For many of us a new year means a new start and a revamp of our diet and exercise. And then there comes another lockdown. For some of us this is motivating and increases our focus on our own wellness, getting out for our daily walks and trying new dishes at home. For others we may have lost our motivation to keep moving and eat well.
So, with this in mind we thought we would ask Clinical Nutritionist Suzie Sawyer to share her daily routine and provide us with some insights and inspiration.
Take it away Suzie!
I’m frequently asked about my own eating and lifestyle habits. And I always answer by saying that I am certainly not ‘perfect’ 100% of the time but aim for 80-90%. This has become even more important to me during the pandemic because keeping ourselves as healthy as possible is certainly the best protection we can have.
I normally start the day with a small amount of apple cider vinegar and a glass of warm water with fresh lemon to help cleanse the liver and kickstart the digestive system. Plus, it helps alkalise the body. After about an hour I’ll generally have some porridge oats (from whole grain oats) with some oat or almond milk, topped with berries. I also sprinkle a tablespoon of flaxseeds on the top for additional omega-3 healthy fats and fibre.
As an alternative, or if I’ve done an early workout, I’ll have a power smoothie. This is made mainly with protein powder (usually pea protein, as whey protein can cause digestive upsets later in the day) and not too overloaded with fruit – I just choose a couple.
I generally take most of my supplements after breakfast too. A daily multivitamin and mineral should be taken early on in the day in order to enjoy its energising benefits. I’ll always take omega-3s from fish oil which are great for skin, joints, the heart and brain. In fact, I definitely notice the difference with my memory when I don’t take them! I’ll generally include either some probiotics or prebiotics such as inulin (depending on how well my digestion is working).
I also take additional vitamin D. Quite apart from it being essential for the immune system, vitamin D is important for supporting normal bone health and for helping stiff joints, which I tend to get if I’ve been overdoing the workouts.
I’m a great fan of eggs; they are a brilliant source of protein and brain-boosting phospholipids. Therefore, lunch will often be a spinach and mushroom omelette which will keep me feeling full for a good few hours and stop the classic ‘3 pm slump’! Alternatively, I’ll have a smoked mackerel salad or avocado on sourdough bread.
Depending on how the day’s running I might do a workout before lunch. I’m so lucky living in Brighton and being able to work out on the beach with a trainer a couple of times a week, which keeps me motivated. Fitness apps are a great way to get moving at home but for me personally I dislike jumping around in my lounge! During the working week I will always take a walk, even for half an hour, to get out in the fresh air. It’s great for clearing the mind and also brilliant exercise. I also try and do longer and more challenging walks at the weekends.
During the week, I tend to keep things really simple: wild salmon or chicken breast with sweet potato and veggies. I’m also a great fan of venison steaks as they are very low in fat, high in protein and tend to be more free-range than other meats. I cook them as I would any piece of meat so they’re soft and tender, not chewy at all.
I absolutely love chocolate and allow myself a few squares of dark chocolate each day as it’s packed with antioxidants. Because of its strong flavour, I find that I don’t need to eat too much.
I struggle to get to sleep, so I try to have a warm bath about an hour before bedtime and I’ve found Epsom salts to be really helpful. Plus, they make my skin feel super soft and smooth. I’ll also take some L-Theanine about half an hour before bedtime. It’s an amino acid that stimulates GABA, one of our calming neurotransmitters, which helps stop a busy brain. It does need to be taken on an empty stomach though. However, sometimes I change things up a little and use the herbs passionflower and valerian, both of which have plenty of research for helping sleep.
The body loves routine, and whilst most of us are out of our usual routine at the moment, I certainly find that the more I can fuel my body with plenty of nutrients, the better I’m able to weather the storm, both physically and emotionally. I hope my ‘day in the life’ has given you some motivation and ideas for including some more healthy habits into your daily routine.
FOR MORE GREAT DIET AND LIFESTYLE ADVICE:
Sign up to receive our blog and get a weekly dose of the latest nutrition, health and wellness advice direct to your inbox.
Follow us on Twitter @feelaliveuk for nutrition, lifestyle and well-being tips.
Visit us at www.feelaliveuk.com for the latest offers and exclusive Alive! content.
Follow and Chat with Suzie on Twitter @nutritionsuzie
For everything you need to know about vitamins, minerals and herbs visit our sister site Herbfacts
All images: Shutterstock