Life is busy, and with all our responsibilities sometimes our health can take a back seat, especially our eating habits. Missing meals, drinking lots of coffee, eating ‘convenient’ refined foods then finishing off the day with alcohol and a large main meal can become the normal way to deal with daily stressors and a lack of energy.
With a busy lifestyle, healthy eating can be a challenge for everyone. Long term these habits will deplete the body of nutrition, vitality and energy, leaving you feeling sluggish.
Sounds daunting, I know, so what can we do to improve healthy eating choices in busy times?
Start your day off right
Choose a healthy breakfast that will sustain energy levels (Blood Glucose levels) and kick start your metabolism such as;
- Carbohydrate – oats/muesli, fruits and vegetable
- Fibre – whole grains, flax or chia
- Protein – nuts, seeds, yogurt, eggs
- Healthy fats – nuts and seeds, avocados, healthy oils like olive, coconut and flaxseed.
Try our Smoky baked beans with soft-poached eggs recipe for a great start to the day.
Don’t rely on coffee for an energy hit
Coffee overloads the liver, dehydrates the body and increases the risk of blood sugar irregularities. Herbal teas like dandelion root, ginseng, greet tea and peppermint are all good substitutes.
Increase your water intake – stay hydrated
Purchase a good quality water bottle and drink water and herbal teas throughout the day. Your body requires about 33mls per kg in body weight. (60Kg = 2 litres of water). Sip water throughout the day and have less water with meals, as this dilutes digestive juices. Give yourself 20-30 minutes either side of a meal if you’re going to drink a lot of water. Drink water at room temperature as cold water slows digestion and increases gastrointestinal contraction.
Avoid packaged foods and prepare snacks and meals in advance
Opt for whole foods like fresh meats, grains, nuts, seeds and of course fruits and vegetables. Think of foods that your grandparents would have eaten. Avoid white processed foods like rice, bread, pasta and bottled pre-made sauces.
Always grabbing quick fast food for lunch? Try to set some time aside on Sunday to prepare lunch and snacks for your week, especially if you tend to be caught up in meetings over lunch time. Purchase some refrigerator friendly containers so that you can freeze and grab them out each morning on your way out the door.
Limit Alcohol intake
Due to the dehydrating effect of alcohol make sure to keep yourself hydrated and drink 1 glass of water for every glass of alcohol. A standard rule is 2 standard drinks for men each day and 1 standard drink for women. For a non-alcoholic alternative try sparkling mineral water with lemon and mint, muddled berries and lime, or any fruity combination you like – be creative.
Have smaller meals at night
Especially if you are eating late. Your metabolism slows at night so give yourself 3 hours after eating before you go to bed to allow digestion. If eating out look for words on the menu such as steamed, baked, poached and grilled and try to avoid pan-fried, sautéed, stuffed, crispy and deep fried.
Give your body that extra edge particularly when busy or under stress.
My recommended baseline supplements are:
- A multivitamin and mineral that has good dosages of B-complex vitamins. This will help with stress and metabolism.
- Essential fatty acids – from fish oil, flaxseed oil or Hemp seed oil. This will help with brain function and inflammation.
- Probiotic – This will help with digestion and the immune system.
- Magnesium – is also an added benefit for muscles, stress and the nervous system.
Make the decision to eat real, whole foods and natural foods and beverages the way nature intended it. It takes a bit of extra time and thought, however you are worth it.
Article by Peter Rule, Holistic Health Services Manager
Peter is a holistic health practitioner and has been in practice since 1991. He has studied, practiced and taught many modalities of natural healing, body work and energy healing in health retreats and wellness centres in Australia, including Golden Door Willowvale in Queensland for a number of years.
Peter has a passion for education and enjoys inspiring others to make healthy positive changes to their lives. Via naturopathy, holistic wellbeing consultations, energy healing and presenting to groups he aspires to assist his clients using both tried and tested science-backed strategies, but also complimentary and integrative medicine to achieve ultimate health for body, mind and spirit.
Integrating the Golden Door philosophy of Body, Mind and Spirit, Peter utilises the modalities of yoga, meditation, Wellness Coaching, Stress Management, Bio-Communication and Naturopathy and Crystal Light Bed Therapy.