Overhauling your diet and lifestyle can certainly help your health and wellbeing but so can a few small changes and at Sari Foods we are all about keeping it simple.
With the start of a brand new year, we're taking the opportunity to have a good clear out. Reinforcing and maintaining some healthy habits and also making some subtle changes as we continually reflect on what constitutes healthy living as well as what works on a individual basis.
Here are our top 5 easy to implement tips that can help you too, to focus and prioritizing yourself and your health in 2017.
1. Start each day with a smoothie.
We've said it before and we'll say it again - this is the absolute key to starting the day on the right foot.
The basic recipe we follow is 1 cup of almond milk, 1/2 frozen banana, 1 cup of mixed berries (whatever your preference, we like raspberries, blueberries, strawberries and over the festive period we've been using cranberries), 1 cup spinach/kale, 1 tbsp plant based protein powder, 1 tbsp nut butter or coconut oil, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract and 1/4 tsp organic cinnamon. Using a smoothie base like this means you're balancing your fats and protein against your carbs and slowing the release of sugar in to your blood stream. Plus, you're getting a portion of veg before your day has even started which can surely only be a good thing.
From this base, you can add in your choice of superfoods. You can be creative here but we tend to add in 1 tsp Sari Foods Organic Spirulina, 1 tsp Sari Foods Natural Vitamin C Powder, 1 tsp Sari Foods Organic Wheatgrass Powder, 1 tsp Chia Seeds, 1 tsp Organic Gelatinized Maca Powder (watch this space for our new favorite brand... ;) ) and 1 tsp Organic Acai Powder (watch this space too...).
Not only will a perfectly balanced smoothie nourish your body but it will keep you full until lunch which leads nicely on to our next point...
2. Make sure your nutrient combo's are on point.
Thinking about your nutrient combination can make a big difference. For example, you can help your body with the absorption of carbohydrates by consuming them alongside protein and fats which can prevent spikes in your blood sugars and can encourage levels to rise and fall slowly, and which may help you to feel fuller for longer. Furthermore, by also eating healthy fats with each meal, you facilitate the absorption of fat soluble vitamins.
In addition, it is important to ensure that you are consuming the right amount of protein and amino acids in your diet because they work as the building blocks of the body. The body uses protein to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals and protein is an important constituent of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. It is particularly important for growing children, pregnant women, sporty types, or if you’re recovering from an illness or injury.
Protein digests more slowly than carbohydrates, so it helps to release energy into your bloodstream gradually, keeping you fuller for longer. For this reason it can help you maintain a healthy weight, keep your energy levels up, your blood sugars stable and your hormones balanced. Ensuring you are consuming the correct amount of protein for your body type and activity levels can encourage overall health and provide a whole range of vitamins and minerals.
One more thing to consider on nutrition is the synergy of certain vitamins. For example, Vitamin C is a powerful enhancer of Iron absorption so taking them together is a great idea.
3. Swap Sari Foods Non-fortified Nutritional Yeast for cheese, salt or anything else used for flavor.
2 heaping tablespoons of our Nutritional Yeast contains 60 calories, is full of fiber and protein, is gluten free, dairy free and has a taste described as “cheesy,” “nutty,” “savory” and “umami.”. It will also boost your consumption of all important amino acids. Sari Foods Non-Fortified Nutritional Yeast can be used on top of pasta as a substitute for parmesan, as the base for dairy-free mac and cheese, or folded into mashed potatoes for a flavor boost. We love it sprinkled on just about everything and it is bound to become your secret weapon in maintaining a healthy weight.
4. Drink plenty and stay hydrated.
It's easy to overlook, but choosing healthier drinks is a key part of getting a balanced diet and lets face it, your body needs water for proper functioning. Many people don’t realize just how important water really is. The human body is made up of 2/3 water and when we lose just a little bit through sweat or elimination, and we don't replenish the liquid lost, we’ll begin to notice the effects right away.
You've probably heard that sometimes when you feel hungry, you are actually thirsty so to help prevent unnecessary (and inappropriate) snacking, encourage yourself to drink more. Fight dehydration by adding Sari Foods Organic Vitamin C Acerola cherry powder to your water bottle for a healthy energy boost. By drinking more fluids, you can also support your electrolyte balance.
5. Protect your gut health.
Last but not least... Did you know that 80% of your immune system is in your gut? And when probiotics (the good guys) are abundant in your body, it becomes harder for the bad guys to settle in? Looking after you digestive system is another very important part of maintain optimum health.
Studies show that people with a less diverse set of gut bacteria are more likely to have weight and metabolic issues so you can support your ideal weight by supporting your gut flora. So load your diet with gut healthy foods such as: yoghurt, kefir, sauerkraut, tempeh, wheatgrass, spirulina and miso.
By implementing and focussing on sticking at these 5 small changes, you're sure to set yourself up for success. Its difficult to go from the festive season with its excess of food and drink, refined sugar, synthetic additives, a lack of movement and an over indulgence in alcohol, to kale, running and teetotal evenings. Its not going to happen overnight and you're more likely to stick to any changes if you make small differences, gradually. Start by trying to walk more, take the stairs instead of the lift, eat as natural as you can with lots of soups, stews and warm salads and don't forget, we are always happy to help. Feel free to email us for advice or with any comments or questions you may have.
Lots of peace, love and New Year Hope from the Sari Foods family.