There’s nothing quite like the start of a new decade to motivate us to pursue our goals and ambitions. But checking things off your to-do list won’t happen if you’re not feeling your best. If you want to achieve your goals this year, you have to ensure your mind and body are ready for the tasks ahead.
Iron Rich Diet
Iron is a dietary mineral that plays a crucial role in our health. It carries oxygen through our blood and helps keep our immune system strong, giving us much of the energy we need for day-to-day tasks.
Iron that is found in meat is most easily absorbed by our bodies when eating foods such as beef, lamb, kangaroo, chicken or fish, with offal products such as kidney or liver being particularly iron-rich. Plenty of vegetarian foods are also good sources of iron, such as legumes, wholegrains and dark green vegetables like collards greens and swiss chard.
You can help your body get the most iron from the food you eat by increasing Vitamins C and A in your diet and by cooking your veggies rather than eating them raw. Steering clear of too much coffee, tea and wine helps, as these contain tannins that interfere with iron absorption.
Improve Digestion with High Fibre Foods
Fibre is a carbohydrate that helps keep our complex digestive systems functioning properly. It regulates bowel movements, promotes good bacteria in our guts, keeps us feeling fuller for longer and helps lower cholesterol and stabilise blood sugar levels.
The best way to keep a fibre-rich diet is to eat a variety of plant-based foods. Getting two serves of fruit and five serves of vegetables every day is vital and it’s just as important to eat wholegrains such as oats, buckwheat, quinoa, barley and rice.
You can also boost your fibre intake by adding a sprinkling of bran, psyllium, seeds or nuts to your fruit and yoghurt, like our Daily Multi Breakfast Toppers.
While we sleep our body restores itself for the next day, working on vital functions such as our immune systems and hormone levels. Getting good quality sleep doesn’t just improve your mood and increase energy for the day ahead, it boosts your overall health.
If you’re having trouble with sleep, try reducing noise and light levels in your room. Ensure you’ve got fresh sheets and a cool room, as high temperatures can make falling asleep a lot harder.
Incorporate exercise into your day and drink a nice, soothing herbal tea before bed. Practice mindfulness and breathing exercises such as alternate nostril breathing to clear your mind and help you relax and try to stick to a sleeping routine as much as possible.
If you’re not keeping hydrated, you won’t simply feel thirsty or exhibit physical symptoms such as muscle cramps and tiredness. Your mood could be altered as well, while headaches and dizziness are also common. Hydration plays a key role in maintaining energy levels by keeping our muscles energised and supporting the healthy function of all our organs.
To keep well hydrated, ensure you’re choosing water over soft drinks and other beverages like alcohol that are high in sugar. If you’re not used to drinking lots of water throughout the day, try sparkling mineral water or adding mint leaves or citrus slices for a touch of flavour. You can also boost your daily fluid intake through herbal teas, soups and broths, and fruits and vegetables.
While exercising requires energy, it’s also one of the best ways to boost your energy levels in the long-term! When we’re sedentary for too long, our bodies lower energy production and leave us feeling tired and unmotivated.
Getting your body moving in any way is an excellent way to boost your energy - you’ll find yourself less stressed, more focused and much more motivated.
If you’re struggling to get your body moving, try something new! Maybe running isn’t the best choice for you, but dancing or playing tennis might be a better option. Take a friend along to a yoga or pilates class - having an exercise buddy is a great way to stay motivated and accountable to your goals. And if you’re really stuck, just walking around for a minute or doing a quick stretch can instantly perk you up!
Reducing sugar consumption
Feelings of fatigue are often linked to high blood sugar levels. Excess sugar consumption can lead to a number of health problems with wide-ranging effects, from decreased mood and focus to serious illnesses like diabetes and heart disease.
Sugar can be highly addictive so it can be hard to kick the habit, especially when added sugar can be found in unlikely sources such as condiments, yoghurts and even snacks that are marketed as healthy options.
By choosing unprocessed foods as much as possible, cooking at home rather than regularly eating take-away and being mindful of the ingredients on packaged food items, you’ll be on your way to reducing your sugar consumption.
If you’ve got a sweet tooth and can’t fight the cravings, opt for healthier options - fruit, dark chocolate and treats like our Natural Peanut Butter Bars or Protein Pancakes will satisfy your cravings without skyrocketing your blood sugar levels!
P.S. Please note the advice provided is general advice, please consult with a health-care professional before making any changes to your diet.