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{READ} The Building Blocks of Flow Magic | Nutrition and Sleep

Small lifestyle changes can have a big impact and increase your chance of hormone balance and Flow Magic.

But, frankly, a lot of people don’t start taking care of themselves until something happens or they hit some level of wellness rock bottom.

But I know you sister, and if you want to avoid a life full of dis-ease, heed my warnings!

It's Not Easy but It's Worth It

I HATE when people say that living a healthy lifestyle isn’t easy. While I agree that it can be hard to say no to a can of soda or a larger portion of fries, resisting these temptations will bring you so many great benefits- balanced hormones is just one of them.

You can increase your energy levels, maximize your efforts and sleep better just by eating the right foods, starting with a healthy breakfast. 

One of the tenants I impart to my clients is that it’s important to develop healthy habits regardless of your genetic makeup. Sure you can’t change your DNA but you can change your lifestyle- that is 100% within your control.

Pay attention to every bite you take: eat more proteins and less empty carbs. In fact, I am a proponent of the PALEO DIET as it eliminates many inflammatory and hormonally upsetting usual suspects- bad fat, processed foods, inflammatory grains and ash producing beans and legumes.

DOWNLOAD MY FREE 7-DAY PALEO MEAL PLAN

Maintaining the right diet is tricky is you are always having to check food labels for nutritional information, instead, your focus should be on eating whole foods free of packaging. And choose to be mindful about what you put in your mouth- think deeply about your food if you really want to be healthy. This isn’t to say that you become obsessive, but you should be thinking about how what you put in your mouth can impact your hormonal health, whether negatively or positively.

ASK YOURSELF, "Is this a net gain or a net loss in terms of nutritional value? Ie. What am I getting out of this other than flavour?"

It's a Lifestyle

People go on diets assuming they’ll reach a specific end point. For example, they might hope to lose ten pounds by avoiding carbohydrates for two months. Diets are thus short-term; reframe your mindset and think of it as a new lifestyle- IT FOR LIFE.

Long-term healthy eating means determining for yourself whether your food has a positive or negative effect on your body (hormones, digestion, immunity etc.) The quality of what you eat is, by and large, more important than the quantity. Don’t just rely on counting calories – there’s a lot more to your food than that. When you focus solely on calories, a big piece of the puzzle is missed. A pack of Thinsations may only be 100 calories, but they are also full of bad fats, preservatives and artificial colour and flavour; if you focus solely on calories you would be likely to think Thinsations were healthy- but you know better sister!

SLEEP

Sleep is a favourite subject of mine, as I believe for most women endeavouring to balance their hormones stress and fatigue can have a dramatic effect on their ability to reach their wellness goals. So it goes without saying that getting enough sleep is a crucial part of staying healthy and productive.

The Glamour of Busy

Few people get a proper amount of sleep these days. Sure, we’re all busy – but sleep is one thing you should never neglect. There’s a common misconception that people who sleep less are harder workers; they stay up all night because they’re endlessly productive; this is a false sense of logic that has trapped the 21st century woman in a body that isn’t running optimally.

While staying up until 5:00 a.m. to prepare for the next morning’s presentation might sound like dedication, it’s actually quite the opposite. You’re less alert when, you won’t be nearly as good as you thought you would be if you had just gotten a good night’s sleep. In fact, studies have shown that losing just 90 minutes of sleep decreases your alertness by one-third. 

There’s an unfortunate reason most of us don’t get enough sleep. In our fast-paced society, sleep is viewed as a sign of weakness- though when you work with me, a sign of strength is a woman who knows how much sleep she needs and GET IT!

Smart People Sleep

The highest-performing people actually tend to have healthy sleeping habits. You may have heard of the famous study that found that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become brilliant at something. But did you know that same study also found that top performers get an average of eight hours and 36 minutes of sleep each night?

By comparison, the average American sleeps only six hours and 51 minutes on weeknights. Sleep is a vital part of reaching your goals, so don’t write it off as a sign of laziness. 

Quality AND Quantity

Quality is just as important as quantity when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep.

Have you ever felt tired, even after sleeping for nine or ten hours? Sleep is an instinctive act and we all do it, but it’s still something you can improve.

Since it’s such a fundamental part of your health, it’s important to sleep with efficiency. Efficient sleep is the time when you’re really sleeping, and not just tossing and turning in bed. Some people might lie in bed for nine hours but only get five hours of real sleep. 

The Rapid Eye Movement (REM) phase is the most important part of efficient sleep. This is when your brain processes your thoughts and memories, putting them into perspective for you. REM sleep also plays a key role in overcoming difficult or traumatic events. 

There are a few strategies to use for getting adequate REM sleep. 

  • Limit your use of the snooze button. It’s easy to think we treating ourselves to an extra hour or half hour of sleep each morning, but that extra sleep is useless if it’s broken up every five minutes. Be realistic, set your alarm to go off at the latest possible time; let yourself get as much sleep as you can, but quit with the snooze button already.
  • Limit exposure to artificial light before you go to bed. Artificial light has a negative impact on melatonin, which is key in regulating your sleep cycle. So if you read before bed, use a small reading lamp, and try not to watch TV or go on the computer just before you sleep. 
  • A good night’s sleep impacts your health in a number of ways. In fact, research has shown that people with low sleep efficiency are 5.5 times more likely than efficient sleepers to develop a cold; and those who skimp on sleep are more likely to suffer from anxiety, weight issues and, surprise surprise, hormonal imbalances.

If you are a confirmed night owl, it’s time to change your ways; get some shut eye and rise to your healthiest and highest self!