Does the long list of special diets, 12 week clean eating plans and how to be healthy guides, give you a head spin? I know the feeling!
So here are 5 super simple ways to
nourish your mind, body and soul
during the week without going the whole hog.
1. Grab a 1litre water bottle, chop up some lemon, lime & orange wedges, pop them in and drink up. Not a fan of citrus? Try frozen berries! This will encourage you to sip more throughout the day.
I know getting enough H2O seems like a very simple tip but have a think about it, do you really consume enough water during the day?
Our bodies are made up of 50-75% water and it is vital for SO many bodily processes.
Think about how horrendous you feel after a night of drinking, when you’re hung over, you feel like your heart is racing, your mouth is dry and “fresh as a daisy” is far from your state of being, that’s all because of dehydration.
Think of water as a bulking agent for your blood, it allows your blood to move through the vessels with more ease and less strain on the body, it carries oxygen and nutrients to every cell in your body and removes toxins, taking waste away from the cells once your body has used what it needs. It allows you to regulate your body temperature and it hydrates and lubricate your insides, ensuring everything functions smoothly.
It is also very important to keep your digestive system functioning efficiently. Feeling bloated, hungry ALL the time or having irregular bowel habits? Well thirst can manifest as the similar feeling to hunger so if your stomach feels like a endless black hole, try dialing up the water before reaching for a cupcake, laxative or detox tea!
2. Give meat free Monday a whirl!
Don’t worry, no-one is saying you need to go vegan anytime soon to be healthy (well some people are, but I’m not one of them) Everything in moderation right? How often do you have a meal that doesn’t contain any meat? Try having one day a week where instead of bulking up a meal with animal protein, try adding tofu, tempeh, chickpeas, kidney beans, cashews or lentils. Add more vegetables and spices to the dish instead of relying on the meat for flavour and substance.
As we are aware meat, processed meat in particular, in excess, can contribute to heart disease, increasing cholesterol levels and contributing to hardening of the arteries which can lead to a stroke or heart attack. Dedicating one day a week to being meat free can help improve heart health. If a whole day seems like too much to bare, try making just one evening meal minus the meat. Here is my recipe for Lentil Bolognese to get you inspired.
3. Love your breads, pasta, pizza & rice? Don’t worry so do I.
Instead of cutting carbs out of your diet, try switching to wholemeal bread, pasta and brown rice, and use wholemeal pita bread as a pizza base. Carbohydrates serve an important function in providing the body with enough energy to fuel the brain, central nervous system and the kidneys. By switching to wholemeal you are getting all of the goodness from the grain. Wholemeal is full of fibre and retains the nutrients naturally found in the grain such as folate, thiamine, magnesium and vitamin E. This is because the wheat germ, which contains most of these nutrients, remains intact. White bread and flour isn’t as nutritious because the process of making white flour removes the wheat germ.
4. Find it hard to de-stress with a million things buzzing around your head?
Try writing it out! In a word document, in a notebook, whatever works for you. The act of following through your train of thought and seeing where it leads you will help make sense of the situation. Instead of the same thoughts flying round manically continually hitting you over the head, you will be able to look at them on paper and validate their truth and worth. At the end of your mental splurge on paper, summarize it and identify what you can do now to help overcome any issues addressed on the page. If there is nothing you can do, save the document or close the book and put the issue aside until you feel you have something more beneficial to add to the situation.
5. Do you suffer from moments of stress, panic or anxiety?
If so breathing exercises are your best friend. When you are feeling stressed your whole body reacts, your heart rate increases, the stress hormones are released, you’re in constant fight or flight mode, your body thinks you’re in danger.
By closing your eyes and taking a few moments to focus on breathing deeply, in through your nose and out through your mouth, you can showing your central nervous system that you are not in trouble, it doesn’t need to prepare itself to flee a dangerous scene and your body will start to feel more calm. To relieve tension in the body you can also try consciously focusing on and releasing all the muscles in your body, from head to toe.To do this, lie down, in a comfortable position, arms by your side, palms facing the ceiling, feet flopped out to the sides. Start from your feet and work your way up to the crown of your head, paying attention to each muscle group in the body and as you move up and relax each one, let go of the tension held there. This is a great exercise to do before bed or when you are feeling overly tense and wound up.