Keeping hairdressers healthy with a new series aimed at maintaining the best possible you! Author of The BEST POSSIBLE you, and founder of The Gut Clinic, HANNAH RICHARDS, Nutritional Therapist and Lifestyle Coach has spent over a decade making it her mission to make nutrition and health synonymous. Her advice – keep it simple, eat organic and eat seasonally is her heartbeat – and can so easily become yours.
Eating: It’s overrated, and anyway, who has got the time?
If I got a pound or even a penny for the number of times someone whined at me that they do not have time for anything, especially ‘eating’, I’d be in early retirement writing, swimming and eating for a living. I try to explain to these people that they find time for other things equally as important, perhaps that’s the issue; eating isn’t as important as brushing your teeth; your hair, looking after your image, your phone, your car, and yet without it, we end up like Nigella, with silk PJs slumped in the SMEG with half a bottle of prosecco and tiramisu at midnight, and it’s only Tuesday.
Time is a collection of the past, the present, and the future. All rolled together as one entity. Have you ever thought about what you ate yesterday and what you won’t eat today, affecting how pleasant you are tomorrow?
Food and the quality of food make up your emotional status; it helps you be more confident to make better decisions, to have more energy to think out of the box and most importantly, not let your monkey out of the box (monkey mind). Think of yourself like a bathtub except with holes in the bottom. The water is constantly pouring out, and you’ve got to keep the water running to keep submerged. The holes represent your stress.
For example, not eating breakfast, skipping lunch, and eating dinner too late – all these actions create body anxiety. If you don’t plug the holes in the bath with good nutrition soon, the plasters will lose their stick and fall off, leaving you exhausted and having to take time off from work to start the healing process.
So perhaps your diet looks like this:
• Instant black coffee on waking and multiple cups throughout the day. • Snacks on plain rice cakes, dried fruits, the boiled sweets/toffees at reception, more coffee, maybe a fizzy drink and all consumed on two feet! After all, who’s got the time to sit?
• Lunch: what’s lunch?
• Dinner at 9pm following a long day and maybe some alcohol, both suppressing your appetite and then increasing your need for food, and that’s when you find your best friend, the one that doesn’t judge you and doesn’t answer back, and is your emotional support: food and lots of it!
Suppose dinner is your biggest meal, having fasted unintentionally throughout the day. Your blood sugars, in that case, hormones, digestion, bowels and sleep, will potentially start to become problematic as you create a stress rollercoaster – rob Peter to pay Paul.
So how can I get off this emotional food frenzy roller coaster and create some stability in my nutrition and health?
It starts with asking yourself what you want and if what you do have is what you need. Then you can begin to make some changes. For me, these are my top actions to take to create a happier mind and body. Take your time and implement one at a time; once one step feels natural, take another.
1. Have a glass of water on waking (room temperature so it’s not a shock to your stomach where you hold anxiety).
2. Never drink instant coffee, predominantly black, on an empty stomach. Again it will dry up the acid that lives there, which is not only your first line in defence but helps you break down all that food, especially protein. Max out on two cups a day and make sure you have milk in it and some honey if you care for it.
3. Start the day with some fruit and protein; this will reduce the stress physiologically in your body, and start closing up those bath holes!
4. Drink coconut water and orange juice mixed to get your electrolytes and vitamin c in throughout the day, supporting your nutrition.
5. Be present for lunch outside, with a friend not on your phone and enjoy life; the scissors will be there when you return!
Are you living your best life?
If not, then you are the only person that can change it, step by step; with a bit of help and support along the way, you too can become the best possible you.