Updated: May 26, 2020
Weeks 5-8 | Finding balance in how you fuel your body.
Ever wonder why you feel so fantastic on a cleanse? Once you get over the sugar, caffeine, and alcohol withdrawals, you feel as if you hit the reset button with your body: light, cheery and renewed. So what can we do to maintain that open, uplifted, energized, and balanced feeling we achieve through our eating habits?
It is no secret that what we eat affects the way that we feel day to day. A vibrant variety of fruits and vegetables, nuts + seeds, and appropriate sizes of proteins + fats will offer us ample energy and vitality. These foods leave us feeling inspired and happy. Whereas an overconsumption of over processed, sugary, and salty foods + alcohol and caffeine leaves us feeling like we are on an emotional rollercoaster. They can also create feelings of depression, anxiety, and physical heaviness. We do not want that, do we?
We often crave food or overindulge because of certain physical, emotional, or hormonal imbalances. Feeling at peace with what we eat and how we eat is ultimately the most important thing we can do. However, applying small diet and lifestyle changes supports not only optimal endocrine function, but also emotional composure and mind-body balance.
Here are a few tips to keep yourself balanced.
balance your blood sugar.
Make sure you get enough protein everyday. This is the key in blood sugar maintenance and will stabilize your moodiness
Eat enough fiber and fat, such as adding chia seeds, ground flax + coconut oil or ghee to any dish
If you are already struggling with blood sugar imbalance, be sure to also add crunchy snacks to your daily routine, such as chopped veggies + hummus or pesto, which are both fantastic options.
Limit caffeine consumption. I know, this sounds impossible especially for the coffee lovers out there, but take it slow. Start with a MAX of only 2 cups of caffeine, then work your way down to 1 cup a day.
It’s also imperative that you eat something 30 mins after waking, unless you head straight out to exercise, in which case you can have something small + then a full meal after your workout.
Eat at regular times every day + balanced meals. Do not go longer than 3 hours without eating. This will help stabilize the body, regulate hormones, blood sugar, boosts metabolism, and promoting metabolism regulation.
swap out your sugars.
If you have not done this already, I strongly urge you to switch to natural forms of sweetness and eliminate all other sugars.
sugar, raw honey, stevia, Lucuma, and dates are all great options. Use stevia, if you are trying to get your sugar habit under control.
be careful with caffeine.
Watch how much caffeine you are having daily and detox from caffeine from time to time to reconnect to your body’s natural energy source. Also, this will help stabilize blood sugars, reduce cravings, soothe your adrenals, and reset your hormones.
If you are not going to the bathroom, nothing is going to make you feel good. Be sure to get enough fiber and if nothing is "moving along", make sure you are:
+ properly hydrated.
+ not eating past 8 pm.
+ adding plenty of greens + roughage to your diet.
+ getting enough sleep.
+ taking breaks from caffeine.
eat alkalizing foods.
The more Alkaline foods you eat, the more oxygen your body will have and the better you will feel. Also, they have a natural detoxing effect on the body. Try incorporating foods like dark leafy greens, chlorella, lemons + plenty of fruits and veggies.
avoid known allergies.
Intuition is one of the most powerful tools you can access when trying to discern whether a food is right for you or not. It is that gut feeling that steers you to choosing what will work best for your body over that urge to eat chocolate and cookies for lunch. You can also run an IGG Allergy test with your doctor, if you are curious about any major sensitivities. Also, if you are suspicious about whether a food is bad for you, pay close attention to how you feel in the hours after you eat it.
eat slowly + mindfully.
Your body has space to do its job properly and this will help you not eat under stress. Remember that food is your number one energy source. Honor your body by being present with your food. If you are rushing through every meal + end up with a stomach ache, that is your body’s way of telling you that you need to slow down.
combat depression + anxiety.
All of the above will help reduce anxiety and depression, but there are also plenty of foods that helps lift the mood as well. Here are a few of my favorites: spinach, avocado, bananas, walnuts, cashews, eggs, ginger, olive + coconut oil, hemp seeds, kale, raw cocoa, oats, seaweed, matcha tea, chamomile tea, and turmeric.
know your portions.
Over or undereating are both issues. We can help guide you but muscle takes fuel to build and maintain. Our minds depend on the proper amount of calories. Our spirit needs energy. Our workouts need fuel. We will help you, but we partner with nutritionist to really help guide individual nutrition. If you think you need a little more help, let us know.
Ashley Lambeth, ACE-CPT, OES, FNS, SCS | 919-614-2286 | Founder
Anna S. Semon, BA Exercise and Sports Science, SCS | Assistant Training Coach