10 ways to get energised for life in 2018

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It’s that time of year again, and we now start to think about how we can feel fitter and healthier for the new year ahead. For most people this is a short lived burst in January, the reason being is we find it hard to commit to ourselves when it comes to health and putting ourselves first. We also have a preconceived notion that if we do this – we don’t enjoy life. It is actually quite the opposite and the benefits are amazing:

 

1. Water:
Water, water, water – you hear it everyday, but for a very good reason! Our bodies are about 60% water as adults, this means your skin, muscles, and brain are mostly made of water. Proper hydration is key to a healthy body. I always wake up and have one waiting by the bed (from the night before) Water is the way to go when it comes to fluids. Studies show that even mild dehydration can slow your metabolism and reduce your energy. Keep hydrated with water and avoid being “hangry.” Remember, you should drink at least eight to nine glasses of water per day. A few tips to help up your water intake:

  • Add lemon or orange
  • Add mint and cucumber
  • Add frozen blueberries and raspberries
  • Switch up flat for bubbly water

2.  Nuts, Seeds, and Oils:
Peanut butter from Pip and Nut is good because its just nuts! Take it easy on other brands as they can be high in sugar. Just because these crunchy treats have a higher fat content doesn’t necessarily mean we shouldn’t be eating them. We should be! They are healthy fats and your body loves them. Just remember, use PORTION control and you’ll feel satisfied for longer so you’re not grazing all day long. Just 1 ounce of almonds (23 almonds) is packed with protein (6 g) and contains minerals (magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, potassium). This fat is your friend! You need fat nutrients to stay satisfied and to burn excess fat. If you aren’t eating nuts and nut butters at snack or mealtimes, use a little coconut or avocado oil when cooking.

Ways to up your healthy fat content:

  • 1 handful of almonds on the go
  • Pumpkin and sunflower seeds can be added to salads and grain dishes
  • Mash avocado on rye or sourdough bread
  • Sprinkle chia, hemp, or flax seeds on your morning yogurt or toss into a smoothie
  • Stir fry with coconut oil

3. Greek Yogurt:
The Mediterranean is famous for both healthy and delicious eats, but Greek culture certainly wins when it comes to knowing what to do with yogurt. Greek yogurt is higher in protein and lower in sugar and sodium than traditional yogurt. Greek yogurt will keep you fuller longer and that makes your belly happy. Stick to 2% plain or whole fat and add your own drizzle of honey or splash of vanilla or cacao. This is an easy, on-the-go breakfast option if you are running out the door — and it will keep you going until lunch! Remember Greek yogurt can be used:

  • Night time juice of 1 tablespoon “Cherry Active” and greek yogurt helps you have a good nights sleep
  • 2 tablespoons with 1 teaspoon of honey and 1 teaspoon of cider vinegar to make a coleslaw instead of mayonnaise
  • For a quick and easy dessert and breakfast — berries and granola
  • Frozen yogurt with blended berries

4. Bananas:
Bananas are popular fruit in the UK . Bananas contain essential vitamins that provide natural energy and the best part? They don’t need to be dressed up! A plain banana with a little of almond butter is an amazing snack as bananas provide a lasting energy boost without crashing. One medium banana has 105 calories and is loaded with electrolyte potassium (422 grams) so keep them close:

  • Make sugar free banana waffles
  • Add a frozen banana to a smoothie
  • Make banana lollies dipped in dark chocolate and sprinkled with pistatchios
  • Add bananas to porridge and add a swirl of honey

5. Lean Protein: 
Protein is such a talked-up nutrient in the media that many of us are always worried about getting enough. In reality, most of us have too much protein in our diets! There is  a little protein in many things we eat and we really don’t need that much for our bodies to function properly. But, when choosing what types of lean protein to eat — choose wisely! Protein is needed for many bodily functions including cell maintenance and repair, blood clotting, and production of antibodies. Lean protein is also important for energy, and provides satiety so we don’t overeat between meals. Good protein choices:

  • Baked salmon marinaded in miso tamari and ginger with rice
  • Roast grass-fed beef, sweet potato roasties with green vegetables
  • Add a hard-boiled egg to the side of your A.M. green juice
  • Grab a handful of walnuts at the same time you grab an apple

6. Beautiful Eggs (and not the chocolate kind!!):
Nowadays there is no such thing as one type of egg. There are brown, white, grass-fed, organic…the options seem endless! Eggs make for an awesome breakfast, lunch, or dinner. They are high in choline, which supports nervous system function and lessens inflammation. All eggs naturally contain small amounts of DHA, but DHA enriched eggs (all-natural eggs from hens fed a special DHA rich diet, usually flaxseed) can contain up to 150mg of DHA per egg. The incredible, edible egg:

  • Fried egg with tomato and grilled bacon
  • Poach on top of avocado and toast (ditch the dressing)
  • Scramble and toss into a grain salad like you would with fried rice

7. Lentils:
These little beans are nutritional gems. It’s time to think beyond lentil soup and get creative because lentils are here to stay! Research shows that lentils contain unique proteins that can lower levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the bloodstream. They also contain plenty of fiber which keeps you feeling full, and they have impressive amounts of B vitamins, iron, and zinc. Remember:

  • Lentils are great in salads, soups, stews
  • Use them as a meat alternative in dishes like bolognaise

8. Dark Leafy Greens: 
Spinach, kale, and their other green siblings seem to be all the rage, and for good reason. Not only high in vitamins A and C, these leafy greens are loaded with B vitamins, aka “the energy vitamins.” Remember, there are many fun ways to eat your greens beyond your favorite salad! Try these:

  • Throw a handful into your next smoothie
  • Massage kale with coconut oil and add a pinch of salt to roast for 8 minutes for crispy kale
  • Add to a roast dinner
  • Put into a nice soup

9. Grains wonderful grains:
Carbohydrates are our body’s main source of fuel; they provide the necessary energy to literally keep us up and running! However, not all carbs are created equal. Always choose whole grain products (not to be confused with multigrain or whole wheat). Although brown rice, oats, and whole wheat are the usual staples, it’s time to broaden your grainy horizons. Next time you supermarket shop, replace a traditional grain with an ancient one (farro, quinoa, spelt, millet). Use these grains in your breakfast to kick start your day! Try these morning meals:

  • Buckwheat pancakes
  • Quinoa winter salad with feta
  • Freekeh with kale and grilled chicken
  • Spelt flour raspberry muffins

10. Dark Chocolate:
Do you always crave something sweet after lunch or dinner or at 9pm?  Dark chocolate contains a natural stimulant theobromine (similar to our caffeinated friend, coffee) that gives you a feel good buzz. Turns out, chocolate may also give your love life a little boost — this treat is commonly thought of as an aphrodisiac. Aim for 1 ounce (or one square) of 70% cacao or more:

  • 1 ounce dark chocolate  with a cup of herbal tea
  • Melt ½ ounce dark chocolate onto seeds to make a bar
  • Add a few tablespoons of cocoa powder to yogurt

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