Attention to your diet is one way to address health. Deficiency in key nutrients can lead to ill health. Are you eating 3 meals a day that contain fruits and vegetables at each meal? Are you drinking tea and coffee to keep you stimulated? It will have the opposite effect in the long run. Caffeine stimulates your adrenal glands to produce adrenalin and puts your body in a fight-or-flight state. When the adrenal high wears off you feel the drop in terms of fatigue and irritability. Reduce caffeine to 3 cups per day and switch to green tea where possible as it has a positive effect on the immune system.
Eat more protein. “Go to work on an egg” was excellent advice. Remember “eggy bread”? Eat protein at every meal and snack, particularly important at breakfast. Peanut butter on toast provides more energy than marmite, marmalade or jam. If you’re on the run in the morning make a hot chocolate with cocoa, milk and brown sugar for a protein boost rather than a cup of tea or coffee.
Choose brightly coloured fruits and vegetables for their phytonutrient (beneficient chemical) value. Choose plums and berries with a rich colour. Stew them in a little apple juice and add to your cereal/muesli/porridge in the morning. Choose red apples and red grapes. Double up on the amount of vegetables you usually eat. Add olive oil and salt if that helps with taste.
Have a glass of red wine per night to unwind. One glass is actually beneficial due to the chemical resveratrol in red grapes. Two may not be. Keep hydrated by carrying a water bottle with you and drinking a glass of water whenever you have a hot drink. De-hydration can lead to low blood pressure and tiredness.
Carry around healthy snacks such as salted popcorn, mixed nuts and fresh fruit. If you need a sugar fix then make your own flapjacks (recipe attached) so you can control the sugar and size.
If you are worried about your weight then there is new evidence to suggest that intermittent fasting is effective at improving weight loss. Use night time for a daily fast. Eat your evening meal as early as possible and nothing until breakfast in order to decrease insulin secretion, balance your hormones and address weight loss.
Care for your own body first, feed it healthy food and it will repay you with improved health and an improved ability to care for others.
Anna Pugh, Nutritional Therapist