As women we can be slow to put our own needs first on the list. In an age where we’ve been told that we can do it all, and then some, we’ve been trying to do just that. And we’ve succeeded. But at what cost to our health?
Between doing the job we love and mixing in family and busy social lives on top, we can feel pulled in various directions. We begin to feel that we’re not giving anything our best self, because we’ve run out of steam and now we’re running on autopilot.
While you may not feel unhealthy, you’re not sick or suffering with any health complaint, can you really say that you’re living life with energy? vitality?
Why is nourishing your body so important?
By making simple steps to make sure you’re nourishing your body, means you have more in the tank. This doesn’t mean that you can now put even more on your plate. What it does mean is you can start doing what you’ve already signed up to more ease, less stress and less likely to be sick at every holiday. You begin to feel more in control and present in our everyday lives. You’re back in charge of our body. You can make better decisions on what you want and don’t want to do if you make them from a place of nourishment.
By taking the steps to nourish your body you will also see other positive benefits in areas that may be out of kilter. It allows you to thrive.
Here are six benefits beyond health that you will start to see once you start nourishing your body and start putting you first on your list (and you deserve this):
1. Better, longer lasting energy
Are you reaching out for a coffee first thing to get you going? Or having a chocolate bar (and coffee) at 3pm to get you through the afternoon slump? These are all signs that your energy system is out of balance and that you’re running on empty. We’ve been lead to believe that if we’ve a high powered, full-on job, or a young family with sleepless nights, or both that this is par of the course. We shouldn’t be anything less than exhausted.
But this is not true.
There are many reasons why your energy could be low, but knowing how to nourish your body with simple steps, making simple swaps in the food choices you make and in your routine around coffee, can have a powerful positive impact on your energy so you can power through your day and still have more to give yourself by the end.
By adding in foods such as protein and fiber those energy crashes will stop and your reliance on energy boosters and caffeine will disappear. Your mood will also become less erratic when your reliance on stimulants lessens and your sleep will also be more restful and settled.
Improved energy is one of the first benefits beyond better health that you’ll notice once you start nourishing your body. Even if you think your low energy is normal, that it’s supposed to be like this, trust me it’s not.
2. Better response to stress and less anxiety
Stress has a bad rep. We know it can increase risk of many health complaints. But did you know it can be a factor in weight gain, irritability, poor sleep and less energy?
Having so much on our plate and believing we should be able to do it all, can lead to adding more stress into our everyday lives. Long-term stressors can deplete the body of more nutrients as it tries to cope. These nutrients are also the ones the body uses to make energy, so all-in-all it can lead to more exhaustion as we try to keep up.
While we can’t banish stress, supporting the body with the foods our stress system needs to function properly can minimise any negative effects of stress. Adding nourishing foods such as leafy greens that are rich in magnesium, vitamin C and B-vitamins, all help to regulate Cortisol, one of the stress hormones. Adding in protein to snacks, or making sure there’s enough in each meal, helps to keep your energy levels balanced, as when our blood sugars are low, Cortisol is called on.
Nourishing the body to cope with stress not only supports long-term health but will help to balance energy and to lower weight gain around the tummy. It will also support better balanced hormones, as long-term stress knocks all of these out of balance.
3. More restful and restoring sleep
Lack of sleep, as I’m sure you know, can make everything else so much harder. When we’re tired we’re more inclined to eat more in an effort to boost our energy. Long-term it can negatively affect other aspect of our health such as heart disease and our ability to fight infections. Short term affects of little sleep have been equated to driving while over the legal limit of alcohol!
Sleep, like everything, can be disrupted due to other things that has happened during the day. If you feel it’s hard to fall asleep this could be due to the coffee you had at 3pm to get you through the afternoon slump or that your circadian rhythm is out of sync.
Or if you find you’re waking between and 4am, that could be due to your energy system being out of balance from the types of foods you’ve eaten that day.
Knowing how to nourish your body with different types of foods that balance your energy, have some basic rules around when and how much coffee you drink, and support your body’s natural body clock you will reap the benefits in better sleep, as well as health. You’ll start to wake up refreshed, ready for the day ahead.
4. Improved immunity
Does this sound familiar. You’ve been really busy at work and there’s a lot going on at home between events, family, kids activities – you name it. You’ve a holiday planned where you’re planning on rest and relaxation – bliss. Only once you get there, you’re sick for the first few days and it’s pure miserable!
This happens when we put our body under pressure for an extended period of time without supporting it with nourishing food or time-out. Then when the break comes, our body rejoices! Finally, it can start to take care of all that stuff it couldn’t do when it was busy keeping us going, and we get sick!
Nourishing the body with wholefoods such as plenty of brightly colour fruits and vegetables, even when we’re busy and life is full-on, will minimise this from happening. Nourishing food and practicing self-care gives the body the basic tools it needs to support immunity, so when you come to a full stop, your body doesn’t.
5. Naturally balanced weight
Adding in more nourishing foods as you see above will improve your energy and reduce the impact of stress on your body and this all adds up to balanced weight.
While I’m not into counting calories, nor do I expect my clients to either, with better food choices that keeps you going from one meal to the next, means you won’t be reaching out for those high-calorie, quick-fix snack that’s laden with sugar. Or indeed, actually eating 3 proper meals in a day, not skipping meals or restricting foods to the point where you’re over hungry or you ‘give-in’ and eat all around you. This naturally means your body will balance its weight without taking drastic measures.
In turn feeling energised will also leave you having the energy for a gym session after work, or a walk / jog around the football pitch while the kids are training. It all adds up to better balance for your weight, naturally.
6. Better periods, fertility and peri-menopause
As women our body’s go through many changes over a life-time. From starting our periods, to possibly supporting the growth and birthing a baby, to eventually everything going wild and crazy with our hormones eventually tapering off leaving us, well, feeling like we’ve come through a roller-coaster many times over.
No matter where you are in your hormonal cycle, diet and lifestyle can play a large role in how it affects us. Excess levels of oestrogen to progesterone, either from too much oestrogen or too little progesterone, can lead to worsening PMS symptoms and later to those trademarks of the peri-menopause of night sweats, weight gain, brain fog. While some PMS is normal, having increased PMS symptoms can really impact your daily life for longer than necessary through excess fatigue, cramping, bloating, headaches/migraines. When it comes to peri-menopause, these shifts in hormones can have us craving more sugar or refined carbs, and disrupt our sleep.
Increasing fiber supports our gut in balancing oestrogen effectively so it doesn’t build up and cause more havoc. Lowering stress and feeding the body to support it when stressed, will ensure progesterone stays at optimum levels. And overall having a wide range of heathy fats makes sure we have the building blocks to make our hormones in the first place.
Nourishing better hormone balance will create more energy, better weight, less PMS and overall better health.
Are you nourishing your body?
As busy, overstretched women we may come to regard low energy as something we have to put up with. That bad periods are ‘normal’. Or that creeping weight around our middle as a natural aging process.
You don’t have to put up with it. You deserve more.
Everyday life can be so much more than it is now. Taking those first steps to putting you first on your to-do list and taking some time out of your day to make sure you’re body is nourished can have profound knock-on effects.
If you know you need to start putting you first, but you don’t know where to start or you know what you should be doing but it’s just so overwhelming, then my Reclaim your Energy 5-day free challenge is for you.
Running from the 17th-21st of April 2023 I’ll take you through my basic 5 non-negotiables to better balanced energy through 5 daily tasks and daily support from me and a community of like-minded women.
After the 5 days you’ll walk away with a morning routine that will keep on giving and start you on your journey to thriving in your everyday.