The year is racing to an end and before we know, it we’ll be off on our well deserved holidays. Equilibrio has had a fantastic but frantic year and our quest for balance seems to be an ongoing journey. It’s a see-saw of good weeks and disastrous ones. One week we’ll sleep enough, move more and eat healthily, and the next it all falls to pieces. We pull all-nighters, eat junk and don’t get to the gym at all. It’s an ongoing battle for a balanced life.
We recently met Lee van Breda, an East London based nutrition advisor, who provided us with some easy health improving tips. Lee has worked in the health and weight loss industry for 20 years. “I am passionate about helping women, and moms especially, to beat fatigue and lose the muffin top so that they can feel their best again,” says Lee. “We all try to balance life as wife/mom/daughter/employee/friend/employer. When our health is not at its peak the rest of our life suffers.”
Here are Lee’s tips on how to end the year on a healthy high.
Health tip #1: Start Each Day with a Full Tank
You’ve heard it many times before: eat in the morning.
If you’re not in the mood for a full breakfast then make yourself a smoothie. It’s quicker too if you’re in a rush.
Here’s a great, balanced smoothie recipe:
Take a handful of frozen berries,
2 scoops of protein powder,
a mix of milk, double cream yoghurt and water to make 300ml,
a spoon of flaxseed and 5 almonds
blend it and drink.
For those who love eggs:
This breakfast is so easy that you can even make it at the office. Whisk up 2 eggs with some milk, grated cheese, and a couple of chopped mushrooms in a bowl. Pop the egg mixture into the microwave for 4 minutes at 80%, stirring from time to time.
(RELATED POST: Four smashing smoothie recipes)
Eating breakfast at the start of your day helps to balance your blood sugar levels. Eating small meals regularly throughout the day will help to keep your metabolism working efficiently and your digestive system more comfortable. Here are some ideas for small meals and snacks at the office:
A handful of nuts
A salad with tuna and olive oil for lunch
A small bag of biltong to nibble on in the car on the way home. By the time supper comes around you’ll find that you’re not as ravenous and you’ll eat less.
Health tip #2: Watch Your Drinks
After a tough day in the office there is nothing nicer and more delicious than a G&T or a glass of wine. But these lovely drinks can add unnecessary calories to you daily total and they contribute nothing in terms of nutrition. (*sigh*)
So yes a G&T or a small glass (125ml) of wine won’t undo all the good that you’ve done so far, but try to limit it to ONE glass. And then you need to find other ways to unwind. But that is for another day…
Tip: Have you tried infusing your water with sliced strawberries, bruised lemongrass, mint leaves, cucumber or apple slices?
Health tip #3: Be Prepared
Set aside an evening a week to plan, (and shop accordingly) so that you don’t grab anything naughty or get takeout when you realise there’s nothing in the fridge. Here are some ideas for quick meals you can prepare ahead of time and eat on the run:
Some pre-made soup
Carrot sticks, cucumber, and baby tomatoes dipped in cottage cheese or hummus
Pre-grilled chicken strips added to salad
Boiled eggs (an all time winner since it’s high in fat and protein and comes cleverly packaged)
Health tip #4: Get Enough Sleep
If you’re getting less than 6 hours of sleep a night then you’re 60% more likely to be overweight! Tired people tend to eat more because two hormones linked to appetite regulation are altered, namely Ghrelin and Leptin.
Ghrelin stimulates hunger. Leptin sends a message to your brain to say you’re full and switches off your appetite. Less sleep means that you have higher levels of ghrelin, so you’re going to be feeling hungrier. Less sleep also means that leptin will be lowered so it takes longer for you to feel full. Plus a lack of sleep stimulates cravings for sweet, processed foods.
People differ but the average person needs 7 – 9 hours of sleep.
Lee suggests adding one new habit a week until all four are incorporated into your routine.
Check out Lee’s website: www.balancingact-iamyou.com
Facebook Business Page: https://www.facebook.com/IamYOUBalancingAct/
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/BalancingActIamYou/?ref=group_header
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