10 ways to look after your body

Posted by on Jan 18, 2015 in Healthy Living, Wellbeing | 0 comments

10 ways to look after your body

We only have one body, and it does so much for us.  These are some simple things I do to make sure I’m taking care of myself.

 

1. Don’t judge food by its cover
Just because a food label is green, has the words “organic“, “gluten free” or “low fat” on it does not mean it is a good choice!  Always look at the ingredients and nutritional label – if there are ingredients with long names that you can’t pronounce or don’t know what they are, that’s not good.  If the sugar content is more than 10g per hundred, that’s too much (sugar is often a big problem with “diet” or “low fat” products).

 

2. Homemade is always better
If you make it yourself you know exactly what is in it, and there won’t be any sneaky preservatives or additives.  Think hummus, mayo, pasta sauce – these are all simple things to make at home that people often grab from a packet or jar.  For example, to make a great basil pesto simply combine in a food processor 4 cups of fresh basil leaves, ½ cup toasted pine nuts, a large clove of garlic, pinch of salt and 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil – too easy!

 

3. Cut the CRAP
This means Caffeine, Refined sugar, Alcohol and Processed foods.  You may love your coffee and red wine (I know I do), so it might be more of a case of cutting back rather than cutting out completely.  For me this means only having coffee on the weekend as a treat, and really enjoying it.  Eat naturally as much as possible – fresh fruit and veggies, meats, seafood, nuts etc.  Always go for the less processed option, eg steak over rissoles or sausages.  If you are lucky enough to live near farmers markets these are the absolute best for getting seasonal organic produce.

 

4. Hydration is key!
Make sure you are getting enough good old h2o, we often underestimate how much water our bodies need.  Always keep a water bottle (reusable and bpa free) close by.  I like to have warm water with a slice of lemon.  Water is always the best, herbal teas and coconut water are also good.  Steer clear of soft drinks, sports drinks and fruit juice (fruit juice is just all the fructose without any of the fibre – go for whole pieces of fruit instead).

 

Eat move hydrate

 

5. Be mindful when you eat
Don’t scoff down your meals in front of the tv / at your desk / while you Facebook.  Take note of what you’re eating, the taste, the texture, and take time to chew your food properly (this will also aid your digestion).  Take note of how much you are eating, think about the nutritional value of what you are eating, and eat slowly so your body can recognise when it’s full.  Eating slowly will also allow you to appreciate and enjoy your food, and feel gratitude that you are lucky enough not to have to worry about where your next meal is coming from.

 

6. Don’t expect to be perfect 100% of the time
I generally follow the 80/20 rule – 100% for 80% of the time.  If you stuff up and make some bad choices don’t beat yourself up about it – just accept it, learn from it and move forward.  It’s what you do next that counts.  If you make one bad decision don’t use that as an excuse to keep going down the rabbit hole and “write off” the rest of the day.  If there’s something you really want to have even though you know it’s not the best for you, have some in moderation and enjoy it without feeling guilty.

 

BUF boxing

 

7. Stay social
If you’re going out for dinner with a group of friends and worried about staying on track with your nutrition you can always look up the menu ahead of time and choose the best option, then when you get there stick to it.  Just because everyone else is ordering burgers and chips doesn’t mean you have to.  If you’re off alcohol but don’t want to have to deal with the barrage of questions and opinions, order some soda water with fresh lime in a short glass – everyone will assume you’re on vodka or gin!

 

8. Eat dinner for breakfast
One of the best changes I ever made was having protein for breakky.  So many people start their day on heavily processed and sugar filled cereals or toast, neither of which are going to fuel your body well for the day ahead.  I usually have a mix of a couple of vegetables (my favourites are spinach, broccoli, asparagus, mushrooms, tomatoes, leek or capsicum) with a side of eggs, chicken or salmon.  Avocado is also always a winner to give you a dose of good fats.  If you don’t like savoury in the morning you can also make super simple and easy “banana pancakes“.  This will start your day on the right foot with fresh nourishing ingredients, and best of all you won’t be starving an hour later.

 

9. Get enough sleep
Sleep is so important, I didn’t really realise until I was actually getting enough sleep how good it is for your body and state of mind.  How much is enough sleep?  This is different for everyone, for me it’s 7-9 hours.  You need to be sleeping enough that your body can fully rest and recover, both mentally and physically.  Not getting enough sleep and relying on a double shot espresso to get you going is not healthy!  We are also designed to rise and fall with the sun, so even if you are getting enough sleep try changing when you sleep to be more aligned with the outdoors and notice the difference.

Things that help me get a good sleep are:
– Having a cup of herbal tea about half an hour before bed.  My favourites are Pukka brand night time tea, or if you are in Australia Serenity blend by Mayde Tea.  Whatever you do just make sure you’re not having a tea with caffeine in it (which includes green tea!)
– Not looking at my phone or laptop in bed, and not going straight from looking at a screen (laptop, tv etc.) to bed.  Try having a bit of time to wind down reading a book, or what I like to do is practice some meditation (even just for 5 minutes) where I focus on my breath and relaxing my body from head to toe.
– Have a nightly routine that signals to your body it’s time to get ready for sleep.
– Don’t eat dinner too late / close to going to sleep, or drink too much liquid before bed.  I find it difficult to sleep on a full stomach, and drinking too much ensures you’ll need to get up during the night!
– If you can’t sleep and find yourself tossing and turning getting frustrated don’t stay in bed, get up and do something like meditation, some gentle stretching or read a book for half an hour and then try going back to bed.  Avoid looking at bright stimulating screens like your tv or laptop.  If there’s a lot going on in your mind, write it down and then go back to bed, sometimes we just need to get it out of our heads.

 

10. Do what you love
Find a way of moving your body that you genuinely enjoy.  If you’re a social person it could be a team sport like netball or soccer, you might be a total gym bunny, or enjoy peaceful walks each day.  Even better mix it up, at the moment my week consists of crossfit, yoga, aerial silks and running.  What you eat and how you exercise should be fun and come from a place of love for yourself – nourishment not punishment!  Always be gentle and kind with yourself, and do what makes you feel good 🙂

 

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