Running two businesses, managing a busy 3-year-old and being 7 months pregnant certainly has its challenges but with a healthy mindset and the right tools and skills, it is still possible to live a healthy, balanced(ish) life, even with the many sleepless nights that come with little people!
Based on what I have learnt over the past 17 years studying and working in the world of health and fitness, here are the best 10 things I think you can do to keep yourself healthy.
THE TEN BEST THINGS YOU CAN DO FOR YOUR HEALTH
VEG, VEG, VEG
Yep, this one is by no means new news, but my goodness it works. Come rain or shine, even when I travel or have had next to no sleep, there is barely a day that I won't have 5-6 large handfuls of non-starchy veggies. Spinach or beetroot in smoothies, salads or soups for lunch, raw veggies as snacks and half a plate of veg at dinner. Consistently eating masses of low starch veggies fills you up, loads you up with vitamins and minerals and stops you wanting to eat junk. Well, most of the time...
I am not someone who is permanently attached to a drink bottle, but I am certainly in the habit of drinking water, still, sparkling from my SodaStream or herbal teas throughout the day, it help me stay clear, focused and avoid headaches. Making sure you are passing large volumes of very pale pee throughout the day is the way to make sure you are well hydrated - the amount is different for everyone, but dark pee is a problem!
CHANGE YOUR TASTE BUDS
You can re-train your taste buds to like less sweet tasting foods and less salt, it only takes a few weeks. If you are trying to reduce your sugar, aim to train your palate to accept less sweet tasting foods, rather than opting for all the alternative sweeteners. Be aware also that coconut sugar, maple syrup, honey, agave and lots of blended up dried fruit are all STILL sugar.
CHANGE THE WAY YOU THINK
Your thoughts don't define you. The way you think and feel in certain situations is learned from your past experiences, but be mindful that just because you think something, doesn't make it true. Most people have a very negative record that plays constantly in their heads 'I'm not good enough', 'I will never get there', 'nothing works out for me' are all thoughts that are far too common - be the one to change it, no one else can do that for you.
WHEN SOMETHING DOESN'T WORK OUT, FOCUS ON WHAT DID GO RIGHT
And what you can learn from the experience, not dwelling on what went wrong. If you focus on the negative, you will get more negative.
FIND A WAY TO MOVE MORE
I truly understand what it is like to have VERY little time but keeping active is essential to physical health and equally importantly in my mind (having struggles with depression myself) maintaining your mental health. Even if you only can find 10 minutes, run around the outside of your house or a quick jog around the block, if you have kids or grandkids take them to the park and run around instead of staying inside, cycle to work, set up a space to exercise at home - you don't need fancy equipment, even 8 minutes every morning is better than nothing. Also, don't use lifts - stairs are always better.
FIND SOME WAY TO GET TIME FOR YOURSELF
For me, its driving time. There is no time to meditate in the morning for me right now, unless I want to get up at 3.30am, which I don't. Sleep is more important. Driving, without music, focusing on the scenery around me and my breathing, is my meditation.
LEARN TO SAY NO THANK YOU
It's not rude, it's essential. You can't be everything to everyone all the time and keep well yourself.
When it comes to a healthy life, planning is where it's at.
Too much caffeine during the day and alcohol at night can stop you from going into deep sleep, which you need to keep SANE as well as healthy. Look at the relationship you have with these drinks and see if it needs a refresh.
Claire will be speaking at the LiveWell Festival on October 14/15 at the Cloud. For more information click here.