FebFast http://febfast.org.au A pause for the better Fri, 24 Oct 2014 04:40:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Our guide to understanding processed food http://febfast.org.au/guide-understanding-processed-food/ http://febfast.org.au/guide-understanding-processed-food/#comments Tue, 30 Sep 2014 06:40:49 +0000 http://febfast.org.au/?p=4090 Processed food is more often than not linked to sugary fast food items and is blamed...

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Processed food is more often than not linked to sugary fast food items and is blamed for the nations growing obesity epidemic and the rise of type 2 diabetes. However, there is more to this label than first meets the eye.

What is processed food?

Processed food refers to any food that has been been altered from its natural state. This is not always a bad thing, as it includes fruits and vegetables that have been frozen at their ripest, to preserve the most vitamins and minerals as well as pasteurised milk.

Foods that have been heated, milled, pressure treated or irradiated are considered processed.

However, while this category can include some healthier options, it is still best to avoid junk food as these items have very little nutritional value. Instead of providing you with any minerals or vitamins that could benefit your health, junk food is full of saturated fat and sugar.

Is all junk food processed?

While all junk food is processed, not all processed food is junk. If you are considering a junk food fast, it is important to make sure you cut out the right foods.

Reading the labels on all packaged items can help you to understand whether what you are buying is junk food.

Why should you read food labels?

Junk foods often have hidden sugars, sodium and fats. Look to the ingredients list, as this includes the components listed in order of their weight. If they are heavy in these items they may not be healthy choices.

Sugar may be included under the names maltose, brown sugar, corn syrup, cane sugar, fruit juice concentrate and honey.

The US Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics also advises people look to low salt or sodium alternatives, as we now get most of our salt through processed foods rather than by adding table salt to our meals.

Fat is sometimes added to food to give it body, and while some fats are good and essential for our bodies to work well, there are some you should look out for. Trans fats raise our levels of bad cholesterol and lower the good, so make sure you look out for them on your food labels.

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FebFasters help fight youth addiction with YoDAA http://febfast.org.au/febfasters-and-yodaa/ http://febfast.org.au/febfasters-and-yodaa/#comments Mon, 22 Sep 2014 06:32:33 +0000 http://febfast.org.au/?p=4086 It can be hard for young people or those worried about them to know what...

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It can be hard for young people or those worried about them to know what to do when they are concerned about drugs or alcohol. In response, we created Youth Drugs + Alcohol Advice (YoDAA) as the simplest way to access youth-specific drug and alcohol information, advice and specialist referral.

The aim with YoDAA is to make access as easy as possible. That’s why we’ve created a website rich with useful info and resources and complimented it with personal touches, includinga 24 hour phone line, live web-chat and email service.

With the unbelievable support of FebFast we went live in March 2014. We are proud of the results so far!

In our first six months, we have supported over 6000 users of our website with information tailored specifically for them and their need. Through phone, chat and email we have helped over 900 families, young people, schools teachers and youth workers requiring assistance. But there is more to tell than just numbers.

From the beginning we wanted to provide users of YoDAA with a supportive and coordinated help-seeking experience. Our website is easy to navigate, clear and simple. For those calling or contacting us, we didn’t want to complicate their journey by only offering them phone numbers or service lists! Instead our pledge was to make sure our specialist YODAA workers offered whatever support and care was required to get those in need to the next step.

We have done this even when the next step has not been obvious. Over a quarter of all our calls have resulted in multiple contacts and follow-up calls with service users. In other words, YoDAA workers have made enquiries, sourced information and navigated networks on behalf of service users before providing the best options.

All this is just the start. We are excited and grateful to FebFasters for the opportunity to continue this important work. We also have more planned! We’ll continue to strengthen services for families, schools and youth workers, while our innovative digital self-assessment tool for young people will be available soon. It will provide a means to reach more young people worried about their use of drugs or alcohol.

Finally, here are a few messages from people who have used the YoDAA service. Remember, this has all been made possible thanks to your involvement with FebFast. Thank you!

“Thanks so much for your time and wisdom. I really appreciate it.”

“Thank you for forwarding the information and links, I really appreciate the time and effort you have given me. You make such a difference and I am so grateful for your humanity and kindness, I now have options, and hopefully (young person’s name) will follow through and make some positive changes in his life with the help of (service). Thanks again!”

“Your website was bright, simple, easy to read and very clear information. Thank you”

“Thankyou so much you have been a great help”

“WOW, Thank you for all the information”

“Thank you so much for your help and time today. You really made me understand better about rehab and the difference with detox. We have the ball rolling which is enough to give me hope again, thank you”

Dom Ennis,
YoDAA Manager

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New Year, new you? Nah, start today! http://febfast.org.au/new-year-new-you-nah-start-today/ http://febfast.org.au/new-year-new-you-nah-start-today/#comments Mon, 01 Sep 2014 18:03:08 +0000 http://febfast.org.au/new-year-new-you-nah-start-today/ Here are some great reasons to achieve your goals now - why wait until New Years to achieve the body you want, give yourself a break from alcohol or take up a new hobby? Continue reading

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If there is something you have your heart set on achieving, whether it be weight loss, spending more time with your friends and family, learning something new or quitting alcohol, you may think you need to wait until New Year’s to make changes.

Why not start today? You might even be more successful!

Choose your Prepfast 28 day detox program based on what you want to achieve and let the games begin. You will receive plenty of support from the Prepfast team and community, which may be the added incentive you need to carry out your goals – all the while fundraising for a good cause.

Not only that, but doing a Prepfast may make you stick to your goals for the long haul. It is just like a Febfast only you have the power to decide when you want to do it. And did you know 92 per cent of Febfasters said they intended to maintain some positive changes after the wake of their fast?

This could be because they enjoyed weight loss, getting more sleep or feeling more mentally sharp, but whatever the reason it is clear that doing a Prepfast works.

On the other hand, around 56 per cent of people do not keep their New Year resolutions, according to an article published in the Herald Sun on December 27, 2013. On top of that, 46 per cent of people only kept their resolutions for a week. When you do a Prepfast you can rest assured you are only giving up your habit for 28 days – go on, you can do it!

Doing a PrepFast will put you in contact with plenty of people who will be able to support you. The weekly emails provide a bit of inspiration, and  you can take solace in the idea you are not the only one fasting.

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How to prepare for spring fitness challenges http://febfast.org.au/how-to-prepare-for-spring-fitness-challenges/ http://febfast.org.au/how-to-prepare-for-spring-fitness-challenges/#comments Fri, 29 Aug 2014 09:32:26 +0000 http://febfast.org.au/how-to-prepare-for-spring-fitness-challenges/ Preparing for a spring fitness challenge? Here are some great ways to ensure you are ready and in shape on the day. Continue reading

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This spring there are plenty of fitness challenges to choose from, making it the perfect time to really test yourself and see how you handle the demands of one of these races.

Whether you choose to do the City2Surf, Tough Mudder or one of the many marathons on offer in Sydney or Melbourne, preparation is a must.

Nutrition

Before the lead up to any big sporting or fitness event it is essential you are fuelling your body with the right foods.

What better time than to consider a junk food or sugar fast? Instead of eating sweet treats, opt for healthier and more natural foods and you will reap the rewards.

Choosing water over sweetened drinks will also help you to run further and ensure you feel better hydrated.

Sleep

Getting enough rest is another must as you cannot push your body to the limit when you are tired!

Quitting screens may encourage you to hit the hay earlier in the night in order to get the recommended amount of sleep so you wake up prepared to tackle anything. It is also important to not only get the right amount of sleep the night before but to wipe out any sleep debt. This can build up as we go to bed later and later and it is important to catch up so you feel more refreshed.

Alcohol is another item that can prevent you from getting the sleep you need as it can disrupt your time in the land of nod. Why not do a 28 day fast in the lead up to your spring event and see how much better you feel?

Training

Now you have your diet and sleep under control, it is time to think about your training needs. These may depend on the specific race you are doing, but nonetheless you will need to fit these sessions into your schedule so you are ready when the day comes.

Make sure you force yourself out – you will be thankful for the efforts later!

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The FOMO phenomenon http://febfast.org.au/the-fomo-phenomenon/ http://febfast.org.au/the-fomo-phenomenon/#comments Fri, 29 Aug 2014 09:32:05 +0000 http://febfast.org.au/the-fomo-phenomenon/ Do you ever feel you are missing out? Or that your friends lead more exciting lives than you? You might have FOMO. Continue reading

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FOMO - or fear of missing out – is an affliction that can affect us all at some point. Whether you are scared of skipping out on a dinner with friends or feel an urge to check your mobile the minute it beeps, this can permeate every aspect of your life.

Although more common in teenagers, this problem can be seen in adults, too.  Essentially, it is the fear that someone else is doing something more interesting than you, and worrying about missing out on every opportunity at your fingertips.

Why should you be concerned about FOMO?

Sometimes FOMO can prevent you from living in the moment. Instead of enjoying a date night out, for instance, you may interrupt conversation to check the latest Facebook update or see who has liked your most recent tweet.

FOMO makes it hard for us to enjoy being alone. Instead of enjoying "me" time you may instead wonder if you could be doing something better.

In the worst cases, it can result in anxiety and stress and also affect your sleeping patterns. 

What role does social media play in FOMO?

These days it is all too easy to log into your social media account to see what your friends and family are up to.

However, this presents many problems in and of itself. People use social media to present their "best selves". This means what you see is not necessarily a "real" representation of other people's lives – not something you should really compare yourself to.

Why not do a social media fast and enjoy some time to yourself without worrying about what you may or may not be missing out on? This could help you boost your confidence and feel better about your current pastimes. You might even save money as you can more easily avoid saying "yes" to plans because you are scared of missing out!

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Just how pervasive is social media? http://febfast.org.au/just-how-pervasive-is-social-media/ http://febfast.org.au/just-how-pervasive-is-social-media/#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 17:38:24 +0000 http://febfast.org.au/just-how-pervasive-is-social-media/ Social media sites are becoming more pervasive as they are even easier to access on the go and make it easier for businesses to reach their customer base. Continue reading

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Social media has become an integral part of many people’s lives, affecting their behaviour and even the language they use as they go about their day-to-day lives.

So, just how pervasive is this habit? You may be surprised to learn just how deep its roots are and how it affects you.

Users check in regularly

A major sign that a technology has become pervasive is how often it is used over the course of an average day. Research by the Business Insider Australia Intelligence has revealed an engagement index for all the major social networks.

This shows that our American peers spend more time on social media than they do on any other online activity – it has even overtaken emails in terms of popularity!

A 2014 study entitled The Social Habit reveals that American Facebook users check their account on average 5.6 times every day. Teenagers use this service more, checking in around 8.2 times every 24 hours.

Social media affects consumer behaviour

Are you guilty of making a purchase based on your Facebook page? The Social Habit reveals 76 per cent of users rely on Facebook to connect with brands or products, while 10 per cent follow their favourite labels on Twitter.

Its not just for the young

A recent trend has found that the number of young people joining social media networks is declining, while these sites are becoming more and more popular amongst those in the 45 – 54 year old bracket.

Ease of use

Many consumers are checking in on Facebook on their smartphones, a tool they carry around with them at all times. This makes it even easier to check in and catch up on all the news on your feeds.

To prevent this temptation when you are doing a social media fast, why not delete all your apps from your phone during this time?

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Our silly season survival guide http://febfast.org.au/our-silly-season-survival-guide/ http://febfast.org.au/our-silly-season-survival-guide/#comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 09:35:28 +0000 http://febfast.org.au/our-silly-season-survival-guide/ The silly season can be stressful and busy. However, quitting alcohol or screens can help you make the most of this period so you can have the best possible Christmas and New Year's. Continue reading

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The silly season is just around the corner and with it comes a range of temptations from sweet treats to alcoholic beverages. It can be tricky to balance your lifestyle needs with your desire to fit in at parties and partake in what’s on offer.

However, here are a few tips to help you out during this period.

Relax

With weekly parties to attend, countless presents to buy and assorted relatives to organise, it’s no wonder things can seem busier than normal around the Christmas and New Year period. In order to make the most of this time, why not consider doing a screen detox? Rather than spending your free time on the internet or in front of the TV, use your time to relax. Consider doing some exercise to boost your endorphins or take some time to meditate or take a yoga class.

Drink plenty of water

The last thing you want to do when you are in the midst of the silly season preparation is get sick. Rest is one way to ensure you are on top of your game, but another trick is to ensure you are hydrated. Make sure you drink plenty of water. Have you considered giving up alcohol for the month and replacing those Christmas party tipples with a glass of H2O? This way you will be sure not to make a fool of yourself in front of your boss – and you will be up in time to beat the Christmas crowds at the shops!

Budget

Christmas can strain even the most prepared of people. Why not see how creative you can get when thinking of presents for your nearest and dearest? If that isn’t enough to help you get on top of your finances and help you reach your quest of a debt-free January, quitting alcohol could help. This means you can save on the cost of drinks and taxis in the silly season – instead, you can direct the money set aside for these items towards your prep!

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Top 5 smoking myths busted http://febfast.org.au/top-5-smoking-myths-busted/ http://febfast.org.au/top-5-smoking-myths-busted/#comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 17:13:38 +0000 http://febfast.org.au/top-5-smoking-myths-busted/ Smoking comes with many health risks, but not everyone is aware of its effects. Here are some common myths about smoking. Continue reading

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It won’t come as a surprise that smoking comes complete with a myriad of health risks. However, there are still a few myths circulating about this habit and how it affects the human body.

Here is the dirty truth about smoking and some great reasons why you should consider quitting.

1. Smoking less can improve health

The Cancer Council Australia reveals a common thought to be false – that cutting down on the smokes can help to improve your health outcome. It advises that there is no safe level of smoking.

2. There is no harm in social smoking

Even if you only light up at parties or other gatherings, you could still be putting your health at risk as your body becomes used to getting a hit of nicotine.

3. “Light” cigarettes are a healthier choice

A study entitled The Dirty Dozen:12 Myths That Undermine Tobacco Control reveals that even light or ultra light cigarettes still contain high levels of dangerous chemicals such as tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide. Not only that but smokers can be tricked into consuming more as they falsely believe they are doing less damage to their bodies.

4. Only old people get sick from smoking

Tobacco smokers run the risk of ill health at any time. This habit can affect lung function and result in shortness of breath, coughs and a rapid tiring during exercise. It may also diminish the ability to smell and taste and cause your skin to prematurely age.

The Cancer Council also states the risk of developing illnesses such as cancer, heart and lung diseases increases the longer you smoke.

5. People who quit smoking put on weight

While giving up smoking may lead you to have a larger appetite and increase the chance you replace this habit with another – eating – all you need to do is be aware of this. Make healthy choices and ensure you get plenty of exercise during this process!

Have you realised it is time to quit? Why not start off in the supportive environment of a 28 day prepfast? This way your friends and family can help you on the journey to better health.

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How does junk food contribute to our obesity epidemic? http://febfast.org.au/how-does-junk-food-contribute-to-our-obesity-epidemic/ http://febfast.org.au/how-does-junk-food-contribute-to-our-obesity-epidemic/#comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 17:10:45 +0000 http://febfast.org.au/how-does-junk-food-contribute-to-our-obesity-epidemic/ Eating junk food has been linked to obesity as these foods are often high in sugar and fat but low in other nutritional benefits. Continue reading

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Obesity is a global problem defined by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as an abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that can have a negative impact on health.

So, what role does junk food really play in this problem?

WHO state the most fundamental cause of obesity is when there is "an energy imbalance between calories consumed and the amount expended".

Junk food is high in calories but low in nutritional value. It often contains high amounts of sugar and fat without providing many minerals, vitamins or nutrients that are essential to good health. 

However, more and more people are opting to eat junk food as it appeals to our base needs. Why? Junk food is able to stimulate the reward system in our brain, which means we are primed to consume more of it. Your body releases "feel-good" chemicals when you eat these foods, so it's no wonder they have increased in popularity!

In order to reduce your risk of obesity, it is essential to reduce your intake of these unhealthy processed foods and replace them with fruit, vegetables, legumes, whole grains and nuts.

Excess sugar and fat can accumulate in your body causing weight gain. This has other affects on your body - it can increase your risk of developing diabetes, heart disease and arthritis. 

Doing a 28 day detox program can help get you on the right path towards leading a better lifestyle. You may lose weight afterwards and feel generally happier and healthier. Plus, you can learn to get pleasure from eating healthier treats and wean your body from its sugar and fat addiction.

In addition to this, it is important to exercise if you want to reach or maintain a healthy body mass index (BMI). You must work off the energy you have eaten in order to maintain a steady and healthy weight. BMI is the measurement generally used to calculate obesity and it calculated by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in metres squared. A BMI between 18.5 to 24.9 is healthy.

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The impact of social media on your family http://febfast.org.au/the-impact-of-social-media-on-your-family/ http://febfast.org.au/the-impact-of-social-media-on-your-family/#comments Fri, 22 Aug 2014 10:08:25 +0000 http://febfast.org.au/the-impact-of-social-media-on-your-family/ Social media has made communication easier in some respects, but could your family dyanmic improve if you switch off? Continue reading

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Does your family communicate more online than in person? You are not alone. Recent developments in the technology sphere have made it even easier to communicate using social media rather than with face-to-face conversations.

Social media is defined as Websites and online forms of communication used to share information. Often this data could be about where someone is or even what they had for breakfast!

This has resulted in a shift in dynamics since the latest generation of kids and teens have grown up with technology and are known as “digital natives”. Their lives revolve around social media. You may have noticed them interrupting conversations in order to check their notifications or focusing on their social media following rather than on what is happening in front of them.

It is important that not only children and teens but adults take a break from social media to connect with their families. Being connected all the time has its own risks, including “Facebook depression”, cyber bullying and a lack of privacy.

Why not take a break from social media through a Prepfast program? Put those phones down and see what your family can learn from each other. Speaking face-to-face can increase the chance of understanding body language, voice inflection and eye contact. These important parts of conversation cannot be accurately conveyed through text, and it is possible for emotions to be missing from online conversations.

Research suggests there are plenty of other benefits of spending time together as a family without distractions.

In fact, a study by the US University of Rochester Medical Center published in the journal Pediatrics noted that families who sat down to dinner together can help ward off childhood obesity.

Another study by McGill University indicates regular family mealtimes can benefit the mental well-being of adolescents, even if young people do not feel they can easily talk to their parents. Family interactions can help children learn how to internalise and externalise problems, express concerns and feel valued as part of the family unit.

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