The Reclaim Your Life Series for Busy Entrepreneurs
This is the first of a new weekly series. At the end of each post, look for the Take 5 for one easy way to infuse more wellness into your busy life.
Guest post by: Lisa Mair
Female entrepreneurs are pulled in so many directions that exceptional self care often becomes an afterthought. But if we want to forge ahead, successfully and enjoyably, for many years, in business and in life, self care needs to be the top priority. It’s hard to power on when you are depleted on every level.
As they say on the airplane, put on your own oxygen mask first!
The food you choose day in and day out literally can heal, repair, rebuild, and re-energize you.
It can even help you to feel happy and think more clearly! Who doesn’t need some of that? Below are five of my favorite nutrition “hacks” that make it so easy to amp up the nutrient density of our diets.
#1 Get green! Leafy green vegetables should be a much bigger part of our diets. They are rich in minerals, vitamins, and thousands of other phytonutrients that keep us healthy, lean, young, and strong.
- Simply throw a handful of organic raw baby spinach into your smoothie, you might see it, but you won’t taste it.
- Tear apart some organic kale, and add it to your soup or stew. You don’t even have to cook them, because the heat from the soup or stew will wilt the greens.
- Finally, you can enhance the flavor and dramatically boost the nutrition content of almost any dish by adding fresh superfood herbs like parsley or cilantro.
- Whenever possible, get organic greens, since the conventional ones are high in pesticide residues.
#2 Don’t forget the leafy greens of the sea! Sea vegetables are many times more nutrient dense than land vegetables, and contain an abundance of thyroid nourishing, metabolism-boosting iodine, as well as many other minerals and nutrients.
- Grab a bag of dulse flakes (that look like confetti) from your health food store. They are often found near Asian foods. Sprinkle them on your salads and on your meals. Start with a teaspoon and see how you like it, you can always add more.
- Another option is to buy Kelp flakes that come in a salt shaker, and sprinkle them on your foods like salt. A little goes a long way.
#3 Ramp up the raw. Incorporating more raw (uncooked) produce into your diet will infuse you with raw energy! Cooking destroys nutrients and enzymes, so raw foods are much richer in vitamins and enzymes than cooked food, and are far more hydrating. A do-able and effective goal is 50% raw. To reach that goal, every day try to include:
- A smoothie with greens, berries, a banana, and whatever other goodies you like.
- At least one big salad.
- Fresh fruit or veggies as a snack.
- Veggies with most meals.
- Experiment with raw recipes at your meals. They are vibrant and surprisingly delicious! Carol Alt wrote a couple small raw food books with easy recipes that don’t require special equipment.
- Some side effects of raw foods are off the charts energy, digestion perfection, luminous skin, and exuberance!
#4 Upgrade your grains. Replace empty calorie, allergenic breads and pastas with nourishing whole grains. Quinoa, a crowd favorite, has been sustaining warriors and endurance athletes for a millennium! It has a light, neutral flavor that complements almost any dish, is quick cooking (12 minutes vs 45 minutes for brown rice), and is rich in complete protein. Cook 2 cups of rinsed quinoa according to package directions, and store it in a bowl in your refrigerator. Then you have a fulfilling add-on for almost any meal.
- For a satiating, anti-inflammatory, gluten free, whole grain breakfast, add a ½ cup cooked quinoa to a bowl, along with a sprinkle of cinnamon, a tablespoon of ground flax seed or hemp seeds, a tablespoon of raisins, a sprinkle of walnuts, a half of a sliced banana, and plant milk to your liking. Vary this recipe according to your preferences and available ingredients.
- For lunch and dinner, you can add a scoop of plain quinoa to your salad, soup, stew, or stir fry.
#5 Rethink the drink. We often don’t realize how our caffeinated, sugar-laden, chemical infused beverages are depleting us. And most people don’t appreciate how dependant our energy is on hydration. A 2-3% drop in hydration results in a 20-30% drop in energy levels, fuzzy thinking, and problems doing simple math.
- Start your day off on the right foot with a big glass of room temperature water with a wedge of lemon squeezed in. This will hydrate, alkalize, and cleanse your liver and digestive tract.
- Instead of a coffee, try an organic green tea or better yet, organic matcha green tea. You’ll get a little boost from the caffeine (but not the adrenal-depleting dose found in coffee) as well as some seriously anti-inflammatory and healing nutrients.
- Instead of a sugary, acidifying soda, try kombucha! Kombucha is a fermented Japanese tea that contains an energizing array of nutrients, enzymes, probiotics, and more. You can get them in the cold section of most grocery stores, health food stores, and even Target. There are many flavors to choose from. The ones with chia seeds are especially energizing. (Note: Don’t shake up the kombucha!)
- Sip water all day (about every half hour) to keep your energy flowing and brain working right up until bedtime.
Me: These are all amazing tips, but for a mere mortal like me, what one super-easy Take 5 would you start with to infuse your work day with more energy:
Lisa: Oy. That’s a hard choice! I want to go with #1 to get more greens, because most of us do need more, but I think I have to go with the simple suggestion to sip water all day. I chose that one because you will notice that you feel more clarity and energy the very same day you do it. Then hopefully, you’ll have the energy to try some of the other suggestions… starting with more greens.
Thanks to my friend and colleague Lisa Mair for this guest post. Lisa is a Health Coach, Yoga Teacher, Vegan Activist, and All-around Amazing Difference Maker. She has a Masters Degree in Nutrition, is a Certified Holistic Health Coach through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, a 500-hour Kripalu Yoga Instructor, and co-leads the Ultimate Rejuvenation Cleanse (www.urcleansing.com).
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