• Work, Life Balance: Managing with Nutrition & Wellness

    By Courtney Minors

    BS in Biology
    MS in Dietetics and Nutrition
    Registered and Licensed Dietitian

    As a full-time Dietitian and wife I know firsthand how hectic life can be and I want to share with you four of my top tips to achieving that work life balance in a fun and sustainable way!
    #1 Have a Routine in the Morning
    Start with a glass of warm water with lemon or apple cider vinegar. This stimulates the digestive process, rehydrates the body after a long night’s rest and stimulates the metabolism for the day. Prepare your breakfast in advance. Skipping breakfast consistently slows metabolism, causes a rollercoaster in your blood sugars, reduces energy levels, causes cravings and promotes weight gain. Whether it is a balanced smoothie prepared the night before or boiled eggs with nuts & fruit, make breakfast easy and a priority daily. Stimulate your mind/body. Exercising the mind/body through leisure & spiritual reading or a form of activity, will lead to mental clarity and sustained energy to tackle your day!
    Stay tuned for my remaining tips: #2 Make Sleep a Priority, #3 Focus on Antioxidants and #4 Make Time for Play & Learning.

    #2 Make Sleep a Priority
    So many clients tell me that due to the stress of life they cannot fall asleep and have difficulty staying asleep as they just cannot turn off! Sound familiar? Sleep is important for many reasons but it is an imperative time of day that allows our body to recharge, tissues are repaired, our energy banks are refilled and essential hormones are released to promote growth and muscle development.
    Turn off devices. Turn off the phones, tablets and TVs allowing your body to quiet before preparing for sleep. Easier said than done? Store your device on the other side of the room and take up an alternate activity, like reading, to occupy your time before reaching la la land. Bedtime snacks are essential. It is a common myth that eating late in the day can lead to weight gain; well let’s throw that myth out the window. Research shows that having a balanced bedtime snack, like nuts & fruit, can actually stabilize your glucose overnight leading to improved insulin utilization, metabolism and energy levels through the night. Supplements may help. Magnesium citrate, melatonin, 5-HTP, L-theanine and GABA are all supplements that can be helpful in achieving a restful night of sleep. Remember to always check with your physician before starting a supplement.
    Stay tuned for my remaining tips: #3 Focus on Antioxidants and #4 Make Time for Play & Learning.

    #3 Focus on Antioxidants
    As the body tries to handle the everyday constant stress from work, family and responsibilities, it is in a constant state of “fight or flight”. Over exposure to mental stress leads to oxidative and cellular stress, causing the production of free radicals. If free radicals become excessive, damage in the form of chronic diseases and premature aging can occur. Antioxidants, found in fruits and vegetables, are powerful at protecting the body against this free radical damage. These antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals found in fruits and vegetables also help with mental clarity allowing you to get through your day easier.
    Vegetables & fruits with every meal. I tend to focus on antioxidant rich foods to help combat that chronic stress. Adding kale & collards to a breakfast scramble, having a salad packed with greens & blueberries and possibly a lovely vegetable soup for dinner with baked pear for dessert. Don’t like veggies? Try incorporating a quality greens powder to get a large dose of antioxidants. Have a cup of tea. Green, Oolong, Black, Hibiscus, Chamomile and the list goes on. Each one is packed with various polyphenols and flavonoids helping to calm the mind and reduce the oxidative stress on the body. Jazz up your water with half of an unsweetened tea of your choice.
    Stay tuned for my remaining tip: #4 Make Time for Play & Learning

    #4 Make Time for Play & Learning
    Life is about balance. Balance between working and enjoying the sweet pleasures of life are what we are all trying to achieve. In reality, we are working so hard so that we can actually enjoy life! When I ask my clients to rate their stress levels and tell me their hobbies, they are quick to tell me the stressors but often have difficulty expressing their hobbies. As humans, we are very inquisitive, so tap into it.
    Make time for learning. Save interesting articles you find on the web and enjoy reading on the weekend. Try a new hobby: sculpting, painting, coloring books, cooking or a new sport. Get out there and try something new! Focus on friends and family. So often we get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life. Take time out for your loved ones. Invite them to try a new hobby with you, focus on family dinners or invite them to go for a walk. Use this time to separate from the day to day stress. At the end of the day, remember to turn off, have fun and above all enjoy life!
    For more information on work life balance or to set up an appointment with Courtney Contact Ultima Fitness @ 561-795-2823