Ultimate Guide To Boost Your Health & Wellness | Part 1: NOURISH
We’ve teamed up with Well.ca to bring you a 3-part blog and video series that’s not only going to get you looking your best but feeling your (absolute) best as well. We want to give you a game plan to make sure that your health and wellness goals become a reality. Are you ready? Stay tuned for Part 2: LIVE and Part 3: FLOW!
Part 1 is all about how we NOURISH ourselves. You’ve heard of the term “nourish” right? But what does it really mean? Is it simply about the foods that we choose to eat? Or is it about a whole lot more than this? And what sorts of things nourish us? For us, being nourished is so important, we put the word at the beginning of our business name, Nourish Live Flow!
Going back to the basics, we believe that there are two types of nourishers: Primary Nourishers and Secondary Nourishers. Primary Nourishers are areas in our life that nourish us but they are not the foods that we eat. They are our Career, Relationships, level of Physical Activity and Spirituality (or connection to oneself). All of these areas help nourish our lives on a fundamental level. Secondary, Nourishers on the other hand, are the foods (and beverages) that we choose to consume. Quite simply, the choices that we make when it comes to what we put in our bodies, has the power to either boost our health or diminish it. We are passionate about healthy eating and believe it has a huge role in our overall health and well-being.
Part one of our Ultimate Guide To Boost Your Health and Wellness is called NOURISH and it’s all about food! (But, don’t worry, we’ll be covering the other topics in part two of the blog series, LIVE, and part 3, FLOW, so stay tuned!). We believe that if you want to feel, look and create your best self, you need to nourish your body and your mind with healthy, whole, unprocessed and nutrient-dense foods. To us, this means foods that we love, foods that we grew up with and foods that make us feel alive, happy, healthy and fulfilled. We are all about balance. We love creating healthy and delicious recipes using whole and fresh ingredients, but we also love pizza, coffee, and wine! We do not believe that you should deprive yourself (more on this below when we share our love for the 80/20 principle) and we firmly believe that there is no one simple way of eating that works for everyone. We are all unique and we all respond differently to different ways of eating and different foods. What works for one person, will not necessarily work for another (a concept we call bio-individuality). But, there are certain tips and tricks (we like to call them our healthy eating hacks!) that we stand behind and that we know can and will boost your overall health, if you stick with them.
If you’re ready to make some exciting changes, keep on reading for our top 5 tips on how you can nourish yourself so that you can add more wellness, fulfillment, and joy to your life.
Make Breakfast Your BFF
We are firm believers that how you choose to start your day (we like to call them our morning rituals) can greatly influence how the remainder of your day will go. If you wake up and stub your toe first thing, you may find that your day becomes a cascade of one negative event after the other. The same goes with food. If you wake up and choose to down a cup of coffee, followed by a chocolate chip muffin or a greasy bacon sandwich, you have set yourself up for a day of unhealthy eating. On the other hand, if you wake up, drink a warm cup of lemon water, followed by a thoughtful, balanced and healthy breakfast, you are more likely to make healthy food choices for the remainder of the day. Now we get it, mornings can be hectic, busy and stress-filled (we’re moms to little ones, so we know all about the morning rush!). But, the fact is it’s easy to eat healthy if you follow some simple tips and plan ahead. There are so many healthy breakfast ideas to choose from. They key is to take advantage of the amazing produce available to us each season, keep it balanced (fruits, veggies, healthy fats, and protein) and find a few things that you love to eat. One of our all-time favourite morning breakfasts are smoothies and smoothie bowls. They are ultra-versatile (you can create endless variations depending on the flavours you love, or even what you’ve got on hand in your pantry and fridge), brimming with nutrient-dense superfoods, and a cinch to make. Stay tuned for our video where we will be sharing 2 of our favourite smoothie and smoothie bowl recipes!
Break-Up With Your Sugar Habit
You’ve heard it over and over (and we’re here to remind you that it is true): Sugar truly is the enemy when it comes to the health of our bodies and even our minds. Refined sugar has been shown to be a major culprit behind many chronic diseases including diabetes, cancer and heart disease. Unfortunately, sugar is often hidden in pre-packaged and processed foods, so we’re not aware of how much we are actually consuming. Our top tips to bust sugar from your diet? Read your food labels closely, avoid highly processed snacks (think chips, pretzels, crackers, cereals, many protein and energy bars and white bread products) and choose naturally sweet veggies and fruits to help curb your sweet tooth (carrots, sweet potatoes, berries, and apples are great options). Foods that are high in sugar cause a spike in insulin and can wreak havoc on our digestive system, our skin and our anxiety levels (NOT how we want to feel!). By choosing foods and snacks that are minimally processed and that come from whole food sources you will feel full for longer and boost your overall health, rather than drain your system.
Choose Detoxifying, Anti-inflammatory & Antioxidant Rich Foods
We all know how we feel when we eat unhealthy and overly processed foods (bloated, fatigued, cranky, foggy). This is definitely NOT the way that we want to feel when we are sporting that new cute bathing suit or those hot new board shorts at the beach or cottage! So, if you’re goal is to feel slim, energetic and glowing from the inside out, it’s best to choose nutrient dense, whole and fresh foods as much as possible. The good news is that you can incorporate product based on the season! Our fave antioxidant-rich, detoxifying and anti-inflammatory choices are lemons (our go-to morning trick is to squeeze half a lemon into half a cup of warm water and drink this first thing in the morning), organic berries (easily added to your morning power smoothie or sprinkled over granola and yogurt), ginger to help with bloating (ginger teas can be lovely in the afternoon even in warm weather and are a superfood when it comes to our digestion) and lots of organic leafy greens (think kale, spinach, collards, dandelion greens, cucumbers and celery, to name a few). Another super simple tip is to drink plenty of fresh mineral water which will help flush out the toxins that your body is trying to eliminate, as well as replace important minerals that your body needs to feel it’s best. Not a fan of plain water? Spike it with cucumber slices, fresh berries or lemon wedges!
Eat Healthy Fats!
It’s no longer believed that eating fat makes you fat. Wellness experts like us now understand that we are actually enhancing many aspects of our overall health and well-being by consuming moderate amounts of fat in our diet. These “healthy fats” (monounsaturated fats) have been shown to boost brain health, stabilize insulin and blood sugar levels, improve our heart health, help with weight loss (by curbing cravings and helping us feel full and satisfied) and boost your skin and hair healthy (hello glowing skin and hair!). They come from sources such as fatty fish like salmon, olives and olive oil, avocados, nuts including walnuts and almonds and seeds like flax, chia and hemp seeds (which are all rich sources of Omega-3 fatty acids and DHA). And, while once thought of the villain, we now know that saturated fats (like the ones found in red meat, egg yolks, and coconut oil) can absolutely be incorporated into a healthy diet.
Follow the 80/20 Principle
Do you find that you eat healthy during the week, but then splurge on Friday night, only to find yourself riddled with shame and guilt the next morning? We used to feel that way too, but no more! Enter the 80/20 principle to eating well (or the perfect eating plan). The idea behind this wellness principle is really super simple: 80 percent of the time you focus on eating clean, good-for-you foods (think whole, unprocessed foods, lots of veggies, greens and fruits, lean meats and proteins, whole grains, nuts and seeds) and the other 20 percent of the time you have the freedom to indulge as you please. The 80/20 principle is not a diet. What it is (and why we love it) is that it’s a lifestyle change that can lead to sustainable weight loss and a healthier outlook on the food you eat (buh bye shame and guilt). Many of you might have found that rigid, limiting diets simply don’t work. Adhering to the 80/20 principle helps teach people about balance and moderation. When you practice 80/20, you have the space to go out socially and enjoy a meal (including some cocktails on the patio!) with friends while taking away the guilt.
But, most importantly, it makes the whole clean-living thing feel doable for the long run. Because, hey, is it really sustainable if you don’t get to indulge now and again?
Stay tuned for Part 2: LIVE, where we’ll share our top tips to help you combat anxiety and stress and boost balance and Part 3: FLOW, where we’ll share some of our favourite exercises to get your body in tip top shape and strengthen your core!
Lindsay Evans and Danielle McGrath are co-founders of Nourish Live Flow, a holistic health, and wellness company operating in Toronto and the GTA. They are integrative nutrition health coaches trained through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and are currently in training to become meditation and mindfulness coaches. Their mission is to enhance the health and wellness of women, men, and children everywhere and empower people to take responsibility for their health and wellbeing. They whole-heartedly believe that reducing our toxic overload is essential in achieving optimal wellness. They have become ambassadors for 3 companies who share this belief, Beautycounter, dōTERRA and Juice Plus. Learn more about their health coaching practice at www.nourishliveflow.com.