Your body has the ability to do amazing things – it is the ultimate multi-tasker! It’s constantly making new blood cells, skin cells, hormones, neurotransmitters, immune cells, anti-inflammatory substances, cholesterol and bile salts for digestion….the list goes on and on.
And your amazing body performs these tasks day in and day out, while you’re sleeping, eating, working or exercising. It continues to function even under the most difficult conditions, when you’re stressed, unwell, tired, over-indulging or under-eating! So, the most important assistance you can offer is to give the body the raw materials it needs, along with a stable, calm environment in which to carry out its work.
For the raw materials…
- A bit of everything!
- Protein from nuts and seeds, eggs, grains, dairy, meat, fish, poultry, and tofu (ideally fermented).
- Whole grains: oats, brown rice, buckwheat, millet, quinoa, lentils, beans (all types), peas, nuts, and seeds.
- Healthy fats: extra virgin olive oil, oily fish, walnuts, flaxseeds, chia, sunflower and pumpkin seeds.
- Vegetables, fruit, herbs and spices: as many different types and colours as you can find – diversity is key.
- Dairy: try sheep and goat’s milk products if you struggle with cow’s milk, opt for fermented products such as kefir, natural yoghurt, cheese or dairy-free alternatives like oat, hemp, coconut, or almond milk.
- Consuming a variety of all these foods will provide you with all the vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients your body needs.
- Keep a steady flow and balance of nutrients – the body doesn’t like extremes (too few carbs, too much protein, too many processed foods or too little fibre).
- Aim to eat at regular times: a 3-4 hour gap in between meals helps with digestion and appetite and try to stop eating three hours before bedtime.
- Spend time eating together with family and friends and most of all, enjoy your food!
Get enough sleep!
Skimping on sleep is not an option! Experiment by going to bed half an hour to an hour earlier for 1 week and notice the difference. Some people can survive on six or seven hours but many people thrive on eight to nine.
Stay hydrated 🙂
- Every bodily process requires water and each of your cells is bathing in water
- Around 80% of your brain is made of water
- You process several litres of water every day to digest food and excrete waste.
Plain water, herbal teas, soups and stews, vegetables and fruits all provide us with fluids. Even tea or coffee – one or two cups only (beyond that, it starts to be counterproductive). Spread your water intake throughout the day.
Make relaxation a daily priority
This is the key to a happily functioning body! Your body is designed to ‘shut down’ certain functions when you are stressed – particularly digestion, detoxification and repair – so be sure to set aside time every day (or several times a day) for relaxation and rest.
Carve out time for yourself each day and do whatever brings you some quiet time or enjoyment; you will feel the difference. Try any of the following to rest and refresh your body:
- Reading a book
- Walking in nature
- Getting ‘lost’ in a hobby or practical task
- Spending time with a friend
- Doing yoga
- Or just staring into space!
Your body knows how to maintain balance and survive. If you provide it with everything it needs, it will respond by giving you the energy and vitality you deserve 🙂