WELL, WELL, WELL…
Well, well, well, pardon the pun. No spring chicken I know – but goodness after the rather bleak compulsory respite period enforced by the pandemic – we are now back on our feet – some of us for over nine hours a day – and are we feeling it!
Don’t get me wrong – it’s absolutely fantastically incredibly exciting to be back and I’m not knocking it in the slightest, but if we are to continue at this pace – we certainly have to start to understand the needs of our bodies. I am going to dedicate this entire page to YOU. What you eat, how you sleep, how you make the most out of your lifestyle and how you relax your mind and switch off.
First steps first – I cite acclaimed nutrition and lifestyle coach Hannah Richards, author of The Best Possible You – a nutritional guide to healing your body (published by Orion Spring £14.99).
“The human body is an amazing and resilient system. The food we eat, the way we move and the way we choose to live our lives can all help to keep it in balance and improve our health.” In her book she shows you how to listen to your body, take your health into your own hands and build a relationship with every part of yourself. Refreshingly Hannah comments that “no one knows how to eat”, saying “when all the people who have a voice are destroying the relationship we have with food.
Health bloggers and vegan advocates have just swapped one addiction of overeating for another of neurotic eating, they just don’t know it, and TV documentaries often miss the opportunity to educate the public about healthy eating. We shame the fat, we praise the thin, but ultimately neither group is getting the information they need. We need a different approach, we need to get back to embracing our bodies and the natural way in which they work.”
Hannah goes on to talk about nutrition: “Nutrition should not be complicated, which is why at the heart of my advice there are a few simple tips: keep it simple, eat organic, eat seasonal and make your meals from scratch with your own hands. Nourishing your body needs to be a high priority, so start re-evaluating what is important and focus on these things to create a life that you want, because if you do, you can have everything you dream of! Don’t see eating well as cutting out what you love; it’s about supporting your current lifestyle with appropriate measures to improve your current state of health, either physically, chemically or emotionally.” Follow Hannah Richards @thegutclinic
When was the last time you had a really great sleep and woke up completely refreshed? Referring back to Hannah Richards – one of the first things she asks to those who have unsettled nights is if they went to bed hungry? If so, of course the body will wake them up in the middle of the night because it needs feeding! Again it’s all about nurture.
How many of you go to bed and just decide to check your emails and social media feed for the final time? I’m guilty of this and before I know it an hour or even two has passed as I have become quite absorbed in something.
So this is my advice – leave your phone in another room and don’t look at it until you’ve had your hot water and lemon in the morning and eaten – then look at your phone. My problem has always been because I am a family man – I feel the urge to constantly check in with my family to ensure they are safe and well so always have my phone by my side. If you have a landline – so much the better, you must ask your family members to call you on that if the matter is of any urgency.
So back to bedtime. Don’t go to bed after you have nodded off in the armchair – go to bed before you are dead on your feet and go there to relax, read a book – switch off and your sleep will be so much better. It’s not rocket science that we need sleep to help the body remain healthy and stave off illness. Without sleep it’s pretty clear that the brain cannot function properly. I have just finished a book titled “Why we sleep” by the magnificent Matthew Walker.
In this book Matt Walker explains how sleep can make us healthier, safer, smarter and more productive. Quite clearly he provides amazing strategies to overcome the life threatening risks associated with our sleep deprived society. It’s important that we allocate our bodies and our brains between seven and nine hours of nightly sleep. Let’s do it.