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7 Nutritional deficiencies on a vegan diet

A plant-based diet has many benefits for animal welfare, health and the planet. However, our bodies have a demand for certain nutrients that are either not available in plant-based food or if they are, are in forms that are difficult to absorb into the blood stream.

Top sources of fibre

Dietary fibre is a must-have component in our diet. Over and over again research has proven that it makes us healthier, prevents certain diseases and helps us to live longer.

Top tips for control freaks

Control Freak is an attitude that if the job is going to be done properly, then you must either do the job yourself or must exert control over other people and situations to get the job done. The Control Freak mindset is one that tells them that they are the only ones that know how to do it.

Here are some top tips on calming the control freak attitude:

Manage how you respond to ‘stress’

Exercises Relaxation classes Yoga, Tai Chi and meditation classes provide a good opportunity to calm and relax the body whilst doing gentle exercise. They teach breathing techniques that that you can incorporate into your everyday life. Stress reduction exercise Gentler…

How to prevent burnout

Burnout is a state of emotional, physical and mental exhaustion which leaves you feeling at rock bottom, alone and unable to cope. It can happen to the best of us, but especially the ones that are driven to succeed, go the extra mile or who throw everything they have at life and career.

Diet and lifestyle tips when you’ve burnt out

If you’ve been experiencing a particularly stressful time that’s left you feeling exhausted and no longer able to cope, there’s every chance that you’ve burnt out. This is no fun.

Here are some tips on how to overcome the impact too much stress has had on your body and how to recover and rebuild your resilience again.

Diet and lifestyle tips when you’re overworking

When life and work become crazy busy and it’s starting to overwhelm you, then it’s critical that you make yourself as physically resilient as you can. Stress triggers cortisol, the stress hormone, and high levels of cortisol place an added burden on your body. What and how you eat can have a profound effect of how well you cope.

Here are some tips on how to stay healthy when times get stressful.

Adaptogenic herbs for stress

Adaptogens are a unique class of herbs used in Chinese and Ayurvedic traditional medicine for centuries that help you adapt to the effects of stress you’re experiencing and restore your body once it has passed.

They work to bring your adrenal system back into balance, helping you to overcome the mental, physical and emotional impact of stress such as fatigue, brain fog, anxiety and suppressed immune function and increasing your endurance. They do this by influencing the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and the sympathoadrenal system, modulating the release of stress hormones such as cortisol.

Using affirmations to reframe feelings of stress

An affirmation is a positive sentence that describes the way you want to be. This could be a challenge you need to overcome or the negative thoughts and self-talk in your mind. Research has found that affirmations, no matter how short, help people to find ways out of problems they are experiencing. They also built self-confidence and self-esteem, having a positive impact on mental health.

Affirmations should focus upon a specific aspect of your behaviour or performance and can be based on your goals.

Top tips for changing perfectionist attitudes

Perfectionists have a set of distorted beliefs and rules that drive them to put pressure on themselves to achieve unrealistically high standards. These thoughts, even though they may never have been proposed or endorsed by their manager, employer or family, convince them that it is only by reaching these standards that people will think well of them and provide them with opportunities for recognition and advancement.

Here are some tips for changing a perfectionist attitude.

Switch off your inner critic

Your inner Critic is the voice inside your head that judges and criticises you. Instead of allowing you to reflect on a mistake or poor outcome and directing you to how you can improve, this self-talk generates negative attitudes about yourself that dampen your mood, emotions, self-confidence and self-esteem

Here are some tips on how you can switch off your inner critic.

Overcome imposter syndrome

Imposter Syndrome is a type of self-doubt where you feel a fraud; that one day people will come to and realise that you don’t actually know as much as you have lead them to believe you do, and that you’re not worthy to be there.

It’s not unusual, especially amongst high achievers and it isn’t a problem, unless it starts to inhibit you from putting yourself forward for something new and challenging. Watch out though, people who experience Imposter Syndrome, usually work much harder to demonstrate they are worthy of being there. This puts you in danger of burning out.

Here are some tips on how to overcome Imposter Syndrome.

Just say no

If you can’t say no to someone’s request for assistance then you’re likely to be a ‘People Pleaser’.

People Pleasers have an inner belief that declining someone’s request for help will result in consequences that are too much to bear, particularly if the request comes from someone more senior in authority. These self-fabricated consequences are rarely grounded in fact yet the ironic thing is that taking on these extra demands puts them in a position of risking burnout and if this happens, relationships become strained, their careers stall and the feelings of helplessness and despair are far worse than a momentary feeling of guilt.

Here are some tips on how you can say no.

How to reframe negative thoughts into positive thoughts

A Negative Thinker attitude is a subconscious irrational thought process where you look to the bad and discount the good. It creates a distorted version of reality, not caused by the situation itself but by the interpretation put on it by established personal beliefs, emotions (particularly fear) and standards. As Winston Churchill said, “The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty”.

Here are some tips on how to change your mindset from negative to positive:

How to laugh more everyday

As the saying goes, “Laughter is the best medicine.” And it’s true. Laughter is a healer. It increases blood flow to the brain, making you more alert. It reduces sympathetic nervous system activity, switching you to the more relaxed parasympathetic nervous system, and, in so doing, reduces stress hormones and eases anxiety and tension. It strengthens immunity again and increases endorphins – the feel-good hormones. Laughter boosts mental wellbeing, and all in all it’s absolutely fabulous!

Here are some tips on how to bring more laughter into your life.

How to grow your self-esteem

Self-esteem is the way you feel about yourself. It’s the overall emotional evaluation of your sense of self-worth or personal value and is founded on the beliefs you have about yourself. Self-esteem is also heavily influenced by the impact you allow other people and situations to have on you. Here are some tips to grow your self-esteem.

How to feel more motivated

Motivation is the feeling you get when you willingly and confidently do something that needs to be done. It’s about wanting to do it, whether it’s because you need to (it fulfils a basic survival need), you fear looking stupid, or it excites you so you’ll feel pleasure and reward.

Here are a few ideas on how to jump-start your motivation:

How to enhance your self-awareness

Self-awareness is the capacity to reflect on yourself and identify and understand the meaning of the different aspects that make up ‘you’. These features include personality, thoughts, habits, motivations, feelings, emotions and behaviours. In other words, it is asking yourself ‘who am I?’

Understanding of the dimensions that make up you, enables you to read them in others and as a result, recognise the impact you could have on others. It’s key to creating powerful relationships.

How to develop visualisation techniques

Visualisation is a technique whereby you create an image in your mind of a real or unreal situation. It helps you to bring your dreams and goals alive.

The aim of visualisation is to bring to mind an image of a powerful performance. It allows you to imagine all aspects of the process that leads to a successful outcome. Effective visualisation includes what is seen, heard and felt (by touch and emotion), smelt and tasted.

Although it requires some practice to perfect the technique, it is a valuable way to rehearse a more positive and successful event or feeling. It boosts self-confidence, motivation and energy and may even lead to more successful outcomes.

Here is a visualisation technique for you to practise.

How to become more socially connected

Social Isolator is an attitude that says you need to separate yourself from others for the time being. As humans we thrive best when we connect with others. We release oxytocin, often referred to as the ‘love hormone’. The giving and receiving of attention and love not only feeds our reward system but it also reduces the stress hormone, cortisol, making us feel stronger, happier and more resilient.

Although being alone can be helpful for reflection and recovery, it is only beneficial when it is a for a short time. Prolonged social isolation, with no beneficial gain, is physically, mentally and emotionally harmful. It triggers negative thoughts, emotions and feelings so the more you isolate yourself, the more anxious, depressed and low you will feel.

Here are some tips on how you can be more socially connected.

How to be kind to yourself

Life can be tough, and we often put everyone and everything before ourselves. You’re no good to anyone if you collapse and to be honest you only have one body and one life so you need to nurture it.

Here are some tips on how you can be more kind to yourself.

Healing from strong emotional reactions and pain

There are times when emotional pain can be too intense or overwhelming. If this is the case and in order to help you cope, then you need to practice techniques that will help you successfully detach from the situation.

Here are some examples of detachment techniques. They become easier and better if practiced for a few minutes a day for several weeks. It is even more powerful to practice these techniques while maintaining a deep sense of calm and relaxation.

Build your self-confidence

Self-confidence is defined as ‘How we feel, in general, about our ability to perform in roles, functions, tasks and situations’. Feeling confident generates an expectation that you’ll succeed.

Here are some tips to grow your self-confidence.

Tips for incorporating exercise into your work life

Sitting in front of a computer all day can make for a very sedentary lifestyle and this isn’t good for your health and wellbeing. If this is the case then it’s important to find any possible opportunity to become more active.

Here are some tips on how you can incorporate more activity into your work life.

Be aware of your self-talk

Your self-talk is that little voice chattering away to you in your head. It’s telling you things about yourself – typically how you perceive yourself and what you must/mustn’t, should/shouldn’t do. This internal chatter is an interference that uses up vital energy, blocks other thinking processes and stifles creativity.

Here are some tips on you can free yourself and look at life from a different perspective.

What to do if you wake in the night

A good night’s sleep is essential if you want to feel energised and motivated. Waking at 3am with a very active mind is no fun and leaves you feeling exhausted once you do need to get up.

Here are some tips on what you can do to get back to sleep.

Tips to naturally induce sleep

A good night’s sleep is essential if you want to feel energised and motivated. However, sleeping soundly through the night can be hard to achieve when life is stressful.

Here are some tips on how you can improve your chances of getting a good night’s sleep.

Overcome insomnia

Symptoms The main types of insomnia are: · Sleep-onset insomnia, in which individuals have a hard time getting to sleep · Sleep-maintenance insomnia, in which individuals have a difficult time maintaining sleep The boundary between these two categories is not…

Top tips to aid recovery from adrenal fatigue

1 Lie down during work breaks: · Brief (15-30 minute rest) at 10am and · Brief (15-30 minute rest) between 3 – 5 pm 2 Exercise: · Avoid highly competitive events and the gym · Practice breathing exercises · Practice…

Living with autoimmune thyroiditis (Hashimoto’s Disease)

What is it? The thyroid is a small gland situated at the base of the throat which controls the body’s metabolism (the rate at which the body works). In most cases, hypothyroidism is because the thyroid cells begin to fail…

What counts as a portion of fruit and vegetable

There is plenty of scientific evidence to confirm that in order to protect us from disease we need to eat at least five portions of fruits and vegetables each day, and preferably seven. One study of over 65,000 people showed 7 portions is associated with a 42% reduction in risk of death, Another study of 55,000 people found 7 or more portions tripled one’s chances of being in optimal health while 5 servings doubled one’s it.

But what counts as one portion? The Food Standards Agency defines a portion as 80g in weight or a small handful of food or 150g of fruit or vegetable juice.

Variety is key, as this is what will provide you with an array of essential nutrients, so individual food types can only be counted once each day, no matter how much you eat of that particular fruit or vegetable, which means that if you’ve had two bananas that is still only one of your 5-a-day. Juice also has a limit on it and only counts as one portion, however much you drink.

The chart below is a guide for what counts.

Ways to improve your gut bacteria

There are hundreds of species of bacteria in our gut acting like an army to protect the integrity of the gut wall, boost overall gut health, improve our mood, control our hormones and protect us from viruses and bugs. If you want to be healthy then you need a healthy microbiome.

Here are a few tips to improve your gut microbiome.

How to get your 5-a-day

Eating at least five portions of fruit and vegetables can be a daunting prospect but with a little thought you can achieve it (and possibly more) with ease.

Here are some simple ideas to help you.

Top 10 ways to increase your energy on a vegan diet

A plant-based diet has many benefits for health and the planet. However, unless followed with care and knowledge, it can it can cause fatigue. This is because a plant-based diet lacks some of the nutrients essential for the production of energy that can only be sourced from meat, dairy and eggs. This is easily overcome if a few simple tips are followed.

Top 10 superfoods for energy

There are certain foods that have an abundance of the nutrients with the capacity to boost our energy. Here is my top 10.

Tips to avoid the blood sugar rollercoaster

The blood-sugar rollercoaster is where you experience extreme highs and lows in energy during the day. It can seriously impact your energy, mood and productivity and despite its name, it’s no fun at all.

Here are some tips for how to avoid the blood sugar rollercoaster.

Milk alternatives

If you’re struggling to tolerate milk or prefer to avoid dairy, there are a number of alternatives to choose from.

Here is the low-down on each alternative. It is important to note that alternatives vary considerably in nutrient content so look for brands that are fortified with added calcium and vitamins D and B12. Dairy milk is packed with micronutrients including calcium, iodine, riboflavin and vitamin B12 and fortification will not cover all this, in particular iodine which is essential for thyroid health. You will need to find other sources in your diet or look to supplement. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should seek advice from a professional on this.

Many brands are sweetened; non-sweetened would be healthier. Most alternatives are very low in protein so you will need to look to receive this from other sources in your diet.

Make healthier carbohydrate choices

The following table shows you how to choose healthy carbohydrates

Maintaining a healthy diet when eating out

Eating out can make sticking to a diet tricky so here are a few tips to guide you to make healthier choices. Of course, if your meal out is a treat then eat whatever you want and enjoy it.

Foods to boost your vitamin B intake

B vitamins are essential for the mind and energy. They are required for many brain processes such as the manufacture of important brain chemicals & neurotransmitters (the brain’s messengers). A deficiency can impact the way we feel and behave and can be caused by a poor diet or lack of variety in the diet, high alcohol intake or stress.

B vitamins should never be supplemented in isolation. The best way is to eat a varied diet of vegetables and wholegrains in their natural not refined form such as brown rice and wholemeal bread.

Foods to boost your vitamin and mineral intake

VITAMINS SOURCES A Liver (beef, pork, chicken, turkey), dairy products, eggs, pumpkin seeds Beta carotene Broccoli, Kale, cabbage, carrots, squash, corn, watermelon, green peppers, potatoes, peaches C Kale, peppers, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, watercress, tomatoes, spinach, citrus fruit, kiwi, mango…

Foods to boost your protein intake

Protein is an important macronutrient in the human diet. It’s an essential source of amino acids which the body cannot make but are vital for health.

Protein serves the following functions:

  • Essential for cell growth repair and maintenance
  • Plays an important role in muscle contraction, immune protection and the transmission of nerve impulses
  • A source of energy
  • Manufacture of enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters and antibodies

Fermented foods for a healthy gut

Fermented foods such as kefir and kimchi are the new superfoods, and rightly so. But they’ve actually been popular across cultures for centuries as a way to preserve food and drinks before there was refrigeration.

How are foods ‘fermented’?

Fermentation is a process where bacteria, yeast or fungi break down and convert the sugars and starch in the food to lactic acid. The acidic environment created by lactic acid acts as a natural preservative and also encourages acidic-loving bacteria to flourish. It’s a process used time and again to produce bread, wine, beer, chocolate, coffee, tea and yogurt.

In the case of vegetables, the process begins by chopping them up and squeezing them with salt to create a brine. Vegetables contain bacteria and once in this briny solution, the bacteria digest sugar and starch and proliferate. Where the real benefit comes in is that the bacteria includes some of the strains of beneficial bacteria found in our gut; Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. We call these bacteria probiotic bacteria.

Antioxidant properties of vegetables

An antioxidant is a substance found in food that prevents or reduces damage to the cell caused by the free radicals produced during the oxidation process. The most well-known antioxidants are vitamins A, C and E and the minerals zinc, copper and selenium. Increase your antioxidants intake with 2-3 portions of these fruits per day. Increase your antioxidants intake with 3-5 portions of these vegetables per day.

Antioxidant properties of fruits

An antioxidant is a substance found in food that prevents or reduces damage to the cell caused by free radicals produced during the oxidation process. The most well-known antioxidants are vitamins A, C and E and the minerals zinc, copper and selenium. Increase your antioxidants intake with 2-3 portions of these fruits per day.

 

A well-balanced diet for energy

A diet consisting of a balance of protein, carbohydrate, good fats and fibre plus some fermented food for good bacteria and plenty to drink will provide you with all the nourishment you need to maintain a strong foundation for energy.

 

How to boost your energy

Energy is our vitality and capacity to live life. It’s the very fuel in our tanks that drives our motivation and capability to bring our skills to life. It’s energy that enables us to achieve what we want to achieve. It’s the very essence of living.

Energy is like a battery; it doesn’t go on for ever. If we use it without recharging it, it eventually goes flat, leaving us feeling physically, mentally and emotionally fatigued, all of which affects our concentration, mood, memory, creativity and performance.

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