Confused by all the health advice bombarding your senses?
Keep it simple, keep it whole-food based and keep it as natural as possible. Follow my ten tips below and ignite vibrant, whole-body health.
Ensure you’re eating from a wide variety of foods to gain a multitude of nutrients. If you’re eating grains, don’t just eat wheat products. What the body may be able to tolerate in small doses may trigger a sensitivity reaction if it’s overloaded with the same food constantly (especially gluten). Try switching your regular bread for Oat, Spelt, Kamut or Buckwheat breads – be adventurous!
2. Cut back on the sweet stuff
Sugar, particularly fructose, may be linked to an increase in a number of chronic diseases and is highly inflammatory to the body. Two pieces of whole fruit a day is optimal for your sweet fix and contains beneficial fibre and nutrients to slow down the impact of sugar in the body. Avoid concentrated forms of sugar found in fruit juices, soft drinks, sweets, cakes, pastries and watch out for hidden sugar in canned goods, breads and condiments. Read the labels and if contains ‘sugar’ or ‘fructose’, leave it behind.
3. Choose good fats
Let’s get this straight. Fat is good for you. You need fat for cell integrity, hormone production, absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E + K) and brain function. What you don’t need is fat that has been hydrolysed in the process of creating chemically altered substances such as margarine. Eat butter not margarine, or better still, substitute avocado for butter on sandwiches. Choose full fat products over low or no fat (the fat is typically substituted with high amounts of sugar or chemical sweeteners. Excess sugar will turn to fat, so that low-fat treat isn’t so low fat after all!). Avoid polyunsaturated oils (sunflower, safflower, canola) and use cold-pressed virgin olive oil in salads and low-temperature cooking or coconut oil in dressings and/or high temp cooking.
4. Embrace your fruit + veggies
A diet high in leafy greens and brightly coloured fruits and vegetables provides you with a host of vitamins, minerals an anti-oxidants which assist your body to function optimally and detox efficiently. Their fibre content helps digestive function and keeps you feeling fuller longer. Lycopene is more available in cooked tomatoes and yet folate (source of B9) is more bioavailable in uncooked leafy greens so make sure you mix up your intake with raw salads and soups/stir-fries or steamed veggies. Aim for two serves of fruit + five serves of veggies per day, organic if possible, and make sure you wash store bought veggies well to remove pesticide residues.
5. Flick the salt
High sodium can lead to hypertension (high blood pressure), a contributing factor towards heart disease. Cut back on processed and cured meats and on adding salt to your cooking or at the table. Instead, try seasoning with pepper or fresh herbs.
6. Water, water everywhere
Aim for around two litres of water per day (six to eight standard glasses). Tiredness and feelings of hunger are often masked signs of dehydration, so before you head for the vending machine for that pick-me-up, drink one or two glasses of water or have an herbal tea instead. Try to keep your water intake away from meals. Too much fluid with meals can impact upon stomach acids and impair your ability to digest foods optimally.
Ensure you have a protein source at every meal, essential for staving off hunger and energy longevity. Sources include: eggs, meat/fish, quinoa, chickpeas, nuts and tofu.
8. Herbs and spices
Fill your salads with fresh herbs and experiment with new spices. Not only do they taste amazing, they’re packed with protective nutrients for health and vitality.
You don’t have to pound yourself for hours at the gym, but regular exercise boosts energy, lifts mood and burns fat. For an added bonus, exercise outdoors for essential sun-induced vitamin D exposure, which helps boost immune function and calcium absorption for strong bones. In fact, regular weight-bearing exercise and vitamin D have a much greater impact on bone health and the prevention of osteoporosis than calcium supplementation alone. Movement in the form of walking, jogging, yoga, weights, swimming, cycling or your regular gym class can not only assist your physical health, but improve serotonin levels, lowering anxiety and depression.
10. Do what you love
Being absorbed in the moment in something we love does more for our overall wellbeing than all the “should do’s” combined. Find your passion, take breaks, connect with nature, feel the sand between your toes, meditate, sing, play with the dog, be present with your partner … find ways to ignite your soul each day and remember the power of gratitude.
Kate is a qualified naturopath who is passionate about helping women heal from hormonal havoc and inspiring women to know their own power, worth and wisdom.
Kate offers one-on-one Skype consults for irregular cycles, PMS and period pain, endometriosis, PCOS, peri-menopause, mood swings, fatigue and mental and emotional stress.
Simply drop me an email to see how I can help you!