Health » Starting Afresh - Alva Carpenter

Starting Afresh - Alva Carpenter

Alva2 gifNow that we are into the New Year and the celebrations are behind us, it is a great occasion for starting afresh. Whether you had a good year last year, or are pleased to say goodbye to it, it is always good to begin with a period of reflection.


What do you want to achieve this year? A good starting point is always good health; because whatever else you want to achieve or change, start from a position of strength. And that comes from a healthy body. If you think of your body as the ship, then your mind is the captain, but if you want to have a happy voyage in 2017, you need a strong ship. The turn of the year is often a busy period so now is a good time to give yourself time to assess your priorities. The year ahead is a blank page for you to write upon, but begin by reflecting on the past year. What did you achieve? What were you happy with? And what would you like to change? The very best gift you can give yourself is the gift of good health.


You need to have energy to move forwards, and if like me you feel pulled in many directions it is good to take time to just relax, be quiet and restore peace and harmony to your mind. Being positive is the way to success. Positive people are achievers, whilst those who are negative are prone to failure. If you tell yourself that you don’t like exercise, then you won’t keep your body healthy. And if you say that you can’t lose weight, then you won’t. It is only when you are optimistic and positive that you achieve the results you want.


So start by taking care of that most precious possession, your body. Exercising first thing in the morning when you step out of bed gets your circulation going, and a simple 10 to 20 minute programme for your whole body in the privacy of your bedroom will keep you supple and strong. It will put you in a positive frame of mind to begin the day. My Mini-Morning Workout is ideal for this, and you can email for a free copy to Then decide to give your body a healthy start to the day with a good breakfast to keep it fuelled until lunchtime. 


MornFit gif

Getting Active

Do It Right! 

Make sure you're doing your exercise right. One reason for wanting to give up exercising is injury or pain. If you are new to it, check with your doctor before you start an exercise programme so you know you're safe in the workout you choose. And check in with trainers, too, if you're working on equipment at the gym or trying a new sport.


Healthy Recipe of the Week

Refreshing Mango and Pineapple Sorbet 

(6 people) 


250g Caster sugar

3 Limes

1 Pineapple

2 Mangoes


Finely grate the zest of one lime and juice three.

Peel the mango and then cut it into chunks.

Peel and core the pineapple and then cut it into chunks.

Then bring the caster sugar, lime zest and lime juice to boil with 200ml of water. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes, skim and then cool.

Blend the fruit with the lime syrup in a food processor until smooth.

Freeze for 3-4 hours until smooth.


Ask Alva

My hair is thinning more by the day. Could the water cause it and can you suggest a hair supplement to help save the small amount remaining. Petra


In the Gulf, most countries rely heavily upon desalinated water to provide the water that comes from our taps. The problem with desalinated water is that it can make the hair very dry and damage the hair shaft at the scalp causing it to break off. So what is often perceived as hair fall is in fact hair damage, and fortunately the hair will grow again. Permea Plus Anti-Sal hair products have been specially developed to stop this problem. Some hair supplements like Permea Plus Hair, Skin & Nails contain special ingredients that add strength to new hair growth, which means that your hair will be less likely to be damaged by the harmful effects of desalinated water. Email me at for a fact sheet on hair care in the Gulf. Alva


   “HEALTHLINES is a monthly column devoted to healthy living, diet and exercise. Reader’s questions (send them to are appreciated and a selection will be replied to in the column by Alva Carpenter, a nutrition and fitness expert with long experience of health problems associated with Gulf countries.   Alva trained in optimal nutrition in London. She counselled ladies in Dubai on how to successfully manage their weight. She now has a counselling service on slimming, diet, and exercise, based in Somerset, England. Readers can visit for more information on healthy living.”  



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