How are you feeling lately? Full of abundant energy, or tired and exhausted by the end of the day?
CONVENIENCE FOODS & THEIR EFFECT ON HEALTH & WELLBEING
Have you ever noticed most convenience foods are beige?
This is because they are generally based on what I call “filler foods”, things that fill you up, but offer very little nutrition.
They are generally cheap to produce and cater to cravings for salt, fat and sugar, making them popular choices for a “quick fix”.
While they stop you feeling hungry, they often leave you feeling sluggish and more tired a couple of hours later as they put extra load on your system to process them, or spike your sugar levels, which come crashing back down looking for more shortly afterwards.
EAT THE RAINBOW FOR ENERGY
When we are busy it puts extra physical and emotional demands on our bodies vitamin and hormone balance, and also impact our digestion. This means it is vital to make food choices that keep our system boosted and balanced with the things it needs to fuel our energy and health.
Often people will take a multi-vitamin to do this, but have you ever thought about the fact that the very best place to get our vitamins from is REAL FOOD, specifically plants?!
Did you know every colour in plant foods represents different health benefits to our body?
Plants produce phytonutrients and vitamins that our body needs to maintain our overall health. Different phytonutrients produce different colours in plants, which is why we are told to “eat the rainbow” to get a broad cross section and meet all our needs.
Raw food in particular is the most potent form of nutrition, because heat destroys vitamins, so fresh fruits and crunchy vegetables are one of the best gifts you can give to your body each meal. Your body will feel like a plant that is thriving in good soil! If in doubt, choose by colour, and your body will thank you.
GUT HEALTH & IMMUNITY
Our gut affects more than we often realise.
Over 90% of our serotonin (the “happy chemical”) is produced in our gut, so having a healthy gut contributes greatly to us feeling a relaxed mood of wellbeing and happiness.
Our immunity is also based around our gut health, so if you find yourself getting regular colds and flus, looking at your diet can have a positive impact.
Even though stress feels like a mental state, it also creates physical problems because it affects our digestion and diminishes our good gut bacteria (probiotics).
This starts a vicious cycle because stress alters gut bacteria and gut bacteria influences stress levels.
And did you know, that rather than relying on a "supplement” for your daily needs, you can get probiotics from things like tempeh, fermented foods and kombucha, plus all the prebiotics (the fibe that your gut bacteria needs to feed off) from things like fresh fruits, vegetables and legumes, from food rather than a powder from a jar!
A comforting bowl of dhal, juicy fruits like dragonfruit and berries are loaded with pre-biotic fibre to feed your gut bacteria. Delicious and nutritious!
HOW CAN I INCORPORATE MORE PLANTS INTO MY MEALS?
Start by thinking colour!
Don’t add the colour to the “beige fillers” as an afterthought, start with the foundations of colour.
Our body only has so much space for eating, so make sure it counts.
I often build meals around a colour like green or red, and then choose the things that are those colours to create a great salad adding nuts and seeds and a creamy avocado for texture.
Try making Green Smoothies! There’s some great recipes in my new book that you will love, as well as tips for preparing freezer bags ready to go that just need blending on the day.
You can’t make it if you don’t have it!
Make sure your fridge has a variety of things ready on hand to use.
Explore plant-based recipes!
There’s a whole food section in my new book as well as endless ideas on the internet. Even Instgram has so much inspiration!
HOW CAN I FIND TIME TO GET ORGANISED WITH MEAL PLANNING?
I start with foundations that I can build on each day easily, because something is always on the go to begin with. I’ll often double dishes that can be morphed into something different the next day. Or I spiralise extra vegetables and keep them in an airtight container in the fridge so it’s easy to pull together a quick power bowl based around handfuls of fresh vegetable and salad ingredients.
Sundays are my meal planning afternoon, where I start the process, making it easier to build on this throughout the week.
I’ve shared all my favourite recipes and foundations in my new book “Energise your life”- I know they work, because this is how we live!
DOWNLOAD OUR FREE WELLNESS JOURNAL (click picture)
You are what you eat!
When you nourish yourself, you’ll see a physical change in your appearance: skin clear, eyes brighten, hair becomes shiny. The key however is CONSISTENCY!
The best way to be inspired to be consistent is to see results you can measure. So download our FREE Wellness Journal from my book, print off 30 copies and fill out each day what you have eaten and how you are feeling the next day.
There's also a section to record sleep, relaxation and exercise patterns, all of which impact the way you feel each day too. By analysing your energy for 30 days, you'll get practical insights into what works to fuel you body and mind with abundant energy to do more of, and what drains you to do less of.
I hope you enjoy this journey with me over the next 12 weeks as we work together to make this the best year yet!
We'll be covering more about "Organisation" including food planning to help make 2020 the year to energise your life!
Naomi Whitfeld is the Founder of iKOU and author of "Energise your life"
Her passion for inspiring others to live a life of Wellness & Joy shines through in everything she does.