By Monika Bock
One of the things I always tell my clients is, “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” – meaning to have enough energy to do all the countless things you do everyday you need to ensure that you have yourself taken care of first. Without supporting yourself, there is no way that you can function to the extraordinary capacity that you are capable of. Sure you can “survive” on only 5 hours of sleep and the left-overs from dinner but is that sustainable in the long term? Taking care of yourself isn’t selfish, it’s necessary. There are many ways to fill your cup: proper nutrition, enough sleep, lifestyle choices, your family and friends. Today we’ll be exploring nutrition as a way to ensure that your cup stays full.
Eating clean is something that I am passionate about as a holistic nutritionist. Does this mean that I don’t eat chocolate or have glass of wine? No, it does mean that almost every food I choose is a whole food that doesn’t come out of a package (I am also talking about veggies wrapped in cellophane at the market) and that I put together for a meal. Timing, you may be thinking. When do I have the time to prepare? It does take some adjustment as any change might, but the pay off in energy in focus is worth it. Any time you ingest something that has been processed your digestive system has to go into overdrive to metabolize the ingredients. When we are talking about added flavoring and excess amounts of sugar this is a burden you can easily relieve your liver from having to go through.
Some tips to clean up your diet to benefit you, increase your energy and support your body:
1) Eliminate added sugar: This is an easy addition and one I suggest to all my clients. The “sugar roller coaster” can be a real issue and sugar releases a feel good sensation, has been shown to be addictive, and can cause binge eating because the leptin hormone (the one that tells our brain we’ve consumed enough) doesn’t turn on. The real issue is the ADDED sugar in most foods that you buy and all the names that sugar can be substituted with. From “healthy” foods: flavored bio-yogurt & nut butters to salad
dressings, cereal, bread rolls, ketchup, jarred pesto, flavored water or sparkling juice
(there is a whopping 30g of sugar in a 500ml bottle of “Apfelschorle.”) Read the labels!
If sugar (Zucker, Glucose, Rüben Zucker, etc.) is in the first three ingredients put it back
on the shelf. You may have withdrawals as you cut it out, but give yourself some time
and arm yourself with healthy alternatives like a cut up apple, celery with almond butter,
2) Eat More Greens: It’s summer and fresh greens are in abundance, up your green intake and try some new veggies. From Rucola to Fresh Salanova Lettuce, (one of the easiest to prepare) you will be increasing your fiber intake which will help keep things moving as well as removing any bad bacteria from your colon. A balance of soluble (brussel sprouts, beetroot, asparagus) and insoluble (Celery, lettuce, cabbage & onions) fiber is best.
3) Take time to chew your food: Chewing your food properly not only starts the digestive process but it helps food & nutrients be assimilated by the body (your saliva actually contains enzymes that aid digestion). When we gulp our food or do the proverbial bite & swallow we are complicating our digestion and in turn making it harder for your stomach to break down the food that we eat. This goes hand in hand with sitting down and eating your meal – which can look differently in different homes. Ideally, you would all sit down together for a meal but often this is not reality when you are juggling a household with small children. This may end up looking like you either eating before (more ideal) or after you have fed your family. Do not skip this step. Ask for help from your partner or support system to have 10-20! minutes to enjoy your meal. Getting a balance of protein, healthy fats and a mix of carbohydrates (all the colors of the rainbow in veggies) on your plate should be a goal at every meal time. Whole food smoothies are a great way to get your greens and protein in an easy form, however ensure that you don’t rush to swallow It down but sit and sip it slowly.
4) Batch Cooking: This is not a new method, but a tried and true way to increase efficiency in the kitchen. Using fresh ingredients and cooking double or even triple the recipe will alleviate stress when it comes to meal time. Cooking a whole chicken gives you the option of having chicken salad the next day or putting together some chicken tacos for lunch. Roasting a large amount of vegetables that your kids enjoy will make dinner faster if you simply need to warm them in the pan instead of turning the oven on every night for 40 minutes.
Starting with small steps that are manageable will help to ensure success. Incorporate one of the above methods and create a new habit. You will find that you have more energy, a clearer mind and be able to tackle whatever the day might have in store for you. As we move into summer, that means more sunshine and time outdoors.
Monika Bock is a holistic nutritionist based in Munich, she is the owner of Nourish-Alō Holistic Nutrition and whose motto is Nourish/Thrive/Sustain. Monika works with a diverse clientele with various health concerns and goals making changes that are both positive and sustainable over time. Batch cooking is something she does regularly on the weekends after going to the Saturday farmer’s market in Munich. Acknowledging that EveryBODY is different and people have individual needs, she addresses these needs through a whole food nutrition program and lifestyle change approach.
Reduced rates available for Über Moms
Special Über Moms workshops, “Eating healthy in Munich (An ex-pat’s guide to navigating the search for & using healthy foods), Sugar the good, the bad and why & Clean Eating for Healthy Kids”, are upcoming. See her poll Here For upcoming dates. More information or questions on upcoming workshops: firstname.lastname@example.org