Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy foodHippocrates – The Father of Modern Medicine
All health starts in the gut….
We eat for lots of reasons…..because we are hungry, for pleasure, for comfort, to celebrate.
It’s such a central, crucial part of our lives.
And yet, have you ever had that feeling of being too busy, too stressed, or just too tired to cook healthy nutritious food from scratch?
So, we eat on the hop, on the run or reach for the most satisfying comforting food we can. Quick and easy and usually full of sugar, salt, and refined carbohydrates.
The problem with that is it puts us into a vicious circle.
Those type of foods trigger sugar crashes and leave us wanting more 30 minutes later….
Plus, they are energy drains and we feel even more stressed and tired and busy!
So here are my 9 tips to boost not just your energy but also your immunity.
Tip 1 – Water
Start your day with a glass of lemon water before breakfast.
Top up a glass of water with hot water from the kettle, (cold water is a bit of a shock to your organs). Squeeze a quarter to a half of a lemon into it and enjoy.
It’s like an internal shower for your liver and your adrenals, setting you up for good digestion, and a better stress response.
Drink 8 glasses of water through the day.
Don’t drink with food. It your digestive enzymes making it harder for your gut to absorb nutrients. If you must, sip some lemon water with your meals.
Tip 2 – Fibre
We just do not eat enough fibre.
Fibre comes in the form of vegetables, beans, lentils, and wholegrains. Choose wholegrain everything – pasta, bread, rice and cook your veggies al dente.
Try adding beans and lentils into soups, stews, curry’s, even pasta dishes. Or include some as a side to your salad.
Short on time?? Tinned beans and lentils are better than no beans and lentils and come ready cooked. Plus, they are a great source of inexpensive protein.
Fibre feeds your healthy gut flora which contribute to your immune system, your mood and stress levels AND helps boost your energy.
It’s also keeps your regular and helps the body clear toxins.
When you increase your fibre intake, you may initially get bloating and gas. It’s worth persevering as it will go away. Drink plenty of water to help the fibre do it’s job.
Tip 3 – Digestive Enzymes
If you get a lot of bloating and gas, you may need to top up your digestive enzymes.
We are born with a bank of digestive enzymes. So, think of having a bank account. When we eat dead food such as meat or grains, we make a withdrawal from our enzyme bank account.
Because these enzymes are like little workers breaking down food to its most basic components so our body can absorb it.
When we eat vegetables, (raw or al dente) and raw fruit with make a deposit. To keep your enzyme bank healthy focus on fruit and veggies.
If you feel you need to make a really good deposit, consider taking a course of digestive enzymes in supplemental form. (Do be careful though if you have gut inflammation or ulcers.)
Tip 4 – Your 12 a day
And on the subject of more fruit and veg…
You will start hearing from mainstream medicine and media that our 5 a day should actually be 7 a day.
Because it’s so important for our immune systems.
7 a day would be great!
BUT to really get some rocking benefits think about increasing your fruit and vegetables to 12 a day.
With every meal or snack you fill have your plate or bowl with fruit and/or vegetables.
You’ll be at 12 in no time!
Tip 5 – Portion size
If you find yourself feeling tired all the time particular after lunch time, try reducing your portion size.
The trick here is to use a smaller plate or bowl about half the size of your normal ones.
It takes the brain about 20 minutes to register that our stomach is full. If your stomach gets too full, your body diverts energy to your digestive system… giving you a food coma. Save the food coma for Christmas day!
Don’t worry, you can always have a healthy snack when you are hungry.
Tip 6 – Crowd out the bad with the good
The worst energy robbers and immune system suppressors are sugar and refined carbohydrates.
It’s hard though when you are stressed, busy, tired and anxious not to reach for sugar, white bread, cakes and biscuits.
And if you decide you are just not going to eat the comfort food …. well that’s like asking you not to think about a giant pink bunny rabbit…. it’ll be all you can think of.
Instead, make a commitment to first eat something healthy.
Something wholegrain with a healthy protein, or crudités with hummus OR fruits and nuts.
Then see if you really want the chocolate bar or bun eat it and enjoy but eat it mindfully.
Tip 7 – Mindful eating
When you are eating, whatever you are eating, do it mindfully!
Look at what you are eating before you take a bite. Notice the colours, the smells. As you are chewing pay attention to the taste and texture.
And chew at least 15 to 20 times to help the digestive process.
Put the knife, fork, spoon, or piece of food down, out of your hands in between mouthfuls.
This will force you to eat mindfully and slow you down.
You may find you don’t enjoy the second mouthful of cake so much or an apple tastes amazing!
Your body will absorb the food better, giving you more energy and nutrients to keep you healthy.
Tip 8 – Friendly bacteria
Taking a course of good quality probiotic supplements a few times a year, particularly if you have a sensitive gut or digestive difficulties, will boost both your energy and your immunity.
Our friendly little colleagues are crucial to our immune system, the functioning of our gut and more and more studies come out each year showing the link between our brain and gut. This means mood and stress can be improved and that helps energy production and immunity.
Eat natural yoghurt (without sugar or sweeteners) and fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, and kefir.
And do you your best to avoid sugar as it turns certain bacteria like candida into power hungry little monsters that can create a problematic imbalance.
Your friendly bacteria need feeding so get your prebiotics into you in the form of……you guessed it….vegetables.
Tip 9 – Food sensitivities
Consider whether you may have developed sensitivities to certain foods. Check out my blog here on food sensitivities and the symptoms that may indicate these could be a problem for you.
If you have any questions or would like to find out how I can help you with energy levels and food sensitivities send me an email to email@example.com or apply for a Pep My Step Discovery call with me personally.