Time to refresh the stale comforts of your kitchen cupboard and reboot yourself from the inside out. Sometimes, it’s these simple changes that give you a little healthy boost just in time for spring. We spoke to Libby Lemon, head of nutrition at VITL supplements and yoga teacher to get her best advice on the next steps. Does this mean we have to say goodbye to the crème eggs that are still on sale?
Nutrition is about what you put in, not what you take out. Sometimes the messages of gluten, dairy and free can override the core principle of nutrition to nourish your body with healthy balanced meals. So it’s simple; put healthy food in. Pack in as many fruits and vegetables as you can. For example, spinach, mushrooms and avocado for breakfast, a green smoothie for a snack, a bountiful salad for lunch and a big vegetable and tofu or organic chicken dish for dinner. Filling up on vegetables which are the most nutrient dense foods and high in water and fibre, therefore low in calories means you can crowd out unhealthy foods rather than activity trying to reduce them.
2. Love your Liver
Your liver is the hardest and most diverse working organ in your body. It metabolises nutrients (this includes fat burning!), helps to regulate our blood sugar levels and breaks down and eliminates excess hormones (which can contribute to PMS and acne). In this modern day environment of pollution, pesticides, household chemicals, over the counter drugs, as well as our love for coffee and alcohol it can easily become bombarded. Supporting your liver via your nutrition can help your overall wellbeing. Include green vegetable juices particularly brassica veg such as kale and broccoli, as well as beetroot, artichoke, berries, lemon, turmeric, garlic, and green tea in your diet.
3. Boost your Energy
In our fast-paced hyper-busy lives, energy is the holy grail of wellness. Often we rely on coffee to give us the boost we need, unfortunately caffeine from coffee can be over stimulatory causing raised cortisol (the stress hormone) and poor sleep, both of which have a negative effect on body composition. Maca root powder, is an adaptogenic herb which helps support your adrenal glands. It is a great replacement for coffee, giving you a natural energy boost from its vitamins, minerals and plant complexes, whilst reducing not adding to your stress response.
4. Be prepared
Getting caught on the fly when hungry with limited choices is mostly likely time you will reach for fatty or sugary foods. The first step is to decide why you want to change and write it down. Then, identify the barriers to change and figure strategies. For example a solution to ‘I need a coffee to wake up in the morning’ would be to switch to a green tea. Be accountable and honest with yourself, writing a food diary can be a great way to do this. Lastly, stock your cupboard with the right foods so that you can put together a healthy meal in minutes.
5. Balance your blood sugar
Dysglycaemia is the abnormal control of blood glucose levels. The level of glucose fluctuates, causing hypo and hyperglycaemia. Medically it is associated with diabetes, but people can suffer from ‘sub- clinical’ dysglycaemia. Dysglycaemia is heavily influenced by diet and it has a direct effect on daily energy levels. It is linked with fatigue and especially the classic ‘post lunch slump’. Making sure you eat regular balanced meals that always contain a fibre and protein element mean that you will have slower and sustained release of sugars into your blood steam. This means that you will not only feel better energy levels throughout the day but also have better concentration and less cravings.
Libby Limon BSc NT mBANT, Head of Nutrition VITL