NOURISH PART 2: YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT
Beauties, we all know that what we use on our bodies to look after them is important, not only because it keeps our skin in good condition but because it can boost our sense of wellbeing too. But the thing that is becoming so critical in our quest for improved wellbeing is our understanding of the impact of what we put into our bodies ….our food.
I don’t know about you but it seems like it’s only in the last 10 years or so, that we are surrounded with information and research about just how much impact what we eat and drink can have on our wellbeing. I mean we always knew that sugar and salt were bad for us, but now? Well, now they are considered to be some of the worst ingredients you can put in your body (something Sandra will also talk about in her piece below), so now more than ever, you should be paying attention to what you consume.
The other element even more critical than food is hydration….you know…drinking enough water. This is where I often fall short, our bodies are made up on around 60% water so we should be drinking about 2 litres of water a day to keep hydrated – but you can also contribute to your fluid balance through the food you eat. Being dehydrated can lead to headaches, lack of focus and other health problems, so drink up!
Ultimately, moderation is the key and fortunately there are some very creative people out there making healthy eating sexy…just go look at Instagram.
I reached out to fabulous nutritionist Sandra for some guidance on how busy boss babes can eat for sustainable energy… after all if your aiming for global domination, you need energy right? Please notice that Sandra looks like she ‘walks her talk’… here she is:
EATING FOR ENERGY by SANDRA GREENBANK
What you eat has a big impact on your energy levels and how you feel. Our energy levels are affected by a lot of other things too – stress levels, whether we’re getting enough sleep, and our general health all play a part. But if you’re choosing the right foods to eat, you can help support your body and feel better even if your lifestyle is draining your energies in other ways.
The no. 1 thing on the list to get more energy is to give up sugar (please don’t shoot the messenger)! When we eat sugar – even natural fruit sugar – our sugar levels go up. In order to get the sugar back to a safe level the body releases insulin, which stores the sugar away safely (this shows up as that lovely muffin top, by the way).
Unfortunately, what tends to happen next is that the levels of sugar in the blood drops too low due to the large amounts of insulin in circulation, and your body then starts to send signals to the brain saying ‘need more sugar’. This is when the craving for chocolate and biscuits sets in. This turns into a vicious circle with cravings, highs, energy slumps and our energy levels are up and down like a see-saw.
Our moods usually follow this pattern and we can get almost euphoric on a sugar high but then we have that ‘hangry’ feeling when the levels drop dangerously low again.
Caffeine does the same thing, by the way. If you’re used to having your morning coffee to get you going, you’re likely to feel that slump later on in the day. Giving up caffeine comes a close second to giving up sugar when it comes to increased energy levels. And this is hard, I’m not going to pretend it’s a walk in the park. You do have to stick with it for 10-14 days or so at least before deciding whether it’s been helpful in increasing your energy levels.
Also have a go at these suggestions to help keep your blood sugar and energy levels steady throughout the day:
Have a protein rich breakfast. Swap your cereals for a couple of poached eggs on a slice of toast with some mushrooms on the side, or a bowl of natural greek yoghurt topped with berries and nuts. Fat and protein doesn’t spike your blood sugar and also takes longer to digest so should help avoid those highs and lows. If you can’t live without your daily cup of coffee, have it alongside your breakfast and consider halving the amount you normally have.
Avoid ‘beige’ foods such as cakes, biscuits, white bread, white rice, white pasta and opt for colourful whole foods and wholegrain versions instead which contain all the nutrients your body needs to produce energy. Highly processed foods such as white flour is converted to sugar once digested so has the same effect on our blood sugar levels as white sugar does.
Eat regular meals and make sure you include protein and fats with each meal – good sources of protein are chicken, tofu, turkey, fish, beans, quinoa, cheese and eggs to name a few. Good fats can be found in avocados, olives, nuts, seeds, oily fish etc. You don’t need a large amount of protein – roughly the size of a pack of cards at each meal is plenty for most people and too much animal protein isn’t necessarily a good thing either.
Opt to boost your alkalinity with some greens for a breakfast packed with antioxidants and great for helping with inflammation and digestive issues amongst other things plus all those greens are great for glowing skin.
It’s useful to try and keep our bodies more alkaline than acid. An alkaline diet can help to boost your energy, help you sleep better, slow down ageing, protect against certain diseases, and keep your mind sharp… plus it can also help those with digestive issues. If you can’t make time to make a green smoothie why not try a green superfood drink? Many of the ingredients in green superfood drinks are nutrient rich antioxidants — green tea extract, spirulina, wheat grass powder, barley grass powder, spinach powder, broccoli powder, to name a few. It’s the green pigment /phyto-chemicals and chlorophyll that give them their antioxidant powers. There are lots of effective green powders available but this is one of my personal favourites, I’ve taken it on and off for more years than I care to mention and it’s amazing: of course you should always choose your formulation to suit your needs.
Buy it here.
I have to confess that I am a foodie and somehow some of my favourite foods just so happen to be the ones that I should keep to a minimum! But fortunately a lot of my faves also happen to be really good for me… phew! The reason I’m sharing this aspect of myself is that I am constantly inspired and motivated to eat for wellbeing by some of the amazing recipes that I find on social media, especially on Instagram and the pictures that go with them have me salivating! So of course I had to reach out to the fabulous Lynda D’aboh of Wonderlusting Lynda fame for one of her wellbeing recipes. The first recipe is for the Super Duper Skin Enhancing Bespoke Wow Beauty Smoothie that Lynda created for us last year and the second is her superfood blueberries and oats recipe.
The WOW Beauty Smoothie (vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, paleo)
I’m a firm believer that beauty begins in the kitchen not at the beauty counter. Before reaching for lotions and potions, the first step in my skincare routine is what I consume. I love to start my day with a smoothie bursting with nutrients which can boost collagen production, stabilise blood sugar, promote healing and reduce inflammation amongst other benefits. What’s good for overall health is good for the skin. A smoothie a day keeps the doctor away and skin glowing!
This purple smoothie specially created for WOW Beauty is full of ingredients that all pack a mighty nutritional and beauty boosting punch:
Spirulina is a blue-green algae that can be considered the original superfood and has been used by ancient civilisations including the Aztecs! It is the world’s richest source of complete protein as well as containing extremely high levels of numerous vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and enzymes (50 times more iron than spinach, 6 times more protein than eggs). All these as well as marine collagen peptides which help repair damaged skin.
Red cabbage is rich in sulphur and antioxidants. Sulphur has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, boosts cell turnover and is an essential component in building keratin for skin, nails and hair.
Cucumber is one of the most hydrating vegetables consisting of over 95% water. It’s also a rich source of silica which helps keep hair and nails stronger and is a key component required for the production of collagen.
Beetroot is high in fibre, helps to stimulate liver detoxification, boosts white blood cells, lowers blood pressure, and is great for stamina and energy.
Blueberries boast high levels of antioxidant phytonutrients, vitamins C and K, manganese, copper and fibre, they are great for overall health and disease fighting.
Ginger is bursting with antioxidants, antibacterial and antiseptic properties which are great for the skin
Strawberries are rich in antioxidants, vitamin C and help protect skin from UV damage. They were used as an acne treatment by the ancient Egyptians.
Ingredients for 1 large glass:
• A slice of red cabbage
• 5 cm chunk of cucumber
• Half a beetroot
• Small handful of blueberries
• 1 cm piece of ginger
• Half a lemon
• 3 strawberries
• 1 teaspoon spirulina
• 200ml of water/coconut water
For more smoothie inspiration visit Wonderlusting Kitchen https://wonderlusting.co.uk
Superfood Blueberries and Oats
Blueberries were one of the first superfoods to become popular and we’re not surprised – this tasty fruit is packed filled with antioxidants. They’re low in calories but high in nutrients, perfect for nourishing your body.
This article from Wonderlusting Lynda about blueberries and oats fits perfectly in with our theme here of ‘nourish’.
WILD BLUEBERRY OVERNIGHT OATS (vegan,gluten-free)
This is a quick, easy healthy breakfast that can be prepared in advance.
Ingredients for 1 serving:
- 1/2 cup oats
- 1 teaspoon wild blueberry powder
- 1 teaspoon baobab powder
- 1/2 cup water
- Mix all the dry ingredients together with the water in a jar and leave in fridge overnight.
- In morning add the fresh fruit just before serving.
Find the recipe along with the rest of Wonderlusting Lynda’s piece here.
Tip from Wow Beauty Guru Michelle Roques O’Neil: “Breakfast smoothies can be a great way of packing micronutrients and antioxidants like wheatgrass, acai, CoQ10, make it with coconut water or almond milk, an apple and for an extra protein a spoon of almond butter, avocado, spinach or kale and frozen berries. I would encourage you to work one out for yourself, it’s not about self-denial it’s about nurture and strength, you’ll be amazed how this will replace your blues with a new focus and healthy eating will uplift your spirit.”
The Benefits of Turmeric
We knew we couldn’t talk about ‘nourishment’ without talking about this golden spice. Turmeric has been worshipped for centuries and is known as one the most powerful plants on the planet. It is beneficial both when used topically and when digested, nourishing your body from the inside out and leaving you glowing.
Here are some of the benefits:
- Turmeric is also very important in Ayurvedic and Unani medicine due to its healing properties.
- Turmeric has been used for the digestive, circulatory and respiratory system for centuries.
- The anti-inflammatory properties also acts against the development of rheumatoid arthritis, it can also be used topically to reduce inflammation and swelling.
- It can help to lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease – it can even help to fight cancer!
- Its antiseptic and antibacterial properties help to fight breakouts and acne, reducing inflammation.
- It can help to treat skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.
- It also helps to regulate the product of sebum.
- It is also an excellent exfoliant, helping to gently remove dead cells and leave you with glowing, beautiful skin
Find out more about Turmeric in our article here.
Fushi are a brand known for ethical sourcing, blended in their London workshop. This fab UK brand has many different oils, but we want to talk about these two amazing nourishing oils – Wild Marula oil and Organic Pomegranate oil.
The benefits of Pomegranate seed oil
- Pomegranate seed oil is nutrient rich oil packed with powerful anti oxidants and flavonoids that are essential for skin health. This power comes from ellagic acid, a potent antioxidant that effectively fights free radicals, so this is another great oil to have in your positive ageing toolbox.
- In terms of positive ageing Pomegranate seed oil is one of the most effective positive ageing oils; it promotes health and elasticity of the skin, protects the skin and prevents skin damage:
- It’s also great for dry, dehydrated and sensitive skin.
Buy it here.
The benefits of Marula oil
- Marula oil is known as the “miracle oil” in some parts of Africa: the oil is extracted from the seeds of the Marula fruit. It is fast becoming known as one the ultimate nourishing skin oils.
- A little goes a long way with this oil and it works well under your regular moisturiser.
- In fact Marula oil, actually has a higher concentration of antioxidants than Argan oil, which makes it an amazing skin protector and tool in the positive ageing tool box. Over time it is claimed that it reduces fine lines.
- It can be used by those with sensitive skin.
- This oil is lovely and light that is easily absorbed by the skin leaving no greasy residue, just a healthy glow.
Buy it here.
You are in control. Only you can decide to make a change, big or small that can help you in your quest for balance; maybe something that you’ve read about in this section will help you to make that change no matter how small but whatever the case we want you to thrive!
We will be announcing a special guest piece on Wednesday as part of our Holistic Beauty and Wellbeing special – so check back here then to find out more!