New Year, New WOW You!
After the indulgence of food and drink over Christmas and New Year, our bodies have taken a bit of a battering. Some of us might be finding that trousers and skirts are a little tighter than usual! Fear not... you can soon get back on track with some well chosen moves.
In this article, Hope Street Centre nutritionist Caroline Fallon provides a little reminder about what the body needs to stay fit and healthy. If we follow these 80% of the time, then we can indulge the other 20%. We can then enjoy life more fully.
Think W O W!
Well, W is for WATER
Did you know our bodies are 70% water, our brains 80%. We need it to sustain life! We wouldn't forget to put petrol or oil in our cars, would we?!. I find this analogy brings it home more strongly It's time to think more about helping ourselves. In order to break down food into its component parts, it needs water. There are billions of chemical reactions taking place in the body at any given time and it takes place through the medium of water. Unfortunately coffee or tea because they are stimulants and contain caffeine need more water to re-hydrate the body again. So the body will look wherever it can, often the front of the brain – prefrontal cortex. This is our area of reasoning and hence why after a large meal, you can't think straight, as your body is diverting it to where it is needed most. If you find yourself with a hangover from hell after a large drinking spree, as your liver needs the water to help detox the alcohol. However, drinking water between drinks will certainly help how you feel the next day!
Try to aim for 1.5 – 2 litres a day. I find it best to drink a large glass first thing in the morning but if this regime is something new for you then start small and build up. Another helpful tip that I find works is try to drink a glass approx half an hour before a meal or 1 hour afterwards but drinking huge volumes with a meal tends to dilute the digestive enzymes which are needed to start the process of breaking down food.
O stands for OILS
This is not oil for the car – we need some too!! We all need Essential fatty acids for our cell membranes because we can't make them ourselves. One you may have heard of is Omega 3. Here comes a delicious list of foods starting with fish, particularly oily fish such as salmon and mackerel. If fish is not for you there are fish oil tablets with lemon and can be swallowed quickly. Omega 3 can also be obtained from flax, linseed and walnut oils – great added to toast instead of butter or added to porridge – or seeds eaten in their natural form. It is recommended that we try to include 'good' oils in some form daily. There are over 50-60 trillion cells in our body. Our cells become our organs, our organs become our body systems - so think of helping yourself to stay healthy.
W stands for Wholesome foods
Brown rice instead of white rice or brown bread instead of white bread. Some of today's diet is highly processed so B vitamins and fibre removed in the white version. Our lives are stressful enough without adding to the burden. B vitamins are depleted in times of stress. Try and stick to wholegrain brown rice with nought taken out! Try not to overdo eating wheat – variety and balance is usually the best option. Because wheat is a thickener it's used in many foods and as such many people are becoming sensitive to the gluten in it. Today there are other wonderful grains readily available such Quinoa (pronounced keenwah), buckwheat and millet. These last three foods are gluten free and will not leave you feeling bloated like wheat can.
Hopefully this will give you a bit of a reminder or impetus to keep your body on the right track. This coupled with regular exercise that you enjoy will help make 2015 a WOW year!
If you're experiencing some digestive problems do call for an initial chat. For further advice and individual consultations, Caroline can be contacted on 01477 532444 or through The Hope Street Centre website.