This week is world wellbeing week and at Transformation Chef we’re passionate about taking a 360 degree approach to health and wellbeing. Our mission is to make healthy eating as delicious, easy and convenient for you. Unfortunately, we can’t take complete control of your health and there are some additional habits which you can incorporate into your daily routines to support your mental, social and physical wellbeing.
You don’t have to tackle these all at once. Finding your version of health is often a journey and not something which occurs overnight. Wherever you are along your road stay consistent, mix things up and start or continue to look after yourself in the best way you know how.
Get your 8 hours
Sleep is very much underrated when it comes to overall health and during busy periods sleep is often the first thing to go. Sleep is essential for repair and recovery and is even more important if you’re a regular exerciser. Poor sleep has been associated with altered appetite related hormones. Studies have shown that sleep deprivation increases ghrelin (the hunger hormone) and decreases leptin (the satiety hormone) meaning that you’re more likely to consume more food. The research has also shown that you’re more likely to crave high sugar foods to help boost your energy levels too. Try and ensure that you’re sleeping around 8 hours per night.
With so much going on in today’s society it can feel near impossible to take time out for yourself. Although taking time out is vital for your overall health. Chronic stress can lead to risk of deficiencies, risk of adrenal fatigue, poor mental health and prolonged excess food intake. It’s so important that you manage your stress levels as much as possible by taking time for yourself. Do something everyday you enjoy – even if it’s just for 10 minutes. Reading a book, sitting down with a cup of tea, taking a bath or just going for a walk.
There is a lot of research now to show the strong link between the gut and the brain. The relationship is by directional although more messages are sent from the gut to the brain than vice versa. Aside from digestive function gut health has also been associated with mental wellbeing. Impaired or unbalanced microbiota in the gut can cause poor mental wellbeing. We also know that 90% of serotonin (the happy hormone) is produced in the gut, consequently if you don’t support your gut health you’re at risk of impaired serotonin production which can have lasting affects on your mental wellbeing. Support your gut by consuming a wide range of plant and fibre rich foods. Ensure that you’re also consuming some live cultures in the form of yoghurt, kombucha, kefir and fermented foods.
Move your body
Exercise is vital for your overall wellbeing. We know that exercise releases endorphins which are also referred to as ‘the feel good’ hormone. Exercise also helps to maintain a healthy weight, support your bones, joint and heart health for later on in life. You don’t have to pound it out in the gym if that’s not your style. Instead try and Yoga class, a YouTube pilates session, a walk in the park or a play with the dog! It all counts.
Make small dietary changes
As there’s so much information around nutrition in the media and on social media it can seem all too confusing. Before making a complete overnight overhaul to your diet try making small changes which are more likely to be sustainable in the long run. Whether this be increasing your water intake to 2L per day, hitting your 5-aday, consuming 30g of fibre per day, reducing your alcohol intake or limiting your sugar consumption. Try tackling one goal at a time and you’ll begin to notice big differences.
Remember start small, this is a journey. Avoid putting too much pressure on yourself and remember to enjoy the process.
Crispim, C. A., Zimberg, I. Z., dos Reis, B. G., Diniz, R. M., Tufik, S., & de Mello, M. T. (2011). Relationship between food intake and sleep pattern in healthy individuals. Journal of clinical sleep medicine: JCSM: official publication of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, 7(6), 659.
Golem, D. L., Martin-Biggers, J. T., Koenings, M. M., Davis, K. F., & Byrd-Bredbenner, C. (2014). An integrative review of sleep for nutrition professionals. Advances in Nutrition, 5(6), 742-759.