The other week California Walnuts asked me for my ‘top 5 wellness tips’. The definition of wellness is; ‘the state of being in good health, especially as an actively pursued goal’; so surely most people are striving for their version of ‘wellness’?
For me, wellness also including being happy in all aspects of your life; including in your relationships with work, family and friends, and the following things help me to juggle a busy life whilst still staying healthy and happy!
Start by making little changes and do what makes you happy..
1) Eat a Healthy and Balanced Plant-Based Diet
As I wrote about earlier this year, plant-based diets are not only good for our bodies but the planet too. And the good news is that plant-based diets DO NOT exclude foods from the diet; plant-foods are simply turned into the ‘star’ of the meal or snack with meat or fish (if you fancied it!) on the side.
Plant-based diets tend to be higher in unsaturated fats and fibre; both of which are found in nuts which are one of my favourite healthy* snacks for on the go. I was lucky enough to see California Walnuts being harvested last October on my honeymoon; it was such an incredible experience and feeling the ground vibrate as the walnut trees were shuck was just amazing!
When it comes to unsaturated fat, omega-3 (which is a type of unsaturated fat) is essential to include in your diet. There are three types of omega-3 fatty acids: EPA and DHA (both of which come from animal sources) and ALA (alpha-Linolenic acid), which is found in plant-based foods.
As your body cannot make ALA itself, it’s important to get it from your diet. Our bodies need omega-3 fats, including ALA, for everyday functions; including helping to maintain normal cholesterol levels, which is important for heart health. Enjoying a 30g handful of walnuts each day is a great way to get your omega-3 fix, as they are a rich source of ALA.
As well as a healthy diet, an adequate fluid intake is also important. An easy way to tell if you’re hydrated it to make sure that your urine is a pale straw colour. And if you’re not a fan of water don’t worry, you can jazz it up with slices of lemon or orange or you could even add pieces of fresh mint.
2) Ensure you get Adequate Sleep
Sleep is the time when our body recovers and repairs and it is essential for our overall wellbeing. Adults require around 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night and if you struggle getting to sleep you should avoid caffeine after 4pm and establish a helpful bedtime routine which involves no screen time for an hour beforehand, as well as a dark and cool bedroom.
A 20 minute walk outside in the morning may also help you to sleep as it helps to reset your circadian rhythm.
3) Practice Stress Management & Self-Care
We all need a helpful amount of stress in our lives, but too much stress can play havoc with both our psychological and physiological wellbeing. I encourage my patients to priorities their to do list (so the urgent/essential things get ticked off first!), say no to things that they don’t want to do, and include some ‘me-time’ everyday; whether it’s 20 minutes in the bath, reading a book, phoning a friend or listening to your favourite music during a walk.
Remember, that you have to look after number 1 (yourself!) to be able to look after others.
4) Include Daily Mindfulness or Meditation
Mindfulness involves being present and attentive to what you’re doing in the moment. The practice of mediation can help with this and I personally am a fan of the Buddhify App (other popular apps include Calm and Headspace). The Buddhify App can be done any where at any time and I am personally a fan of the sleep meditations.
I do these after I’ve written in my Gratitude Journal which encourages me to reflect on the positive things that have happened that day, as well as what I can do to make the following day better. My Gratitude Journal takes less than 5 minutes to complete and you can do it both in the morning and at night too.
5) Keep Active Every Day
The key to exercise is to do something that you enjoy; then you’ll be more likely to keep it up! I personally love walking and following strength-based YouTube videos (using my dumbbells in my front room!). Another tip it to remember WHY you are working-out. For me, my motivation includes:
- STRENGTH – I LOVE being able to lift things when required; for example last weekend we moved our bedroom furniture from downstairs to upstairs and thanks to lifting weights I was able to help Oliver my husband (almost!) equally!! ??
- MINDSET – Working out is MY time. I don’t check my phone (as I’m usually watching it following a YouTube video or listening to a podcast). Physically activity is used in the treatment of low mood & depression as it helps to stimulate our feel good endorphins! ?
- VITAMIN D – Between the months of April & September a 15 minute walk on my lunch helps my body to synthesise vitamin D, aka the sunshine vitamin. Many people in the UK are vitamin D deficient ?
- CIRCADIAN RHYTHM – aka your internal body clock, research shows that a morning walk in the daylight helps your to reset your sleep/wake cycle! ⏰
- FITNESS – Last but not least I workout for my stamina; I workout to be able to run for the train or carry multiple bags whilst rushing to clinic!! ?
- Other benefits of physical activity include improved sleep health, reduced risk of health conditions such as heart disease & type 2 Diabetes, improved energy levels & reduced risk of a C-section if you’re pregnant. ❤
I really hope these tips help you too in the pursuit of wellness and I would love to hear your tips too!
*Other health benefits of walnuts include:
- Providing 10 vitamins and minerals, which as part of a balanced diet and lifestyle, all support our bodies energy-producing mechanisms. Walnuts are a source of vitamins B1, B2, B6, pantothenic acid, biotin, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, copper and manganese.
- Walnuts are rich in vitamin B6 and a source of iron. As part of a balanced diet and lifestyle, vitamin B6 and iron contribute to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue
- Walnuts are a great source of nutrients that help maintain the health of our bones and teeth. They are rich in phosphorus, manganese and magnesium, and also provide zinc. All these minerals, as part of healthy diet and lifestyle, help maintain our bone health. Phosphorus and magnesium also help nourish our teeth.
- Walnuts are a source of iron and zinc, which as part of a balanced diet and lifestyle, help support the brain’s daily functions (such as memory, reasoning, attention and language) which lead to the attainment of information and knowledge. Zinc also contributes to the maintenance of normal skin and hair.
- Walnuts also contain Copper, which as part of a balanced diet and lifestyle, contributes to normal skin and hair pigmentation. Copper and zinc, as part of a balanced diet and lifestyle, contribute to normal function of the immune system.
This blog post was written in collaboration with California Walnuts. All words are my own and are 100% honest. Please read my disclaimer page for more information about collaborations.