Eat better in lockdown

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advice

Food and drink have been one of the few pleasures we have still been able to enjoy during this lockdown and although the odd treat is fine, many of us are finding ourselves eating and drinking more, and have gained a few unwanted inches.

Commercial weight loss programs don’t work long term, with most achieving limited and/or temporary weight loss. So here are a few practical tips to eat better in lockdown.

1. Build your food environment.

The evidence is the rise in obesity is linked with our obesogenic environment. Be aware of the foods around you, and what you put on your shopping list, if you buy those Doritos chances are they will get eaten!

Abi Barclay-Watt, nutritionist

2. Kitchen opening hours.

If you easily succumb to snack cravings, try and stick to 3 meals a day. If you do need a snack have something nutritious on hand. Have a big fruit salad or veg sticks and nuts easily available. Meals can then be social focal points and it will mean less clearing up too!

3. Eating speed.

It has been shown that slower eaters release less of the hunger hormone than faster eaters. So, eat mindfully with your senses and chew well.

4. Portion size.

An obvious one, try and only cook what you need. Try and fill at least a third of your plate with veg.

5. Distraction activity

Are you really hungry, or just bored or thirsty? Try drinking some water first and wait before you grab that snack. Find another activity you enjoy to fill that craving, go for a walk, get lost in a good book etc.

6. Be kind to yourself.

There is nothing wrong in indulging occasionally and it is important to acknowledge resisting what your appetite wants can be a challenge. Try applying the 80:20 rule – eat healthily 80% of the time, it can make you aware of how much better you feel when you eat well but allow yourself the food you enjoy.

Find out more

For more information see my website and please do email any questions

Vital advice for the elderly

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advice

The Coronavirus Pandemic has changed life for everyone and Age UK Surrey are aware older people are some of the hardest hit.

As a local community-based charity Age UK Surrey has set up two new services: Emergency Shopping and a Check in and Chat Call.

They have been able to deliver these services by re-deploying staff to co-ordinate, and recruiting volunteers who have stepped forward to help.

Emergency shopping service

This is a free service and available to older people who are not able to access online food deliveries or go to the shops because they are staying home to keep safe. The Emergency Shopping service is for people who need essential items. They can also help with collecting prescriptions and match people who need support with a volunteer who lives nearby.

For more information about the service, or to volunteer please telephone or email, details below.

Check in & chat call

Age UK Surrey has had to temporarily stop face-to-face home visiting Befriending service at this time in Waverley, Guildford, Runnymede and Spelthorne, they are now offering a new telephone service – Check in and Chat – to people across Surrey. One of the best ways of helping someone during this unsettling time is by just keeping in touch. They are able to offer this service through the support of volunteers, who are matched with people who would like to chat.

Getting online

Staying home and staying safe has given rise to lots of new initiatives and ways to virtually access shows, art collections, nature and open spaces – all from the comfort of your home! Age UK Surrey’s Men in Sheds and Haslemere Lunch Club are offering online ways to connect and our Falls Prevention Class teacher has recorded her exercises for everyone to share. If you need digital help to take advantage of this online surge our computer drop-in volunteers are offering a free telephone service arranged at a time and day that is mutually convenient. Whatever your question, there will be a volunteer who can help.

Information & advice

Age UK Surrey have been delivering a free and confidential information and advice service to the community for over 20 years. Although they have been experiencing higher call volumes than usual, they would like to assure you they continue to be here to support you and have a team of experienced advisers.

Help at Home service

The Help at Home team continues to support existing clients who cannot carry out essential tasks in their homes such as cleaning hygiene areas, changing the bed and shopping. Age UK Surrey are also providing support to new enquirers for shopping using our many Home Helps across the county. Home Helps are self employed and instructed to observe Government guidelines during the coronavirus.

Help at home service

Age UK Surrey are currently working remotely so please leave an answerphone message and they will return your call as soon as possible. Remember to leave your name, telephone number, where you live and the nature of your enquiry. You can also email [email protected] or call 01483 503414, open from Monday to Friday, 9am – 4.45pm.

Co-parenting advice

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advice

In this time of upheaval, the most important thing is to provide a safe environment for your children, while staying within the law. Solicitors Couchman Hanson have this useful guide to co-parenting during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Parents sharing contact time with their children will find this time even more difficult, but with a little forethought and flexibility, they will be able to get through it. Here is our five-point guide to making co-parenting work during the COVID-19 lockdown.

1 – Stay within the law

While you are not permitted to leave the house except in certain essential circumstances, it was clarified straight after the lockdown was announced that children under-18 can move between their parents’ homes, when their parents do not live in the same household.

Where there are court orders that set out contact arrangements, parents can agree to vary them to take account of the lockdown. Where parents do not agree, one parent can alter the arrangements on the grounds of safety. However, the parent must understand that if evaluated at a later date by the Family Court, their actions could be viewed dimly.

The critical message is that if you can’t keep to the letter of your Child Arrangements Order, you must try your best to keep to the spirit of it.

Of course, not every set of parents has a court order. They may be working their way through the divorce process. For the best outcomes, try to follow these guidelines.

2 – Communicate

Communication between co-parents is imperative during this stressful time. It will be impossible to get through it without open dialogue. There has never been a better time to put your other differences to one side and make plans in your children’s interests.

Talk about what you can both do when it comes to contact arrangements. If moving your children between households isn’t possible, explain why. Talk about other ways you can spend time with your children if you can’t have them in your home.

You must also agree on arrangements around home-schooling; boundaries for where they should and should not go when they are at the other co-parent’s home, as well as who else they can see.

3 – Stay in touch

This is the age when technology has come into its own, alleviating the anxiety of not being in contact. Parents will be worried about their children, more than ever before.

Use tools such as Zoom, FaceTime or WhatsApp, so your children can see their other parent. Be open to allowing video calls every day. After all, we’ve all got a lot of time on our hands now.

4 – Be flexible

During the lockdown, it’s important to understand that you might not be able to get everything you want with regards to time with your children. You may not even be able to get everything you have previously agreed to with your ex-partner. You must also think about the toll this is taking on your children. If you take a flexible approach, life will be a little less stressful, for you and your children.

Look at the time you do spend together as quality time, with no pressure to go out or do anything. Hopefully, the lockdown will not last too long. Try and make it an experience.

5 – Stay safe

Perhaps most importantly, make sure you follow all the government guidelines on staying healthy during the Coronavirus outbreak. Stay inside; look after each other; don’t take risks. If someone in your household starts to show symptoms, isolate.

The goal of the lockdown is to stop the virus being from transferred between people. While it’s natural that you want to spend time with your children, think about what you could be bringing into your home, or sending out to your ex-partner’s home.

Find out more

No one is saying this lockdown is going to be easy. However, with a bit of flexibility, communication and common sense, we can all get through it.

These five points are only guidelines. Also, everyone’s circumstances will be different. If you’re concerned about your individual situation regarding your family under lockdown, it’s a good idea to get legal advice.

Further information

At Couchman Hanson, our solicitors genuinely care about getting the best outcome for you. We’re highly professional, with ‘city’ level talent and experience, but also friendly and welcoming. Everything we do fits with our values of integrity, honesty and authenticity.

Call 01428 722189 or visit couchmanhanson.co.uk.