Health Update: Why I Elected For Surgery

Wow, it’s been a while since I wrote a post and a lot has happened in the last few months including bowel resection surgery for my Crohn’s.  I wanted to do a post about why I chose to have the surgery as it definitely wasn’t an easy decision to make.

Last year I wrote about meeting with a surgeon in early 2016 who wanted to take out over 30cm of my ileum including the ileocecal valve and then do stricture-plasty in about five other places. This came as a shock as I always thought I had a mild case of Crohn’s and that eventually the inflammation and disease would go away once I got the diet and lifestyle stuff figured out.  But even though I had been doing everything ‘right’, the scar tissue from previous flares and inflammation had gotten worse.

What I was most concerned about was the removal of the ileocecal valve.  It’s a valve between the small and large intestine that makes sure there’s no back flow from the large intestine into the small amongst other things.  This can lead to SIBO (there’s nothing to keep bacteria out of the small intestine) and chronic diarrhoea.

In a bid to avoid surgery I underwent Clear Passage therapy (read about my experiences here and here) but unfortunately it didn’t have the outcome I wanted and flash forward to January this year when I found myself sitting in front of a surgeon again (this time a different one to get a second opinion) who basically told me the same story as the previous surgeon had the year before.

This time I was more prepared for the conversation and basically my symptoms had gotten to the stage where I couldn’t ignore them anymore.  The scope of foods that I could eat without causing bloating, distention and fermentation had whittled down to basically nothing – well cooked meats, fish and low residue veggies and green juices.  Fruits had become a no-go area (apart from maybe half a very ripe banana) as had raw vegetables.  I was worried about most meals but eating out or at family events had become nearly impossible.  I remember heading home early from a Christmas dinner out with my friends and having the worst bloating and pains.  Another time I went to my in-law’s for Sunday dinner and I just sipped on warm water while everybody else tucked into their roast.  I lied and said that I had met a friend for a late lunch but really I just didn’t want to risk eating anything I hadn’t prepared myself.   I missed out on a trip to New York as I was afraid that flying would put pressure on my intestines and they’d perforate.  I used to bring a hot water bottle or hot pack into work and college to easy my tummy pains when I was distended or experiencing spasms.  The effects of the internal scarring was so bad that I actually couldn’t even drink a cup of tea without hearing and feeling the liquid gurgling its way through my system.

What really sealed the deal for me was going to see my wedding band one evening doing a show-case and being doubled-over with stomach pains.  I just thought to myself that I didn’t want to feel this bad on my wedding day and that life shouldn’t be this miserable.

While it was a very tough decision to make and some part of me felt like a bit of a failure (surely I should have been able to ‘fix’ myself through diet and lifestyle), I felt that I had given the natural route the best shot – diet, lifestyle, Clear Passage therapy – and I was ready for surgery.  I had a good rapport with the new surgeon and while nervous about what was to come I felt it was worth the risk as I couldn’t continue living life as I was.

In my next post I’ll discuss my experience of the surgery and what life is like now!

I went to Clear Passage with a number of issues – strictures from Crohn’s, lack of periods, low nutritional absorption, SIBO, fatigue, leg ache etc.  My main reason for going though was to avoid major surgery for strictures.  Now that the therapy is over and I’ve been doing the home programme for about six months, I thought it would be good to do an update.

Okay so the positives from doing the therapy:

  • The support before, during and since treatment has been amazing!!!!  Seriously, these people care!  Anytime I’ve had any questions or haven’t been well I can email and they get back to me within a day or two.  That has really blown me away.
  • I got my period back!!!  After 18 months of not having one naturally.  While they aren’t like clockwork and it’s great to know I can have them back naturally.
  • I used to have achy legs all the time (especially in the morning – my knees used to really ache) but I haven’t experienced that since the treatment.
  • I learnt so much about my posture and how everything was connected – so trouble with my hips / glutes etc stemmed from the adhesions in my abdomen etc.
  • I got a home programme so I continue to do therapy on myself every day which I find very useful.
  • The treatment is very very individualised – I have a feeling no two treatments are the same.
  • My blood work shows slight improvement in absorption of nutrients so I’m heading in the right direction.  While I’m still low in certain nutrients and still am fatigued sometimes, it doesn’t seem to be as bad as before the treatment.
  • The treatment experience itself was really good. I enjoyed the week.
  • I definitely felt very different after the week – I could feel everything inside move with more ease and less rigidity.  My flexibility has improved also.
  • What I liked about Clear Passage is that they are very research orientated.  They want to put together scientific research papers together to validate their work.  Any staff member I came in contact with was lovely.  They are super picky about the therapists they head hunt and the training that the therapists go through.  With regards SIBO, they have been given the thumbs up from Alison Sebecker (siboinfo.com) and others like her.

Now the not-so-positives (or maybe I should say the disappointments):

  • I found that I experienced more gas bubbles, tummy gurgles, fermenty-feeling and a strange feeling whenever my bladder gets full.  They feel this could be due to hormonal shifts or a candida infection or both.  But it turns out that this could be due to dilation of my intestines and a resulting back-up of its contents.
  • I wanted to be able to increase the foods I was able to eat without adverse reaction and unfortunately due to this gas/bloating etc my scope has gotten narrower which gets me down a little.
  • And as for avoiding surgery?  While my latest MRI scan showed significant improvements in some areas of stricturing, unfortunately there is an area that has gotten worse and I’m still at high risk of a perforation.

    So while Clear Passage was a positive experience, it didn’t have the particular outcome that I wanted and I’m now facing surgery.   More on this in my next blog.

Recipe: Carrot Cake Porridge (Grain-free, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Nut-free, AIP, Paleo, Vegan)

Carrot cake porridge

Normally I have meat or fish and veggies for breakfast these days but with the change of season I found myself craving warming oaty porridge.  I used to love porridge and could easily have had it morning, noon and night (I kid you not!!) with lashings of milk and spoons of sugar (I was a divil for the sugar)!

Flash forward a few years and thanks to a Crohn’s disease diagnosis and many food intolerances, I find myself with a grain-free and dairy-free diet.  Not one to be deterred by a minor detail like this I tried to come up with a porridge of sorts that would still give me the warm comforting feeling of porridge but with none of the bloating side-effects.  Using ingredients that I tolerate I played around with this carrot cake porridge which was extremely easy to throw together in the slow cooker and turned out pretty well.   It’s paleo and vegan and nut free too (if you want).

carrot cake porridge

Ingredients (serves 2):

4 medium sized carrots

½ can of coconut milk (room temperature) – (I like Aroy-D as it just has two ingredients – coconuts and water)

1 tablespoon creamed coconut

1 tablespoon coconut flour

1 tablespoon mulberries (brands such as Iswari and Nua Naturals sell these)

1 tablespoon raisins or chopped medjool dates

½ teaspoon cinnamon powder

 

Method:

Grate the carrots and add them to the slow cooker.  Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until all mixed through.  Make sure that all the ingredients are covered with the coconut milk (adding more if needed).  Cook on high for an hour or two or low for four to six hours until the carrot is cooked and soft.

Serve up with toppings such as chopped banana and mulberries or really what you like!
Options:  Here are a few ideas to mix up the porridge

  • Swap out a carrot for a peeled apple (which you would grate before adding)
  • Swap out a carrot for a chopped banana
  • Add in a tablespoon or two of walnut pieces (or other nuts or seeds of your liking)
  • Add coconut shavings
  • Add in some maple syrup if you need it sweetened up

Enjoy!

October Favourites

A little of what I was loving in October

October Favorites

HEALTHY

Loving Earth Raw Chocolate

I don’t eat chocolate too often these days (I like it, it unfortunately doesn’t like me much).  I can seem to get away with a little taster here and there but if I have too much or too often, my stomach will let me know!  When I do indulge, I like to get a really good quality chocolate and it’s best I don’t get a big bar (too much temptation).  So when I saw fun sized bites of new-to-Ireland Loving Earth Raw Chocolate I indulged!!!   While their website shows an amazing array of flavours (mint, salted caramel, lemon cheesecake, mandarin to name a few), there seem to be limited lines on offer so far here.  I opted for the Creamy Coconut Mylk Chocolate which was indeed creamy which can sometimes be missing from raw chocolates.  There are very few ingredients too which I love – Certified Organic Raw Cacao (47%), Organic Coconut and sweetened with a little Organic Evaporated Coconut Nectar – that’s it!

Squash

There is an abundance of squashes this time of year from pumpkin to kabocha to spaghetti squash and more.  While normally I opt for butternut squash, I’m going to try as many varieties of squashes while they are in season and available.  The health benefits range from improving the quality of your sight, boosting skin health and strengthening the immune system to protecting heart health, preventing inflammatory conditions and reducing blood pressure and many others.

I usually cook them in my slow cooker overnight (with skin still on) and scoop out the flesh once cooked. This may work better on some varieties over others.  After spending €10 on a small spaghetti squash in Fallon & Byrne and cooking it in the slow cooker I was a little disappointed with the outcome.  Maybe it would have been better to cook it in the oven but with that price, it won’t be something I’ll be trying this year.

HAPPY

Coldplay

Something that made me super happy in October was getting tickets to see Coldplay next summer.  It’s been said we get a big boost of happiness from experiences and not only will the concert itself be great the run up will actually give me a boost too – the anticipation, listening to their albums etc.

Autumn colours

I love this time of year….. the colours of the trees turning can be absolutely stunning!  Has been making me happy anyway!

GLOW

Ren Lip Balm

With the colder weather and the increase in use of central heating etc. my lips tend to get dry.  I’ve been loving Ren Vita Mineral Lip Balm.  Void of a lot of nasty ingredients, it’s rich and creamy and lasts ages!  Big thumbs up.

 

Make Halloween a Little Healthier

A Healhty Halloween

Halloween has changed a lot since I was a kid.  Back in the day everybody made their own costumes (normally from a black plastic sack), there were no decorations, you asked neighbours to ‘help the Halloween party’ rather than saying ‘trick or treat’ and you usually came back from doing the rounds with a bag full of apples, nuts, mandarins and only if you were really lucky did you get raisins or homemade popcorn.  Sweets were the Holy Grail and it was only the rare house that would be giving any out.  Needless to say, as word got around that there was a house giving away sweets all the kids of the neighbourhood descended on the house meaning they were cleaned out pretty quickly.

When you got home from going around the neighbourhood you had to have the nut cracker ready to break open the hazelnuts and walnuts and your fingers would be sore from pinching monkey nuts opens.  Come to think of it, it was hard work!

Fast forward twenty (ahem!)-odd years and it’s a different ball game.  Costumes are sold everywhere, houses are decorated with ghosts, cobwebs and carved pumpkins and kids come home with treat bags brimming with fun-sized chocolate bars or bags of sweets.

With childhood obesity here in Ireland rapidly on the increase, we have to look at holidays such as Halloween and think of ways they can still be fun for kids without them revolving around all the crap sugar laden ‘treats’.

So here are my tips for making Halloween a little healthier for kids:

Instead of giving out chocolate or sweets, why not give out non-food treats?  There are so many places to buy inexpensive treats that kids will love such as:

  • Glow sticks, bracelets, or necklaces
  • Mini sets of pencils, pens, crayons or markers
  • Stickers with gouls and ghosts
  • Stencils
  • Transfer tattoos
  • A bottle of bubbles
  • Halloween erasers or pencil toppers
  • Novelty toys
  • Halloween accessories like vampire fangs or rubber spiders
  • Book marks

If you are having a Halloween party, there are loads of treats you can make for kids that still are fun but are that bit healthier than the normal party fare.  Here’s a few that I’ve seen on the internet that look easy to do:

Instead of toffee apples, why not try dark chocolate dipped apples?

chocolate apples

 

These tangerine pumpkins and banana ghosts look so cute and ridiculously easy!

Tangerine Pumpkins Banana Ghosts

Spooky (but tasty) witches fingers

Halloween witches fingers

And can’t forget these monster mouths

Halloween apple monster mouths

While I don’t have kids myself, I think I may just give these a try anyway!!

I’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions on healthy Halloween treats and recipes.

A Hygge Happy Glow

Autumn is definitely upon us…  the days are getting shorter, the weather is getting colder and the leaves on the trees are turning all colours of red and gold.  While I do love this time of year I normally dread the drudgery of winter (I’m a cold creature).  But this year I’ve decided I’m going to try to embrace the Danish concept of hygge, which has been popping up on my radar quite a bit in the last few weeks.  While I was vaguely aware of the term before, the fact that Denmark is often deemed one of the happiest countries in the world made me stop and take notice this year.

So what is hygge and how can it help achieve a healthy, happy glow?

The term seemingly comes from a Norwegian word meaning “wellbeing” and has now evolved into the Danish attitude to life.  The best translation I’ve come across for hygge is “cosiness of the soul”.

Louisa Thomsen Brits, in her book The Book of Hygge:  The Danish Art of Living Well, describes it as “a feeling of being warm, safe, comforted and sheltered…. It’s a feeling of engagement and relatedness of belonging to the moment and each other.  It’s a sense of abundance and contentment.  Hygge is about being not having.  It can be found by asking yourself where you feel most at home, what are the activities and customs that anchor you, who makes you feel at ease, what is it that contributes most to your sense of wellbeing, what do you do to unwind, what do you reach for to create comfort?”

Helen Russell, author of The Year of Living Danishly:  Uncovering the Secrets of the World’s Happiest Country says that hygge is about “being kind to yourself – indulging, having a relaxed, cosy time with friends and family, often with coffee, cake or beer which can be good for the soul”.

I really like these concepts – connectedness with loved ones, being present, being grateful for the abundance in your life, being kind to yourself, relaxing, appreciating little indulgences and creating a cosy atmosphere at home where you want to nestle in!   All of which go a long way to bringing more happiness and health into our lives.

So what will bringing some hygge into my life this winter look like?

Maybe it’ll be buying some new cosy cushions and throws for making curling up on the couch a little more pleasurable.

Maybe it’ll be making more time to relax with a great book while drinking a delicious hot herbal tea surrounded by candles with a beautiful scent, wearing something extra cosy.

Maybe it’ll be baking some home-made goodies (healthy versions of course) and eating them while watching my favourite movie under a duvet.

Maybe it’ll be having family or friends over for dinner and really being present in their company.

They’re pretty good for a start but I’m sure there are plenty more ways of embracing hygge.  Maybe winter won’t be such a drudge after all this year!

September Favourites

September Favourites

Here are a few things I was loving in September:

September favourites

HEALTHY

Bone Broth from Alchemy Juice

As the weather is changing to being a bit chilly, I’m craving warming foods.  Bone broth is like a warm hug in a mug and it’s so nutritious – loads of health benefits.  It’s pretty easy to make but I’m a little lazy sometimes so it’s been handy to be able to pick up a cup of it in Alchemy (upstairs from where BT2 used to be) on Grafton Street (http://www.alchemyjuice.ie)

#SprinkleAwesome Masterclass with Linwoods

This last Saturday I was lucky enough to be invited to a Masterclass with Linwoods Health Foods (https://linwoodshealthfoods.com/ie/) in Medley in Dublin.  The speakers were healthy cooks Roz Purcell, Susan Jane White and Madeline Shaw along with food photographer Joanne Murphy who gave us some hints and tips for food styling and photography.  Susan’s demo for chocolate seed soldiers was pretty awesome: http://susanjanewhite.com/2016-chocolate-seed-soldiers/.  Hard to believe that something that looks and tastes so delicious (that hint of orange!) is so healthy!  Was totally inspired to start experimenting in the kitchen with recipes more suited to my own diet needs!

 

HAPPY

‘The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo’

I love a good giggle (it’s good for your health!) and I’ve been having lots of laughs reading Amy Schumer’s ‘The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo’.  I was probably on the fence with Amy before reading this book as I find her comedy a bit too vulgar sometimes but I’m well over the fence now and a huge fan.  Not only is she funny, she’s very smart, insightful and brutally honest.  Totally recommend this book.

‘The First Monday in May’

Back before health and wellness was my passion, I was very much into fashion and design so I love going to costume design and fashion exhibitions (the V&A in London is awesome) and watching documentaries or films about fashion and design.  The First Monday In May is a behind-the-scenes doc about putting together a costume design exhibition in The Met in New York and the infamous Met Gala that launches the exhibition every year.  I was blown away by what goes into putting on such an exhibition and event and I developed a new found respect for Anna Wintour who features heavily in the film.   A visit to The Met in NYC is now firmly on my bucket list.

 

GLOW

Trilogy Ultra Hydrating Body Lotion

I’m experimenting with different body lotions at the moment and this month I tried Trilogy’s Ultra Hydrating Body Cream.  It’s hydrating without being greasy, has a subtle scent and leaves a hint of a shimmer too so you actually have a little glow after applying it!  Its ingredients include rosehip oil and Manuka honey which boost nourishment and help with repairing and hydrating the skin.  While it has more ingredients than I’d probably like, there are a lot of pluses to their products – the company use natural, organic and non-GMO ingredients, don’t test on animals and support ethical trade production.  https://www.trilogyproducts.com/uk/products/category/body/ultra-hydrating-body-cream

 

 

 

10 Healthy Movies To Watch This Weekend

Favourite Films

Looking for something to watch this weekend?  Check out some of my favourite healthy movies below.

Supersize Me

I can’t believe that this film is over 10 years old!!!  It was the first documentary I watched about food and health.   Morgan Spurlock filmed his experience of eating nothing but McDonald’s three times a day for an entire month (supersizing his meals of course!) and tracked his physical and emotional health, which deteriorated at a shocking speed.  He also talked with other Americans who subsist largely on burgers, fries and fizzy drinks while showing how the fast food industry uses marketing to get us to consume more.  An oldie but a goodie.

 

That Sugar Film

In sort of the same vein, That Sugar Film follows Australian filmmaker Damon Gameau as he embarks on a unique experiment to document the effects of a high sugar diet on a healthy body. The twist with this film is that he’s not eating fast food but rather foods that are looked on as ‘healthy’ but in actual fact are loaded with sugar – health cereals, juice, yogurts etc.

 

Fed Up

Another film about the ill-effects of sugar is Fed Up.  Narrated by well-known US TV presenter Katie Couric, this doc delves into the role sugar plays in the obesity crisis and how big business is impacting the epidemic.  One for people who don’t really understand just how much sugar goes into the foods we eat every day and how it affects our bodies.  Eye-opening!

 

Food Inc.

Food Inc. is a film that covers the food industry from a corporate perspective.  It highlights how the way we eat and what we eat has changed over the last few decades and why.  It lifts the lid on some of the world’s most powerful food companies and why they want to hide what’s in the food they manufacture.  By the time you finish watching you’ll have a better understanding of the importance of food and how you can make the best choices in your daily life.

 

Hungry For Change

On a similar vein to Food Inc., Hungry For Change looks at the lies food companies tell us.  Part expert advice and part first-person testimonial, you’ll come away convinced that giving up processed foods and eating clean will make a huge difference when it comes to your health (and waistline).

 

Food Matters

Food Matters discusses why our food is so important and how it can and should be our medicine. It highlights the amount of pesticides, gmo foods and pharmaceuticals etc we are consuming and why they aren’t in the true best interest of our population.  It differentiates between managing symptoms with pharmaceuticals and healing our bodies with real health solutions.

 

Fat Sick & Nearly Dead

In this film Australian Joe Cross starts off fat, sick (and nearly dead) and decides to tackle his illness head-on with changing his diet and lifestyle.  He embarks on a juicing challenge and we get to follow him on his journey back to health.  There’s also a number of inspiring stories of people who get a new lease on life after redesigning their diet and exercise habits.  Uplifting and will have you reaching for the green juice!

 

Jason Vale Super Juice Me

Also touting the benefits of juicing is Jason Vale Super Juice Me.  Eight people with various illnesses are put on a juice fast in Jason’s retreat in Portugal.  The results are amazing.  I was particularly interested in this doc as there was an Irish girl who had Crohn’s disease who took part.  It’s made me want to go to that retreat!

 

Forks Over Knives

This film focuses on the scientific proof that a diet full of plants and free of processed foods is the one that works best for our bodies.  While it does take on some of the ethical principles of veganism, it’s more about the benefits of plant-based diets (and there are many eating styles that can be plant-based and not vegan).

 

Happy

While not about diet, this sweet and meaningful documentary looks into the history of happiness, how it differs from culture to culture, and what you can do on a regular basis to become happier, healthier, and more fulfilled in your everyday life.  Feel good film!

 

Have you any recommendations for me?  Always looking for inspiration.

Tips For Switching To Natural Beauty Products

Over the last few years I’ve put a lot of emphasis on cleaning up my diet, trying my best to avoid processed foods and pesticide exposure by choosing organic whole foods when possible.

But the endocrine disrupters in everyday cosmetics and toiletries can be just as harmful to our bodies. Our skin is our largest organ and its pores provide a natural way for the body to detoxify. So what we put on our bodies is just as important as what we put in them.  Which is why I’ve been trying to switch to more natural products that lighten the toxic load on my body.

Here are some tips I picked up along the way that may help if you are wanting to transition to more natural beauty products.

Replace things as they run out

There’s no need to throw out your entire toiletry and make-up bag in one go.  I would have found the idea too daunting (and expensive) so I’ve tended to replace things as they run out which gives me time to do a bit of research on products I want to try.

Prioritise products that stay on your skin the longest

If you are confused about what changes would give the most bang for your buck, I’d say start with switching out products that are used closest to your skin (and therefore definitely get absorbed) and that sit on your skin the longest.  Body lotion, face moisturizer, deodorant and foundation spring to mind in comparison to shampoo and conditioner which are rinsed out after a couple of minutes.

Research your favourite brands for any “Code Reds”

I found the American website Skin Deep by the Environmental Working Group really insightful and was shocked by how toxic some of my favourite products were.  They colour code products like a traffic light system, green is ok but red means that there are a lot of toxins and they also rank the level of toxicity from 1 to 10 so you know just how toxic a product is.

While the site is for products sold in American and European regulations mean that products may vary slightly here, it’s still a good website to get an idea of what isn’t too bad and what should probably be tossed.  I found out that the foundation that I’ve been using years and was feeling guilty about using isn’t actually too bad.  While it isn’t the best choice possible it’s still in the green zone so I’m prioritising switching out other products first while still experimenting every now and then on more natural foundations until I can find one that I like.

Beware of Marketing

This is where I feel a lot of people are caught out.  They look at the front of a product and they see “natural” and think they are making a great choice.  But just because it says it’s natural, it doesn’t mean it is.  There’s a strategy of “greenwashing” used in the cosmetics industry where some brands spend more time and money claiming to be “green” through advertising and marketing than actually implementing business practices that actually make so.  So take a minute and question what the advertisement and packaging is actually saying.

Get interested in the Back Label

Much like I tell clients to read the ingredient lists of food they eat, it’s good to have a look at the ingredient list on cosmetics and toiletries.  I was surprised at how many ingredients went into making products and that I didn’t have a clue what they were.

Now when picking out products, I look for the biggest offenders: fragrance, parabens, sulfates and phthalates. If they’ve got any of these, I pass.  Then I look at the other ingredients and the order they appear.  This is a good way to see what the product is mostly made of as the ingredients are listed in order from most to least.

Have Fun Experimenting

I started looking for new products in my local health food store as I thought the chances of getting cleaner products there were higher.  Between getting recommendations and doing research I was able to discover other brands and products that I never knew existed.  Some worked out and have since become my favourites and some didn’t.  It’s all part of the process and it doesn’t need to be stressful.

I had thought that natural products wouldn’t work as well, would cost a fortune or I’d end up smelling like incense but I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the range, quality and price on offer.  And things will only get better as the demand for more natural skincare grows.  Some of my favourite products are sold in mainstream stores like Sephora now so it shows that things are changing.

I hope to write more about natural beauty on the blog here in the coming months (favourite products, new discoveries etc) as it’s still a learning curve for me and I’d like to share what I’m learning along the way.

Would love to hear your recommendations of natural products that you love.  Do you have any favourites?

 

 

 

5 Easy Ways to Make Your Work Day A Little Healthier

Tips for a Healthier Work Day

Staying healthy at the office can be a real challenge. I should know, I’ve worked in offices my whole adult life.  Whether it’s grabbing food on the go, eating at your desk and loading up on coffee or indulging in muffins and biscuits at meetings, cakes at your colleague’s birthday or sweet treats somebody brought back from their holidays, it can be hard to make the healthier choice.

Our work days are usually pretty structured and is more or less a routine (get to work at a certain time, have lunch at a certain time, leave at a certain time, work at a computer most of the day etc.).  You’d be surprised how much we go through it on autopilot.

However, with a little awareness, foresight and preparation, you can work some healthier habits throughout the day.

Here are five easy ways you can do just that:

Hydrate

  • Drink a glass of water (or two) first thing in the morning. We’re often dehydrated in the morning so drinking some water will help hydrate your cells.  Even better, squeeze some lemon into the water to help detoxify and give you a vitamin C boost.
  • Make sure to keep well hydrated throughout the day. Leave a water bottle on your desk and set yourself a reminder to drink from it throughout the day.
  • If you drink a lot of coffee (which is a diuretic), try swapping out some of those cups for herbal tea.

Have breakfast

  • Having a breakfast that has a good balance of protein, carbohydrate and fat should keep your blood sugars balanced throughout the morning, keep you satiated, give you energy and keep you from grabbing the sugar laden muffin at the morning meeting or eating all the things later in the day.
  • A good example of a breakfast could be eggs (scrambled, hard boiled etc) with smoked salmon, spinach, butternut squash or sweet potato with some avocado on the side.

Take a Break

  • It’s said that our sedentary lives where we sit at a desk for seven or eight hours a day are as bad for our health as smoking is! While some companies are bringing in treadmill desks or standing desks for their employees, for most of us this isn’t an option.
  • So what can you do? Get up and walk as much as you can throughout the day.  Take more bathroom breaks (you may need to if you are drinking more water), walk to your colleagues desk to ask a question (instead of emailing) or make sure to get out for a walk during your lunch break.

Lunch

  • Bring in your own lunch and swap your sandwich or wrap for a soup and salad, making sure to get a good balance of protein, carbs and fats to avoid the 3 o’clock sugar imbalance slump. Not only will it be healthier, it’ll probably save you money too.
  • If you can’t bring in your own lunch, do a little research and know where you can get healthy options on the days you need to grab and go.

Snacks

  • Make sure to be well stocked on good snacks to keep hunger at bay and to balance out your blood sugars throughout the day. Our willpower depletes as the day goes on from decision fatigue.  If you have these options already prepped its one decision less to make throughout the day.
  • Some good snacks include: prawns and avocado, an apple and nut butter, berries and coconut yogurt (or greek yogurt if you eat dairy) or a piece of fruit with some nuts.

 

What are your tips for staying healthy at work?  Am always on the lookout for more health hacks.