging-work/ http://febfast.org.au/does-plain-packaging-work/#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 17:06:16 +0000 http://febfast.org.au/does-plain-packaging-work/ Plain packaging was introduced in 2012 and aims to reduce the appeal of tobacco products. Continue reading

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In order to reduce the rate of smoking in Australia, the government implemented a new strategy that removed brand logos and colours from cigarette packages. This is known as plain packaging.

This new law came into full effect in December 2012 and resulted in all cigarettes being packaged with only the brand name.

What is the rationale behind plain packaging?

The packets must contain graphic health warnings as well as a clear message about the age restrictions associated with cigarette smoking. This is designed to increase the impact of these messages and make these products seem less attractive.

A July 2011 study entitled, Introduction Effects of the Australian Plain Packaging Policy on Adult Smokers: A Cross-Sectional Study, examined 536 smokers to see if their perceptions changed when they switched to plain packaging.

The conclusion suggested plain packaging resulted in people thinking their cigarettes were lower in quality and that they were not as satisfying as they were a year ago.

More smokers thought about quitting when they used plain packaging than those who chose branded packets.

So, it is working?

On June 6, 2014 the Australian obtained new data that indicated tobacco sales have increased since the roll out of the new law.

In fact, demand for cheaper cigarettes increased by as much as 50 per cent, according to the news source.

However, the Sydney Morning Herald reported on June 24 that this increase of 0.3 per cent did not take into account population increases.

Instead, it reported that smoking rates have dropped. This is backed up by figures from the Health Department, which reveal total consumption of tobacco and cigarettes in the March quarter 2014 is the lowest it has ever been.

A 28 day smoking fast could help you to quit as it provides all the incentives you need to keep on track. The Cancer Society state most people who successfully quit do so cold turkey, so this could be the best way to achieve the benefits of a smoke-free life.

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Low fat, high sugar foods to avoid http://febfast.org.au/low-fat-high-sugar-foods-to-avoid/ http://febfast.org.au/low-fat-high-sugar-foods-to-avoid/#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 17:04:30 +0000 http://febfast.org.au/low-fat-high-sugar-foods-to-avoid/ It is easy to get carried away choosing foods that label themselves as healthy options. What's the real buzz around low-fat alternatives? Continue reading

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Doing a junk food fast is great for your health, as it means you avoid heavily processed foods with high levels of calories and low nutrient counts.

However, it can be tricky to determine which foods fall into this group. Marketing campaigns have meant it is easier than ever before to feel duped into buying something advertised as a healthy alternative.

When you walk down the aisles of the supermarket you are likely to notice many foods labelled as low fat choices. In many cases, sugar is added to the products to make them taste more appealing. Here are some popular items with a low fat count, but high sugar level.

Yoghurt

In the 1990s a movement to avoid fat began and many yoghurt makers removed this item from their products to appeal to health conscious consumers.

However, to ensure the product tasted good and had a good “mouth feel”, sugar was added. According to a survey by Choice Magazine, the average serving of low fat yoghurt contains around five or more teaspoons of added sugar.

Breakfast cereals

While some brands of this breakfast staple are marketed as low fat or healthy, this is not always the case. When you purchase these items, you should always check the nutritional info on the back to ensure there is not too much added sugar or salt.

Low fat desserts

When you trawl the pudding aisle in the supermarket you may spot plenty of low fat ice cream, sorbet, cake, biscuit and crumble options. These, too, have plenty of sugar added for flavour. Even canned fruit in light syrup can be high in the sweet stuff.

Dressings and spreads

Any condiments you add to food can act as a hidden source of sugar, whether it be a low fat dressing or peanut butter spread.

This means they could have even more calories than their full fat equivalents. Make sure you read the labels so you know what you are putting into your body.

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Is social media addictive? http://febfast.org.au/is-social-media-addictive/ http://febfast.org.au/is-social-media-addictive/#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 17:03:12 +0000 http://febfast.org.au/is-social-media-addictive/ Are you addicted to social media? Do you find yourself itching to get your hands on your Facebook feed, see what's been going on in the Twitterverse or get your Instagram or Snapchat photo fix? Continue reading

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Have you ever felt an undeniable urge to pull out your smartphone and scroll through your Facebook feed or type out a witty tweet to share with your followers?

You might be in the throes of a social media addiction.

Recent research by Harvard University has revealed the compulsion to share details about your personal life is a real addiction. In fact, MRI brain scans were used to find sharing a status update is associated with the same pleasure sensation that you get from eating food, receiving money and even having sex.

The reward areas in the brain were more engaged when people were talking about themselves and less when talking about others – this could perhaps be the real reason why social media sites have such a large following.

So, what can you do if you are thinking of breaking your habit to do a 28 day long social media fast? Here are a few suggestions to help you share your feelings and enjoy the validation of sharing your thoughts with others.

Start a coffee group

Rather than venting about your problems to a wide circle of acquaintances on Facebook, why not meet up with some friends at a cafe every weekend? This way you can talk about the week that was and maintain that sense of connectedness that all humans crave. Remember that giving up social media does not mean you need to become anti-social!

Phone a friend

These days it is too easy to type out a message to your friends and to stay in touch digitally. Consider utilising your phone for other purposes and ringing your bestie for a good old-fashioned chin wag.

Throw a dinner party

Why not stimulate those feel-good chemicals with some top notch tucker? Whether it be a pot luck meal or a five course feast, having some friends around for food will stimulate your pleasure areas in your brain. Good food and chat will have you feeling better than ever. Just make sure everyone switches off their phones during the meal.

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We can help you escape hibernation this winter http://febfast.org.au/we-can-help-you-escape-hibernation-this-winter/ http://febfast.org.au/we-can-help-you-escape-hibernation-this-winter/#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 17:02:14 +0000 http://febfast.org.au/we-can-help-you-escape-hibernation-this-winter/ If you want to get out of your winter rut, why not consider a Prepfast? Expand your horizons and leave your doona behind! Continue reading

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During the cooler winter months, it can be tempting to hunker down under a doona​ to stay warm. You might also consider snacking on some treats to comfort yourself in those dark nights.

However, it is essential to get out, become active and make the most of your time. If you’re not sure how to get out of your rut, a Prepfast may be the right way to go. Here are some great ways each fast can encourage you to leave the house and become more active.

Alcohol detox

When you think of giving up alcohol your mind may jump to quiet nights in, with the TV to keep you company. Well, think again. Just because you’re giving up the drink for 28 days does not mean sacrificing your social life. In fact, you should let this experience enhance it.

Instead of bailing on a night out because you’re not sure how you will get home, you can instead drive yourself (and your mates) there and back. Try to come up with delicious mocktails to order at the bar or try some non-drinking activities to bond with your friends.

Sugar-free experience

When you quit sugar for a month, you may think you’ll lose all your energy and motivation. However, you may actually find you bounce back without this additive and become motivated to tackle any opportunity that comes your way, and even lose some weight in the process!

Why not head out to your local farmer’s market to source some sugar-free treats? You never know who you will bump into there!

Caffeine fast

Do you regularly meet up with friends for a catch up coffee during your lunch​ break, or during the weekend? If you plan to give up coffee there is no reason you can’t still enjoy this ritual – just opt for another beverage, such as a hot chocolate or peppermint tea instead.

Digital detox

If you want to experience a life beyond the computer or TV screen then a digital detox is for you. This will encourage you to head to the great outdoors. Why not enjoy a refreshing winter stroll? Just make sure you rug up tight to stay warm! Otherwise, get in touch with some friends and spend some quality time together. What about throwing an old-fashioned board games night or cooking a special meal for your nearest and dearest?

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What is Junk Food? http://febfast.org.au/what-is-junk-food/ http://febfast.org.au/what-is-junk-food/#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 16:48:51 +0000 http://febfast.org.au/what-is-junk-food/ Giving up junk food is a worthy aim, but in order to achieve your goals, you need to work out what falls under this category. Continue reading

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Doing a fast from junk food may seem like a great way to become healthier and save money. First, it’s important to define this food group so you know exactly what you need to cut out from your diet.

Defining junk food

Junk food is defined as processed food with little nutritional value. It is often high in salt, sugar and fat.

It includes convenience foods as well as fast foods. Junk food is a broad umbrella. If you are giving up junk food you will need to resist the lure of potato chips, lollies, chocolate, biscuits and baked goods.

These foods are high in calories, without the benefit of providing you with minerals, vitamins or fibre that are needed to maintain a healthy mind and body.

However, these items are made with the intention of being appealing or enjoyable so you are chemically programmed to crave more. The level of crunch, flavour and even the way they feel in your mouth are all researched with the intention of encouraging you to consume more.

How can you avoid junk food?

Although these treats should only be consumed in moderation, it can be tricky to avoid them when you are doing a fast.

Here are some easy ways to avoid junk food in your diet.

Bone up on your cooking skills

Have plenty of meals cooked and ready to go. If you tend to rely on convenience food to fill you up at the end of a long day, having a prepared meal on hand is an easy way to ensure you get enough nutrients and minerals without needing to turn to unhealthy foods.

This will also be kinder on your wallet as you can prepare these foods at home more cheaply than you can purchase a ready made meal.

Do your research

Some so-called “healthy” foods are actually junk food in disguise. To really fulfill your end of the bargain, make sure you read the labels when you go to the supermarket so you know exactly what you are fuelling your body with.

Try to stick to whole foods where you can, as these items will fill you up while providing you with enough minerals, nutrients and fibre to keep you feeling full.

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