There are lots of things we can do to help improve how we feel daily, but where do we start?! Here are some of the things that I do every day which help me to feel on top form.
Super Food Start
There are two things I start the day with that make me feel instantly better.
The first is warm water and lemon. Beyond all of the health benefits which I will go through, I find it gives a me a comforting and cleansing feeling first thing in the morning. It’s a clean way to begin the day which is always a good thing right?
Why warm water and lemon?
Because it’s a huge help to the digestive system, it balances ph levels in the body and helps with detoxification by strengthening liver enzymes.
The second thing I have in the morning is my healthy morning juicespresso fix- a ginger and apple shot. It’s a tiny shot with a huge impact. The ginger hit really awakens the body. If you have achy joints ginger works wonders as it is an anti-inflammatory. It also boosts the immune system and reduces symptoms of nausea. Take ginger is you are suffering from morning sickness, it is said to relieve it somewhat.
Snacking gets a bad rap but I find it essential to my daily function. Without my healthy midmorning and afternoon snacks I find my blood sugar levels drop and I get ridiculously hungry and irritable. The key is good choices and balance. Snacking on sugary foods will have an adverse effect; you’ll get an almighty, yet short-lived, high and a crash that will be worse than the initial huger.
What to have?
I tend to have an apple and raw nut butter in the morning. Mid-afternoon I’ll munch on mixed nuts and dried fruit or I might have or some carrots sticks and humus or fruit.
Think about it, if you don’t snack between meals you’re more likely to be starving before your main meals and this can lead to panicky, unhealthy choices. Balance your PFCs (Protein, Fats & Carbs) to get the best out of your snacks and your meals.
This is probably one of the most important elements involved in maintaining a healthy body. As I said above, when we are tired we tend to unhealthy choices. We feel sorry for ourselves and kinda vulnerable, and all we want is comfort (otherwise known as carbs and the couch). When we are tired, healthy food and working out is the last thing on our minds.
Ghrelin & Leptin
There is also a link between sleep and the chemicals that regulate appetite. Ghrelin stimulates hunger while Leptin signals satiety to the brain and supresses appetite. If you don’t get enough sleep leptin decreases and ghrelin rises and you find yourself head first in the fridge at 2am! We’ve all been there let’s face it! A good nights sleeps makes you feel alive and vibrant, it gives you motivation to eat well and move more. The number of hours per night really depends on the person, but I find 7 or 8 works for me. Turn off your phones and go to bed, you’ll be happy you did when the alarm goes off tomorrow.
This is a tough one for me. I love the taste of coffee and the kick it gives is always pretty great. In small amounts, good quality coffee can be beneficial.
It is said to improve alertness, and may reduce the risk of developing gallstones, kidneys stones and Parkinson’s disease. Aim to limit your caffeine to one per day as it can cause bloating, digestive problems, heartburn and stress.
We all need a few minutes to ourselves every day, it might not seem possible with work and family commitments but fitting even 5 minutes in will give you a huge boost.
When I first started to meditate I was totally overwhelmed by the idea of sitting in silence for 20 minutes at a time. Where would I find the time? I had to change my approach pretty quickly or else I would have given up.
I try to do a little at regular intervals during the day. Meditation doesn’t have to mean sitting in Sukhasana with your eyes closed and incense burning. Don’t get me wrong, if you have time and space for this go for it, but if not why don’t you try to integrate it into your daily life gradually.
You can meditate on bus, in the office, while out for a jog or walk, standing in a queue? Simply bring yourself to the present moment, and go within, focus on a fixed point or close your eyes (not recommend if you are running of course!) Breathe deeply from the navel, into the diaphragm, up into the ribs, chest, throat and finally your nose. Exhale back down through your body. Try to clear your mind of any thoughts. This is hard but work on it, as soon as a thought appears, acknowledge it and move it along.
I like to do guided meditation, especially at night. There are some great ones on YouTube; this is the one I use most nights before bed;
Buddhify is a super app which guides you through meditations in all kinds of circumstances; while walking in the city, exercising, eating, there are loads to choose from.
So what are you waiting for? Go for it! You’ll have a clearer, calmer mind which will help greatly with stress and perspective and give you a boost.
I hope my tips help you to have a healthier, happier week!
Bye for now…