This Monday we welcome a guest post from Niyc Pigeon, founder of Optimal You, a motivational lifestyle brand, which emphasizes the power of a combination three areas: Positive Psychology, Personal Fitness, and Optimal Nutrition. She talks about the role of nutrition in getting things done. Don’t use bad eating habits as an excuse not to work on your dreams!
Do you ever feel that your get up and go has, quite simply, got up and gone? Feeling tired and lacking in energy is something we have all experienced at some point, but for many this feeling may be less an exception, and more of a norm. Food should energise you and support your progression to the life you want, but all too often food can leave you feeling sluggish instead.
Rather than looking to quick fix pick me ups like coffee and sugar (which may leave you feeling flat and drained once their short lived effects have worn off) make positive nutrition choices that equate to sustained energy throughout the day. Choose amazing, healthful food, which offer an abundance of nutrients and you are guaranteed to be left feeling ready to take on your week….and the world!
Here are my 9 tips to make your week more productive and positive through nutrition:
1. Drink water – and lots of it! Each morning on waking you should drink 500ml of water. This has been proven to help fight a number of conditions and diseases, and helps to cleanse the colon each morning. Fatigue is one of the first signs of dehydration, and so by drinking 2-4 litres of water each day you ensure you keep your energy levels up.
2. Begin each day with a cleansing and alkalising lemon and ginger drink. Squeeze the juice of a lemon into a glass of water (this may be room temperature, or warm), and add an inch of chopped ginger. Lemons and other citrus fruits promote an alkaline pH balance in the body, which is associated with lowering inflammation, preventing against disease, and boosting energy. Ginger is great for detoxification and enhances digestion.
3. Get off on the right foot and eat breakfast. Eating breakfast will provide you with energy to start your day the right way. Ditch sugary breakfast cereals and instead choose one of these three breakfast types instead:
- Green juice made from juiced or blended spinach, kale, celery, cucumber, pear, lime, and ginger.
- Gluten free oats or granola (check out the ‘free from’ section of your local supermarket) with blueberries and almond milk or rice milk.
- Smoked salmon or mackerel with spinach and mushrooms.
Making this one small meal change to your day can have fantastic results! All three breakfast ideas will boost your energy and keep you feeling fuller for longer.
4. Choose nutrient dense foods that contain an abundance of vitamins and minerals. Optimal cellular energy metabolism is achieved through getting as many nutrients per calorie possible from your food. This means opt for organic vegetables and fruits, beans, nuts, seeds, and grains, and stay away from processed nasties, which offer little nutritional value. Avoid sweets, pastries, bread, pasta, fried foods and fizzy drinks – even diet ones.
5. Take your vitamins. Because our soils are over farmed and leached of vitamins and minerals, the food we eat is not as nutrient dense as it could be. An optimal vitamin and mineral supplementation programme can help ensure you get all of the nourishment you need. Choose a good quality multivitamin and multimineral, extra vitamin C, an antioxidant such as acai berry, and omega fish oils and a vitamin B complex for extra oomph.
6. Prepare your snacks. Think ahead when planning your daily meals and snacks. Carry carrot, celery and cucumber sticks in your bag, and keep small portions of almonds to hand so that you never get caught off guard. Snacks such as these are highly alkalising and help to balance blood sugars meaning that your energy remains stable throughout the day.
7. Include sprouts. Sprouts such as alfalfa, mung beans, and pea shoots are high energy superfoods which are full of energy giving enzymes. You can find these nutritional powerhouses at the supermarket or you can grow them yourself at home.
8. Eat RAW! Eating 51% of your food each day as raw means that essential nutrients are preserved and are not lost in the cooking process. Raw can still be warm – try heating broccoli by placing it into a bowl of water from the kettle just before it has boiled. Allow to warm in the water for a few minutes and then remove and eat. Your vegetables should be crunchy, which means they are full of goodness!
9. Drink an alkalising super greens drink such as Green Vibrance each day for a superfood energy boost which includes probiotics, fibre, superfoods and concentrated grasses and vegetables. You will see benefits that include increased energy, improved digestion, and enhanced immunity.
Have a great week, full of positive choices for your optimal nutrition!