It’s Good Liverpool’s inaugural Wellness Week! We have teamed up with some very special local businesses to bring fresh workouts/sessions each day. We also wanted to deliver some ways we all could improve our diets and look after ourselves more (And honestly, I’ve been learning more than anyone this week!)
Below are a few tips to help with eating healthily and looking after ourselves by being careful what we put into our bodies. Don’t worry, extensive research was done before hand & I’m not making any of this up!
As our diets are at the core of looking after ourselves, we thought it important to share some tips we could all use. After all, our diet determines how your body runs, how you feel & how effectively your body works.
1. High quality H2O
Ah water, the overlooked hero, the taken-for-granted hard worker. It’s a tale as old as time itself. No recognition but always there when called upon, doing its utmost to keep your body running despite a diet of take-aways and soft drinks (well from my experiences anyway…).
Well as it turns out, that clear liquid that floods peoples homes, ruins your hair by raining on you, it's too cold to jump in when we go to the beach (I could go on!) is also one of the healthiest things for you.
Drinking that high quality H2O (one for you “The Waterboy” fans out there) has shown to have a number of health benefits including weight loss, weight maintenance while also increasing the amount of calories that you burn daily. It’s the wonder drink that does it all!
I haven’t even got onto some of the other benefits including; improving memory & mood, improving exercise performance, reducing headaches & migraines, delivering oxygen through the body, boosts healthy skin, the digestive system depends on it, preventing constipation, and finally the big one - reducing and even preventing hangovers!
2. Cook at home more often!
Ahh tricky one. You see, lockdown hit and suddenly it was like Gordon Ramsey’s ability had just transferred through to me (surely there’s a Pixar film to reference here? Don’t tell me Ratatouille either, get those rodents out of your kitchen! No health inspector is accepting Ratatouille as a valid excuse for rodent infestation.).
We were creating dishes of pure beauty & majesty, the likes of which had rarely been seen before. Not only that but I discovered what a number of kitchen utensils did (like the bowl with holes in - turns out it doesn’t just make cereal super hard to eat).
But as things went on, the kitchen became less of my arena, and more towards just being that room that housed the snacks. I started loving the takeaways, great for supporting the chippy around the corner but not so much on the waistline. The excuse of “It’s lockdown, why not!” soon became tired but no chance that stopped me from using it a few times a week.
I guess where I’m going with this is, if you’re looking to become that bit more healthy in lockdown 3, try turning the oven on, whack some food in there and see what happens. Even if you don’t have a clue, I can guarantee it will be healthier than a McDonald’s and that’s a win.
3. Take it one step further - try cooking a healthy meal once a week!
Now, before you gasp in horror at what I’m inferring by saying cook healthy once a week, I’m not suggesting everything you’re eating at the moment is rubbish. You know, I’m the same, eating decent enough meals at the moment, but I don’t pay any attention towards whether it is particularly healthy or not.
The idea is that we go out of our way to produce something particularly healthy once a week. Maybe it’s just a bit of cabbage on a plate, but as enticing as that sounds, that swings to the other spectrum of unhealthy so beware (it’s a tricky tightrope!).
I’ve personally found this also helps get me out of the rut of eating the same things every week. I’ve started walking the same route through Asda, stopping at the same fridges, locking eyes with the same family at the same spot, it’s just too much!
This simple step has really helped change that, I’m now getting into parts of the store I don’t even recognise (although someone in a green uniform shouted at me last week that I couldn’t be back there...strange).
4. Speaking of the Asda
This might seem strange when talking about healthy eating (or maybe not to be fair, I might be overthinking it) but either way, bear with.
These are a couple simple tricks that will make that shopping trip easier, quicker, less expensive - they cover all the bases really.
Tip numero uno - Make a list.
Easy as that. Write down what you need. Go all millennium on it and use notes on your phone or even go a bit old-school. My mom’s personal favourite for shopping lists were old envelopes so you know, go with whatever takes your fancy.
Tip numero dos - Don’t go to the shop hungry!
This is a big no-no. Mighty red flags flashing here if you do this. Opens up all sorts of terrifying doors for impulse shopping and reckless buying. Simply put - just don’t do it.
5. It’s a marathon not a race
"Take it easy on the food man. It’s not going to run away if it’s left sitting there for too long." That's the speech I have to say to myself at the table everyday.
So as I amazingly found out while doing some research. The brain, despite doing some pretty mind-boggling things, is about 20 minutes behind our stomachs. I know! Me too, shocked and dismayed. It’s poor form really.
But anyway, rather than remaining disappointed in the brain, we move forward. So this knowledge has put forward a simple tactic to help with that healthy eating. I shall simply go slower and therefore eat healthier.
This is exactly how it works as when you eat slower, your brain is given a chance to realise that it is indeed full. So as it turns out, the pace at which you eat directly relates to how much you eat and how likely you are to gain weight. The stats say that fast eaters are 115% more likely to be overweight than slower eaters. (One sec I’m just going to quickly write that on my hand, vital to keep in mind!).
6. Get active!
Ahh, here it is. The perfect chance to plug our very first Wellness Week. But first, the facts.
Good nutrition and exercise go hand-in-hand. They’re an iconic one-two combination along the lines of Pixar & heart-warming animations, the Beatles & breath-taking music and Mike Tyson & ears.
Exercise is well known to improve moods and mental well-being, decreasing depression, anxiety & stress. All diseases that contribute to emotional and binge eating. Exercise is also there to help with weight loss, strengthening bones and muscles, increasing energy levels, reducing the risk of chronic diseases and improving sleep.
The beauty of it...you don’t need to do too much either! A brief 30 minutes each day of moderate to high intensity exercise will lead to all of the above. If you’re looking for any pointers, businesses to join, guidance or workout videos, we have a whole week of amazing local businesses hosting sessions everyday. It is all completely free on our website & Instagram.
7. Praise the ‘King of Nutrients”!
The courageous. The leader of nutrients. Our saving grace. Protein.
Protein is so effective & helpful for the body, it has received this esteemed nickname. It directly affects the hunger and satiety hormones and, after Googling what that meant, I discovered that makes protein the most filling of the macronutrients, making it very important for healthy eating.
Ultimately, more protein leads to less fat & carbohydrates. As well as this, protein helps retain muscle mass which plays a big role in determining rates of metabolism. If you’re looking for sources of protein that will have you feeling like a King/Queen - try dairy products, nuts, peanut butter, eggs, beans and lean meat.
8. You better be eating your greens
5. Just 5. In 24 hours. And we’ve hit our mark. That’s all we need. And you know what, they’re great! A bit of melon or banana at breakfast, apple at lunch, some salad at dinner (what a day). I know that’s just 3 but neither of us wants to go through the process of me describing my day and what fruits I eat.
But yes, fruit and veg is vital for the running of the human body, and all we need is 5 portions of it a day and we’ll be fit as a fiddle.