Body confidence is a complex issue and feeling happy in your own skin can be no easy task. Exercise is only one part of the formula but food, drink and a positive approach to your lifestyle are key to bringing you closer to achieving your body goals. My love for all things healthy started young after being a poorly child and then through my need to support my dance training and career. Food was my fuel that nourished and kept me strong, lean, energized and focused.
I created the LDM Nutritional & Lifestyle programme to supplement clients training needs and to offer those who wanted nutritional advice, help and support. I promote an alkaline focused, two week Reset that’s individual to all clients needs and strips your eating and drinking habits back to basics. I love food and promote a balanced approach, with great ingredients and products, everything in moderation and healthy eating is enjoyable and available to all. There is a vast list of allowable foods to keep you satisfied. An abundance of green vegetables, good fats, protein, good grains and pseudocereals with anti-oxidant packed fruits. The LDM Reset is a way of 'Spring cleaning' the body in much the same way you need a break from work. Your body needs a chance to recharge and balance out any inflammation.
Below are some nutritional nuggets to start adding to your diet and routine to kick start your body confidence.
Nugget 1 – Fish Oil
Is my first supplement recommendation to clients. Fish oil has so many benefits including weight loss, joint, skin and immune health plus contributing to cardiovascular, brain and visual health. The essential fats in fish oil are used by our bodies and allows for better insulin sensitivity, which is the principle factor in fat loss. If we have poor insulin sensitivity we have a difficult time losing fat. I love BARE BIOLOGY as they produce the finest Omega 3, clinical strength oil ‘Lionheart’ available in liquid and high strength capsules. When looking for a fish oil you want to invest in the best you can afford. Check for both EPA and DHA and that the oil is from sustainably sourced fish from clean, wild waters. Bare Biology have all the above plus they put their oil through an advanced distillation process that ensures the oil remains in its natural triglyceride form – so your body can absorb it in the most efficient way.
Nugget 2 – Go Green
Increase your intake of leafy greens. These are alkaline superfoods that add balance back into your diet and are perfect for calming any inflammation. If it’s green and a vegetable eat it! Go easy on fruit and stick to fresh figs, apples, berries, grapefruit, pineapples and pomegranates. Try and cut down on your starchy foods and mix up your meals. BIOGLAN have created RAAW JUICE POWDER SACHETS. Bioglan ‘Go Green’ is packed with essential supergreens and carefully blended to maintain and protect their vital nutrients. No nasties or added extras, just the purest ingredients. Add a sachet to water, coconut water or a smoothie. Perfect for travel or popping in your bag whilst on the go, no excuse to miss out on your greens!
Nugget 3 – Water
Stay hydrated with herbal teas and filtered or bottled water. If you are increasing your fitness levels and working up a sweat replace lost electrolytes with potassium rich coconut water post-workout.
Nugget 4 – Coconuts
They not only hydrate but inject good fats into your diet. Coconut lowers blood glucose levels, raises metabolism, suppresses appetite plus they are also the major lead in Alzheimer’s research boosting brain function. There are some wonderful products on the market including VITA COCO coconut oil, sparkling coconut water by JAX COCO and RHYTHM produce Coconut Kefir. COYO not only produce delicious dairy-free yoghurts but also a range of ice-creams. Look out for coconut sugar as your sugar replacement. It has a lower glycaemic index compared to the regular refined versions so definitely worth the switch.
Nugget 5 – Gut Health
Digestive issues can be caused by a mix of problems, poor diet, stress and food sensitivities are just a few culprits. It’s hard to generalize all gut issues but below are some guidelines I follow to keep the healthy bacteria happy:
Avoid processed foods as they can kill off healthy bacteria. When switching to a healthier lifestyle be wary of ‘free-from’ foods as they aren’t necessarily a healthier option.
Avoid excessive stress, alcohol and antibiotics as these in particular can disrupt your gut leaving you vulnerable to infection.
Introduce more probiotic or fermented foods into your diet for long term gut health. Sauerkraut, kombucha, kimchi and kefir are great probiotics to try. These foods re-balance gut bacteria aiding weight loss, hormonal imbalances and nutrient absorption. Another option is to take a probiotic supplement daily. Select live, refrigerated brands with a high bacterial strains like lactobacillus and bifidobacterium. UDO’S CHOICE MICROBIOTICS ADULT BLEND or POLIQUIN’S PROFLORA EXCELLENCE are excellent, trusted brands.
Nugget 6 – Sleep
We should all be aiming to get at least seven hours sleep per night. Surviving on less can lead to problems such as weight gain, learning and memory problems, immune issues to diabetes and depression. We want to aim for 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep to leave us rested and rejuvenated. By maintaining a regular sleep pattern the body has time to complete all it’s tasks from repairing muscle tissue, balancing out blood sugar levels and hormones to regulating appetite and energy levels. Create the right environment for a good nights shut eye with a cool, dark room. Eat a light evening meal that is high in magnesium and avoid sugary, spicy foods that stimulate. Coffee and other stimulants should be avoided after 4pm. Avoid using your smart phone or tablet before bed as the blue light they emit is also a stimulant that interferes with our natural sleep patterns. Try PUKKA’S NIGHT TIME TEA or include some magnesium high foods such as spinach, swiss chard or pumpkin seeds in your evening meal. Taking a soak in a bath rich in magnesium salts will help you unwind as well as soothing your muscles and joints after a long day. BETTER YOU have a great range of magnesium products. I love the GOODNIGHT OIL spray as its ideal for a restful nights sleep.
Try adding these six nuggets into your diet and lifestyle now. Small changes can really make all the difference and take you one or six steps closer to feeling body confident. The LDM Nutritional & Lifestyle guide & Reset will soon be available in pdf format to purchase. Watch this space!