Do you feel like you have absolutely no time to think about or plan the food that you eat every day? No time for the supermarket? No time to take care of your body, mind and soul? Chances are you are now running on empty…
I recently took part in a wellness program at a big corporate office and met with the employees; most of them suffered from stress and the effects of bad nutrition. They came home late and had no time or energy to cook, so takeout was the way to go! De-stressing was eating a tub of ice-cream before bedtime or going out for a drink with friends. After my time with them, I put together a short list of things that busy, overwhelmed people can incorporate into their day easily, things that do not require much planning and will have great effects on their health.
7 Quick Tips for a Healthy Body:
1. Eat a small handful of raw seeds and/or nuts every day. If you’re going to buy anything from the supermarket to snack on, let it be raw seeds and nuts… do not go for the chips and cookies!
2. Eat fresh fruit two times a day. Vary the color of the fruits: think red, green and orange for example, and alternate between grapes/berries, apples/pears and oranges/mandarins.
3. Many of you eat out most of the time, so it’s important that you order right. As a rule of thumb, always fill half your plate with vegetables, and a quarter each of protein and good carbs. Make sure you choose vegetables in a variety of different colors (green, red, orange, yellow…).
4. Choose good sources of protein, and try to include oily fish such as salmon and tuna two times a week. Avoid red meat as much as possible; keep it to once a week (or less!), and choose very lean cuts.
5. Chew your food well, until it becomes soft and almost liquid. This will help enormously with your digestion, and you will eat less!
6. Be religious about your water intake! It’s your most vital nutrient, so make sure you consume 6-8 glasses of water a day. Cut your coffee and soda intake, and replace it with tea and vegetable juices. At a business lunch, for example, you can order a Virgin Bloody Mary instead of a diet Coke, and tea instead of a coffee.
7. Avoid sugary and rich/fried food, and keep away from the bread and butter basket at restaurants… save the calories for real healthy food!
7 Quick Tips for Reducing Stress:
Health is about so much more than just eating well! You also need to take care of other things in your life that nourish you.
1. Practice deep conscious breathing throughout the day. You’ll be amazed at the immediate calming effect it has on your body. The “one-breath” meditation is a powerful, straightforward relaxation technique that can be practiced anytime, anywhere from your office to the subway!
Try it whenever you feel fatigued or out of whack: sit in a comfortable chair, straighten your back, relax your shoulders and take a deep breath. Let the air open your chest, and imagine that it is revitalizing every cell in your body. Hold your breath for a count of 3, then exhale releasing every bit of tension. Repeat 8 times for a quick pick-me-up!
2. We lead very sedentary lives today, so it’s important to exercise and be as active as you can throughout your day. Add movement in your day by taking the stairs instead of the lift; for those of you who work on the 35th floor, this may not be a good idea. However, you can take the lift to the 30th floor and walk from there! In the office, walk over to see your colleagues instead of using the phone… every step counts! Outside of work experiment with an exercise style that works for you: yoga, Pilates, martial arts, walking, running, cycling, rollerblading, swimming, dancing or competitive sports... anything that will get you moving, and that’s fun! One invaluable piece of advice that I can give you regarding exercise is that you need to determine if you are a morning person or a night person. I am a morning person, so I always exercise in the morning. I know that if I leave it to the evening, my energy will be too low, and I will never do it!
3. Take a 30-minute appointment with yourself every day, and treat yourself to regular quiet time. Turn your phone off, let everyone know that you don’t want to be disturbed, listen to music, study, pray, meditate… recharge yourself… whatever works, so you can relax!
4. Cultivate gratitude: First thing in the morning and right before going to bed at night, think of 3 things you're grateful for in your life.
5. Foster a sense of humor; hum or sing a happy song every day and smile!
6. Keep your home in good order: You are your home!
7. Finally, do your best to be on good terms with people, especially your boyfriend or girlfriend, husband or wife, parents, children, brothers, sisters, friends and co-workers. Good relationships are vital for our well-being!